Orondo’s Spanish-speaking church celebrates four-year anniversary

Yovana Zabala, Sonia Cortez, Luisa Zabala, Isabel Manchi, Obed Medina and Linda Medina pose before serving dinner after the Spanish-speaking service at Orondo Church April 29. (Empire Press photo / Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Four years ago, Antonio and Luisa Zabala fulfilled a longtime dream and prayer of starting a Spanish-speaking church in Orondo. At that time they contacted Bill Lane, pastor of the Orondo Community Church, and were welcomed by the church session to set up a Spanish-speaking congregation that meets in the church.

It was an auspicious beginning, but securing a meeting place is only the beginning of building a church community.

Luisa Zabala described the efforts as being very difficult in the beginning. At times, she said, it was just her and Antonio at the regular services. Sometimes it was just the couple and one or two of their three children.

Yet, they persevered and more were added to their numbers. The church celebrated its four-year anniversary on April 28. Members of Spanish-speaking churches from other North Central Washington communities attended the celebration, which included a worship service, music, prayer, testimonies, food and fellowship.

When the Zabalas approached Lane four years ago about establishing the Spanish-speaking church, Lane felt that it was an answer to prayer. The church had been trying to figure out how to reach out better to the Spanish-speaking community, but just didn’t know how to go about it.

Lane said that the arrangement has been as good in reality as it seemed when it first came into their laps.

“The experience has just been very positive all the way around,” Lane said.

Lane added that the Spanish-speaking congregation has been faithful in contributing to the financial aspects of keeping the building running. Some of the members of the Hispanic congregation attend the English service occasionally and members of the Orondo Community Church also occasionally come to worship with the Spanish-speaking church. Though there are language barriers, friendships and understanding are built.

The Spanish-speaking congregation meets at the Orondo Community Church at 7 p.m. every Friday and at 3 p.m. every Sunday.

During a church dinner April 29, Fernando Ramirez holds Jefferson Pineda–one of the youngest members of the church community. (Empire Press photo / Karen Larsen)