Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ministry Update: May 2017

We recently returned from Northern California where we ministered with the House of Prayer Salinas.

The Lord met us in power and the Holy Spirit’s presence was poured out as we ministered. We received some encouraging testimonies from our friend Dave Estrella after the meeting:

"I asked people to share about their experiences (from the night you ministered) and there was so much amazing feedback and testimonies. Most everyone said there was just such a tangible presence of the Lord, which was the biggest blessing to them. One lady, Linda, had a cool story of God healing her toe. You guys prayed for her and it was the first time she has ever experienced a physical healing and was greatly encouraged.

Jonathan and Cynthia (the Hispanic couple with the baby on the way) said they were really blessed as well…they were super encouraged. Jonathan said that what Bryan was praying over him was right on and really encouraging.

God definitely deposited something in me…[and has given me an] understanding of walking in the Spirit among other things. Last weekend opened my eyes to the fact that we really do need to be filled with the power of God. Not only that, but He wants us to be filled to overflowing. Not only that but there is no other way to truly live the Christian life than to do it from His power and not our own!!

Thank you guys for coming up. It is always such a huge blessing. Everyone at HOPS is already asking when you will be back next. Just know you have an extended family up here."

There was also a former gang member who was filled, refreshed, and renewed in his walk with the Lord. The Holy Spirit filled him and poured over him and he also began praying for others!

We have been blessed to minister over the years in some different places in that area including a Presbyterian Youth Group, a Calvary Chapel, a Foursquare Church, and various home meetings.

We actually came to minister there in Salinas via Hawaii, through a ministry trip we did some years back at Surfing The Nations (STN) in Oahu. It was while we were teaching at STN and having a ministry time and praying for different people that we ended up praying for Dave. He got filled with the Holy Spirit when we prayed for him and he experienced the love of God in a way he had never known was even possible. This is how he describes it: “Now, it’s hard for me to communicate to you what I was feeling in that moment, but I can tell you that it was the best thing ever. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no love, no feeling, no experience, no nothing ever has or ever will come close to the ecstasy and joy that I felt in that moment. It was the love of God; the love of my heavenly Father revealed through His Spirit. It was so strong that it changed me forever. I am not the same because of that one life-changing experience.”

We connected with Dave during our time ministering at STN and became good friends after that, and we’ve come up to minister in the Salinas area on a number of occasions since then.

Salinas Via Hawaii 

The story of how we ended up at Surfing the Nations (STN) is interesting itself: We were visiting at one point with Mel and Joyce Tari. Mel had been part of the Indonesian Revival and published a book about his experience called Like a Mighty Wind.

While talking on one occasion he got to thinking and said that since I liked to surf I should meet Tom Bauer who ran STN. Mel in fact called him right then on the phone to connect us.

After some introductions and a bit of conversation, Tom invited us to come and minister at STN right there on the phone. I said I liked the idea but would like to pray and get confirmation, everything had happened so fast.

After praying for a few days on the subject, I went out surfing one day. I was coming in from the water when I saw a group of people who looked Hawaiian doing a full luau right there on the beach. They had tiki torches, ukuleles, the whole deal. I’d never seen that in California—my uncle lived in Hawaii so I was familiar with some of the cultural stuff from surf trips over there.

As I stopped for a moment to take it in, the Holy Spirit began to fall on me and speak to me that we were to go to Hawaii and “a lot of your learning will be put to good use.”

After arranging the trip and flying over, we arrived to a much different setting than I expected at STN.

Surfing The Nations was full of people from different countries being trained in missions; I expected that. However, a lot of them attending were from Sweden at that particular time, which I didn't expect to find, especially so far away in Hawaii. We had done a lot of ministry in Sweden ourselves, and spent much time learning and working to introduce the power of God to this unique Scandinavian nation.

Also, Tom shared with us that most of the students at STN were not from Spirit-filled backgrounds, but were open. He added that since they were from low key Scandinavian descent I should “avoid oversell” with a lot Pentecostal language, which they may not be familiar with. Instead, he told me to just “go for it and pray for them and the Lord will minister with His Spirit.”

I responded that “I’ve become somewhat familiar with the lagom culture of Sweden and have had some experience with seeing some over there get powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit, so this could be right up our alley. I have a feeling it is going to be naturally supernatural!”

Our learning did end up being put to good use and we were right in the timing of God. There were a couple of Swedes at the school who were in fact Spirit-filled and had been seeing the need for the rest of the group to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As a result, they had been interceding and praying in recent weeks, asking God to send someone to minister in that regard and for the Holy Spirit to be poured out.

We taught the Bible in the morning sessions and then just moved right into a time where we said, “Let's do some of what we are reading,” and began to pray over them. Some were a bit stiff and quite unfamiliar in the beginning, but the Holy Spirit began to fill and empower and break through barriers.

