Sunday, October 30, 2016

Martin Luther and a Prophecy Fulfilled

Martin Luther, pictured with a swan,
which was meant to portray that
Luther had fulfilled the prophecy
made by Jan Hus a century before.

'You are now going to burn a goose, but in a century you will have a swan which you can neither roast nor boil.'

Jan Hus, the Bohemian Reformer whose name means goose in his language, made this prophecy before his death, when he was about to be burned at the stake. He had attempted to bring reform to the Catholic Church and paid the ultimate price.

Martin Luther saw in himself the fulfillment of Hus’s prophecy, especially after being condemned as a heretic and barely escaping death. After surviving the threat of being burned at the stake himself, Luther often had paintings of himself made standing by a swan to point it out. 

The Education of Travel


One of the blessings of traveling to other places, especially those where historical events took place, is getting fresh insights into familiar topics.

These insights and other blessings when ministering overseas outweigh some of the burdens of being on the road such as: sleeping in uncomfortable beds—man that lower back can get sore. That, and having to use public toilets, I'll spare the gory details.

Anyways, it is such a blessing when you run into fresh prophetic insight on a topic you’ve been studying for a long time and the Holy Spirit pours over you with a refreshing wave.

Insights in Unexpected Places


We were able to swing through Germany at the end of our recent three month long Euro-mission trip (will have a full report of the trip shortly.) 

We were in the former GDR—Communist East Germany—in the little town of Eisleben, where Luther was born and died and where the place still has streets called Karl-Marx-Straße.

In one of the little museums about Luther in that town there was a display of pictures towards the end of the exhibition of Luther posing with a swan by his side. The portraits told how Luther saw and believed that he had fulfilled the prophecy of Jan Hus. The Holy Spirit came upon me out of nowhere while taking it in and there was a moment of unexpected refreshing there. I was trying to hold it together while getting blasted in the middle of a museum!

Escaping Death by the Skin of His Teeth


Luther’s old friend and superior from his former Augustinian monastery Johann Staupitz had told Luther, “I don’t know what is in store for you if not being burned at the stake.”

Luther had been called to answer regarding his teaching at the Diet of Worms (an unusual name for a hearing that was like an inquest which would be held in the city of Worms, Germany). However, he knew going to it could probably result in his end and being burned at the stake like so many others who attempted reform of the Catholic Church’s wayward practices.

Many had attempted reforms of Catholicism but were met with severe persecution and even death: a few examples of persecuted reformers were Peter Waldo in France, JohnWycliffe in England, Jan Hus in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), WilliamTyndale of England.

The Diet of Worms


Luther was called before the Holy Roman Emperor—though neither Holy, nor Roman, but facts shouldn't get in the way of a pompous title. At the Diet, Luther was required to answer regarding his teachings, before the illustrious Charles the V hailing from Spain, the land of fanatical enforcers of Catholicism through the horrors of the Inquisition.

Charles the V and other cardinals demanded that Luther simply recant his teaching or face the consequences. Luther however, had been previously told that he would have an opportunity to explain his side and his journey to the truth he found in Scripture. Once he arrived however, he was told he must only recant or else, knowing probable death awaited him.

Luther, however, had come to Worms ready to pay the ultimate price for the truth he’d found in the Bible of God’s grace given through faith in Christ. Having wrestled through years of trying to find peace with God through dead Catholic rituals, he had finally come into the truth of Jesus’ love, mercy, and grace, through the Word of God.

He had come to a breaking point through ongoing confession of sins and endless dead ritualistic prayers and worship of relics (bones of dead saints that were venerated in Catholicism) along with so much constant fasting he ruined his health permanently. But it all served only to make him feel further from God. But then Staupitz, his superior, made a decision which was done only to rid the monastery of this troubled and troubling soul: Luther was sent away to study the Bible, something that was not, and still is not, the staple of the priesthood.

