Category Archives: Christian outreach

Native missionaries go the extra mile in Liberia

To get to some of the most remote Liberian villages, a native missionary walks seven hours through the jungle.

“Sometimes we encounter mosquitoes, snakes or lions, among other animals,” the unnamed missionary told Christian Aid Mission (CAM). “We get sick. Idol worshippers sometimes threaten us, saying that if we don’t leave their village, they will kill us.

“We have to contend with all of that relying on God, the author and finisher of our faith.”

His willingness to endure hardship to bring the gospel to the unreached shows the value of “native missionaries” – locals who carry out the Great Commission to their nation. As a general rule, they are willing to suffer more than foreign missionaries and have the capacity to reach more people.

“In some places we go, there is nowhere to sleep; we just lie on the dirt floor,” says the unnamed ministry leader. “There may be no good, safe drinking water or light. When the battery in the flashlight I carry is finished, there’s nowhere to get additional light at all. There are no shops or stores in the jungle.”

In Liberia, 43% of the population follows an ethnic religion. About 40% are Christian, 12% of which is evangelical. Islam holds 12%.

But the labors of native missionaries are improving those statistics. Within a recent six-month period, the missionary and team led 270 people to confess their belief in Christ, the report says.

One recent convert formerly had lived like a prodigal. As a young girl, she wasted most of her life abusing drugs, alcohol and smoking.

“When I shared the gospel with her, I told her the story of the two sons in Luke 15, then I told her, if you will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive you, He will. Without hesitation, she immediately accepted the Lord Jesus, and she was baptized and is serving in the church as an usher, doing it with joy.”

How do the local missionaries make inroads into remote villages that are resistant to the Gospel? Sometimes, by farming… Read the rest: Missions in Liberia.

Robert Borelli, former mafioso

Despite being involved with the Brooklyn mafia, drug dealing, and losing his connection with his daughter, Robert Borelli made a 180 degree turn that changed the future course of his life.

“As a young kid growing up in Brooklyn, New York, being a small guy, I had to be a little rough kid. You had to learn how to fight,” Robert told DadTalk.

Robert’s neighborhood was tough and, unbeknownst to him initially, it was run by the Gambino crime family.

“They protected the neighborhood and got all the respect from just about everybody in it, including police officers.” Robert continues. “There was mutual respect between the officers and the mafia guys.”

Robert was well-liked by the mafia affiliates, and he often attended their social clubs to run errands.

“At the age of 17 years old, I started hanging out with one of the mob guys’ sons,” Robert says. “His dad often had a big spread every Friday night where all the wise guys from the neighborhood would come meet him and give him respect.”

Robert was impressed by the influence of the men there and was drawn towards the criminal lifestyle.

“My family had a hard time making ends meet. There were financial arguments in the house over rent, and at that age, that was not something I was looking forward to having for the rest of my life.”

Robert’s gravitated towards the mafia life, drawn by the respect, money, and nice clothes offered by it.

“See the people?” a mafia man told him one day as they observed some people at a bus stop. “They are the suckers; they have to go to work, and they give half their money to the government. We’re gonna keep that money for ourselves.’”

But by age 20, he was deep into trouble with the law. He had a murder case and possession of a weapon case. Prison offered the proof that he was good for the mafia because he didn’t “rat anybody out.”

So when he was released, he was ready to operate and scale up in the lifestyle portrayed fairly accurately, he says, by the movie “Goodfellas.”

“I was getting recognition,” Robert says. “I got involved in selling drugs.”

Robert was living a fast-paced life of partying, drugs, recognition and excitement. Robert demanded respect, and he would even resort to violence to get it. He wasn’t only running drugs; drugs were running him. He became a “crackhead.”

But then something happened that would change everything.

“In 1993, a little girl was born, my daughter, Brianna, and seven weeks into having her home, I walked out of her life to get high just for that night,” Robert states. “It ended up not being just for that night, and I ended up staying out getting high.”

Mom didn’t like his newly adopted lifestyle and forced him to stay away from their daughter so she wouldn’t get corrupted.

Finally the law caught up with Robert and he was Incarcerated for a long stint. He missed his daughter, but his wife wouldn’t let him talk to her on the prison phone.

“No matter if you’re a mobster or a crackhead, to walk out of your daughter’s life… Read the rest: Robert Borelli mafioso

Police comandos guard missionaries in Pakistan

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the healing miracles or the massive crowds that impressed me most. It wasn’t the amazing hospitality or the open door for the gospel.

What impressed me most was the burly guys with guns. Local authorities spontaneously assigned us a security detail, 10 police commandos with AK-47s and shotguns. They controlled the perimeter, loomed ominously on the platform, and escorted us about town with sirens blaring everywhere we went.

Why did three Americans and one Aussie get such protection? Because Pakistan harbors an unknown quantity of Muslim extremists who think they are doing the will of Allah by killing Christians. In 2002, extremists threw hand grenades in the Protestant International Church in nearby Islamabad, killing five.

Authorities in Faisalabad weren’t messing around.

