By Dolly Moen
Living back east with college degrees, Ash and Satiya never dreamed that they would ever be homeless in Desert Hot Springs. After an 8 mile walk from Morongo Valley, they were exhausted and dehydrated. With no place to go, they sat in front of a business complex.
With his wife in the hospital, Russ Crumpacker decided to grab a bite to eat. When he got out of the car, he saw the two homeless people, and invited Ash and Satiya to eat with him. They could not believe that Crumpacker would want to be seen with them, especially after the way they looked. Expecting rain that night, he also took them to the store and bought them more blankets and a tarp to keep them dry. When he dropped them off in the Morongo Springs Nature Preserve, he gave Ash and Satiya his phone number.
The next day, they made the decision to reach out to Crumpacker. He brought them home while praying all the way. With cracked ribs and a wife with a recent hip replacement, both caused by recent falls, he needed work done around his place. He invited them to stay and help, paying them for the projects that he would have paid other people.
He brought them to church in Desert Hot Springs the next Sabbath. Ash and Satiya felt like they had found home. In the first study with Cecelia St. Clair, the church’s bible worker, Ash and Satiya accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Sabbath morning, April 16, was a very meaningful Communion and Easter Service. The morning was brought full circle when Crumpacker and Glenn Munson, Desert Hot Springs pastor, baptized Ash and Satiya together, with strong support from their new church family.
What they did not know was that the Desert Hot Springs “Church on Fire” prayer group was meeting every Friday evening in the sanctuary to pray for their church family, community and their leadership. Hands had been laid on the very pew where they sat, and prayed for while they were meeting Russ. Led by Dee Lee, prayer ministry leader, “Church on Fire” is a group that comes together every Friday evening to pray. They close the evening by physically placing their hands on the pews and praying for the person who will be sitting in that seat. As a result, God continues to send new people from the community to fill those seats. It is clear the Holy Spirit is at work in Desert Hot Springs church.