This past Friday and Saturday community members turned out for a conference provided by Transformation Sunnyside at the Sunnyside High School auditorium.
Community members were encouraged to take a stand in order to provide transformation within their community. They were urged by Harvest Evangelism's Dave Thompson to unite the city, state and nation, standing up for positive change.
Thompson told those in attendance they could achieve unity by giving over concerns and needs to God.
He said his organization got its start in Argentina, a communist country. A church in one of its cities, led by Pastor Eduardo Lorenzo, began a transformation within the country.
"When I visited his city, I realized God was the difference," said Thompson, stating the members of Lorenzo's church prayed for and received healing within their community.
Lorenzo went on to explain the process of transformation within his city.
He said it took a number of years and a number of "battles with the devil." But, his church identified patterns of destruction within the community.
Lorenzo said those who accept the presence of Jesus in their lives are transformed. He said changes within a community are much the same in that community members who accept prayer and spiritual help will also begin to change, affecting transformation within the community.
Lorenzo told the audience at the conference that Jesus led a normal life and was doubted, however those who doubted him were transformed once they accepted who he was and turned to God.
Another change which occurred within Lorenzo's community began with the members of his church. He said he and those within the church had to realize the church is not just a building where people go to worship. "It is the people," he said.
He informed the audience the Bible doesn't define the church as a building and the people within the community have to change their definition of the church to match the Biblical definition.
Lorenzo said it is then that the people of the church can affect change...reaching out, standing up and meeting resistance head on.
The members of the church, according to Lorenzo, have to be convinced they can help a community transform.
He said when transformation does take place, it is not a time of celebration because there will never be a time when prayer is not necessary.
As an example, he cited the opposition by many residents of his city when a strip mall was built on the outskirts of the community. He said the six nightclubs that had been at the heart of the city were no longer there and the strip mall provided an opportunity for a new nightclub to open.
The people within the community and his church built a bigger sign than that of the nightclub and prayed diligently for the business to fail. It did fail and three other businesses within the strip mall also ceased operation.
Lorenzo said those involved in the transformation efforts in his city work in every corner of commerce. "We are in development, schools, government..." he said, stating those who visit his city will see the power of God.
"The church must change its mentality from 'come to'...to 'GO!'" Lorenzo directed.
He said understanding is an ever-changing experience. He explained, stating that what he understood a year ago is different today and will be even more different next year.
But, the one thing that continues to remain the same is the fact that people within the community need to take a stand, go out and help others transform and unite and "...let your light shine," Lorenzo said, stating that even those who are perceived to be in authority have needs. He said it is important for those who believe in transformation through the power of God to help meet the needs of the community.
"If your light is not shining, plug in," he directed.