On a recent trip to Pakistan in October, I found relations between Muslims and Christians are mostly tolerant. Around Christmas and Easter, however, as one pastor said, “there are a lot of problems.” These historically are dates for Islamist extremists to attack churches. I personally did not sense any hostility in five days of ministering in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a complex nation. It has a secular Constitution and affords some serious protective measures not only for Christians (representing 2% of the population) but all religious minorities (Shiites also face persecution from the Sunni majority).

I’m no stranger to danger. I maintained a low profile in Guatemala as a missionary for 15-and-a-half years. We successfully remained under the radar until a bank teller tipped off his crime syndicate associates, and they cornered us at a stop light. Four guys on two bullet bikes cased us. One guy hopped off the bike, banged his handgun against the window and demanded the bags. He knew where the cash was.

They got more than they bargained for. Unluckily in that backpack were records of bank transfers that – I believed – would make them want to come back for more. I was certain they would stage a kidnapping of my children, and I was unwilling to risk further ministry in the nation I had come to love.

Ten years later, the opportunity to go to Pakistan was different. It turns out that I didn’t need to leave my wedding ring at home. Petty crime doesn’t seem to be the much of a problem (unlike Guatemala). The problem? Jihadists.

I was told NOT to publish on Facebook dates and details of our October trip beforehand. I was warned to be very circumspect when asked questions by strangers. I am a teacher visiting for purpose of tourism, I was instructed to say. Nothing more.

I blew my cover anyway. There were two guys outside the pastor’s hotel room, and I assumed they were disciples from his church and conversed breezily with them. Just hours earlier at that same spot, there were disciples, and I didn’t recognize all the faces. Pastor didn’t know the new guys.

Pastor Sarfraz had a stern talk with me: Don’t tell random people the true reason of our visit. “Not everyone is good in Pakistan,” he cautioned.

I was more embarrassed than nervous. I had prided myself on being a smart secret agent for Jesus, a sort of Jesus 007.

Once on a trip to Cuba, I picked out exactly who was a mole and how she was baiting me to criticize the Cuban government but first bad-mouthing it herself. I wasn’t caught off guard. If I were to openly criticize it, no harm would come to me – it would come to my hosts. So, I disagreed with her, praising Cuba’s health and education system. Crisis averted.

Not so in Pakistan. In my naivete, I confessed sincerely that I had come to preach the gospel. That admission, if heard by the wrong people, could be dangerous. I never saw those two guys again, and I don’t know who they were. But nothing bad came of it either.

We were surrounded by elite police at every step outdoors. They walked in front of us, behind us and to the side of us. When I needed to use the restroom, an AK-47-toting, menacing-faced. dressed-in-all-black cop preceded me. He even checked the bathroom before I could go in to see what terrorist might be lurking inside.

No extremist got me. Traveler’s diarrhea did.

The only attack I suffered was a battle waged by either amoebas or too much curry spice in my guts. ☹

The security measures were elaborate. In addition to the cops, there was a group of 20 ushers who formed a ring around us outside of the ring of police. Holding hands to form a barrier against the crowd, they ran ahead of us to clear the way.

A friend in the United States says I was being treated like a rock star. But my mind compared it more to a presidential motorcade. For a few days, I felt like a celebrity. A celebrity missionary.

It was reassuring to count on these bodyguards. Initially, I was a bit nervous about going to Pakistan, and my wife was more than a little nervous.

As the days passed, these cops with mean faces began to smile, relax and enjoy themselves more. We took pictures together and became friends. We played cricket on the last day.

They heard the gospel, maybe for the first time in their lives. Now that they are my friends, I wouldn’t want them to miss the love of Jesus.

When you go into dangerous countries, you either go low profile or high profile. Low profile means you don’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. You don’t flaunt expensive cars. You try to blend in with the natives as much as possible… Read the rest: Police comandos protect missionaries in Pakistan.

Report from the brick fields of Pakistan

FAISALABAD, Pakistan — Kids as young as 2 years old are working in the brick-making fields of Pakistan. One man with a free school wants to change that.

Sarfraz Anwar’s father and brother started in the brick fields. To make bricks, they squat and grab a ball of moist clay-rich earth. They form it into a loaf, cover it with dry dust, and plop it into a mould. It is turned over and dropped onto the ground in long rows to bake under the blistering sun.

It’s a grueling job, and most who fall into this line of work never get out. Some get indebted to their employees when they borrow for their weddings (Pakistanis love 3-day ceremonies with much expenses). They spend the next decades of their life trying to pay off that debt, much like a student loan in America — only they become almost like slaves.

But Dad and Umar escaped the fields. They had a vision to work as Christian laborers. First Dad took at a double shift in security to raise money to launch a school for children that could be free. With whatever free time, he pedaled his bike to the brick fields and sprend the message of hope. Read the rest:

Read the rest: Brick fields in Pakistan.

How TikTok star Cristina Baker found Christ

From Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Christina Baker’s stepdad sent her with a one-way ticket to Maui, where reportedly her biological dad lived.

After waiting six hours to be picked up at the airport, Dad finally showed up.

