Grace World Mission
The Praise Report
Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick leading some songs at the kids' service in Tijuana.
MIDDLE: Bryan prays over a young Korean named Christie as she prays over an elderly Hispanic woman.
RIGHT: With the Korean youth group who came down to Mexico for the weekend to join in ministering.
We’ve been keeping quite busy this summer with lots of ministry. We have been ministering in a number of different places lately, like in a church in Tijuana that uses an empty night club for its Sunday morning service, where we had around twenty people come to Christ as we ministered in this setting with its lounge tables and stains from spilled drinks on the floor. We also just returned from a three-day trip to Mexico where, as we ministered in different areas and churches each day, God brought people to salvation, and poured out His healing and Holy Spirit.
On this three-day trip we were joined by a Korean youth group whose pastor, when he first approached us about going down to Mexico with us, explained that they weren’t looking for the typical trip of handing out food or doing construction like many do on a Mexico visit, but rather they wanted to experience what the Holy Spirit was doing in the culture and amongst the local people and come alongside us and pray for and minister to those living there and see the Holy Spirit move and deeply touch people's lives.
It was exciting during the weekend to see how the Lord answered the desire of their hearts, as many of the Korean teenagers got touched by the Spirit themselves and then ministered and gave away to others what they themselves had received as they prayed for many of the local people in the meetings, releasing the blessing from on high.
A good number of people were ministered to, as well as others who received the Lord as we preached at a small church in Otay Mesa when we arrived on Friday night, then also at a special children’s service on Saturday in another part of town where around 100 kids attended the meeting, and then when we stayed down ourselves longer to preach twice on Sunday at a good-size church in Tijuana.
We were quite exhausted after it all due to the busy schedule and sleeping in Rosarito at Cindy Reid's house, a fellow missionary and good friend who graciously opened up her home to us, even though her place is made to house maybe four people at most but where we were able to pack in almost twenty! As in most situations like that, sleep is more of a hope than a reality. We may have got three hours of sleep but that is still a pretty generous estimate with tripping over people in the night on the way to the bathroom, car alarms going off, “busy” neighbors making noise and doing who knows what all night across the street, and lots of others things, but God gave us strength and energy for all the ministry that weekend and it was a great blessing.
Along with ministering in many places recently, we also did a youth rally with the Foursquare Southwest District, where youth from around 12 churches joined in Whittier as we ministered and preached. Many leaders were excited to see how powerfully God poured out His Spirit on so many of the college and high-school aged people who attended. They were touched and ignited greatly as the Holy Spirit was poured out in great power; a friend who attended said it was just what he was needing at the time too. We’ll be doing their youth camp coming up shortly in Big Bear, so please keep us in your prayers.
HOLY GHOST BIKE STORY
Be prepared both in season and out of season. 2 Tim. 4:2
Downtown San Diego in the background as we venture on a 130-mile bike
ride where we had a powerful divine appointment that led to the
We recently took a long bike trip down the coast where over a couple days we rode more than 130 miles, but which like so many things that involve walking with God, turned into much more than just a little break.
While passing through an area in San Diego, Patrick called out, “Look Mom and Dad, a wallet!” I finally turned around to see a rough-looking stumbling person walking straight towards an open wallet with money sticking out of it that was laying on the ground right in front of him. Miraculously, the man walking didn’t see the wallet that was only three steps in front of him. He seemed to be contemplating something -- looking straight down at the cement sidewalk as he stumbled forward. Three more steps and he would have been right on top of it. I pulled up and grabbed the wallet right before he came upon it, knowing as I picked it up that God had a special purpose for us finding it, since everything, including the license, credit cards, a considerable sized check, and around three hundred dollars in cash was in it.
After much effort, we were able to contact the owner of the wallet who turned out to be a Hispanic woman. With Mercedes’ Spanish skills we were geared to communicate effectively with the woman. Since I knew in my heart that God had some special purpose with this whole thing, I made it clear that we should meet in a place that would be good for talking for a bit and not just in a haphazard location along the side of the road somewhere. So with that purpose in mind, we rendezvoused up the coast at a hotel and we mentioned we had something important to tell her as well as giving her the wallet.
We shared the whole story how we had gotten to the wallet just before this rough-looking guy (a brief conversation with that guy confirmed my belief that he would have immediately spent the money inside the wallet on alcohol.) We shared what a miracle it was that we, a couple of missionaries, had been placed by God, at just the exact right moment, there to find the wallet for her. As we gave her the wallet we asked her to count the money and see that not one dollar was missing. We shared that God had placed us there at the scene of the lost wallet at just the right moment, and here in her path that day, that she might hear the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and have an accompanying witness of His Grace through us who were standing right before her to testify to her of her need for salvation.
She was deeply touched and began to cry, saying she was so thankful to us and to God for she desperately needed that money to pay her rent and that she had worked very hard cleaning houses for it. She said it would have put her in serious financial jeopardy if the wallet had not been found.
She had grown up Catholic, just like her niece who was with her, and neither had ever heard the Gospel before, nor the need they had for salvation. We explained the Gospel, and Christ’s full and complete payment for sin on the cross and the need to be born again.
She and her niece listened intently and agreed upon their need for Christ in their life and expressed their desire to receive him then and there and so we prayed together with both women for them to receive the Lord. The woman who had lost the wallet not only received Christ but came into the kingdom with tears in her eyes touched by the Holy Spirit as the presence of God filled her heart as we prayed both with her and her niece, who likewise received Christ and was also deeply impacted by God’s breaking into their circumstances that day, acknowledging the great miracle that God had wrought.
As we said our goodbyes, we got their info to continue to follow up with them regarding their new walks in the kingdom of God.
It was a glorious end to a grueling but fun 130-mile bike ride down the Southern California Coast that reaped much more than some sore legs. New babes were born into the kingdom of God! Hallelujah!
It’s important to reflect upon the fact that: accomplishments are not completed nor are new babies born (physically or spiritually) without some sacrifice and pain, a concept all too foreign to the seeker-sensitive message often promoted in our day. We had to use up a lot of our precious personal break time and expensive cell phone minutes to track the owner of the wallet down. Then we had to go out of our way and spend more of our break time finding and then meeting at a hotel to talk with these women for them to hear what we had to say, never knowing beforehand if they would even listen to one thing we were communicating.
God honored our paying attention to His leading and the sacrifice we put in to find the owner of the wallet; He also honored the testimony we were able to give by not touching a single dollar of their money, and thus these women were saved. Furthermore, He blessed us in our endeavors and testimony we were able to give, in that a generous offering, unconnected to all this, came our way through a brother in the Lord the very next day.
He will also honor your sacrifice when you give to support the mission and ministry work we are constantly doing both in and out of season.
The importance of understanding the Reformation,
how it came about and the issues surrounding it, as well as those God
used so powerfully in it cannot be overstated.
These can be found on our podcasts which
are completely free and can be heard and watched anywhere anytime just
by clicking here.
God richly bless you,
Bryan, Mercedes, and Patrick Marleaux
Thanks for supporting