A Fruitful Month of Ministry!
January was a flurry of activity, as the Lord opened so many doors for our ministry. I am so grateful for the way that the Holy Spirit moved in every event. Here’s are the highlights:
Risen Church, Dayton, Ohio
I was invited to preach on Sunday, January 7, at Risen Church in Dayton, Ohio. Pastors Paul and Ann Simpson have a great congregation there. They have a real heart for the community and offer meals after services for those in the neighborhood who could use some extra help. That morning, I spoke about how the experience of Pentecost was never meant to be a one-time event for the church, but an ongoing lifestyle. Several responded to a call for salvation and I had the opportunity to pray for several at the altars for a fresh touch from the Lord. It was a blessing to be a part of what God is doing at Risen Church!
Real Life Church, Charlotte, Michigan
I traveled to Michigan to speak at two churches on the weekend of January 14th. On Sunday morning, I was blessed with the opportunity to minister with Pastors Andy and Emily Shaver at Real Life Church. Their church has a heart for their city and during the service, a team of several intercessors shared about their prayer strategy for the local schools. It was great to hear about the impact they are making in their community. We had a great time of worship and I spoke about maintaining our intimacy with the Lord despite the spiritual atmosphere all around us that wants to choke it out. Several responded during the altar time, asking the Lord to keep their fire burning. It was a special time with these precious believers.
Journey Life Church, Holt, Michigan
That evening, I spoke at Journey Life Church in Holt, Michigan. They invited me to come to their monthly Saturate Revival Night service. The church sets this time aside for seeking the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to move freely. There was a sweet presence of the Holy Spirit all night and I could sense the hunger of the people. I shared from the book of I Kings about the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel. I used it to share about what happens when the glory of God enters our lives and situations. Afterwards, we prayed for many people. One young man received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with tears streaming down his face. I also received a testimony from one of the church members that a woman had a vision at the altar that had a significant impact in her life. Praise the Lord for what He is doing!
Pure Life Ministries Residential Chapel, Dry Ridge, Kentucky
Sunday morning, January 21, I traveled down to Pure Life Ministries to minister in their Residential Chapel service. We are continuing to preach through the Life of Christ Series, and my passage was about the cleansing of the Temple and the cursing of the fig tree. As I studied these two passages, the connection between what Jesus was doing in the Gospels and the Old Testament passages about Israel became apparent. I also discovered how the cursing and the cleansing were two prophetic acts linked to each other. The Lord ministered to the hearts of the men that morning, and it was a great time of ministry.
Minister’s Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio
From there, we headed up to Sandusky, Ohio to take part in the Minister’s Retreat for the Ohio Ministry Network. This is an annual gathering for all of the Assembly of God ministers and their families in the state. Through a series of Holy Spirit connections, I was invited to speak this year at the retreat. I was both humbled and honored to do so. What is even more amazing is that the other speaker, Pastor Greg Mundis, was the one who had to call me back in 2010 to ask me to resign from my position as a Missionary Associate due to my sin. Talk about an amazing act of restoration on the Lord’s part. He continues to bring things in my life full circle, and I’m so grateful for His work.
I had a chance to speak to many pastors at a luncheon for evangelism training. I provided encouragement and practical resources about how to ignite evangelism in their local churches. The feedback was great and one young man reached out to me and shared how he and his wife had already begun to step out in faith to share Jesus in the community in a new way.
Tuesday evening was the session where I was asked to share my story. Having an opportunity to speak to ministers is special because I’m able to share some of the difficult lessons that I have learned in ministry, to hopefully prevent others from having to learn them the hard way. I shared my story in detail, highlighting my journey as a minister specifically. I then shared several points about what I have learned through my story. We had an altar time and many came forward to respond to the Lord for various reasons. I believe the Lord is already using it in the lives of many to help some come into the light and others to be encouraged to press forward in their ministries.
East Dayton Christian School Chapels
That Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to preach at East Dayton Christian School for their middle and high school chapels. I felt at the last minute that I was supposed to change my plan and share about the work of the Holy Spirit and the need for students to learn to walk with Him. The Holy Spirit moved in a special way in both services. In the middle school chapel, many young people went to the altar and others students went forward to pray with one another. At one point, I got down on my knees to pray at my seat, and several students came to pray for me. I felt the presence of God in a tangible way and I was so encouraged by the faith and passion of the young people. God is raising up a generation of young people on fire!
The Covering Womens Ministry Special Services
We had three nights of special services for The Covering Womens Residential Program on January 25-27. I sit on the Board for their ministry and I love how the leadership makes room for the Lord to move. Each night, God did something special for all in attendance. The theme of the services was, “Called Out of Darkness to Shine.” The first night, I spoke on how the Lord helps us to break out of the darkness in our lives. I talked about Jesus’ interaction with the man possessed by demons in Luke 8 and the woman caught in adultery in John 8. Several responded to a call to rededicate their lives to Christ and we had a time of ministry for those who wanted freedom in areas of their lives.
On the second night, I spoke about how we are called to walk through the darkness as Christians. I gave a strong call to holiness. At the end, I felt led to invite people to pray for the American church as a whole. Several came forward and offered passionate prayers for the Lord to help the Body of Christ to see our need for Jesus and to reject the things of the world.
The third night, I spoke about shining in the darkness. As believers, we are called to bring the light of Christ to the world around us. I spoke about how we can do that by sharing our story, participating in evangelism and doing good works. At the end, we prayed for a fresh touch and several were ministered to in a special way. One young man was baptized in the Holy Spirit and a woman was touched by God and later testified that that was the first time she had been able to cry in a year and a half! I’m so grateful for the way He moved among us during those special meetings.
What an incredible month we had! God has been so faithful to move in the way that He wants. Souls are being rescued out of darkness and Christians are being set on fire. I’m so excited to see what God is doing. Please continue to pray for us. We cannot do what God has called us to without the faithful intercession of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you would like to sow financially into our ministry, please go to our Donate Page or you can mail a check made out to Make Way Ministries to:
Make Way Ministries, PO Box 292914, Kettering, OH 45429
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We pray the Lord will bless you richly!
The fire of God fell in Brazil!
I set foot in Brazil for my second time this year and God showed up in a powerful way. Each time I go back to a country, my awareness of the culture and spiritual atmosphere grows. Relationships are also strengthened and these elements help to make ministry more effective and fruitful. This trip definitely built upon the last, and the favor God has given Make Way Ministries in the country is very evident. This year, PLM Brazil made the decision to publish my book, Pile of Masks, in Portuguese. We made the book available throughout the trip and many people purchased copies, with the proceeds going to help PLM Brazil. It is humbling to have the book getting into the hands of many people throughout the country. Several people shared with me that the church in Brazil needs to address the issue of hypocrisy, so the message of my book was timely and warmly welcomed.
Brasilia- First Sunday Morning and Evening
After nearly twenty-four hours of travel, I arrived in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, on Saturday night. The next morning would be the start of twelve days of preaching and traveling. On Sunday morning, I was invited to preach at Pastor Airton’s Church called ICCR in Brasilia. I spoke there last year, and it was a blessing to come back and have a chance to minister this year as well. The Lord put a message on my heart from Matthew 24 and 25, about being prepared for the return of Christ. I shared from three parables and spoke about how a lifestyle of preparation should impact our priorities. It was a great time together and we were all challenged by the Word. It was a blessing to fellowship with the precious believers of ICCR.
That evening, I spoke at Igreja Famílias Benditas in a neighborhood called Vincente Pires. This was my first time ministering at this church. Pastor Eronaldo and his wife are passionate people and they are pastoring a church made up of mostly young families. Our service that night was powerful, as the Lord gave me several prophetic words before I ministered and many people were touched even before the sermon. I shared a message about reaching out to the world with the Gospel. Our altar ministry was filled with the presence of God. Many lives were touched, and many children and young people were hungry for a touch from the Lord. One young boy in particular really touched my heart. We wept together as I prayed for him. Afterwards, he told me through the translator that he couldn’t put into words how special it was to him that I would come and what the Lord was doing in his life that night.