There in the Scriptures, Luther wrestled with Paul’s Letter to the Romans. He says, “Though I was an impeccable monk I was still a sinner with no confidence my effort could assuage a Holy God. Night and day I wrestled with Paul's letter in Romans until I saw the connection.” Dealing with the phrase “the just shall live by faith,” Luther finally saw that on the cross, Jesus “justified” sinners who look to Him in faith. He came to the revelation that Christ paid for sin; we don't have to pay for it ourselves! All we need to do is believe upon Jesus! When Luther finally understood this, the Holy Spirit opened the doors of the Kingdom of God and he was born again! (Luther's conversion)

Having found the truth and being set free, he was of no mind to turn away from it now though it cost him everything, including his very life. Luther and others like him who stood facing death for the faith are truly heroes of the faith though they may have had obvious flaws and made mistakes at times. 

"Here I stand" Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms
(Pic Bryan Marleaux, Wittenberg, Germany) 

Luther said before the journey to appear before the Diet: “I’ll enter Worms though there be as many devils there [awaiting me] as tiles on the roof.” Once he was before them, Luther rose to the occasion and literally took his stand when he declared the now famous words: “What I’ve written is merely based on Scripture…to go against Scripture and conscience is neither right nor safe, I cannot and will not recant! Here I stand so help me God!”

Luther threw his arms up in the air in the gesture of a victorious knight to the hisses of the Spaniards and the cheers of the Germans, and then marched out of the hall.

Escaping Death


There was a delay in moving against Luther. Frederick the Wise, the Elector of Saxony (Luther’s region), wanted to know if Luther had actually done anything wrong and if not why should he be condemned. With insufficient evidence to satisfy him, Frederick withdrew from the panel examining and deciding on his case, along with another individual who did the same, although a rump of the council went ahead and voted for Luther to be condemned as a heretic.

Frederick the Wise, who stepped up to protect Luther.
(Pic Bryan Marleaux, Eisleben, Germany)

However, during the night, the sign of the Bundschuh had been placed on the door of the Hall at the Diet. This stirred great unrest with the Diet as it was the sign of the peasant workers’ shoe—it signified the peasants’ revolt. The German peasants were ready to rise up in a revolt with riots if Luther was taken into custody. The German public was beginning to rally to Luther's side. As a result, the Diet was thrown into a panic and decided to delay their apprehending of Luther, even though he was now condemned as a notorious heretic. Instead, they would let him return to Wittenberg and apprehend him later when things were calmer.

On his return, however, while passing through the forest, a party of riders came upon him with much shouting and cursing and took Luther, kidnapping him and whisking him away. They rode circuitously all through the night, making sure there were no followers, finally reigning up at an ancient, seemingly abandoned, castle.

At the entrance to the Warburg Castle where Martin
Luther was hiding out for almost a year. During that time he
translated the New Testament into the German Language.
(pic Patrick Marleaux outside Eisenach, Germany)

Frederick the Wise had secretly arranged for Luther to be kidnapped and hidden in the ancient Wartburg Castle in the outskirts of Eisenach. Frederick had become convinced that Luther was guilty of nothing more than returning to the Bible and the teachings of the Early Church. Luther, after all, was in line with the earlier church teachings of Augustine, Tertullian, Aquinas, and many others on many points. His teaching lined up as well with the Church's very own Council of Ephesus in 431 (one of the seven key councils of the Early Church) that had condemned Pelagianism: The concept that man could earn salvation by his good works or rituals or that man could be sinless in and of himself (“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8.)

Frederick knew Luther would probably never make it home if he didn't intervene. Fanatical, Inquisition-driven, Catholic assassins, would surely be out to get him and and do away with him like they did other reformers!

Thus Frederick, as well as many others, realized that it was the Catholic Church that had departed from its roots in following after errant doctrines, ones it had itself once condemned! Luther was merely returning to the truth of Scripture and early church teaching like in the very first Church Council found in Acts 15:9-11 where Peter and Paul both affirm, “It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we are saved…”

Luther was holed up in the Wartburg for almost a year. In that time he translated the New Testament into the German language so that all could have access to the Scriptures.

