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.