“This is crazy that you’re here,” he told her as they drove from the airport. “I need to tell you something. I’m homeless and I’m living in a tent on the beach.”

That is how Christina’s life flowed into uncharted waters.

The bedlam began when her parents divorced. Mom flew straight to Bolivia. To the ache of not having her father, add the confusion of culture shock and language barriers.

“When my parents divorced, it really set me over the edge,” Christina said on a 100 Huntley Street video interview. “I was just drawn to the darkness because I felt that way inside.”

Christina took refuge in the Goth lifestyle with its emo depression.

“My life was totally spinning out of control,” she says. “He basically told me that I needed to leave his home.”

Underage drinking and clubbing caused her to run afoul of her stepdad, who sent her to Hawaii. Maybe he thought she would do better with her biological father, but he was in no place to help his daughter. He had been an oil executive, but drugs drove him to homelessness.

Christina lived with Dad homeless on the beach for some time.

Then she went from house to house sleeping on the couches of friends. She got in touch with her brother, who hooked her up with a local church.

That’s when she landed in the foster care system with Sharon Hess, who gave her a warm welcome and a warm bed at her home in 2001,

“We have two rules. Your curfew is 11:00 p.m. and you need to go to church with us,” Foster Mom told her.

“I just wanted a warm bed to sleep in at that point,” Christina remembers. “I looked around. I’m like, ‘I’m an atheist; I don’t believe in God.’ But I knew that if I wanted that warm bed and somewhere to stay that I needed to go to church with them.”

Sharon and the rest of the family didn’t judge her Goth clothes and makeup. They even let her wear all black to church. Little by little, the Word of God was planted in her heart, after three years in foster care.

“This woman loved me just the way I was,” Christina recalls. “She wasn’t trying to change the way I looked.”

After those three years, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she relapsed into drugs and soon found herself pregnant. She planned on an abortion when her drug dealer’s girlfriend showed her a report that the abortion doctor was being sued by the State of Texas because a 15-year-old patient died in his abortion chair.

“She pulled me and she said, ‘I know you don’t believe in God, but I’m begging you not to kill this child,” Christina remembers.

“His grace met me in my darkest moment. His grace met me in a moment where I didn’t believe.”

Christina became a functional drug addict. She worked and took care of Ethan, her newborn, and did drugs when nobody was watching. That worked for some time, until she got pulled over by police.

While she was awaiting trial on bail, a co-worker invited her to a Bible study. At the meeting, a man named Hillroy gave her a “word of knowledge,” a supernatural revelation about her present state of mind.

“What he didn’t know and what stunned me at that moment was that he didn’t know I was contemplating how to take my life that night,” Christina remembered. She still didn’t believe in God but couldn’t account for the supernatural knowledge of her inner thoughts.

So Christina went to the breakroom Bible study. When she entered, they were praying, which surprised her.

“If there is a God,” she thought, “These people have come face to face with him. It was so personal; it was so intimate; it was so passionate, something I had never in my life experienced or encountered.”

Hillroy read to her from Jeremiah: “This is a matter of life or death,” he told her.

Immediately, a mental picture of a car accident flashed through her mind, something that is a common reality for those who abuse alcohol.

“I was driving home drunk every day, Monday through Monday, from the bars,” she admits… Read the rest: How TikTok star Cristina Baker found Christ

A Bible left on the table saved Deon Howard from drugs

When half his friends carted off to college on sports scholarships, Deon Howard was stuck with the other half, the “knuckleheads,” who hung out at his father’s house taking drugs, breaking crystal tables, punching holes in the wall, and otherwise “disrespecting” his divorced father’s house while he was at work.

“It was so easy for me to have no motivation, no drive because everything was given to me,” Deon says on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “If you’re not moving in life, things will stack up on you and you’ll be in a desperate place.”

As an only child of a military family in Augusta, Georgia, “I was spoiled,” Deon says. “I was always on the receiving end of giving, giving. Because of that, I really struggled with being a giver.”

When he was 12, he got 84 gifts for Christmas. That’s right. Eighty-four.

About half of them he opened with his cousins. When he got home, some burglars had broken into their home and stole the TVs. What was Deon worried about? His gifts. None of them were touched.

While half his friends were bound for the NBA and NFL, Deon was bound to get into trouble. He was ineligible to play sports because of grades and poor behavior. He got kicked out of the 11th grade and had to go to a private school, which he called “bootleg,” founded by a PhD guy from Trinidad that “sold” high school degrees.

When Deon was 21, his parents got divorced. He never knew why his mom, a very private person, simply wrote a letter saying she would never come back. Always self-absorbed, Deon assumed she would come back and by the time he figured out she was never coming back, he was too lost in drugs, drinking and partying to worry anymore.

“It was a mess. Things got really crazy,” Deon says. “My house, if you didn’t know any better, you would’ve thought my house was a club. My dad wanted me to have some respect for his house, which I didn’t. Hangout spot was an understatement. I was disrespecting my father’s house.”