Caldas Novas- Monday and Tuesday
Monday morning, Paulo, the Director for Pure Life Ministries Brazil, and I traveled to a city about four hours from Brasilia called Caldas Novas. I spoke at an Assemblies of God church on my last trip, and they had us back for a two-day conference. It was a rich blessing to see so many people I had connected with last year, and we had a wonderful time of fellowship after each service. Both of the services were powerfully anointed by the Holy Spirit. On Monday night, I spoke from the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel and shared about how the presence of the Lord is like a fire in our hearts. We sought the Lord for His presence at the end of the message and had a move of the Spirit as people passionately pursued Him.
On Tuesday night, I shared about developing a lifestyle of evangelism. Before the worship, I felt the Lord give me a word for a mother who had an estranged relationship with her daughter. Out of several hundred people in the service, one woman raised her hand to acknowledge that it was her. I shared what the Lord had put on my heart and we prayed with her. She fell to her knees weeping under the power of God. It was so special for the Lord to speak to one of His daughters and call her out from the crowd. A couple of people responded to an altar call for salvation as well, praise the Lord! After the message, we prayed for many who felt a call to missions/ evangelism. The Lord moved again, and afterwards, there were many who wanted personal ministry and prayer, so we stuck around and ministered to many who needed it.
Uberlandia- Wednesday and Thursday
From Caldas Novas, we traveled a couple of hours to another city called Uberlandia. A large Presbyterian Church called Quinta Igreja Presbiteriana de Uberlândia had invited us to do a two-day conference as well as speak at a city-wide ministers meeting. On Wednesday night, I spoke a message about King Solomon, with principles from his life that can help us avoid many of the mistakes that he made. The people were very responsive and Pastor Lucio and his wife were very gracious to us.
On Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of ministers from different denominations throughout the city. I shared much of my testimony and also talked about how to deal with sexual sin in the ministry, from both a personal perspective as well as a ministry perspective. One young man in particular seemed to be very affected by the message. Afterwards, my translator and I had an opportunity to speak with him, and he broke down weeping about some personal issues in his life. Because of that, he proactively sought out biblical counseling and I believe the Lord is going to do a great work in his life.
That evening, I spoke a message about the return of Christ and encouraged the people to pursue holiness, have healthy relationships, share the Gospel, serve God wholeheartedly, pursue God passionately and be prepared to suffer as needed. We took some time to seek the Lord and allow Him to speak to our hearts. There was a strong connection made between the church and PLM Brazil that I believe will open up many doors in that area of the country.
Brasilia- Friday and Saturday
On Friday evening, I was invited to speak at a National Baptist Church of Brasília. They asked me to come in and speak specifically about the topic of sexual sin. I shared my story as well as basic biblical principles of sexuality. Before the message, I felt led to give a call for salvation and several men stood in their seats to pray to surrender their lives to Christ. Afterwards, we gave a call for anyone who was personally struggling or knew someone who was and wanted to pray for them. Several responded, and by speaking with some of them after the service, it was evident that God was touching their hearts deeply.
I ministered at the Baptist Church that Paulo and his family attend on Saturday night. I spoke a message about not allowing the fire of God in our lives to be put out through distraction, compromise or neglect. There was a sweet presence of the Holy Spirit during the worship and message and the people were very grateful for the ministry. I believe God ministered to many hearts that night.
Brasilia- Sunday Morning and Evening
On Sunday, I spoke at two services in the same building. Each church was affiliated with the same denomination and their congregations share the building on Sundays for their worship services. On Sunday morning, the church had many young people and Pastor Frederico was a passionate man who had trained many of the teenagers on the worship team to play and lead worship. I felt led to pray over their worship team before the message. I spoke about the story of Achan and gave a warning about what can happen if we hide our sin from others. It was a blessing to be with these believers.
On Sunday evening, I returned to the church to speak in Pastor Atila’s church. During worship, the Lord redirected my message and I ended up sharing about what happens when the fire of God falls in our lives. We had a powerful time of ministry after the message and the leadership of the church laid hands on me and prayed. I experienced the Lord’s presence in a special way, and I’m grateful for how the Holy Spirit ministered to their congregation.
After the service, we went to pick up my wife, Brittany, who had flown into the country to spend the final week with me in ministry. The Lord opened up some doors for us to minister together, and it was a blessing to have her there with me.
Brasilia- Monday and Tuesday
A church called Dokimos in a local area called Gama invited us to do a two-day conference on Purity of Heart. They asked me to speak on the themes of repentance and holiness. The church was filled with many young families. After a rich time of worship, I spoke Monday night on the beauty of repentance. I shared some basic principles about repentance and closed with the stories of the rich, young ruler and Zaccheus. When we had a time for people to seek the Lord, many came forward to be prayed for, crying out to the Lord. One couple in particular shared about a significant breakthrough they had experienced that night. They said that they believed the Lord had orchestrated the trip just for them!
On Tuesday evening, we returned to Dokimos Church and I spoke about the world system and why we need to be separated from it as believers. It was a tense atmosphere, which is typical when I share these kinds of messages. At the close of the service, I thought about giving a salvation call, but I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to. After praying for the people, Pastor Luis came up and gave a call for salvation, and several responded. I was so grateful that the Holy Spirit had laid the same feeling on his heart. Our two evenings at this church were a real blessing and the Lord was faithful to move. In the final service, the pastor and leadership team had Brittany and I come on stage to pray over our family and ministry. It was a special time being ministered to.
Brasilia- Wednesday and Thursday
On Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to be a part of a podcast for a church in the city. I was interviewed on the topics of repentance, holiness and sexual sin. We had a rich discussion and I strongly encouraged all who might be listening and are struggling with sin in their lives to bring it into the light and reach out for help. I pray that many will get in contact with PLM Brazil who are in need. It was a great experience to be a part of the podcast and I pray many will hear its important message.
On Wednesday night, Pastor Eronaldo from Igreja Famílias Benditas invited Brittany and I to speak at his church. We shared our story together, each highlighting lessons that we have learned through our experience that we thought would be a help to the families in the church. The Holy Spirit’s presence was evident. We offered to pray with anyone who wanted prayer, and many came forward. While we were praying for one woman, a demon began to manifest, and we took authority over it and commanded it to leave. We then prayed with the woman a prayer of repentance. The Pastor’s wife took over ministering to her and she testified that the woman got free that night, praise the Lord! Many of the families wanted prayer, and we laid hands on many and prayed into the night. It was an incredible time in the Lord.
On the final night of ministry, Brittany and I were invited to share with a group of about forty people at the home of a precious family who hosted us for most of the trip. Hamilton and Vanessa lead a small group in their home, and they asked if we would share our story with them. Brittany felt that we should also conclude with a foot-washing service. We shared our testimony together and the people were touched. Then, we went out to the pool area and asked the couples to wash each other’s feet while Brittany and I washed the feet of those who were without a spouse. We prayed many prophetic prayers over people and many were deeply ministered to. As I looked around the pool, many couples were praying for one another and weeping in each other’s arms. It was a special, intimate time, and we were told that many were talking about it the day afterwards.
Trips like these are both incredibly exciting and very exhausting. Preparation before the trip can be extensive, and the hardest part is that many of the places I go, I have never been to, so I am preparing for a service in a culture and denomination that I am unfamiliar with. This usually leads to feeling unsure and inadequate going into the trip.
But then, when I step foot in the land, and begin to see God moving, I realize how much of the second-guessing and insecurity is really just spiritual warfare. I am so amazed at how the Lord continues to open doors, anoint the ministry and change lives as we go out to minister. As is typical of my ministry, I was able to speak to multiple denominations and church cultures. I so appreciate the diversity of the Body of Christ. This trip was also special because it provided a couple of opportunities for me to minister alongside Brittany. The Lord has given her a lot of wisdom and the women were very grateful to have a chance to hear her speak as well.
Brazil is a special country, with a diverse culture and its own unique spiritual challenges. However, the same Holy Spirit who moves in other places is alive and well in Brazil, and He is doing a great work in the hearts and lives of those who are open to Him. I was so humbled and grateful to play a part in what He is doing in this wonderful nation.
Thank you to each of you who prayed for the trip as well as financially support Make Way Ministries. Trips like this do not happen without the prayer and financial support of people who give their time and money sacrificially so that lives can be touched around the world. To make a tax-deductible gift to Make Way Ministries to help us reach the nations for Christ, you can go to our Donate page.
I shot a nine-part Vlog of the trip describing what the Lord was doing each day and it also contains footage from the services. You can watch the first Vlog here:
Practical Instruction on Living Evangelistically!