The Catholic Church had forbidden the Bible to even be read or possessed by the common person and forbade it to be in any language other than Latin. If you're going to be condemned as a heretic, you might as well go all the way! Luther went all the way and made a translation of the New Testament from the original Greek that is still used to this very day.

His Bible translation into common German gave access to the Scriptures and changed society in spreading literacy.

Inside the Lutherstube at the Warburg,
the room where Martin Luther translated
the New Testament into German.
(pic Bryan Marleaux outside Eisenach, Germany)

Thank God Frederick showed himself to be truly “wise” by extending a hand to help and protect Luther, and in doing so, he helped to change history! Little did he know in the moment when he stepped up to help a fellow believer, who had stepped out for the truth, that he was actually being used by God to fulfill a prophecy, the very prophecy Jan Hus had made a century ago right befor his death.

Because of Frederick’s intervention, Luther the swan, was never cooked. News of Luther's bravery at the Diet spread and the general German public rallied around to support him while he was hidden in the Wartburg, and the time for being able to apprehend him had passed by the time he returned to Wittenberg almost a year later.

You never know what prophecy you might be fulfilling when you step up to help someone who is serving the Lord, or when you step out to serve God yourself!



To learn more, check out these video playlists on our YouTube channel:


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ministry Update: June 2016


We just ministered in Medford, Oregon and had a very powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we preached and prayed for the people there. It was at a church in Oregon led by some friends from way back who we lost contact with over the years and who we just reconnected with recently. They were deeply touched when we ministered at another church of theirs many years ago and wanted to get in touch to have us minister with them again. They ran into a mutual friend who reconnected us and so we made the trip up to Oregon. The Holy Spirit met us in great power and touched most everyone in their congregation. We received many testimonies afterwards of lives touched and transformed by the power of God poured out that day!



We just had two radical divine appointments: One happened while having car trouble in the desert. We felt we should pull over to a hotel when experiencing a bad leak in the transmission. God met us in power as we went into the room and ministered His grace to us in the midst of the stress. The next morning we got into a conversation with a worker at the hotel during breakfast and after a long conversation about God’s grace she opened her heart to pray with us to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior! Hallelujah! She'd been in the Catholic Church in her youth but never heard the Gospel there! God indeed works everything for good as His word says; we wouldn't have stayed at that hotel except for the car trouble! (We have a blog with more details on this so link here).

Shortly after this we were at dinner with some friends telling them what just happened in the desert. As we walked out of the restaurant I ended up in a conversation with the hostess of the restaurant who also just happening to be walking out. We ended up sharing the Lord with her and right in the middle, right in front of the restaurant, the Holy Spirit fell on her and she began to cry profusely. We prayed with her and our friends Jeff and Jeanette and myself and Mercedes laid hands on her as she re-surrendered her life to the Lord. The Holy Spirit touched and filled her in a powerful way as she rededicated herself to Christ after some time drifting away in her life! Glory!!

We’ve also been ministering recently down near the border where the Holy Spirit has met us in power.

We were having a special service on a Sunday recently where we set it up to have our son Patrick and his friend from Sweden, Petrus, each share a bit of the service we were ministering at and tell a little of how God has worked in their own lives.

While referencing how we are instructed to “ask and we shall receive” Patrick shared a couple stories of answers to prayers that came in unusual ways as well as how he was powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit unexpectedly on a certain occasion (we wrote a short blog on this.) Petrus also shared about the filling of the Holy Spirit and how it is the Lord’s will and desire to have us fan into flame that fire of the Spirit. He also shared his desire to take that fire back into Europe and Sweden specifically, which is something on our hearts as well.

John Wesley talked about the importance of preparing the next generation. It was a blessed time to see these youngsters—wow, feels weird using that word—challenged to step out and testify about Christ’s goodness. They learned that God is with them and helps them even when they are a little bit nervous and that He will glorify Himself through us when we step out to serve Him!

