How God used the Staff Catalyst Fund to miraculously provide for SP East LA Omar Cova
Omar Cova describes his ministry as “being a part of the fabric of people’s lives.” Omar has ministered with Servant Partners East Los Angeles for four years now, and has indeed made a life interwoven with his neighbors.
“My favorite part of ministry is discipling people,” he said. “I learn a lot from my neighbors. It’s not just a mentorship thing; it’s a family thing. You can care for someone well, but when you feel peoples’ pains, struggles, and joys, it’s a deeper relationship.”
Omar does grassroots evangelism, supports the local church plant Hope Community Church, and disciples and mobilizes local leaders. He and his wife Gabi love to witness people being transformed by Jesus. The more challenging part of Omar’s ministry, however, is fundraising. “It’s been really tough to fundraise well,” he said. For Omar, fundraising has involved cycles of seeking God in faith and uncertainty, and seeing God provide.
In January of this year, Omar struggled at only half of his fundraising goal. “I asked God: ‘God, you’ve got to provide for me from January until Easter—otherwise, I don’t know how I’m going to do it,’” he said. By Easter, he miraculously had enough!
After Easter, though, Omar encountered another abrupt stop in funding. He again asked God to provide. “I told my wife Gabi that I wasn’t sure how I would make the rest of my funding,” he recounted. “All of a sudden, I got a call from [SP Co-General Director] Derek Engdahl telling me I qualified for the Staff Catalyst Fund. Sure enough, the fund pushed me to 80% of being funded.”
Soon after that, Omar received a surprise, substantial gift from a donor that pushed him even closer. “In those moments, I felt like God was saying, ‘I will provide for you what you need. Keep on doing what you’re doing.’ Getting a part-time job might have provided more money, but my ministry and family would suffer from my absence. The Staff Catalyst Fund has helped me stay the course. It encourages me to keep moving forward.”
The Staff Catalyst Fund is an initiative of Servant Partners’ Vision 2030 campaign, designed to empower under-resourced leaders for sustainable urban ministry. It aims to eliminate the common barriers to ministry created by supplying resources for under-resourced staff to develop their own networks, assisting with costs related to fund development, and providing spiritual, emotional, and leadership support.
“Servant Partners is really just a work of God calling people to live an intentional life with other people,” he said. “Systems like fundraising don’t necessarily work for everyone, but the Staff Catalyst Fund can actually open the door for people to see themselves as part of this movement.”
Omar has a desire for fellow Latinos, local leaders, and majority world leaders to not encounter fundraising as a daunting or discouraging thing, but to feel unencumbered in their pursuit of God’s calling on their lives.
“Plenty of people have the heart to do this work, but our society requires us to have money to live.” he said. “Early on, the church would take care of the Apostle Paul and others. My dream is that more Latinos and people from the city would be able to say: ‘God, I want to follow you. Provide a way for me to do that.’ The Catalyst Fund is one way that God provides, that can stabilize anxieties in people and serve as a stepping stone to whatever God has for them.”
You can give towards the Staff Catalyst Fund, to help leaders like Omar stay the course in urban ministry. Give today at www.servantpartners.org/donate. Learn more about the fund at www.servantpartners.org/vision2030.