I teamed up with three other evangelists to put on our first Practical Power Conference, held at Miamisburg Assembly of God in Ohio. This was an evangelism training event, and our heart was to equip and empower the church to step out in faith and share the Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many people came out to hear more about Holy Spirit-led evangelism and how they can implement it into their lives. We brought Evangelist Brandon Duke to lead worship, and we had several intimate times of seeking the Lord together under his anointed leadership.
I taught the first session. I shared some of my own evangelism story and gave many principles that I have learned over the years that have assisted in developing an evangelistic lifestyle. I wanted to give some practical teaching that can apply to believers in their everyday lives. I shared many stories of what I have seen the Lord do in my life. We took time to pray for an increased burden for the lost in our lives and also paired up with a partner to share a simple presentation of the Gospel with each other. It was great to see people putting into practice the sharing of the Gospel, so that they can feel more confident in doing it outside the church walls.
Evangelist Ryan Young taught the second session on healing. He shared some practical principles about how to pray for the healing of those you encounter in life. He shared some amazing testimonies of how the Lord has used healing to reach people in his life, just like He did when He walked the earth in the Gospels. We were encouraged to step out in faith and boldness and lay hands on the sick, believing them to recover. We had time to pray for one another at the altars, and many people were touched by the Lord.
The final session was taught by Evangelist Ethan Robison. His topic was about hearing the voice of God. He shared about the simplicity of hearing God’s voice and communicating that to people in our lives. He told some incredible testimonies of how the Lord has used him in this area to reach out to people in their time of need. We than had opportunity to practice this, teaming up with another person, praying and asking God for insight, and sharing that insight with our prayer partner.
Throughout the day, we gave people opportunities to not only sit under teaching, but put into practice what they were taught. This was a unique dynamic of this conference that we really wanted to emphasize. I believe the church should be the training ground for Christians to be equipped and empowered, and then sent out into the world to be Jesus.
The event was a success, and I’m so grateful for all the feedback we received. God really stirred our hearts and I believe there will be a harvest of souls from what the Lord accomplished at the Practical Power Conference.
Men are Rising Up!
I was blessed to be invited to speak for a Men’s Conference at Connection Pointe Church of God in Grove City, Ohio. The conference theme was “Kingdom Manhood.” The Lord put three specific messages on my heart to share with the men. The first two were from the life of the Apostle Paul. I shared about his example of a Kingdom Man, who had to learn some very important lessons along his journey. The messages came from Philippians 3, where Paul said he has learned to forget what is behind and press on toward what lies ahead. On Friday evening, I talked about how Paul had a lot of things in his past he had to overcome, coming from the background of a murderous Pharisee against the church. I encouraged the men to leave the past behind them and not allow guilt and shame to keep them from becoming the men God created them to be. We had a time of response and the Lord moved. The second message from Paul’s life I shared on Saturday morning, about pressing on toward what is ahead. Like Paul, God desires we live a life of intimacy, power and anointing. I encouraged the men to believe God for more of Him presence in their lives, so that they can be used mightily in God’s Kingdom.
The final message I shared was from the life of Nehemiah. He was a man who rose up to his calling when God asked Him to do something for His Kingdom. At the expense of his own life and comfort, Nehemiah oversaw the rebuilding of the wall, despite intense opposition. I gave several principles from his story about how we can also become the men of the hour that God is looking for in our day. At the end, we laid hands on the men and prayed for God’s blessing to be evident in their lives as they become the Kingdom Men God is calling them to become.
I’m always grateful for any opportunity I have to minister to men, because I believe the Lord desires to do something substantial in the lives of men in the church today. We need men to step up into their role in their homes, churches and society. Praise the Lord for what He accomplished at the Connection Pointe Mens Conference, as men came together to seek His face!
A great weekend in God’s presence under the tent!
I was so blessed to have a chance to minister in Harbor Beach, Michigan for a series of tent meetings. The Lead Pastor of Lighthouse Assembly of God is Brian Thomas and his wife, Colleen. Brittany and I served with them on the mission field many years ago. His church has a desire to make an impact in their town, which is right alongside beautiful Lake Huron. They decided to purchase a tent and hold a series of revival-style meetings at a local park. Pastor Brian invited me to come and preach three of the services under the tent.
In addition to the services, the church put on a recreational program for children the week leading up to the tent meetings. Many children came out to do crafts, play sports and hear a Bible story. We had the opportunity to be a part of one of those days, and it was a blast to see the kids having such a great time. Many of the children who came out did not go to the church, so Lighthouse was able to connect with their families.
After dinner before the first service on Friday night, I decided to walk across the street to a gas station to buy some cough drops. There was a man in the station that stood out to me, but I made my purchase and began to head back across the street. This man was in his car at the gas pump, and I felt the Holy Spirit directing me to go back and speak with him. I introduced myself and shared a little of my testimony. He opened up to me and shared some of his story and told me he was a Muslim. I asked if I could pray with him, and he was very receptive, and said it was ok if I prayed in Jesus’ name. It was definitely a divine encounter. I’m not sure what the Lord was doing in this man’s life, but I was glad that I was obedient to His leading.
Something unique about this trip was that I had recently purchased an acoustic guitar after not playing for three years. Each night that I preached, I sang a song with my daughters. To minister together as a family was a special blessing. That first night, I spoke a message about the power of Jesus’ blood. When I gave the invitation, a few hands went up of people wanting to pray to receive Christ or rededicate their lives to Him. Praise the Lord! Brian shared with us the next day that their ten year old grandson, who was visiting from out of town, was very different the next day. When they asked him what had changed, he told them that he had prayed to receive Christ the night before. It was such a privilege to watch Brian and Colleen baptize their grandson in water that Sunday morning in the lake.
On Saturday, the church put on a kids carnival at the tent, with inflatables, cotton candy, popcorn and all kinds of games. Many from the community came out to take part in it. That night, we had our second service and I spoke about keeping the fire of God alive in our hearts. At the altar time, many came forward to cry out to the Lord for a fresh love and passion for Him and His kingdom. There was a sweet presence of the Lord that night.
Sunday morning, Pastor Brian shared a message about water baptism. We had a great time of worship and afterwards, a few people were water baptized. Water baptisms are one of my favorite things to watch. Seeing a believer who wants to make a public declaration of their faith going under the water, symbolic of dying to their sin, and being raised up into new life, is such a powerful experience.
That evening we had our final service together. I shared a message that the Lord had laid on my heart about developing a lifestyle of Pentecost. I shared about the purpose behind the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, beyond just speaking in tongues. It was meant to give us the power to witness and was not meant to be contained within the four walls of the church. Several came forward to pray and seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit and at least two people spoke in tongues that night. Others came forward to be prayed for that the Lord would stir up their hearts for more of the Holy Spirit.
It was a blessing to reconnect with the Thomas family, as well as meet so many precious believers from their church. I’m excited to see how the Lord works at Lighthouse AG as they continue to get outside the four walls and connect with the community. We stayed in the home of a precious family and their backyard was right against Lake Huron. I told them that of all the places that I’ve prayer walked around the world, that was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places to meet with God.
I’m so grateful for what the Lord accomplished in Michigan this July! A special thank you to everyone who is praying and supporting Make Way Ministries. Lives are being touched through your prayers and financial giving. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to our ministry, please visit our Donate Page.
A Great Time of Ministry in Europe!
My fourth trip to the Netherlands was a fruitful one. I’m so grateful for the connection that the Lord has made between Make Way Ministries and several ministries in that country. The Netherlands has an interesting culture, with a rich Christian heritage and significance in world history. As I’ve traveled there over the years, it has become more clear to me how Satan has used both worldliness and religion to keep many Dutch people in bondage. On the one hand, you have about fifty percent of the country who claim to be atheists or agnostics today. The lure of sex and drugs brings people from around the world to Amsterdam, where prostitution is not only legal, but considered one of many other career choices a person can make. I was told by a pastor that other cities in the country are now starting similar “red light district” areas and that prostitutes have even unionized. The sensuous culture and worldly influence has created an atmosphere for the enemy to seduce people away from the faith.