On any given day, upwards of 40 different cars were parked outside to gather, use drugs and gamble inside. Horse play broke the expensive glass table. “My dad would come to see holes in the walls,” Deon says. They would try to clean before Dad got home from work.

From age 20 to 24, that was Deon’s routine. At the clubs, he loved to dance.

“I loved my mom and dad, but I was out there,” he admits. “We grew up good kids. I had a good, middle-class home. I had no reason. I just had no business about myself. We were bums, these spoiled kids living in their parents’ homes. It’s not that I was missing meals; that wasn’t the case. I was just spoiled. It made me not have an urgency about life.”

He neither sold nor bought drugs; his friends just offered them for free. His occasionally used ecstasy.

The lifestyle began to wear on him. When he turned 24, a friend called and offered him a job in the Navy’s Shipyard in Newport News. The friend said he would “rig” a resume for him, enroll him in a sheet metal class, and he would be making $24 per hour – good money at the time.

Despite failing the sheet metal class, Deon’s connections got him the certificate and the job – at which he lasted 15 minutes before getting fired. He didn’t know the first thing about being a sheet metal mechanic.

“He gives me this paper, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I barely passed high school,” Deon says. “I don’t remember 5/16ths of an inch. So I’m going to fake it until I make it. But I’m about to sink this ship.

“He comes back and looks at it. He takes the badge off me and says, ‘This job is not for you,’” Deon remembers. “Twenty-four dollars an hour! I lasted only five minutes on the job.”

Deon wanted nothing more than to smoke marijuana and return to Georgia, but his friend encouraged him to stay. So did his dad, who pointed out that Deon was 24 – plenty old enough to grow up and take responsibility.

Deon got a job at Danny’s Deli making $6/hour.

The roommates moved out with baby mommas, and Deon didn’t have enough money to pay the electricity bill.

One day when he came home exhausted from work, sitting in the dark, he saw a friend’s Bible sitting on the table. The friend read it randomly from time to time, usually while smoking marijuana. That day Deon was discouraged as he contemplated the Bible and remembered his grandmother who honored and cherished the Bible.

Out of the blue, God spoke “as clear as day.”

Son, look, no matter what you try to accomplish, no matter what you do, no matter what the situation is… Read the rest: A Bible on the table at a drug house saved Deon Howard.

Freed from porn, formerly atheist hears God: ‘Those are my daughters’

Ironically, his dad, a devout Buddhist, left the family so that everybody “could be happier.”

Ahn Le felt anything but happy. “I felt panicked,” Ahn says on a Fishers of Men Halifax video. “It didn’t make me happy. It broke everything I knew.” He even cried out to the supernatural he never knew: “If there’s a God, please stop this now.”

That’s the day Ahn became an atheist.

“In my mind I said, look at these religious folks. Not even the religious folks can get it together.” His mom was a nominal Catholic.

Meanwhile at school, Ahn learned about the survival of the fittest, a tenet of evolution. “I liked this idea,” he remembers. “I realized there’s no god because you call out to him and he doesn’t answer. You just got to get by. That message resonated with me: I’m going to be so tough, I’ll never be in this position again where I’m being left, where it’s going to break.”

He vowed to find his happiness, to make money and buy the things he wanted.

Soon he discovered pornography, first in magazines and then with the advent of the Internet online in the 1990s. “When I found these magazines, it was like a drug,” he says. “When I got ahold of my first Hustler magazine, I was like ‘Wow.’”

He dove in unabated. But while he desired a beautiful woman, he was too shy to approach beautiful women. “They were like goddesses to me,” he says. “I couldn’t talk around them. I was gazing from afar with just a lust for them. But deep inside I was l like, ‘Why would that girl ever like me?’ I had a low self-confidence.”

The pornography imbued shame in him and brought his self-confidence even lower, he says.

While he had a secret addiction, he projected an image of being a good guy.

In college, he overcame his shyness and began approaching girls, even to the point that he moved in with a girl. “That lust in me destroyed that girl,” he surmises. “She was a Christian. I convinced her not to listen to her mother. I convinced her to move away from her church. She was such a sweet girl, and I just took her and demoralized her.”

Then, because pornography makes you always look at the next and the next and the next, he dumped her after deflowering her. “I took everything pure from her, chewed it up and spit it out,” he admits. “I used her. I broke her heart heartlessly.”

He ignored the promise ring he had given her. “For me, she wasn’t enough,” he acknowledges. “My lust needed more.”

Ahn got into clubbing and one-night stands. “It was never enough,” he says. “It led to depression. I was feeling depression, but I didn’t link it to my addictions.”

Ahn reenacts his reaction when God told him: ‘Those are my daughters.’

Strangely, the girls who most attracted him were Christian girls, whom he would pretend to listen to about God but would be “little by little be grooming them away from the church,” he explains.

“How do you know if there’s a God?” he would say to them. “How do you know if God’s real? What if God was just a man-made idea? What if there was something better we could do for ourselves? What if God helps those who help themselves?”

