By Stan Friedman
RIVERSIDE, CA (August 31, 2012) – Ed Delgado, president of Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET), and Flor Graterol, the school’s chaplain, rushed to support the pastor of a church plant and his congregation Thursday after learning that a woman who had been attending the church was murdered along with her two young children earlier in the day.
The mother’s ex-boyfriend, who also is the father of the children, has been arrested in connection with the slayings. The 25-year-old woman, her 4-year-old son and her 19-month-old daughter were stabbed multiple times, said police Chief Sergio Diaz called “a very horrific scene.” Their names have not been released pending notification of family members.
Delgado and Graterol, who has attended and been a translator for the denomination’s Advocacy for Abuse (AVA) workshops, spent time “just listening and praying and doing whatever else we could,” said Delgado. That included discussing how church members would break the news to their children, who still were in school.
Congregation Pastor Eloy Castro is a fourth-year student at CHET, the Covenant’s training center for Hispanic ministers, and the church, Iglesia del Pacto Fuente de Vida, serves as a satellite site for the school.
Castro has gone through the denomination’s assessment center for church planting and received coaching, but the church is not a Covenant plant, Delgado said.
“He called us and said he didn’t know what to do and felt that he needed us to minister to him and his church,” Delgado said.
According to news sources, police in neighboring Corona had received reports earlier of the deadly assault and discovered 23-year-old Selvin Chajon Rodriguez covered in blood and holding a knife on a freeway bridge. And officer shot him when he tried to flee the scene.
The suspect is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.
Yvonne DeVaughn, AVA director, said she was saddened by the tragedy. “We must continue to be vigilant to educate our leaders and congregations about this ever present evil,” she said. “We cannot be silent or inactive. We must continue to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”
CHET will offer an AVA workshop on November 4.