On the other hand, there is a deeply religious half of the country that trace their Christian heritage back to the time of the Protestant Reformation. Theology is held in very high regard among the Christians in the Netherlands, and unfortunately, an intense dedication to the teachings of John Calvin have left many people in a religious rut. Being taught that salvation is something that we can do nothing to obtain and a very strong emphasis on God’s sovereignty keeps people from engaging with simple aspects of true faith including repentance and believing in Jesus for salvation. Because of this, many young people in those churches live in open sin, with the belief that if God is going to select them to be saved, it will happen without any effort on their part. It’s interesting to see how truth can be distorted just enough that it can bring great deception into the lives of people. Many of the born-again believers that I have met over the years had grown up in these churches that they refer to as “hypercalvinist.” Some have left those churches for other churches with a more evangelical message. Others have chosen to stay in the traditional churches in hopes of being a testimony to the people there. Thank God that He can get a hold of someone’s heart who his open to Him!
The First Sunday Service
I made it to the Netherlands safely after two flights and reconnected with many of my friends and ministry partners after a year and a half. The next morning, I preached in a church for the first time in the town of Ermelo. They have a vibrant community of young families who prioritize relationships with one another. Each week, they take communion together, worship, eat a meal and then fellowship at each other’s homes into the afternoon. The church has a policy that if their attendance grows close to 100 people, they will split off, as they do not want to grow too large to keep their intimacy. They already started a sister church for this reason. I spoke from Matthew 12 about Jesus’ clash with the Pharisees over the issue of the Sabbath and talked about the difference between religion and relationship. I had a chance to go to the elder’s home and have a great time of fellowship with many of the believers. It was a blessing to connect with many of the students from my previous trips to the Netherlands, some even from my first trip in 2017. It was humbling to hear how many of them could still remember some of the things I taught and they shared how it had impacted their lives, glory to God!
Teaching at the Gospel Mission Bible School
The next day, I began teaching a series of six lessons with the Gospel Mission Bible School students. These lessons took place Monday-Wednesday for three hours in the morning. My previous trips have all been in November, so this trip was unique in that I was teaching on the final week of their school year. At the end of the week, they would all pack up after a year of study and head to other parts of the Netherlands and some even in other countries to serve the Lord. To hear their zeal for the Gospel and willingness to sacrifice to serve the Lord was very encouraging. The weeks’ lessons were all based on the topic of “Principles for the Worker in God’s Vineyard.” I taught on the fear of man, finances, loving the people you serve, pride and humility, prayer and fasting and several other topics. The students were hungry to learn and had some very thoughtful questions and comments. It was a blessing to get to know them, just before they launched out into their own ministry assignments.
Men’s Night with Heart for the Family
On Tuesday evening, I was invited by Job, the leader of a ministry called Heart for the Family, to speak to a group of men on the topic, “Men, Rise Up!” I’ve worked with their ministry several times in the past, and I so appreciate Job’s heart to provide quality ministry to families in the Netherlands. We traveled to a town called Krimpen aan den IJssel. After a time of food, prayer and fellowship at the home of some friends, we headed to the meeting. Gideon was my translator for the night, and he did a great job. Quite a few men came out, some I’ve met in the past, and others I met for the first time. I shared twelve principles from the story of Nehemiah that reveal how men can rise up to their calling from the Lord to be the men He created them to be. The men were very responsive and our time of small group discussion after the message showed their desire to apply the principles to their own lives. It was a great night of ministry and we left encouraged that the Lord had spoken to many hearts.
Church Service in Westkapelle
The following evening I left with Arjan, the leader of HeartCry Ministries. I met Arjan on my first trip to the Netherlands and God has used him in a great way to foster of movement of young people in the country with a desire to know and serve the Lord. We travelled to Westkapelle, a beautiful town right on the ocean in south Holland with an evangelist friend of ours named Arthur. Before the service, we had time to pray along the ocean and have some food and fellowship. We had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a young man in an ice cream shop. He was clearly searching for meaning in his life, and we had a chance to share testimony and talk about what Jesus had done in our lives. He allowed us to pray with him and we asked the Lord to reveal Himself in a tangible way to the young man.
We then went to a church in the nearby neighborhood, where I spoke on the life of Solomon. I shared about his life and how he had so much potential in the Lord, being blessed with such wisdom and influence, and yet he used it for personal gain and his life ended on a downward spiral. I warned the people to make sure that we all stay true to the Lord, obeying the Word, keeping our passions in check and submitting our wills to His. It was a great service and a blessing to meet Pastor Jochem, who translated me, as well as his congregation.
The next morning, I took a train to Amsterdam to attend the Amsterdam23 conference. A couple of months ago, I connected with the lead evangelist of our denomination, and he mentioned that there would be a big evangelistic conference in Amsterdam in June. It just happened to be on the week that I was already in the Netherlands, so I felt that the Lord was wanting me to attend. Thursday was the only day I had free, so I went to the conference all that day. It was an amazing experience. Thousands of believers from 80 countries had come together to discuss how we can reach the world with the Gospel. There were some big services, breakout sessions and collaborative group discussions on the topic of evangelism. I was able to connect with many people and was so encouraged in my own life and ministry. To be able to meet people from all different countries, with one important focus, was a beautiful experience. I had a difficult time finding the series of trains to get back to the Bible School, but the Lord had me bump into a man named Wim, who guided me through the train stations as well as drove me back to the Bible School that night. The entire time, we were sharing testimonies with each other. He had an amazing testimony of how the Lord had saved him, and so many stories of the Lord’s provision and guidance throughout his life. It was certainly a divine connection, and I was very grateful to have met him.
The Filadelfia Bible School Conference
The final weekend of the trip, we had a conference for the Filadelfia Bible School students. I spoke three messages on the topic of Discipleship. There were about 80 students in attendance, and we had a wonderful weekend together. My good friend and the leader of the school, Leander, translated me for the messages. It is always a rich blessing to minister together, and have deep conversations about our hearts throughout the trip. My messages were on the Call, the Work and the Heart of the Disciple. I really enjoyed speaking on what it means to truly follow Jesus as well as give practical instruction on how to develop an evangelistic lifestyle. Throughout the weekend, I had a chance to talk one-on-one with many people. Whenever I share my testimony, it is not uncommon for a man to pull me aside for ministry because he is struggling with sexual sin in his life. I had several of those discussions that weekend and I believe that the Lord really ministered to many. One young man in particular had a huge breakthrough in his spiritual life during the conference. God is so good! We had some time for fellowship as well as an afternoon to play sports, and I ended up playing volleyball for a couple of hours, which was a lot of fun.
My final message on the heart was one that I had struggled with the whole time I was preparing for the trip. I wanted to share from the Sermon on the Mount, but I couldn’t seem to really nail down what the Lord wanted me to say. After delivering the message, we opened up a time for responding to the Lord, and several were deeply moved, kneeling down, praying and weeping before the Lord. I was grateful that the Lord used the message despite my own insecurities and being unsure about the message.
The Last Sunday Services
My final day of ministry was Sunday. Due to the Filadelfia conference continuing on that day, I wasn’t able to go with anyone into the city of Rotterdam. I borrowed a car and had to trust the Lord to get me where I needed to go. I first traveled to a Romanian congregation, led by a friend of mine named Chris. His wife is from Romania, and they started a church for people in the area who speak the Romanian language. This was the second time I had spoken at their church. I shared a message about making sure our intimacy with the Lord is kept the top priority in our lives. It was a blessing to be with them, and I always love hearing worship and prayer to the Lord in other languages.
After the service, I met with Pastor Hugo and his wife Ilse, the pastors of ACR Rotterdam Pentecostal church. I speak at their church every time I go to the Netherlands, but this was the first time we were able to spend some time together for fellowship. It was a rich time of conversation, as we spoke about ministry challenges as well as getting to know one another on more personal level. We spent the afternoon together, and I preached that night about keeping the fire of God burning in our lives. The people were very responsive. I prayed for many and the Holy Spirit spoke to many of them. One lady was in need of a house, and was in a very desperate situation. Pastor Hugo reached out a few days after the trip that the Lord had provided her with a beautiful home. What a faithful God we serve!