Systematically, he turned them away from their faith and got them into extra-marital sex. Eventually, he realized that atheism meant there was no need to project an image of being a good person. “I make my own beliefs,” he says. “In college you’re taught, What is truth? There is no truth. It’s all perspective. It’s all relative. There is no true good, no true bad.” Read the rest: Ahn Le, podcaster, ex atheist, freed from porn.

Adrien Lamont, CHH star, heard voices

Never mind that driving him towards suicide were demonic voices, schizophrenic episodes, and the opposition of his family. What bothered Adrien Lamont in the Bible conference – where he had gone seeking deliverance – was that there was only one other black person.

Fortunately, she came straight over to Adrien with a prophetic word: “God sees what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been chasing after him, and he’s so proud of you and he loves you and all the people that have done you wrong and called you crazy are gonna see what God is doing in your life in the direction that he’s taking you and they’re all gonna apologize.”

Adrien stayed and received intensive prayer. The deliverance was decisive. Today Adrien is a rising star in Christian Hip Hop, though his music is oriented more to the street than the pew, a rough-edged message of salvation, not cleared for Sunday School.

Adrien Lamont’s father abused heroin and died when he was young, so Mom did her best to raise him. Grandma was the driving force behind church attendance, but Adrien never developed a personal relationship with Jesus.

He was drawn to music and wanted to make it big. As he searched for his identity, he began drinking, smoking weed and using other drugs. He also liked to wear a brand of clothing with occult symbols. Today he says those symbols opened him up to demonic interference.

“I was really involved in satanic imagery and satanic clothing,” he says on Testimony Stories, a YouTube channel that focuses on Christian rappers. “It got to a point where all these things I was surrounding myself, started to affect my spirit. I realize now in hindsight that a lot of those garments and things I was wearing actually had demonic forces on them.”

He had a ring that every time he took it off and put it back on, he felt like a different person.

Connected with the producer, he began his path to stardom in secular rap.

“I remember just getting very high and drunk one day and I remember him telling me about all these satanic rituals and blood sacrifice and sacrificing his daughter,” Adrien says. “Under the laptop we were recording on, there was a Ouija board. I felt like I was demon possessed and that demons were speaking out of me into the microphone.”

On that day, he says he felt Satan’s presence. Words were impressed into his mind.

“He asked me if I wanted to sell my soul to Satan,” Adrien relates.

“Yes, okay,” he spoke out.

The rest of the night, he felt a darkness he had never experienced.

Hours later, he was listening to his recording when his computer “glitched.” Up popped another musician who shared his testimony about how demons came out of him and how he ran to his mother, who had a shotgun in her hand. He was saved from evil.

Adrien couldn’t explain the sudden, mysterious site change on his screen. He knew he needed to leave Hollywood immediately and return to his mom, who was living in Long Beach. Early next morning, he wandered around Hollywood asking for a phone to call Mom. Eventually, he got an Uber home.

Immediately, he… Read the rest: Formerly hearing voices, Adrien Lamont now with CHH

Revival in Romania: Ovidiu Rusu’s story

The discouraging thing about Romania was not the breadlines. It was the utter lack of hope.

Even after communism fell, the leftover lifestyle was colorless — work, work, work.

Ovidiu Rusu, because he had read widely, dreamed of greater things and despaired of a life assigned by socialism of being just a part of the machine to support the state.

“When I was a child, I was not aware of how bad communism was. But as I became a teenager and then a young man, it was a struggle not seeing a future. There were no opportunities. All the doors were closed,” Ovidiu says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast.” I told my friends, ‘If the end of the year catches me here, I’m going to kill myself. I don’t want to live this life.’”

Life in Brasov under communism, according to Ovidiu, was characterized by:

Fear of authority. “Anybody with any measure of authority wants you to feel that they are the boss. Authority is there to harm and humiliate you. You live walking on eggshells.”

Poverty and boring food. “You have just five options to eat and you cycle through them. I remember being tired of beans and rice. You have one pair of shoes, one pair of pants, one coat. You sew it to fix it.”

You as an individual don’t count.

Thinking is squelched. “Because people who think for themselves are dangerous.”

Even the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in December 1989 did not immediately usher in a change of life. Though freedoms were introduced, life continued to appear pretty dull and opportunity-less.

The legacy of communism was atheism. His parents had never attended the Eastern Orthodox church much, but a lot of other Romanians did as a passive resistance to communism. Ovidiu didn’t believe in God because that’s what they had taught in school.

Thinking that if life were to change, he would need to do something himself, Ovidiu fled the country with some of his young adult friends. Their plan was to make their way to France and join the French Foreign Legion. They had heard that the pay was good, and you could apply for citizenship in France.

But they got caught and jailed. It was the first time Ovidiu flew in a plane, since before he could never afford plane travel, much less international tourism. He was flown because he was deported.

“I was very, very distraught,” he says.

He kept trying to escape Romania, but nothing worked. That’s when decided upon suicide to escape Romania.

During the last two weeks of 1992 he stayed in his room, pacing and smoking. He avoided his friends and his girlfriend. He was stewing.

