It’s easy in a church as large as Harvest to go in and out unnoticed, to get lost, to remain invisible. Getting involved in serving the Lord together is God’s way of connecting us, the body of Christ, to one another. Through service, the Lord grabbed hold of a woman prone to wander: meet Cherry Limjoco.
Cherry was married, with two children (seven-year-old daughter Kitana and two-year-old son Chase) living in Corona when she was invited by a high-school friend to go to a baby dedication at Crossroads Church. “We just bought our first home, were way over our heads, our finances were a mess and this led to a lot of stress and at times even depression. To cope, I started attending Crossroads Church, in Corona by myself.” Cherry eventually went forward one Sunday, took their new believer’s classes, and got baptized in 2005. Although Cherry had an emotional experience, her life didn’t change. Her husband considered himself an atheist and they lived an unhealthy, sin-filled lifestyle. “Even though I considered myself a Christian, I was not walking with God and my life did not reflect that. My marriage fell apart and we divorced in 2012,” Cherry shares.
“My sister, Christine, who’s a believer, introduced me to Air 1 and I started listening to Christian music. One day, during my long commute, I was searching through the stations and landed on K-WAVE. I heard Bible teaching that I was able to understand and make sense of by teachers like J. Vernon McGee, Chuck Smith, and Greg Laurie. My commutes from Corona to Orange County were long but little did I know that those long hours in traffic were used to plant seeds in my life,” Cherry recalls.
Cherry planned to move as soon as Kitana graduated from high school and Chase finished elementary school. “Kitana started going to college and working full time and I wanted to be close to work and be home for Chase. After hearing Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie on K-WAVE, I really wanted to move somewhere close enough to be able to attend Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or Harvest OC, a family-friendly community.
Cherry moved to Tustin in 2014 with her two children. “One of my first Thursday night services at Harvest OC, Christian reggae artist Dominic Bali was leading worship; people were dancing in the aisles and I loved it!” Cherry began attending Harvest OC with her children on a regular basis. “We always left right after church so didn’t get to know anyone; we weren’t connected.”
In 2015 Cherry had volunteered as an usher for one of the Harvest Crusades. “I was blessed to play a small role of ushering people and seeing lives change,” Cherry remembers. That Sunday morning at church (the weekend of the crusade), Cherry ran into Alex and Mark, who oversaw the usher team. “They encouraged me to volunteer at Harvest OC as an usher/greeter. I couldn’t imagine myself doing that, greeting people. I was pretty shy and reserved at that time and experienced anxiety in social settings.” Cherry took a leap of faith and told Alex she would be willing to serve on the usher team. “I couldn’t believe it when he put me at the front door to serve as a greater!” Serving on the usher team “connected” Cherry to the body of Christ in a real and tangible way. “They all care so much for each other. For the first time I was being held accountable, loved, and prayed for.”
It was that love, that connection, the Lord used to truly change Cherry’s heart and she rededicated her life to Christ at Harvest OC in 2015. She got baptized again by Pastor Ron Case in 2017 at the Harvest all-church baptism at Pirate’s Cove.
In 2017 Cherry was praying for her son Chase, for the funds and possibility to go to Phoenix, Arizona, to serve at Harvest America. “I reached out for prayer and God blessed us exceedingly and abundantly by proving funding, through fellow Harvest OC servants, for Chase’s trip.”
Chase is very shy but the Lord broke him out of his shell and he started to open up a bit while serving with the other junior highers from Harvest. “We called our team the GMO8 because one of the people in our group was vegan and there were eight of us on the team. That was fun,” Chase recalls.
“To see my son serving at the crusades is such a blessing! I remember when Chase was entering ninth grade, I introduced him to Cathe Laurie. She prayed for Chase to meet godly friends; I have seen the answer to that prayer in the godly friends Chase has met through serving at Harvest America and the crusades and Youth Nights at Harvest OC.”
“This past Mother’s Day, Chase told me he wanted to go to Harvest America in Dallas, Texas. I was absolutely thrilled that my son wanted to come serve the Lord with me again,” Cherry shares. “Once again, I wasn’t sure how, on my tight budget, we could possibly go. But the Lord is faithful. I am always blessed and amazed at the way the Lord comes through in the most unconventional and unexpected ways. Once again the Lord, through a divine provision, made a way for Chase and I to go to Harvest America in Dallas, Texas, when it looked like it would be impossible.”
Chase and Cherry have both served as follow-up counselors at numerous Harvest Crusades.
Cherry currently serves on the Harvest OC security team, in hospitality (the Connect Table), leads the Virtue Exhale hiking ministry with Lori Bustillos, and is a Virtue group leader.
Cherry’s go-to verse is Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“I still can’t believe how loved I am. God has shown me His love through the body of Christ in so many ways. The Lord holds me accountable through my Virtue sisters. He showers His love upon me by allowing me to serve alongside my son. He shows me His grace by using me to encourage other single moms. He demonstrates His mercy and patience by never giving up on me. Oh, how He loves us!”
God doesn’t want us going it alone. He created us to need each other (Genesis 2:18). The body of Christ can’t thrive without each and every member (1 Corinthians 12:12–26). One of the best ways to get connected is through serving together. There are numerous opportunities to serve the Lord at Harvest. Why not start by signing up to serve at this year’s Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium in Anaheim?