Overall, my fourth trip to the Netherlands proved to be very fruitful for the Kingdom. I have seen how the Lord has given me the unique ability to not only cross over cultural boundaries, but also to minister across denominational boundaries. It is such a blessing to be able to have fellowship with people from all areas of the church, because I can see how each part of the Body of Christ has strengths that we can all learn from. Sometimes, we allow our differences to keep us from coming together as one. But all of us have some to offer the Body of Christ, and my prayer is that we would all take time to fellowship with believers from other backgrounds. I’m encouraged to see how the Lord is continuing to raise up young people in the Netherlands with a calling on their lives, and how He is bringing people of all ages into a saving faith. Despite the enemy’s attack on the country, God is at work, and I believe the seeds that were planted on the trip will come to harvest in God’s timing.
Thank you to each of you who prayed for the trip as well as financially support Make Way Ministries. Trips like this do not happen without the prayer and financial support of people who give their time and money sacrificially so that lives can be touched around the world. To make a tax-deductible gift to Make Way Ministries to help us reach the nations for Christ, you can go to our Donate page.
Encouraging men to be who God created them to be!
I had the great privilege of speaking to a group of men at Knoxville Baptist Church in Williamstown, Kentucky. The church is located just a short distance from Pure Life Ministries’ residential campus. I had not previously met the pastor of the church until we connected for the worship night. Pastor Steve Kellam is a wonderful man of God with a passion to see men rise up to be who God is calling them to be. He set up this men’s worship night and invited several churches to bring out their men to receive from the Lord.
We had a large group of men come out, a mixture of Pure Life students and staff, as well as pastors and men from Knoxville Baptist and other churches. I always enjoy ministering to men because I have seen first-hand what can happen when a man gets on fire for the Lord and lives out his calling. I truly believe there is a demonic attack on men in our society in an effort to keep them from fulfilling their God-given destinies. We need to be vigilant about the tactics of the enemy to keep us from living out our potential for the Lord.
I spoke a message about the heart of a man. The Bible has much to say about our hearts. A heart that is neglected can never accomplish the will of God. We need to take time to evaluate our hearts before the Lord. I spoke about several heart conditions that we are warned about from the Word of God, citing examples of biblical figures who dealt with these challenges. The men were very receptive. We had a great time of worship and prayer together. I believe the Lord did something in the lives of the men who attended the meeting. I’m grateful that the Lord is able to use much of what I have walked through to serve as a warning and a wake-up call to men in the church.
I’m grateful for men of God like Pastor Steve who is intentional about stirring the hearts of men to fulfill their purpose for the Lord. What a blessed night we had together!
Challenging the next generation to stand for God!
I was honored to have the opportunity to preach the chapel services for the middle and high school students at East Dayton Christian School in Riverside, Ohio. My wife and I are huge fans of the school and are so blessed to have our daughters attending EDCS. The schools’ commitment to educate the students from a biblical worldview is much needed in today’s culture.
I had a heavy message on my heart for the chapels. The Lord led me to speak on the faith and commitment of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the face of the fiery furnace from Daniel 3. I spoke about the reality of the two spiritual kingdoms that exist: God’s Kingdom and the kingdom of this world. I encouraged the young people to make sure they are so grounded in their faith that they too could stand before persecution and remain true to the Lord.
Our young people today are constantly getting bombarded with messages from this world that are contrary to biblical teaching. I challenged them to make a decision about whether or not they believe that the Bible is truly the Word of God. And if it is, they need to spend far more time in the Word of God, hearing His wisdom, than on social media and other entertainment, hearing the wisdom of this world.
In both chapels, I gave a call for young people who wanted to take a stand for Jesus to stand in their seats so I could pray for them. In both chapels, several stood, and we prayed for courage and resolve for each of them. I felt led to give a simple altar call for salvation or rededication in the high school chapel. Several young people raised their hands for prayer. I believe the Lord stirred the hearts of many students that day. Lord, raise up a generation of young people who won’t bow down to the ungodly culture around them!
Please keep the young people in your own family, church and communities in prayer. Pray that they will have such a deep conviction in the truth of God’s Word and the reality of His presence that they too could stand strong for Jesus in their generation!
A call to life of sobriety and intimacy with God in these end days.
Close to nine hundred people gathered at the Ark Encounter in April for Pure Life Ministries’ 23rd Annual Conference. The theme this year was “The World is Passing Away,” taken from 1 John 2:17. I’m amazed every year at how the Holy Spirit orchestrates every aspect of the conference. This was the first year that I preached the final plenary session, which gave me the opportunity to hear the other speakers share what God had put on their hearts before I preached. So much of what they shared lined up perfectly with what I planned to share. He is so faithful!
On Thursday night, I had the opportunity to emcee the Pre-Conference, which took place at Mount Olivet Church close to the Ark Encounter. Pastor Jeff and Rose Colon, leaders of the Lighthouse Church on the Rock in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, shared two messages from 2 Peter. They shared principles of growing in our faith and gave a clear call to make sure we are standing strong on the Word of God in the current culture. The final session was a Q and A with Jeff and Rose as well as Shawn and Susan Smith, which provided us with some very practical advice on marriage and parenting. It was a great beginning to the weekend.
Steve Gallagher shared the opening message on Friday morning, called “The Probationary Nature of Earth Life.” He painted a clear picture of the transitory and fallen nature of the world around us. His call to live in the secret place with God always stirs me to make sure prayer is a top priority in my life. The Lord has really used Pastor Steve’s ministry to impact my own view of a biblical concept of the world system. If you have not read his book, “Intoxicated With Babylon,” I would highly encourage it. You can watch an interview I did with him about it at this link.
Dave Leopold, from the Faith Homes in Zion, Illinois shared a message with the men called “Preparing for the Day of the Lord.” He challenged us to make sure that our eschatology is not focused on a specific timeline of end times events, but rather that we are walking in humility and intimacy with God. He said the preparedness of our hearts is of utmost importance. And he explained to us that when God calls us to live in humility, He is asking us to come down to where He already is. The lower we go, the better a revelation of the Lord we will have.
Ofer Amitai, Pastor of Pastor at El Roii Congregation in Jerusalem, spoke two messages. The first one was called “Bearing the Cross by Seeing the Christ.” He beautifully described the work of redemption that Christ made possible through His death and resurrection. He talked about the importance of dying to ourselves, but doing it with our focus on Jesus, not on our own effort. One thing that stuck out to me was when he said, “We don’t need to try harder, we need to die better.”
His second message was from Mark chapters 12-14, called “Giving Your All.” He explained that there was an intentional reason for placing the story of the widow’s mite at the end of chapter 12 and the anointing of Jesus at Bethany at the beginning of chapter 14 as bookends around Jesus’ explanation of the end times in Matthew 13. He shared that he believes that the Holy Spirit meant for us to see the importance of pouring out all for Jesus, whether we have much or little. The sacrifice of these two women is meant to be a challenge to each of us about the condition of our hearts in the end days.
The message that I shared was called, “Ready or Not,” and was actually given to me by the Lord many months before the conference. I had two specific messages on my heart back in October of last year as I prepared for a trip to Brazil. I was able to get one of them together for the trip, but the other one didn’t come together in time, although I felt compelled to preach it. I was on the balcony of Pure Life Brazil’s property, and I asked the Lord about that incomplete message. I felt Him speak to my heart, “That one is for the Pure Life Conference.” So, I spent the following months praying and preparing that message based on the Parable of the 12 Virgins for the conference.
In my message, I addressed three themes that I believe Jesus was speaking about in the parable: Preparation, Procrastination and Participation. I gave a strong call to live separate from the world system and to make practical, lifestyle-changing decisions in order to pursue holiness. At the end of the message, a burden for the American church came upon and I interceded for the Body of Christ in brokenness. The atmosphere was heavy, but the Lord touched many hearts. I had several thank me for being willing to stand up for the truth even when it is unpopular.
That night, we had the annual Alumni and Friends Banquet, and as always, the Lord touched my heart through the singing of the choir from the guys in the program. A powerful video testimony was shown of Frank Leonetti, who graduated from Pure Life over a decade ago and has had opportunities to travel the world sharing the Gospel. It is amazing to see what the Lord can do with a life that is surrendered to Him.
It was a blessing to see so many friends and to worship the Lord and be challenged by His Word together. The conference is always preceded and proceeded with spiritual warfare, but the Lord is faithful to bring us through. One man at the conference said he would pray for me because I was “attacking the enemy’s territory.” When the enemy comes to try to interfere with what God is doing, it is confirmation that I’m on the right path. I so appreciate all who are interceding for Make Way Ministries as we continue to walk through the doors that the Lord opens. Your prayers are more valuable that you could ever know.