Day after day more got filled and empowered. After a few days, we were having powerful outpourings where the Holy Spirit seemed to be just flooding us all with His presence. One of those students who got filled was Dave, who although had attended a Calvary Chapel his whole life, had never experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit. As we were ministering at one point, the Lord began to fill him.

Dave's Testimony 

Here is Dave's testimony about the Holy Spirit breaking in on his life from during that ministry time at STN. (The following is an edited and more concise version of a post we published in the past.)

I had joined a cool group of young hippie-like surfers (in Hawaii) who really loved Jesus. It was an organization called Surfing the Nations. I traveled the world with them and had many new experiences, but one experience in particular topped them all.

One day at Surfing the Nations, some missionaries named Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux came to speak to us in our daily morning meeting. What seemed to be a normal meeting turned in to something that was everything but normal! After they shared their message they began to pray for us. It was kind of a free-for-all. Everyone stood up and they went around praying for different people. Some people started to cry, some started to laugh, some started just moving around a little, shaking etc.

My eyes were closed and I was focused on God. If I had experienced an environment like that a few years earlier I would have just shut down, or left the room. But God had been slowly moving me out of my comfort zone.

All of a sudden I began to feel something. I knew exactly what it was, but I had never felt it so strong in my life. It was love, the love of God poured out by the Holy Spirit as Bryan and Mercedes ministered amongst us. I felt a warm loving embrace start to fill the air around me, and wrap around me, and fill my whole body. God himself tangibly wrapped His arms around me and spoke deep into my heart...

Now, it’s hard for me to communicate to you what I was feeling in that moment, but I can tell you that it was the best thing ever. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no love, no feeling, no experience, no nothing ever has or ever will come close to the ecstasy and joy that I felt in that moment. It was the love of God; the love of my heavenly Father revealed through His Spirit. It was so strong that it changed me forever. I am not the same because of that one life-changing experience.

Romans 5:5 tells us that God pours His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That’s what I was experiencing in that moment, and have continued to experience in moments as I just walk with Jesus.

This precious gift of experiencing God’s love is available to all believers. What’s the requirement? Just faith. You don’t have to do anything to earn it because God knows that you could never deserve it. Just stop striving, stop trying to earn God’s love through the righteous things you do and simply believe that He loves you just as you are and go to Him and ask Him to pour out His love upon you. He will not deny you!

Waves That Keep Flowing 

Patrick, our son, was also powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit when we were filming this very testimony of Dave's in Salinas. Patrick was just lying on the couch listening as we filmed this in Dave’s living room, and the power of God just suddenly came upon him and poured over him intensely. Waves of power and glory flowed over him for about an hour! He was filled and empowered with God’s love in a very awesome way! Praise the Lord!

Third Wave Anniversary

This weekend is also the 37th anniversary of the Mothers Day Outpouring when Lonnie Frisbee ministered at the then Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda and the Holy Spirit was poured out, which would later become the Anaheim Vineyard. This began what missiologist Peter Wagner calls the Third Wave Outpouring of the  Holy Spirit in the 20th Century in America (The 1st wave being the Pentecostal Revival and 2nd being the Charismatic Renewal.) We were blessed to be personally connected with two principal leaders of the 2nd and 3rd Wave Revivals, Harald Bredesen with the Charismatic Renewal and Lonnie Frisbee with the Third Wave Revival (also called the Vineyard Revival but the name can be a bit narrow as the Revival touched more than just those in the Vineyard).  The Wall Street Journal also did an article this week on how this summer will mark the 50th year anniversary of the Summer of Love when Hippies descended en masse on Haight Ashbury. Out of that wild cultural milieu was birthed the Jesus People Revival where young people all over the country began to get saved.

  • We have a blog we did on the Mothers Day Outpouring.
  • A Web page on Lonnie and the Revivals he was involved in.
  • A video on the Jesus People Revival and Mother's Day Outpouring.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ministry Update: Spring 2017

We recently returned from ministering in the Central Coast area of California:

Unexpected Evangelistic Experience

When we are traveling, we have to stay in the occasional roadside motel. Every now and then divine intervention takes place and it turns into an evangelistic experience:

We happened to come back to an uncleaned room at the ole Motel 6 so Mercedes requested a maid to come and take care of it while we were there in the room. As the maid cleaned things up, I kept having lines from our old friend and mentor Harald Bredesen pop into my head, and sensed it was the Holy Spirit who was stirring me to witness to this woman.

She didn't speak English so I did my best in Spanish for a bit and then Mercedes began to help out. Using Harald’s line, we inquired: “Do you know who said you must be born again?” We were not surprised to find that even though she was Catholic she had never heard Jesus’ central message before.