Thanks for your prayers and support. We deeply appreciate it, especially as we step back out to take the fire ourselves as we travel back to Europe once again this summer. It only takes a glance at the headlines these days to see the dire shape the place is in and how it needs a return to the Gospel. The Philistines are shaking up the place like in the days of Israel so join us in prayer and support as we reach out to turn hearts back to Christ and His saving power!

Much love and blessings!

Bryan, Mercedes, and Patrick Marleaux

Harald Bredesen, Charismatic Renewal pioneer talks about Grace World Mission in this video:
Direct link: https://youtu.be/TYtTLR5K_pY



Divine Appointments on the Central Coast

We’ve been blessed to spend some time ministering in some different locales on the coast and around the larger Monterey area of Central California over the years. From ministering in churches and prayer meetings to evangelistic outreaches, one at a local college, along the way we've been blessed to experience some powerful divine appointments as well.

We ended up having a series of powerful divine appointments one evening in particular:

We had ministered at a Presbyterian youth meeting a few days before and then were doing some home meetings. One night we ended up at the last minute ministering at a Foursquare church. The Lord brought forth a considerable outpouring on the youth group that we spoke to.

We were driving back from the Foursquare youth meeting to our friend Dave’s house in Salinas, rejoicing in what the Lord had done, when Dave and then myself suddenly felt we should pull over. Dave, in fact, spoke out rather loudly to do so; I told him I had just been feeling the same thing.

We happened to have stopped right in front of a local college. We all got out, and sensing the leading of the Spirit, we began to walk onto the campus parking lot.

We walked around praying as we went, praying in the Spirit—praying in tongues—a good prayer for when you have no idea what you're doing. We just kept seeking what the Lord wanted us to do, and after walking and praying a bit, I noticed a lady just getting to her car and felt I should talk to her.

We began to share about Christ with her and then Dave had a word for her. As he shared the word, she opened up that she was a backslidden believer. As we continued to share with her she began to weep. We ended up praying with her as she surrendered and rededicated her life back to the Lord, right there in the college parking lot in Salinas!

We thought, Wow, it has been an eventful night! Let's grab some food. Lo and behold we ended up having another divine appointment at the pizza place. We prayed for a woman who was going through some things in her life that worked at the pizza place who was hungry for a touch from the Lord and God touched and blessed her life too!

It had been one wild thing after another, but God wasn't done!

We had been wanting to do some filming and we were leaving the next day, so we thought, Let’s go back and do some filming tonight before we leave town tomorrow morning.

We were filming about Dave getting filled with the Holy Spirit in Hawaii: While we were in Hawaii teaching at Surfing the Nations some time back, during a ministry time I felt led to pray over the group there and I was led to lay hands on Dave. He ended up getting powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time in his life! It was a powerful life-changing experience. He shared later that he’d been going to church his whole life, in fact going to a Calvary Chapel since being a little child, yet he had not experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit.

As he was in the middle of telling this testimony on video, out the corner of my eye I noticed Patrick was over on the couch with his hands in the air, shaking, breathing heavy, crying and laughing at the same time, as the Holy Spirit was sovereignly filling him in a most radical and powerful way.

No one was praying for him and he was just hanging on the couch by himself listening to the testimony being taped when the power of God just fell on him.

The power of God kept pouring over him for a good half hour, he was getting so filled it was amazing! We eventually joined in and laid hands on him rejoicing in what the Lord was doing!

I was thinking, What a powerful night: the youth group had been powerfully touched, a woman at the college had rededicated her life to Christ through a divine appointment as well as another woman being touched in the pizza place, and now Patrick was getting powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit!

We of course experienced some spiritual warfare following all that. The Bible is clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood. We don't put our focus on the warfare though, even if it takes a bit of processing and prayer sometimes to move past it, we rejoice in and focus on all the awesome stuff the Lord did and does!