If you would like to become one of our monthly partners who help us do the work that God has called us to do, please visit our secure giving portal on our Donate page.
God Moved in Latin America!
My first trip to the country of Nicaragua was one I’m certain I’ll never forget. It is always interesting to travel to a country that I have never been to before. Without knowledge of the culture and the ministry setting in advance, it’s hard to picture what it will be like. I love experiencing new cultures and meeting people from other parts of the world. Nicaragua is one of the most impoverished countries in Latin and North America. Life is simple and finances are a challenge for many. But despite the extreme poverty, most of the Nicaraguans I encountered were meek, grateful and warm people. It was a pleasure to meet so many Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in Christ. I was invited by Rob and Nita Wehrley who serve as missionaries with Project Samuel. They have been working in the country for the last few years. Although I have followed their work for some time, it was such a blessing to be able to experience it firsthand.
The trip was packed with preaching opportunities. My first service was on the night of my arrival. We traveled to a small church called Iglesia Immanuel in Managua. The people there were very hungry for the Lord. I preached a message about the blood of Jesus, and the people responded enthusiastically to the preaching of the Word. We had a great time of altar ministry, and many came forward asking me to pray for their marriages, families and to receive a touch from the Holy Spirit. One young man in particular responded, who I later found out came from a very broken home and was walking through an intense season of temptation. I believe the Lord worked in his life that night. It was a great time of ministry, and we all left very encouraged. One of their leaders, Henry, had us over to his home afterwards and we enjoyed a home cooked meal and great fellowship.
The next morning, we went to a village that is built right next to a landfill. The people in the community try to eke out a living by going through the trash to find things they can recycle. Rob and Nita have a lunch program where they provide a meal for the children in the community once a week. We were able to serve around 80 children that day. Afterwards, the kids sat down to do coloring sheets and listen to a story from the Bible from Rob. The children were so sweet and excited. Rob has a great passion for the next generation to learn the Scriptures, and it shows in the work that they do.
That evening, I preached at an outdoor evangelistic service at Alpha y Omega Pentecostal Church. In Nicaragua, the church has the right to preach the Gospel anywhere that they want. Many churches have indoor services in their buildings, but also hold open air meetings where they setup speakers and have services right on the street. That night, after a time of vibrant worship and prayer, I preached a message about fully surrendering our lives to Christ. Throughout the message, I noticed a man sitting on the hood of a car a block away with a young girl. When I gave the call for salvation, no one responded. We prayed for some other needs in the church, but I asked my translator to go with me to talk to that man. We introduced ourselves and asked him about his story. He said that he was not where he needs to be with the Lord. We asked him why he didn’t respond, and he said, “There will be another church service tomorrow, maybe I will respond then.” We encouraged him that today is the day of salvation, and he said, “Maybe I should do it now.” He and his daughter came with us back to the meeting and made a decision for Christ that night. As I ministered to him, tears filled his eyes. The Lord did something in that man’s life that night, glory to God! The next morning, the Lord spoke to me that the way I left the church people to go after that one man was a picture of how He leaves the 99 for the 1. I’m so grateful for the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We found out that the men’s service we had scheduled for Saturday night fell through. We had a sense that the Lord was redirecting the ministry, but we had to pray and wait to see what He would do. During the day, we went to a local mission property called Pan Mission, where Rob and Nita hosted a Bible League for young people from several churches in the area. It was great to see so many young people, who had memorized many Scriptures and Bible facts in order to compete with their knowledge. What really blessed me was the church from the landfill. Their pastor was so proud of the students from their church. The kids had never been a part of something like that, so it was a big deal to them to get invited to a competition. It was a great day.
That night, another opportunity did come up and I was invited to speak at a gathering at Pan Mission. A group of Pentecostal churches was meeting for a quarterly service and asked me to come and minister. It ended up being one of the most powerful services I can remember being a part of. Several hundred people came together, and when the worship began, the hunger of the people brought the presence of God into the church in a tangible way. Their worship team was on fire, and many people were touched during the time of worship. Something so unique and beautiful happened to several people as the Holy Spirit moved on them. The best way I can explain it is they would worship the Lord in a spontaneous, ecstatic form of dance. A little girl, probably six years old, began to dance before the Lord in a child-like excitement that was so precious to watch. I preached a message about believing God to use us in signs and wonders as we step out in faith and preach the Gospel to people in our lives. The people were very engaged. We prayed for many people during the altar time. One young girl, whose body had been crippled due to brain lesions touched my heart as we prayed for her to believe that God would do a work in her body. I’m able to keep in contact with her through Jonathan, my translator, and will continue to believe for a miracle in her life. Also during that altar time, I heard a demon manifesting out of a man behind me. I turned around, and a pastor was ministering to him. That night, he got completely delivered to the glory of God!
The next morning, I preached at the church that meets in the village by the landfill. The pastor of that church had a great spirit about him and really loved the people of the community. It was a small, humble gathering of people. I preached about the power of the blood of Jesus and the people were very encouraged. At the end, we prayed for two ladies who testified that the Lord healed them. One had something going on in her shoulder and the other in her stomach. God is so good! One of the young adults came forward and she was completely broken due to some emotional things she was walking through. We prayed for her, and the love of God touched her in a deep and intimate way. It was beautiful to see the Lord ministering to His people in that small village. During worship, I had the thought that Sundays must be God’s favorite day on the earth because, all around the world throughout the day, all tribes, tongues and nations are worshipping Him. Rob shared a powerful word for the church that God had not forgotten them and that they are special to Him. The presence of the Lord was evident in that service.
The next day, we took some time to go the top of an active volcano. There are actually 19 volcanos in Nicaragua, some active and some not. Although you cannot see the lava during the day, the size of the volcano was massive and seeing the sulfur smoke rise out of it was a very unique experience.
That evening, I preached at my translator, Jonathan’s church in Managua. It was another outdoor evangelistic service. I shared about the parable of the prodigal son, along with some of my testimony. About halfway through the message, a man who was obviously intoxicated came and stood by the crowd, listening to every word I said. When I gave the altar call, the man came forward, got down on his hands and knees and we prayed with him for salvation. Praise the Lord! During the altar time, a man came forward and said he had pain in his arm. As we prayed for him, his arm starting moving quickly up and down. When I asked him if he had any pain, he explained to the translator that he hadn’t been able to move his arm when he came forward. Now he was able to freely move it around! Afterwards, we went to talk to some people on the streets. I prayed with a husband and wife who wanted to rededicate their lives to Christ. Another young father was standing close by. He said that when we came over to him, he felt the love of God calling the man back to Himself. It was a great night in the Lord.
The final day that I was there, we went back to Pan Mission for a minister’s conference that was going to take place on a weekly basis. Rob was going to be teaching on eschatology in the coming weeks, and they invited me to open the conference. I spoke to about 50 ministers about our responsibility to guard the fire of God in our lives, families and churches. I gave some practical advice from my own experience about how to prevent the flames of passion for the Lord from fading. I felt led to pray for each of them, and the Lord touched many. One young man broke down in tears in my arms, and the Lord did something special for him that day.
That evening, we headed to Tipitapa for the final meeting of the trip. The pastor of the church invited me to speak with men from his church and other churches who attended. That night, I shared my testimony and gave some practical advice on living a life of purity as a man. At the end, the men were hesitant to respond for prayer. Jonathan shared that it is important for men to be honest and to realize that everyone needs something from the Lord. The men let their guard down and most of them came forward for a time of ministry.
As I boarded the plane to come back to the United States, I was overwhelmed at the goodness and faithfulness of God. To look back at such an amazing time of ministry, and to see Him work in the way that only He can, is both humbling and encouraging. We are already making plans for a possible second trip to Nicaragua next year. The Lord has been so good to our ministry. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who is praying and giving so that we can do what God has called us to do. We have an amazing team of supporters that make trips like this happen.
For more information about Rob and Nita’s work in the country of Nicaragua, please click this link to follow them on Facebook.
To make a tax-deductible gift to Make Way Ministries to help us reach the nations for Christ, you can go to our Donate page.
A great time of sharing the truth of God’s Word with families!