She was very open and listened with attention to what we said. After taking some more time to explain the Gospel to her she opened her heart and we prayed with her, there in the room, to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior!! Hallelujah! We also prayed for the Holy Spirit to empower her! We got her info so we could send her stuff on local churches and Scriptures to read.

On the way driving back we passed by another motel where we led a maid to the Lord just about a year ago, and thought of another old friend and mentor of ours, Lonnie Frisbee, who would have surely laughed and said, “I think the Lord is giving you a maid ministry!”

Central Coast Ministry and Beyond

We ministered at both Pearl Chapel in Shell Beach which is right next to Pismo Beach and part of what is called the Five Cities region, famed for clams, sand dunes, and cold weather even in summer. We also ministered at IV Church in Isla Vista which is just north of Santa Barbara.

We were asked to share about our own experiences of being filled with the Holy Spirit which is always a fun story to recount for both of us as both Mercedes and myself both experienced the filling of the Spirit in what would become known as the Vineyard Movement.

We were blessed as we ministered to see many get filled with the Holy Spirit at both places, as well as encouraged, renewed, and empowered, to “do the stuff” as John Wimber used to say.

Ministering at Pearl Chapel in the Central Coast.

As an example of what the Lord did at those churches as we ministered: there was a young man who grew up around Korean churches where he had heard about the Holy Spirit but desired more than just hearing about this, he wanted to be filled and empowered. When we prayed for him, he was immediately filled, overcome and fell down to the ground, and then began to speak in tongues. After some time soaking it all in he came up quite filled with joy; he had finally experienced and received it for himself!

A guy we know named Scott came up at IV (as we began to minister) and spontaneously told how he had been filled with the Spirit of God back in 2010-2011 when we laid hands on him and prayed for him. He shared how when we prayed for him he got filled with God’s power and received tongues and was launched into a six-year journey of encountering God in a new way in his life. He encouraged others who might be a bit timid or who might be unfamiliar with all this to come and receive as well.

It was a blessed time as the Spirit of the Lord filled many and equipped and empowered people at both places!

On our return from the Central Coast we ministered out in the Inland Empire at IEC where the pastor was encouraging the congregation to also be equipped and filled with the Holy Spirit ( an important theme that the Holy Spirit is highlighting lately), and we were again stoked to see so many there being filled and empowered not only during the ministry time but there were also two spontaneous afterglows that took place on the way out, where the Lord brought forth surprising and unexpected moves of power as we ended up praying for more people on the way to the car! Glory!

Appearance in a New Book

Our friend Roger Sachs, one of the founders at Pearl Chapel recently finished the book Not By Might Nor By Power: The Great Commission, the second in a series on one of the main evangelists of the Jesus People Revival, Lonnie Frisbee, for which we were blessed to write an endorsement in the beginning of the book. We are also mentioned later in the book regarding how I (Bryan) got filled with the Holy Spirit in the early days of Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, which was later to become Anaheim Vineyard.

If you want to relive some of those early days and get the low down on how Lonnie Frisbee was instrumental in the early days of Calvary and Vineyard, as well as how he actually was the one who started Greg Laurie's church Harvest Christian Fellowship out in Riverside, check it out!

Having roots in both Calvary and the Vineyard we see the importance of keeping both the Word and the Holy Spirit at the forefront of things.

Much love and blessings!
Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick Marleaux

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ministry Update: January-February 2017

Preaching and ministering in Colorado.

Preaching and ministering in Sweden.

We recently returned from ministering in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Some friends of ours had been pastoring a church for a couple of years out there and wanted us to come out and minister when we could. We’d kept it in prayer over the last two years and then right as the new year began we discerned the Lord leading us to make arrangements to go out and minister there. 

Everything fell together, so next thing we knew we were driving through deserts, mountains, and some unexpected storms on our way there. We arrived and spent some time catching up with our friends and then as we ministered we experienced a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

They had been teaching on the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit for the past few months and said afterward that we had come in the “perfect timing.” Wow, only the Lord could arrange things that way as we hadn't discussed with them what we would minister on, nor had they told us they had been teaching on that subject; it was all the Holy Spirit’s timing, praise the Lord.

On our return from Colorado, we made it home just in time through some storms to see the Lord continue to move powerfully as we ministered in Orange, California at Centro Cristiano Esperanza. 

We were blessed to see the Holy Spirit also touch lives as we ministered last year in different places: in the cities of Hässleholm, Gothenburg, and Gamleby in Sweden, as well as in Paris and Tours in France, and in London, England. The Spirit of God ministered the grace of Christ as we also preached in Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, as well as in Medford, Oregon and in Northern and Southern California and down in the US/Mexico border region.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! They are a great help as we extend the Kingdom of Christ and His mercy, grace, and power, to others near and far!

Much love and blessings!

Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick Marleaux