Friday, February 9, 2018
Ministry Update--2017 In Review
We are thankful for all the Lord did in 2017 as we ministered in a number of different places and saw the Lord save, fill, empower, set free, and heal.
We were also blessed to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. This being quite the milestone, we headed up early before some ministry in Canada to take some time to celebrate and enjoy a little of the scenery before we ministered. We were blessed to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks taking in some of the awesome views of the glaciers on some hikes.
We ministered in Canada on Vancouver Island, where we saw the Holy Spirit move in power and do some amazing things, powerfully filling people and breaking into the lives of those who didn't have a Spirit-filled Christian background at all. In fact, one particular guy who had come to a meeting we did, who was not from a Spirit-filled background, had encountered a verse from the book of John on the Holy Spirit earlier that day. Then, when we did some worship and without knowing what he had read earlier, I felt led to play a song based on that very verse as well as share on it. He came to the realization that the Lord was preparing him and that he needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We began to pray for him and the Holy Spirit came upon him in great power for the first time in his life and he experienced the gift of tongues. He was so powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit he couldn't continue to stand and had to be held up by others, he was so touched! Another guy helping hold him up also got filled with God's power and exclaimed: "That was amazing, never in my life have I experienced something like that!" Hallelujah!
We ministered up and down the West Coast of California, down upon the Southern border region, and up along the Central Coast of California, as well as many other places where the Holy Spirit moved in power, including Isla Vista, Shell Beach, and Salinas. The Lord met us each step of the way here and overseas!
We were blessed to minister for three months in Europe in 5 different countries. The Lord did so much it would be easy to rewrite a whole account again, but rather than doing that, we'll just recap some of the highlights. You can check out our recent newsletter for a more in-depth report at: http://gwmgracenotes.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-praise-report-winter-2017.html
In England we were blessed to have some youth open their hearts to the Gospel and the message of Christ and also get powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit in a very dramatic way. The Holy Spirit came upon some of the kids in power who found themselves resting in the Spirit on the floor for some time. God touching the youth became a theme for many other places on the trip!
We were blessed in France to minister on the Reformation in preparation for a Reformation-based outreach event some friends were doing. In fact, some brothers from South Africa with a French Reformed (Huguenot) background showed up to intercede; led by the Spirit they showed up and came and prayed for the meetings. After a meeting where the Holy Spirit powerfully filled many there with the Holy Spirit with some dramatic manifestations, as well as some opening their hearts to Christ, they told us that was exactly what they'd been praying and interceding to see happen in France!
In Spain we ministered in Catalonia in the cities of Tarragona, Reus, and Barcelona, where we taught on being empowered and operating in the gifts of the Spirit. We were stoked to see the hunger there for the Holy Spirit and many were filled and empowered and moved to step out and minister. We also experienced a few being healed and coming to Christ! A divine appointment on the coast in between ministering led to a board being supplied and a chance to share the Gospel with a local Catalan surfer!
We were blessed to minister in some different regions of Sweden including Skåne and Småland. In Skåne, we preached in Hässleholm, Örkeljunga, and Trelleborg. The Lord moved in power and we got a lot of response, many shared how filled and renewed they were as we ministered. We were stoked to see the daughter of the family hosting us get powerfully filled and then join us in every meeting praying for others! Some of the leaders got powerfully filled too and were very insistent that the ministry we are doing is so needed there, and we must keep coming back. We also ministered in the region of Småland, on the East coast of Sweden, where a young lady came and told us how impacting and life changing our ministry was to her.
We also had a couple of people open their hearts to Christ, some who had Muslim backgrounds. We spoke at a youth meeting focused on getting some of the youth filled with the Spirit, and out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit just swept in and started powerfully filling a group of them. They began to lift their hands and tears streamed down some of their faces as they prayed over one another and gave words of encouragement to each other. New believers with Muslim backgrounds joined in for the first time and began to pray for one another too, including the guy who had just accepted Christ earlier on in the meeting. The Holy Spirit continued to pour out long after many had gone home. A friend noticed the powerful change when the Holy Spirit swept in and said, "This is a miracle!" We knew it was a special moment as the Lord poured His Spirit over many who had never experienced His power like this before.
A young guy who had been filled and touched in those meetings shared the following with us: The Lord had put such a fire in him that he had begun to share the Gospel with others, even sharing with a tough guy in town. He also was evangelizing on a bus and prayed for a lady who got healed, which opened a door to tell her about Jesus. This is a huge deal for someone in Sweden to step out like that as it is a very shy culture, but the Holy Spirit can transcend, and this is why we ourselves come to minister in God's power that others may be equipped to be His witnesses.
We ministered in Norway, in the town of Mandal. From the very first meeting, the Lord poured out His Spirit in a very powerful and remarkable way. In one of the youth meetings, late in the evening, the Holy Spirit just descended all of a sudden in power on a group of young teen girls, and the Lord touched them so deeply for such a long time that a puddle of tears gathered around their feet, and the Youth Group leader pointed out that it looked like pearls that had fallen down from heaven! You know it is significant when young people ignore a waiting pizza and flow with the Holy Spirit instead! We were stoked to be able to preach on Martin Luther and the Reformation at their Sunday services, two days before the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Many of the older generation were very thankful to hear the story and were touched and refreshed, but many young people had never heard the story at all and were blessed by it as well. We closed by sharing about how Martin Luther emphasized the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and prayed for many to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
We were also blessed to get to go to Wittenberg, Germany, for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. October 31st, Reformation Day, was a pretty extraordinary day to be right there where the Reformation all began! The little town was packed with people from all over the world coming to celebrate this momentous event. Since it was so crowded, we rented and rode bikes into the town center, and as we were getting closer, a huge group of black cars and police with a helicopter hovering overhead passed by us. We hadn't known that the Chancellor of Germany would coming for a special service at the Castle Church. We had lots of divine appointments throughout the day with different people whom we shared with and prayed for as we were equipped with quotes from Luther and the Bible about the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit!
There were many special events going on, including museum exhibitions as well as a sound and light show. There was also a musical about Luther in Berlin which was broadcast live all over the nation, and actually quoted many Bible verses. It was quite a unique moment for sure and we believe the Lord was using this occasion to plant many seeds in people's lives about the Gospel as well as draw many to Himself!
We truly appreciate all your prayers and support.
Many blessings to you!
Bryan, Mercedes, and Patrick Marleaux
P.S. We had a bit of a rough return coming back from Europe with the recent wildfires that hit the Southern California region. To read about our own experience during the wildfires in San Diego, click here.