I had the opportunity to travel to Carol Stream, Illinois to speak at a conference put together for homeschool families by the Illinois Home Educators Association. I teamed up with Pure Life Ministries, and one of their staff members, Brooks and I traveled up to the Chicago area to take part in the conference, called “Engaging Culture: Pornography.” I had never spoken to a mixed crowd of teens and adults on purity, so this conference was different than anything I had been apart of in the past. It was a different dynamic, but it ended up being a blessed time of ministry.
A brother in the Lord named Brad shared a powerful testimony of the work that the Lord had done in his life to open the conference. During my first session, I shared my testimony and also talked about God’s design for sexual intimacy. I shared many Scriptures, starting in the book of Genesis, to talk about the boundaries that the Lord has set for sexual relations. Then I spoke about what the Bible teaches about sexual sin and the dangers of trying to experience sex outside of God’s boundaries. This is a message that is desperately needed in our day.
The second session was about how to get free for those who are struggling with sexual sin. I shared from the life of David and pulled principles about repentance from Psalm 51. At the end, we gave a call for anyone who needed prayer to come forward. Several responded. There was a sweet atmosphere as we spent time seeking the Lord and sitting in His presence. Some of the attendees had driven several hours to attend the event, and they came ready to receive from the Lord. I believe the Lord ministered to many hearts that afternoon and several shared with me personally about how He had been dealing with them.
The last session was about how to protect our lives and our families, not only from sexual sin, but also worldliness in general. I shared five principles from the story of Nehemiah about building a wall of protection around our lives and homes. I also talked about specific software, technology and boundaries that we can put into place in our own lives and households to keep the lustful spirit of this world out.
We closed with a question and answer session, and you could tell from the questions that people were really trying to digest and apply the principles form the conference to their own lives. I met some wonderful people and am grateful to have had an opportunity to share from the Word of God with their group. It was refreshing to be with people with a sincere desire to live a life of purity in this corrupt world.
God is moving in Kansas City!
We had a powerful weekend at The River Church of Kansas City. The Lead Pastor of the church. Bruce Craig, and I go back many years. He and his family planted The River about a year ago, and have experienced many miracles of provision from the Lord. They now have a healthy, growing congregation who are hungry for the presence of God.
I flew out to Kansas City and conducted services on a Friday and Saturday for men. My first session was on the topic of purity. I felt compelled to share my testimony and then spoke about life lessons from the story of King Solomon. During the worship, the Lord laid it on my heart that one of the men who was attending was dealing with suicidal thoughts. When I asked the men if any of them were willing to acknowledge that so we could pray, no one responded. I found out after the service that a young man who came up to the altar for prayer at the end of the service had actually planned to kill himself within a set amount of days. He wasn’t in the room when I shared what God had put on my heart, but the Lord drew him to the church supernaturally and I believe he experienced a touch from the Lord that night. I gave a call for repentance and a fresh touch from God, and many of the men came forward, crying out to the Lord passionately.
The next morning, I spoke on the topic of holiness. I challenged the men to examine their lives for doors that are open to the spirit of the world. We gathered together to pray for one another in small groups and many opened up to receive prayer for their own personal challenges. After the session, many of the men expressed their gratitude for a message that boldly called them to live a life separated from this world. One of the older gentleman said, “I want to thank you for stepping on my toes. I need it.” It was wonderful to be with a group of men who are sensitive to the Lord and open to His leading.
On Sunday morning, I preached a message about the blood of Jesus. It was a wonderful service and the presence of the Lord was evident. At the end, I gave a call to salvation/ rededication. One young man boldly came forward and we prayed for a fresh start in his life. During the altar time, I prayed for many people for a variety of things. One young man came forward to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In just a few moments after beginning to pray, he began to speak in tongues. I was told he had been seeking the baptism for some time. God is so good!
That evening, I preached a message about protecting the fire of God in our lives. I talked about the importance of staying on fire in a spiritual atmosphere that wants to put the fire out. At the end, kids and adults both came forward for prayer and even young children were touched by the Holy Spirit. We had a wonderful time of worship and seeking God’s face, and the presence of God was heavy in that place. A young man who came out to the service that night admitted to being backslidden and prayed to recommit his life to Christ. God is still in the business of saving souls, and heaven rejoices when one sinner comes home.
So many things happened during the weekend in Kansas City. It is such a blessing to see God touch lives. It is always refreshing to minister in an atmosphere where people are hungry for the presence of God. And He is always faithful to show up when we give Him a chance to do so! Thank you to everyone who is praying and supporting Make Way Ministries. Heaven is being impacted and God is on the move!
What a powerful four days of ministry at Pure Life Ministries!
I was invited to conduct four days of special services for the students at Pure Life Ministries in Dry Ridge, KY. It was an incredible weekend and left me so grateful to the Lord for all He accomplished, and also grateful to those who are interceding for our ministry. Every trip has its own unique challenges and spiritual warfare. On this trip, I spent nearly all my free time praying and preparing the messages for the meetings. And although I sometimes felt that it would be impossible to get prepared in time, every time I stepped into the pulpit, the message for that night was ready and God showed up. I know that there were people praying for me, and some even said they felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray that weekend. Thank you so much for all who are regularly lifting Make Way Ministries up in prayer. You play such an important role in what God is doing.
The Lord laid it on my heart to do a series on the life of David called, “A Man After God’s Own Heart.” In preparation for the services, I read through the life of David, specifically looking for the qualities in his life that would give him this testimony in God’s eyes (1 Samuel 13:14). My study revealed that the Lord spoke this word about David through the prophet Samuel in a message to King Saul after he had been rejected by God as king. So, in keeping with the context of the verse, I contrasted David and Saul’s hearts in each message.
In the first message, I spoke about David’s unwavering faith that was on full display in his battle with Goliath. Although we will not have to face a literal giant, all of us are facing things in our lives that are bigger than us and we need to learn to look to the God who is able to win every battle. The second message was about David’s willingness to submit to God’s will, even when he was tempted to take matters into his own hands. Although David had a very challenging season in his life as he was being pursued by King Saul, he continued to look to the Lord for direction and submitted to God’s will. The third message was from the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband. I spoke about the importance of having a repentant heart, and throwing ourselves at the mercy of God. The final message was on a lifestyle of worship, which David clearly embodied throughout his life. I encouraged the men to develop a life in which a passionate pursuit of God is normal.
The Holy Spirit was faithful to anoint each message and used it to encourage and challenge all of us. On Saturday night, when I gave the altar call for repentance, so many men came rushing forward and fell on their faces to cry out to God in repentance and brokenness. It was a beautiful sight, and I know that the Lord was doing a deep work in many of them. After the final message on Sunday, we had a time of celebratory worship together, thanking God for all that He had accomplished. As we worshipped, the glory of God came into the room, and I was so overwhelmed at the goodness of God. I’m confident that heaven was enlarged by all that the Lord did over the weekend. And I’m humbled and grateful to play a part in what God is doing on the earth today.
Again, I want to sincerely thank each of you for continuing to pray for Make Way Ministries. It is the prayers and financial support of people like you who allow us to do what we do. Please consider a one-time or monthly contribution by going to our Donate page. Lives are being impacted and changed by your prayers and your giving!
If you or someone you know is struggling with sexual sin and desiring freedom, click on Pure Life’s logo below to be taken to their website:
God is stirring the hearts of His people to share their faith with the lost!
On January 29th, I was invited by Pastor Jeff Colon to speak at Lighthouse on the Rock Fellowship in Dry Ridge, KY on the topic of evangelism. The mission of Make Way Ministries is: “We seek to inspire the Body of Christ to awaken, mature and arise as we make way for our soon-coming King, Jesus Christ.” One of the ways that we encourage the church to arise is through practical training on ways to share Jesus with the world around them. I believe the church in the West has become too introverted, and we need to get out of the walls of the church to make sure the light of Jesus is shining brightly in the world. In my message to Lighthouse Fellowship, I explained how the four walls of the church have become the enemy of the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our generation. We’ve become far too comfortable in our churches among fellow believers while the world perishes outside. The early church provides us with a powerful example of Christians who boldly lived their lives for Jesus in the midst of a wicked culture. I encouraged all of us to take their example and apply it to our lives, believing for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to assist us in developing an evangelistic lifestyle.
