COVID-19: Having Faith the Church will be Stronger

Updated: Mar 31


Raul Navarro, President of Cristos Es El Camino, visits with us today to give us insight on how COVID-19 has affected his congregation and hopes his church, and others like it, will be restored after they return.

"We have to have that faith that after all of this is gone, it's done, we have got to keep on going."

Transcript:


Tommy Rosson:

Hello Tommy Rosson with Houston Responds and today I'm joined with Raul Navarro with Cristos Es El Camino. It is an association of Hispanic speaking churches in our community. And so I wanted to just ask him some questions as it relates to, how does the coronavirus impact the churches and his association. Pastor Navarro, what does this season look like for your churches?


Raul Navarro:

Well, in a way, they're taking it hard. They are taking it hard. They didn't, they didn't want to close the church. You know, the church is to come and worship the Lord, come for prayer or comfort needs. And most of them didn't want to go along, but sometimes the law is the law. You got to go by exactly what the law is. So most of them didn't want to close the churches knowing that's what the churches are there for, to help the community, to help people come for prayer. But sometimes it's kinda hard or kind of part of what is going on so they have to make a decision to close the church even though they didn't want to. But that is the way things are going right now.


Tommy Rosson:

So the ability for these churches to really use online tools and those kinds of things in their communities' is not really going to be realistic for them or do they need help with the technology to get those things set up or their congregants really not going to be able to adapt?


Raul Navarro:

No. Well, like I was saying, they have to go on along with that, like I was saying, and for them it's kind of hard, especially for the pastors. We care about the congregation. We care about people and all of that. It is a decision that sometimes kind of hard to make the law is the law. You have to go along with it.


Tommy Rosson:

What does it look like for these churches, their longterm prospects? Is it going to, are we going to see some of the churches not be able to return to meeting afterwards? Are we going to see some of these churches close for good?


Raul Navarro:

Well, we are praying to the Lord and waiting on the Lord and having faith that after all of this is gone. The churches are going to come back again in the name of Jesus. We have to have that faith that after all of this is gone, it's done, we have got to keep on going. No matter what. After the city, the state or whatever, gives the okay that over we'll continue going on. Getting on with the gospel of the Lord. No, we're not going to waste. It's not to stop us, but after this is over, most of them, they don't want them to just quit just because this happened. You have to continue in the name of peace. That's what the church is there for.


Tommy Rosson:

And most of your churches are the pastors bi-vocational or are they a full time pastors?


Raul Navarro:

Well, most of them they work. They have to work. They're got families. They got things to pay. So they're not even just paid by the church. They got to work somewhere else to make a leaving. They are supporting a family and supporting a church also. Sometimes it's not enough money to pay their rent, pay the church, or whatever. So they have to work wherever their job is at.


Tommy Rosson:

So many of those, so many of those pastors are worried about their income outside of church on top of not meeting as a church.


Raul Navarro:

hmmm?


Tommy Rosson:

Many of those pastors are concerned about their income and their jobs as well, not just the meeting of the church on how they're going to pay their own bills in their own family.


Raul Navarro:

Right. They have to consider their expenses. Your family, support in your family. They cannot depend on the church. They have to work to keep on going because sometimes, sometimes there's enough money, to pay the rent or whatever. The bills, lights, water, gas, all of that takes money. So I know there's some pastors that get tithes. The tithes come in, they go on, their bill. So the pastor really is not making money whatsoever.


Tommy Rosson:

So what's the impact look like in the, in these communities where these churches are serving? What's the, what's it gonna look like for these families?


Raul Navarro:

After all of this is done, praise to God that everything will be better and church will restored again. And in the name of Jesus, the Lord is going to help us to continue. Like I say, maybe this is just a way the Lord is calling us to do more for him, especially me. I'm retired. I've been retired already for 20 years, so I'm already 77. So thank God that the Lord gave me all of this here. But me, I never depend on the church. My wife work and I work to support the church. We have our own expenses. We have four kids, so we have to take care of them too. So I know what you have to go through now. Now I'm retired i think i will un-retire.


Tommy Rosson:

What are some things that other churches across Greater Houston can do to support the churches in your coalition?


Raul Navarro:

What now?


Tommy Rosson:

What are some of the things churches in parts of Houston can do to support these smaller churches that are going to be struggling to meet with their congregants?


Raul Navarro:

Well, sometimes some churches that make, what do you call it...activities, like selling plates of barbecue, things like that to help for addiction. Some Saturdays, once a month, twice a month they sell plates and they order it by phone. That was the way we used to do it when I was their pastor way back. Sister would make, cooking barbecue or whatever for the bills of the church because sometimes they was not enough money on the fund. Sometime we has no funds whatsoever. Like it came, it gone.


Tommy Rosson:

Alright. Anything else you want to add as you think about what Covid-19 is going to mean in the lives, especially of these Hispanic churches?


Raul Navarro:

Well, I believe by faith that, in the name of Jesus we are going to be better because a lot of people can upscale. with just what's going on and they don't got no other things than to looked for the Lord because we know, you know, and us, we could know according to the word of God, we know that these are going to get worse farther down the line. But even though the prophecies are are coming to pass, we know that it's not the end yet. Still more things are going to come. But the Lord said, don't fear not. I'm with y'all. So we believe that the Lord is going to help us, if he helps us on this one, he's you're going to help us on another one that's coming because these are not, these are not the end yet. We believe, I believe whatever the Bible says that things are going to come to pass. The word of God has to come to pass also. So I believe that things are getting worse and getting worse, but even though they get it worse, big churches are going to get stronger in the name of Jesus.


Tommy Rosson:

Absolutely. We're going to have to figure out how to do church in a very different way in all communities. I look forward to checking in and to finding out how your churches are expanding even through this season and finding new ways to meet with their congregants during this time. Thank you for joining us. Absolutely. That was Raul Navarro, President of Cristos Es El Camino. Thank you for joining us today.


Raul Navarro:

All right. God bless you.


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