This is a very special edition of Profiles. I want to tell everyone about one of the most amazing volunteers in the history of Life Pointe Church/Homestead Church of God. I want to steal the words of Pastor Travis when he said,”When I hear people give excuses why they cannot serve, I think of Ela Ortega.” Shame on me and others for excuse-making when it was unacceptable.
Easter 2005 was Ela and Ivan’s first time with us at Life Pointe. They were driving by the church one day, and felt drawn to come. In the first service, there was a call to donate canned goods (the event was “Canning Hunger”) and as visitors they made one of the largest contributions. In that same year, they joined in making handmade gifts for Mother’s Day. She also donated her dishes and several appliances after an appeal was made to help someone in the church. From there, the volunteering just multiplied.
Ela Ortega is without question one of the most important pieces of Life Pointe’s volunteer group. She serves as the right hand volunteer coordinator to my mom, Anne Johnson. Anytime a new person walks through the doors at the theater and writes his or her information on a connection card, they are sure to get a personal contact from Ela. Ela also helps coordinate the volunteers in hospitality by reminder phone calls during the week. Ela also has a nack for encouraging people. She definitely has a heart of gold. The most amazing part is that does all this in spite of a debilitating condition which has left her lungs at a fraction of the capacity of most people. This beautiful and kind woman of God has also dealt with the loss of her husband, Ivan, who was also a member and volunteer at Life Pointe. Through all these struggles, Ela remains an example of perseverance, dedication, faith, and kindness. Ela doesn’t get to come to church very often anymore, but every week she listens to the message via podcast and encourages the LPC bloggers with her thoughtful comments.
It’s really amazing that one of the areas in which Ela is so gifted, her words of encouragement and talking to people, is the area in which her physical body has been attacked. If there was a Life Pointe Hall of Fame, Ela would get my vote on the first ballot!
Please take the time to watch this video in Ela’s own words. This was recorded for a series called “LikeUs.tv“.