That trip sure had a lot to focus on and plenty to rejoice in, the Lord did so much more than we expected that it blew our minds! Hallelujah!

Check out Bryan and Patrick getting a few waves in this area of the Central Coast of California in this new surf/music video we did:


Here’s a link to the video of Dave’s testimony that we were taping when the Holy Spirit sovereignly fell on Patrick:https://youtu.be/cN9jNLKCbVA

Friday, May 27, 2016

Personal Encounter: Lonnie's Lasting Impact Overseas

The impact of Lonnie Frisbee's ministry goes much further than a lot of people realize. There are to this day reverberations still going on from the impact of his ministry. In fact, Ken Fish, a minister who comes out of the early Vineyard, said in a comment to the recent post I wrote on Lonnie Frisbee: “This is an article that anyone who is interested in the origins of the modern "move of the Spirit" should read. Virtually everything that is going on right now in the Revival Alliance, Partners in Harvest, Bethel [Bill Johnson, Redding, Ca], Global Awakening, Iris Ministries [Heidi Baker], and more, has its roots somewhere and somehow in the move of God that began on Mother's Day that Bryan Marleaux writes about here.” (If you didn't get a chance to read this post, click here)

Overseas Impact


The Lord also used Lonnie extensively overseas, in various places such as England, South Africa, and Brazil, where there were those who experienced a powerful impact of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Scandinavia was another one of those places where the Lord used Lonnie. Some significant moves of God took place in both Sweden and Denmark through Lonnie’s ministry that saved and revived many people. We, through a divine appointment on our last trip to Scandinavia, encountered first-hand someone whose life was changed and completely turned around by the way Christ worked through the Frizz.

Prophetic Correspondence


Right before we left on our last ministry trip to Europe, our friend David Sloane, a prophetic minister who has been used by God many times to bless and encourage our lives, sent us a recording of our late friend Lonnie Frisbee. The recording was from when Lonnie was ministering in Sweden back in the day. We didn't know that we would encounter someone in Sweden shortly after listening to that recording, who got caught in the line of fire and whose life was never the same: turned around for good by the power of God.


A Little Background on Lonnie Frisbee


For those who may be unaware, Lonnie was used by the Lord as one of the pioneers of the Jesus People Revival. After ministering in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district where this move originated, he later teamed up, through a divine appointment, with Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

He was instrumental in getting things off the ground there, and as the main evangelist for some of the crucial early years, he also led some notable figures to the Lord including Mike Macintosh (pastor of one San Diego’s largest churches), Tommy Coomes (became a prominent worship leader with the Billy Graham organization) as well as Greg Laurie (pastor of Harvest Churches and evangelist of Harvest Crusades). Laurie was also discipled by Frisbee for roughly a 5-year period. Lonnie also started Laurie’s church in Riverside, California with Fred Waugh. Frisbee, in fact, was used by God as the preacher and evangelist out there in Riverside for about a year and a half, before Greg Laurie ever came in and that was after Lonnie left to do other things. Greg Laurie took over as pastor after Lonnie had departed and Laurie changed the name to Harvest.

Frisbee was also instrumental in what would become the Vineyard movement (as I shared previously) introducing it to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the famed Mother's Day service where the outpouring first took place. Lonnie modeled and exemplified early on the ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

John Wimber states in his book Power Evangelism that the Mother's Day service was the first power encounter of his life. Wimber synthesized and theologized much of what he experienced about operating in the power of God as Lonnie ministered in those seminal early days in what developed into the Vineyard.

John Wimber then taught on the Power of God in a systematic, palatable form that many in the body of Christ could readily digest through his conferences, seminars, tapes, and books.

It should be needless to say, but isn't, that Lonnie Frisbee’s impact on these movements: Jesus People, Calvary, Harvest, and the Vineyard, was hugely instrumental and influential.

For many years, Chuck Smith had pastored only a small church he couldn’t get to grow before teaming up with Frisbee. He couldn’t get past what Peter Wagner loosely refers to as a small church barrier. That was until Frisbee showed up and things began to move into what eventually became a revival amongst the youth and hippies.