Though he didn’t believe in God, he cried out to him. “If you exist you have to do something,” he said.

On Dec. 31, his mom sent him to the bread lines at 4:00 a.m. You had to get up early to get the special bread that is customary for New Year’s Eve. “It wasn’t a line, it was a mob, and I’m right in the middle of it,” he remembers. “I was standing there frustrated, angry, desperate, no hope.”

He noticed a young guy working his way through the crowd. “Excuse me, excuse me,” he pushed gently through, coming straight over to Ovidiu, whom he addressed.

“I know you from the neighborhood,” the young man said. He began witnessing to him about Jesus.

“I cried out to God three days earlier, and the first time I step out of my house, God sent this guy to talk to me,” Ovidiu marvels.

What hit him was the young man assured him… Read the rest: Revival in Romania

In prison, he found Jesus

Wayne Bradley carried bitterness against his father and mother following years of abuse, turning to drug addiction to cope with the pain. By contrast, his brother, Craig, responded to the abuse by murdering both parents.

“I was strung out on all kinds of drugs and alcohol,” Wayne says on 700 Club Interactive video. “I was mad at my family. I was mad at my dad. I was mad at God for putting me in such a screwed-up family.”

Wayne was born into a physically and verbally abusive family on the south side of Chicago more than 50 years ago. The problem was mainly his father.

“You’re always guessing what kind of reaction you would receive,” he says. “There was always the fear that permeated the air more than anything else.”

He became a loner, ashamed of his home life and generally afraid.

Straight out of high school, Wayne joined the Army and served four years. For 16 years after that, he was a trucker and a security guard.

But drugs got the better of him.

“I think the main reason I was an addict and I used so many drugs is because I was trying to hide,” Wayne says. “I was trying to hide not only from the things that had happened in my life, but I didn’t want to face the me I was: a user and abuser of people. Everything that happened to me, I did to someone else.”

The cycle of abuse was repeating in his life.

In April of 1996, Wayne visited his parents, only to find they had been murdered in a grisly fashion. Read the rest: in prison he could learn about Jesus.

Ministry to migrants under the bridge: ‘Jesus says go to the nations but the nations have come to us.’

If there were anyone who might not want to help make sandwiches for migrants entering the United States illegally, Pastor Matthew Mayberry thought of a certain Air Force member whose hardline politics would give him pause.

But no, the airman was right there slapping together ham and cheese between bread to minister the gospel of love to foreigners in August 2021. The Border Patrol who hadn’t yet processed the massive caravan who found shelter beneath a bridge outside Del Rio, Texas.

“The things these people are going through, when I really thought about it, if I were them, I would probably do the same thing,” he told Pastor Matthew. “They have a chance for a better life for their family.”

Pastor Matthew’s City Church got a call from the agent in charge of the Border Patrol on a Saturday. Could his church help provide food for migrants, many of whom hadn’t eaten in several days?

Pastor Matthew couldn’t help but see irony. His sermon for the next morning – as part of series already scheduled – was based on Matthew 5, the passage in which Christians are instructed to be salt and light.

“Within a couple of hours, our church had mobilized, and we made 500 sandwiches that first Sunday,” Pastor Matt told God Reports. “The next day we made 400 sandwiches.”

Over the course of the week and in coordination with two other churches, they made and handed out 3,000 sandwiches to migrants. They shared the gospel with migrants who were fleeing the pulverizing poverty or crushing crime of their Latin American countries.

They helped a second wave of migrants in September, Pastor Matthew says.

“For us as a church, that was a really… Read the rest: Christian ministry to immigrants.

How Emmanuel Zepeda survived and thrived foster care

What freaked tykester Emmanuel Zepeda the most was not be removed by Children Protective Services from Mom and Dad. It was not being separated from his two older sisters in transitional housing. It was the kid who screamed all night long.

“It was the kid I think who was going through some crazy stuff,” he remembers on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “He would be screaming all night. As a kid, I didn’t know what was going on. I was freaking out. I was crying that night.”

Today Emmanuel is a testament of how God can help foster care kids, who suffered under drug-abusing and drug selling parents.

Emmanuel Zepeda’s parents were rebels cast out by their respective families. They were so shunned by their families that when Dad was in jail for trafficking and Mom interned at a rehab trying to clean up her act, none of the family members would take in Emmanuel and his sisters.

“I was in and out of that foster home,” he says. “Growing up we never knew when the police were going to show up and take my dad away. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. Both my parents were heavily involved in drugs and in-and-out of prison. It was always in the back of my mind: Were my parents going to be taken away?”

Emmanuel was born in Brawley, California. When he was taken out of the transitional facility and placed in a foster care home, “you could tell the people did it just for the money, not having a heart for the kids,” he says. “There were a lot of times where they would pull me by the ear where my ear would start ripping and start bleeding. They couldn’t hit us.”

Emmanuel didn’t have a taste for the Foster Mom’s cooking. His punishment for not eating was to have to sleep at the table. “My sister would come at 2:00 a.m. and pick up and take me to bed,” he remembers.

