Curbside Community Center has faithfully served residents across the High Desert since 2012. Whether food, water, shoes, or clothing—Pastor Abel Razo and more than 60 Curbside volunteers are fulfilling basic as well as spiritual needs.
The ministry got its start by partnering with The Adelanto West ministry team from Abundant Living Family Church in Hesperia serving “breakfast in a bag” to an apartment complex in Adelanto. Pastor Abel knew God was up to something bigger.
“When you give to the poor, it’s like lending to the Lord. We started as a church without walls. A church on wheels. This gave us the ability to ‘roll-up’ to the highways, by-ways, alleys, and parks in neighborhoods to feed the children and share the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Abel.”
Pastor Abel is on a mission to reach the lost and the hurting. A man of the streets at one time, he understands pain and loss. Abel was violent and into drugs and gangs while living in Norwalk. At the age of 17, Abel recalls lying in a gutter, helpless and lost. He continued on that path for many more years. Then on January 7, 1983, Abel found himself in that same ‘curbside’ gutter. But this time, he cried out to God and was saved.
After joining a men’s home in Oxnard, Abel got clean and sober and dedicated his life to serving Christ.
“You can ask anyone who knew me. One day I was an angry jealous man on drugs and in gangs. The next day, I was changed. I was a new creation.”
Abel and his wife Heidi of 42 years became ordained ministers in 2016. They serve together in the Curbside Community Center ministry. Their three adult children, Darlene, Eileen, and Abel Junior are also serving the Lord.
After helping the apartment complex in Adelanto, Pastor Abel and his team began looking for other ways to serve communities across the High Desert. For 6 years, Curbside has organized Operation Stitches at Christmas and Easter in Adelanto providing gifts for children along with food for their families. Operation Stitches was opened to Oro Grande two years ago providing Easter baskets for children and food for the community.
A ministry that started with adopting one apartment complex in Adelanto has expanded across the High Desert into Menifee, Redding, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
Pastor Nick and Martha Velsquez head up the Las Vegas Curbside ministry feeding 500 homeless a week while Jesse and Eileen Gonzalez serve the Skid Row Ministry in LA.
A year ago, Curbside’s ‘church on wheels’ ministry added a church ‘with walls’ in the city of Adelanto.
Pastor Abel invites High Desert residents to a one-year celebration at Curbside Community Center at 11619 Rancho in Adelanto on Sunday, September 8 at 10:30 am. Registration is from 10-11am.
The first 50 families to register will receive a bag of groceries including meat along with an opportunity to choose a few items of professional and casual clothing.
Curbside holds services each Sunday at 10:30 am, Wednesday Bible study at 7 pm and youth night for ages 12-17 on Fridays at 7 pm.
“I’m not a one-man-band. We have many faithful servant volunteers,” said Abel. “We are not workers because workers expect to get paid. We are servants of the Lord and the joy of the Lord is our strength.”
In addition to the church building in Adelanto, Curbside opened a kitchen and community center last April offering an after-school program for kids from elementary to high school from 3-5:30 pm in the Senior Center at 11565 Cortez Avenue. The program will resume again the third week of September where Curbside volunteers collaborate with Kids Kicks Cafe to provide a healthy snack, help with homework, arts and crafts, and play games. Once a week there is hip hop and martial arts training. The children are given dinner and an optional two bags of groceries to take to their families.
Pastor Abel and his volunteers are praying for a way to expand the after-school program to foster children.
“Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces makes it all worth it. We give our best to see those smiles.”
The mobile ministry continues and will be serving 5 apartment complexes on the east side of Adelanto, helping families in need. The vans are also used to pick up donations.
“Our greatest need is volunteers. We want to serve our community and the more volunteers, the better we can do that. As Mother Teresa said, ‘Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.’ We also take donations to help provide for the needs of children and families across the High Desert.”
Curbside Community Center is a non-profit organization and often collaborates with other ministries, businesses, non-profits and community services organizations such as HALO (His Arms Loving Others), God’s Hand Extended, the women’s Thursday morning Bible study of High Desert Church, and Victorville Motors.
“Our mission and purpose are to fulfill the calling of the Great Commission by being the hands and feet of Jesus and feeding the people in order to see God glorified. Our main purpose is to feed the children and share the Good News of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We want everyone to know they are not forgotten. They matter.”
For more information about Curbside Community Center or to donate
call 760-498-6213 from 9am-1pm Monday through Friday or visit http://www.curbsidecc.org/