Kaylee Flores, age 6, has been attending Good News Club for two
years. She says, “I like Good News Club because we can learn about
God. I also like the songs and snacks.” Adalicia Cardenas, 15, says,
“I enjoy going to the Good News Club because it has inspired me to
become a better person. We have a Bible at home but I wouldn’t read
it because I didn’t know how to use one and mainly because I had
doubts about God because of the bad things that were going on in
my life. In the Good News Club they showed me how to properly use
a Bible. My perspective and relationship towards God has changed
throughout the Good News Club.”
Tony invites parents to attend club to learn what he is teach-
ing their children. He says it’s important for them to be involved.
So when the weekly challenge goes home in print, it goes home
bilingually. Although many families are Catholic, there isn’t much
resistance to their kids studying the Bible. When a father asked,
“What are you teaching my children?” Tony invited him to bring his
own Bible from home and then used it to point out where he was
teaching from. “This is good,” said the man. “How come more parents
are not involved?” Tony encouraged him to ask other parents the
As with anyone who spends time planting the gospel seed, Tony
has had some disappointments, like a student he worked with in
elementary school who is now in a gang. But Tony has also seen
successes. “I’ve been given the privilege of seeing some of those seeds
take root,” he says. “Five of the families who attend our services are a
result of those seeds being planted.”
At the Good News Clubs, Tony puts out a can with the words
“God Can” on it. Children write their prayer requests and drop them
into the can. A few years ago Tony, who reads the requests, found,
“For my parents to go to church.” Tony spoke to those parents, and
the Lord worked. Today they serve as youth leaders in their church.
Life at Iglesia Del Pueblo also focuses on family. After the morning service, people gather for Strong Families, a discussion time
with a Biblical emphasis on family relationships. Then the evening
Family Bible Study, held in the Sanchez home, explores the practical application of the Scriptures in the lives of people of all ages.
Tony says everyone shares input on application—no matter what
Teens have their own special times together. In Grandview, Friday
nights are “party night,” so the church’s youth group gives teens a fun,
safe place to hang out. It also helps students become familiar with the
church, which gives them a sense of ownership. It’s a place they can
call home; it’s a place of belonging, says Tony.
The Sanchezes’ service to Grandview’s youth goes beyond GNCs
Tony was elected to Grandview’s school board after a member
resigned. He was reelected to a full term in November 2015. Ninety-eight percent of the students in the district are of Mexican descent,
and Tony is the only Spanish speaker on the board. This opens doors
of service for him, including voicing the concerns of the students
themselves, since he is the only board member who every day is
somewhere in the district working with kids. Whether it’s helping
them with their reading, popping popcorn, or assisting at a book
fair, he’s there interacting. And that has given him relationships with
parents and teachers as well as students.
Grace Sanchez has a degree in counseling and has had people
come to her for counseling from six cities in the Yakima Valley—to
the point that she had to cut back and concentrate on families from
Grandview. These include families who have learned about her
through Good News Clubs. She also leads a women’s Bible study in
When school is not in session, the Sanchez family has other
options for the kids they served during the year. A five-day summer camp, held in a central park, attracts kids who are bused in from
all over Grandview. Missions teams from Manchester Community
Church, Port Orchard, Washington, and Whitney Baptist Church,
Boise, Idaho, have helped run the camp for the past four summers.
Last summer the Yakima Diocese asked the Sanchezes to take over
the children’s program at one of its two Catholic housing facilities.
Tony says they couldn’t pass up such a blessing. In the fall, the family
took over the program at the second facility as well.
When Tony thinks of his family’s service to the children of Grandview, he is amazed at the wide variety of religious backgrounds the
kids come from and that he gets to share the life-transforming gospel
Jonita Barram is assistant editor of the Baptist Bulletin.
Children listen to a Bible lesson during a summer Kids’ Club
operated by First Baptist at a Grandview, Wash., city park.