Emmanuel was in kindergarten. His father was in prison for armed robbery. His mother entered a Victory Outreach woman’s home to get clean from drugs. She wanted to clean up for her kids, but he battled with rejection because, ultimately, she sent him away.

“We had a disconnection with the rest of the family because my parents were the rebels of the family,” he explains. “Who wants to take in four kids? So, we definitely went straight into the (foster care) system.”

While he lived in poverty, Emmanuel and his older brother and sisters went to the local church for sandwiches. “To this day, I remember how good they were,” he says.

After so many years, his Uncle Ben and Aunt Rosy got saved in the Potter’s House Church and received the kids into foster care when Emmanuel was seven years old. He started learning the Bible stories, with Veggie Tales.

“My life changed from there,” he says. “The exampleship they set with going to church helped me. I definitely did see a difference coming from a dysfunctional home and seeing how my parents would fight throwing stuff around. I would never see my aunt or my uncle fight at all. I looked at that and said, ‘Wow this is different.’ We felt safe there.”

But Emmanuel didn’t serve God like a straight shot arrow. He dabbled with the ways of the world: girls and marijuana. He learned to be a chameleon: in church he played the part but at school he showed nothing of Christian character.

“I can’t even count on my fingers the times I backslid,” he says. “The last time I backslide, I believed the lie of the world. I looked at my friends from school, and it looked like everyone was happy and having fun. I decided, ‘You know what? I’m just going to do what I want. I’m going to go experience what the world has to offer.’”

By now, his parents were serving Jesus and were adamantly opposed to Emmanuel falling into the gateway drug. One day when he skipped class to smoke weed, school administrators called to alert the parents of his absence in school.

Dad was waiting when Emmanuel, still a little high, got home.

“How was school?” Dad asked.

“School was cool,” Emmanuel replied.

“I got a call that you didn’t go,” Dad responded. Read the rest: Surviving and thriving after foster care.

Rick ‘the barber’ Warren dropped drugs instantly

Slipped intoxicating beverages by an uncle when he was only five years old, Rick Warren “developed a taste for alcohol” and wanted to stay up all night partying as a young man. So he kept a packet of NoDoz with him at all times.

“I would go to the club, then I would go to the after-hours club, then I would go straight to work from there,” says Rick “the barber” (not “the purpose driven”) Warren. “I was the type of guy who wanted to just keep going and going and going.”

Somebody introduced him to crank, and the snortable meth kept him up for two days straight. “This is it!” he exclaimed at the time, as re-told on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast Testimony Tuesday.

Rick lived in the fast lane because he admired the uncle who delighted in getting him drunk as a kid growing up in Indiana.

”My uncle enjoyed seeing me drunk at a young age,” Rick says. “My uncle was the guy. He partied. He had the girls. He traveled. He lived life on the fast edge. He became the one who I wanted to model my life after.”

When he was 17, he got busted for breaking into cars in a hospital parking lot. When his dad got him a job at the place he had worked for over two decades, Rick stole from there and got his first felony.

“There’s nothing worse than your dad working at the same place for 20-something years, and everybody knows you since you’re a kid, and they watch you getting hauled off in a police car,” Rick says. “Any time I ever got arrested, it was for stealing. I had a problem. I couldn’t keep things that didn’t belong to me out of my pocket.”

When his brother moved to California with the military in 1992, Rick went with him and got on the basketball team at Barstow College. But he quit about three-fourths of the way through the season – during half time! – because “I wanted to party more than play basketball,” he says.

“It was actually half time of a game,” he remembers. “I told the coach, ‘You know, I think I’m done.’ I turned in my uniform and walked away.”

At one point when he was 19, three young women were pregnant with his kids. “I was out there,” he says. He had a daughter and two sons.

He moved back to Indiana and then he moved out of town with a friend. He was the party deejay until they got evicted. Then he moved in with his latest girlfriend.

One night as he watched the NBA all star game in 1993, a boy came to avenge a grudge he had with his girlfriend’s brother.

“He pulls out a gun and points it at me and says, ’Hey come over here and lay on the ground,’” Rick recounts. “He made everybody lay on the ground. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He shot her in the head. He shot me in the face. He started shooting everybody. He shot me two more times in the back.”

Rick lay motionless, pretending to be dead. When Rick heard the man leave, he got up to run. The perpetrator saw him and shot at him again. One bullet hit him in the butt and he fell to the ground.

Rick eventually made it to a restaurant, where they called an ambulance. Remarkably, his life was saved. His girlfriend, the sister, and one of the four-year-olds died. The other two kids survived multiple bullet wounds.

“You would think that would be enough to cause me to slow down,” he says. “But it didn’t. I continued to live a reckless life.”

After surgeries to reconstruct his face and six months of recovery, Rick simply returned to the fast life.

He got a barber’s license and opened a shop in Indianapolis. It was a good career for him because barbers never had to submit to drug testing, and he could continue smoking marijuana continuously. He cut people’s hair while he was high.

“I had a good thing going making a boatload of money, but still I was under demonic influence and that money was just not enough, so I needed more money and started doing stuff I shouldn’t have been doing,” he acknowledges.