Greg Laurie’s impact as an evangelist came from those seminal early times witnessing Frisbee as the leading Jesus People evangelist in those early days and being discipled by him.

One should also consider John Wimber’s statement that his first ever encounter with the power of God was at the Mother’s Day service (1) where Frisbee ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit and also that Wimber’s four subsequent books in his life are based on the power of God : Power Evangelism, Power Healing, Power Encounters, and Power Points, to see the impact. Wimber had written nothing of this sort nor had any experience in this area prior to this.

Back to the Story about Sweden


When David Sloane sent that recording to us before we left to Europe, it turned out to be more prophetic than either of us anticipated. While ministering in Småland, Sweden, we ended up having a powerful and unexpected divine appointment with a man who was radically saved and filled with the Holy Spirit through Lonnie back on one of those trips Frisbee had made to Europe:

We had just finished ministering in a small town in Småland and we were stoked at how the Lord really touched, filled and saved some of the youth. We were now trying to figure out how we were going to get to the main train station the next day, since it was quite a distance (about an hour and a half away) and our friends that we were staying with weren't available to take us.

We were glad when a man from one of the churches we had ministered at told our friends he could give us a lift since he would be heading there the next day.

The next morning, he showed up with a roomy station wagon, which was really cool already, as it meant we wouldn't have to be all crammed in with our luggage. It is common in Europe to drive tiny cars that get quite cramped if you stick a few people plus luggage in them.

As we got going we were just chitchatting about different things, when he nonchalantly began to tell us how he came to know the Lord.

He began to share that he had gotten saved and radically filled with the Holy Spirit when a guy named Lonnie Frisbee came to minister in Sweden years back around the time of the Jesus People Revival. Our ears perked up and we listened closely as he told us what happened:

He had been raised in a traditional church in Sweden, but the extreme liberal bent of the state churches and traditional fellowships there, left him, like it has with many others, without the saving message of the Gospel and steeped in unbelief. He said he actually had no faith at all, dead religion just doesn't get the lost saved!

But then a hippie preacher came to town.

He went to a meeting that this hippie preacher Lonnie was doing. Jan showed up drunk and only went there out of some kind of feeling of obligation.

However, his brother was there too, and he had a severe knee injury and wasn't able to walk unassisted. Lonnie called his brother forward in the meeting to pray for him after he gave his message.

Frisbee laid hands on him and began to speak forth healing to the injured knee, and his brother began experiencing the power of God. He could feel something was going on in his knee. After some prayer he just got up and started walking and than began to run around the room.

Knowing the severity of his brother’s injury and that unless God had touched him he couldn't move and run like this, Jan was confronted with the reality of the Kingdom of God.

He was shaken out of his drunken state by what was happening. In a state of awakening, confronted by the Kingdom of God, he came forward and he and his brother received Christ and got saved.

After they accepted Jesus Lonnie then began to pray for them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit began to fill him with the Father’s love, power, and grace. He had never experienced anything like this before in his life. The Spirit of God filled him, and filled him, and filled him with His presence and he was there receiving for like 3 or 4 hours under the power of God. He experienced a radical baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was a life changing moment that reset his life's course.

He gave his life to the Lord that day and has walked with Christ ever since. He is still actively serving the Lord to this day and walking in the Spirit. He regularly does mission trips to different places and ministers himself.

Similar Experiences


I noticed how we both shared similar experiences: I shared with Jan how I also had been baptized in the Holy Spirit for like 3 or 4 hours when I first got filled with the Holy Spirit through Lonnie’s ministry back in the day (link to story.) I told him what a life-changing thing it was for me as well.

It was quite the experience to meet someone halfway around the world who experienced the same thing through the same evangelist, Lonnie Frisbee. We felt the presence of God filling the atmosphere inside the car as we talked and drove along.