After the message, I shared some practical tips on how to share the love of Christ with people we come in contact with. I gave many examples of what I have seen the Lord do as I stepped out of my own comfort zone to share Jesus. It was a great morning of ministry. I’m grateful for the hearts that we stirred. I was told by Pastor Jeff that the following Saturday several from the church went to a local mall to believe God for encounters with people who needed to hear about Jesus. It is a blessing to know that God is doing a work in the hearts of His children to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ out to the world around them.
Thank you for continuing to pray for our ministry as well. It is the prayers and financial support of people like you who allow us to do what we do. Please consider a one-time or monthly contribution by going to our Donate page. Lives are being impacted and changed by your giving!
When the opportunity was presented for me to work with Pure Life Ministries in Brazil, I felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to take the trip. I had no idea how much He had in store. As always, He was so faithful to do what only He can do. I am humbled and grateful to be a vessel that the Holy Spirit can flow through.
Arriving in Brazil
The spiritual warfare on these trips is very evident. In fact, on the final leg of my trip, I looked out the window at the city of Brasilia, and in my thoughts I could hear a voice that was so pronounced, telling me, “Who do you think you are to fly out here? You have nothing to give to these people. This was all a mistake.” I had to agree with the voice that—in my own strength—I truly did not have anything to bring to the people in Brazil. But because the Lord had called me, and had given me a burden and anointing to minister, I knew this was just an attack of the enemy to try to get me to doubt. This is one reason why it is so vital to have our ministry champions praying before and during the trip. Paul tells us we are in a battle and that we fight with spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Thank you to all who stand in the gap for Make Way Ministries!
I was picked up at the airport by Pastor and the President of Pure Life Brazil, Airton Barboza. He is a great brother in the Lord with a passion to see God move in his country. He brought me to the Pure Life residential house where five students and two staff members live. I had the opportunity to meet the students and take a walk with them through the town of Brazlândia that first evening. It was a great to get to know them through a couple of the students who were able to translate from English to Portuguese. We had an intimate chapel service together on the property.
Friday Night in Goiânia
My first service was in a city about an hour away from the PLM house. I was invited to a large Assemblies of God church to speak at a conference they were having about “Values We Cannot Compromise.” I shared my testimony and about our need to live in transparency and integrity. I talked about how the spirit of the world is trying to draw believers away from their sincere pursuit of the Lord. At the end, a couple of men came forward, asking for prayer for issues they were experiencing in their lives. The church was very receptive and it was a blessing to be with them.
That Sunday morning, I spoke at Pastor Airton’s Reformed Church in Taguatinga. The Lord had given me a message as I prepared for the trip called, “Don’t Let the Fire Burn Out.” The message came out of a few verses in Leviticus 6. I preached the message for the first time at their church. The people were very receptive and there was a good spirit in the service. Pastor Airton’s nephew, Victor, was my translator for much of the trip, and did a great job communicating the message to the people in Portuguese.
That evening, I spoke at a Presbyterian Church in the area. The church was going through the “five solas” of the Protestant Reformation, and asked me to preach on “solas Christus.” I shared a message about the reason that only Jesus is sufficient and worthy of worship out of Revelation 5. It was a blessing on this trip to have the opportunity to speak in five different denominations and experience how each worshipped in a unique way.
The following day, I traveled with the Director and one of the staff members of Pure Life Brazil, Paulo and Fred, to a city called Caldas Novas. It was a five-hour drive, and I ended up as the driver, which required I quickly remember how to drive a manual transmission and learn how to adjust to traveling on the roads of Brazil. With frequent traffic cameras and speedbumps, it was a different pace than I’m used to. But we arrived safely, and met the staff of an Assembly of God Church there.
Pastor Andre and his staff had a huge spread of food prepared for us and we enjoyed fellowshipping together. That night, I preached at a youth meeting at their church. There were probably around 500 young people gathered together. I preached a message the Lord gave me about making sure that we stand for the Word of God, even when we live in a world of conflicting messages. I talked specifically about sexuality and other areas where the world’s message opposes the Word of God. I gave an altar call for salvation and several young people responded, some with tears. One of the young ladies came to me after the service and said that she had been invited by a friend and wasn’t sure she wanted to come, but then she felt the Lord drawing her to give her heart to Jesus. She was very grateful that she had been there that night. I also gave a call to the young people who wanted to come forward to take a stand for Jesus in their time. Many came forward, and we had a great time of ministry. The Holy Spirit touched many of them.
The next night was open to the whole church. I shared a message about keeping the fire of God in our lives burning. I closed with a call to repentance, and many people cried out to the Lord. Several came forward and responded to Him when the altar call was given.
The third and final night, I shared about the need for God’s people to walk in faith and in their God-given authority to reach the world around us for Jesus. That night, the altars were filled. Twelve people were baptized in the Holy Spirit and many others were touched with fresh fire from heaven.
Our time in that city was really wonderful. The people were very receptive and the fellowship we experienced together along with Pastor Andre and his wife, was special. One day, Fred and I went to a local barber shop to get haircuts. We had an opportunity to minister to the one cutting our hair. The other barber asked us to pray with him as well. God gave Fred a word of encouragement for the other guy sitting in the barber chair next to us. It was a great reminder about how the Lord wants to show up in every day life.
Biblical Counseling Camp
We then travelled to a small area outside of Brasilia, where there was a Christian campground. Around thirty people came who were involved with biblical counseling from around the country to attend Pure Life Brazil’s first annual conference. I had the privilege of doing four sessions on the following topics: The Nature of Sexual Addiction, The Process of Repentance, Sexual Sin and Hypocrisy and Counseling Sex Addicts with Grace and Truth. The property where we stayed was designed as a place to seek the Lord, and there was a lot of time to pray and walk the property, which included a beautiful waterfall. There were eight other sessions taught by other ministers as well. It was a great time together and I enjoyed having a chance to meet many counselors and counselees from around Brazil.
Saturday and Sunday- IIR
We were invited to minister to a group of young people at a charismatic church in Brasilia. That Saturday night, we showed up and were warmly received by the leadership of the church. They were so appreciative of our willingness to come and share about topics that are often difficult to bring up in many church settings. I shared a strong message with the young people in the meeting about making a decision for God, despite the threat of persecution. Many of the youth came forward and were ministered to by the Holy Spirit at the end of the service. Many stayed behind to talk, along with two parents who were asking for advice on how to walk through a difficult situation with their daughter. That night, we stayed with one of the leaders of the church, Hamilton, and his wife and had a wonderful homemade Brazilian barbecue. The fellowship was sweet! The following morning we attended the Sunday morning service at IIR and enjoyed a rich time of deep worship and a great word from one of their staff members.
Sunday Night- Baptist Church
That night we travelled to a Baptist Church outside of Brazilia. We had a really wonderful service there. The people were very engaged in worship and with the message. I preached, “Don’t Let the Fire Go Out.” The people were receptive and the Pastor of the church led the people in a time of confessionary prayer after the sermon. His wife was blessed to share with me that she had just had a conversation with someone regarding what I had preached about and felt it was confirmation from the Lord. What a great night of ministry it was!
Monday Night- IIR Couple’s Meeting
I was so blessed to be invited to the home of the leaders of the charismatic church that I spoke at on Saturday night. They had asked around twenty couples from their leadership team to come to their home and asked me to share a message with them. That morning in prayer, the Lord gave me a revelatory word from Genesis 3. He showed me some things about marriage that I had never seen before. That night, I shared the story of our marriage as well as the teaching the Lord had given me. It was a very intimate time, and I believe that the Lord will use it in a tangible way in the lives of those couples.
My final day, I was able to spend with Pastor Airton and his family. I had a chance to visit some of the monuments in the capital city and eat some great food. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, and I hope to see them again in the future.
I came home so overwhelmed at the goodness of God. I could never have imagined how many lives He would touch on the trip or how my own spiritual life would be impacted. He truly did over and above anything that I had imagined. I’m so grateful and humbled to be used by Him to expand His Kingdom here on the earth.
This kind of trip could not have happened without our ministry champions who pray fervently and give generously to Make Way Ministries. If you would like to join us in reaching the world with the Gospel, please consider visiting our Donate page and sowing financially into our ministry.
If you want to watch my VIDEO VLOG through the trip onsite, I have it available on our YouTube Channel. Below is the first video in the series.