My name is Christopher Anthony Trujillo and I am a pastor at Freedom Church in Chatsworth. I lead our Recovery Ministry as well as our Community Outreach Ministry. My testimony is one that I share gratefully because I know without Freedom Church, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
They welcomed me into their church in 2014 with no strings attached. They said come as you are and belong before you believe, and because of that, today I truly am a faithful believer in our Lord Jesus Christ! I not only got saved by coming to know him, I am a living testimony that is proof to others that the same love he has offered me is given freely to anyone who comes to know him.
What has become my favorite way to give is telling my story, telling my testimony of who I was before I knew Jesus and who I am now because of him. My life before coming to know God was a life filled with habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Never would I have thought I would surrender my life to Jesus, nor did I think I would become a pastor. I was involved with gangs all my life, and I did things to make money that were not legal. I had a lot to show for what I had done, but the one thing I didn’t have was Jesus.
So in 2013, he started breaking down the barriers, and in 2014, I came to church for the first time since I was a teenager. Jesus was, is, and will always be the greatest gift. By being a part of the Valley Food Bank’s food program, we get the opportunity to share our personal stories of our relationship with Jesus to those who come each week to receive the groceries at our weekly pop-up pantry.
There was once a time where I saw no hope, and by someone telling their story, telling of their encounter with Christ, that’s what started my journey toward him. Someone’s testimony is how God reached me, and if my sharing can be used by the Lord in the same way, I would count it as blessing. Giving is not just something I do to feel good or because I feel like it might help. It is something that I know I am called to do!
I was drawn to the idea of giving as a way to share the Lord with others, to take our victories and live them out in the things we do and say. I tithed monetarily but felt the Lord say, ‘Do more.’ I never allowed myself to consider other means of giving. Now, I am not saying financial support is not a good thing—it is—but there is so much more to giving than dropping
a few dollars into a basket.
That is when I began our community outreach. We started by going out and feeding a few friends on the streets. Then in October 2017, our church got the keys to our new building, and ever since, we’ve offered a Hot Shower and a Hot Meal program, as well as a to-go lunch every Saturday.
Since that year, we have been blessed to open our doors and have a Friendsgiving every year for thousands of our friends from the streets, as well as those who are less fortunate and can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal for their families. We love to welcome them into our building to join us as we serve a delicious meal with all the fixings.
Growing up I had always dreamed of serving our homeless community and those who need help. I am so thankful for being able to partner with the Valley Food Bank to do what we do every week, as well as during the holidays, and especially now, when we as a nation are suffering. I thank you for allowing me to share with you how by receiving your donations, as well as your generosity, we are able to help others provide for their family and loved ones.