Youth Touched in Meeting


We also shared with Jan about how the Lord blessed and impacted a number of people and filled them with the Spirit when we just ministered there in Småland:

I shared how we had done some meetings where the adults were being ministered to, but we wanted to find a way to see some of the youth impacted as well.

Our friendsä son named Daniel came up with an idea: let’s take them out on a boat ride before coming over for a special meeting as a way to stir some fun and interest into the mix to get the youth in the area interested in coming out.

A good-sized group of about ten to twelve kids responded and showed up, so we had them out for a short sailboat ride and then had them come up afterwards for some dessert and to share a bit.

After dessert, Mercedes and I began to share some Holy Ghost Surf Stories (link) and some adventures we’ve had serving the Lord in different places in the world. This got their attention as it wasn't a churchy type of message but more of adventures we’ve had in the Lord. Some of the kids were unchurched and others went to church but some were quite nominal (the state of things in Europe today).

We could feel the Holy Spirit starting to break through the walls and barriers there. We then had our friends’ son Lucas share how he had been ministered to by the Holy Spirit when we prayed for him earlier that very day.

The Spirit of God had come upon Lucas powerfully earlier when we were just talking to him and eating lunch with him. The presence of God began to overwhelm him as tears just filled his eyes. We began praying for him and the presence of God filled him in a powerful way. He could barely eat his sandwich afterwards it got drenched by his tears.

As Lucas shared with the group what happened at lunch we began to transition as we were feeling the leading of the Spirit to begin minister to some of them there.

The Lord began to touch and fill some of the young people as we ministered.


As we continued, I felt drawn to go talk to two girls who were hanging in the back of the group and being quite shy. With our friend Maisi, I inquired if they had ever received Jesus as their Savior.

They told us that they had not. So we ended up sharing and explaining the Gospel with them while Mercedes, Lucas, and some others continued praying over the other youth.

After explaining how Jesus had died for our sins and rose to give us eternal life, we asked if they wanted to receive Christ. They responded affirmatively so we led them in prayer to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

We saw that the Holy Spirit was at work so we said, “Let's also pray for you guys to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The Spirit of God began to slowly and gently come upon them, just lightly touching them at first. Then, after a bit, the power of God began to radically increase upon them. Then tears began to stream down their faces. It just became more and more powerful as we prayed for them, and they collapsed down onto the couch as the Lord filled them and they gave each other a big, long, bear hug, and then surprisingly these two who had just gotten saved began to pray for one another and minister to each other.

They had been very shy and reserved and quiet, sitting in the back not involved just prior to this. Now the Lord had taken hold of them and they were being transformed before our eyes.

After praying for one another for a while they began to lay hands on others there and get words for them. This was blowing my mind as nobody told them to do this or even encouraged them. But God was immediately using them as they let the Holy Spirit work in them.

The presence of God just kept being poured out and the meeting went long into the night. In fact, our hosts got so tired they finally went to bed. But not these newly saved and filled young ladies. They were so filled with joy after all the Lord did, they seemed ready to stay up all night, and in fact didn't leave until about three in the morning.

They all showed up at the next church service we did and brought other friends with them. The Holy Spirit was poured out especially on the whole of the youth that night and they stayed long after the meeting was over praying and ministering to one another.

The mother of one of these two young ladies who got saved at that special youth meeting came up to us. She told us how thankful she was that her daughter had finally been saved, explaining to us how she had been praying for her for many years.

God heard her prayers even though His answer to that prayer did tarry for a long time. He also uses unexpected vessels sometimes to answer and do His will!

Vessels indeed: he used a sailboat ride to get them out to a meeting they normally wouldn't go to on a Friday night and some American surfer sharing Holy Ghost Stories to bring them into the kingdom. The Lord used a Hippie preacher to save Jan and many, many others, as well as to impact a large segment of the Body of Christ. He’ll use any vessel that will surrender to His will and follow Him.

Footnotes

(1) Wimber, John with Kevin Springer. Power Evangelism (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986) 23-26.