The police were investigating, so he quickly sold his shop and moved to Philadelphia. He sought a place where nobody knew him. He left behind yet another daughter. “I never was a good dad,” he admits.” At that time in my life, it was all about me. The only thing that mattered to me was me – satisfying the flesh with no regard for anything.”

He vowed to never open a barber shop, never get married, and not have any more kids.

From there, Rick moved to Las Vegas and the opportunity to buy another barber shop “fell into my lap,” he says. “It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

He met the woman who became his wife and had more children, breaking every one of his vows.

It was at this time that a regular customer, Larry Shomo, invited him to church. Being the type of barber “invested” in his customers’ lives, he attended funerals, weddings, and school programs with his customers.

Why not church?

He had never been taught anything spiritual in his life. His family only did sports. From everything he knew about church, he concluded it was a “clown show.” He thought of hypocrites hitting on young women and high-flying pastors with lavish lifestyles.

“The only repentance I’d ever had was when I was too drunk at night and I would lay down and say, ‘Oh God, please don’t let me die,’” he says. “I had no… Read the rest: Pastor Rick “the barber” Warren

His family thought he was crazy, but he was fighting demonic oppression

Never mind that driving him towards suicide were demonic voices, schizophrenic episodes, and the opposition of his family. What bothered Adrien Lamont in the Bible conference – where he had gone seeking deliverance – was that there was only one other black person.

Fortunately, she came straight over to Adrien with a prophetic word: “God sees what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been chasing after him, and he’s so proud of you and he loves you and all the people that have done you wrong and called you crazy are gonna see what God is doing in your life in the direction that he’s taking you and they’re all gonna apologize.”

Adrien stayed and received intensive prayer. The deliverance was decisive. Today Adrien is a rising star in Christian Hip Hop, though his music is oriented more to the street than the pew, a rough-edged message of salvation, not cleared for Sunday School.

Adrien Lamont’s father abused heroin and died when he was young, so Mom did her best to raise him. Grandma was the driving force behind church attendance, but Adrien never developed a personal relationship with Jesus.

He was drawn to music and wanted to make it big. As he searched for his identity, he began drinking, smoking weed and using other drugs. He also liked to wear a brand of clothing with occult symbols. Today he says those symbols opened him up to demonic interference.

“I was really involved in satanic imagery and satanic clothing,” he says on Testimony Stories, a YouTube channel that focuses on Christian rappers. “It got to a point where all these things I was surrounding myself, started to affect my spirit. I realize now in hindsight that a lot of those garments and things I was wearing actually had demonic forces on them.”

He had a ring that every time he took it off and put it back on, he felt like a different person.

Connected with the producer, he began his path to stardom in secular rap.

“I remember just getting very high and drunk one day and I remember him telling me about all these satanic rituals and blood sacrifice and sacrificing his daughter,” Adrien says. “Under the laptop we were recording on, there was a Ouija board. I felt like I was demon possessed and that demons were speaking out of me into the microphone.”

On that day, he says he felt Satan’s presence. Words were impressed into his mind.

“He asked me if I wanted to sell my soul to Satan,” Adrien relates.

“Yes, okay,” he spoke out.

The rest of the night, he felt a darkness he had never experienced.

Hours later, he was listening to his recording when his computer “glitched.” Up popped another musician who shared his testimony about how demons came out of him and how he ran to his mother, who had a shotgun in her hand. He was saved from evil.

Adriend couldn’t explain the sudden, mysterious site change on his screen. He knew he needed to leave Hollywood immediately and return to his mom, who was living in Long Beach. Early next morning, he wandered around Hollywood asking for a phone to call Mom. Eventually, he got an Uber home.

Immediately… Read the rest: Adrien Lamont Christian rap.

Pastor 007 takes on Mexican drug cartel and wins

Full of excitement to serve God as a missionary, Diego Galvan woke up on his first morning in Tijuana to a freshly decapitated head of a woman left in the street.

The grisly murder was a sign of what was to come for the fearless missionary who tried to avoid angering the wrong people but found himself entangled in a nation and city overrun with rampant corruption and cartels.

“If I die, I’d rather die doing the will of God than live as a coward seeking money and pleasure,” determined Diego, who was born in Uruguay but raised in America just across the border in San Diego and had never known the dark and dangerous world of drug cartels.

Diego Galvan’s father got his family out of Uruguay through some first-class shenanigans. Being a bodyguard for U.S. diplomats, he divorced Diego’s mother, married a lady diplomat, moved to the United States, got U.S. citizenship, divorced the diplomat, returned to Uruguay and brought his family to America.

Diego grew up in the world of guns. His father got into gunfights with terrorists of the likes of Che Guevara.

Diego was saved at a young age and stayed faithful in the church. As he grew up, he got married, got a great job at the Acura-Jaguar dealership and bought a house in San Diego. He had pioneered a church and was currently serving as assistant pastor in the border city when God interrupted his fairytale life with a call to leave luxury and throw himself into the godless land of Tijuana. He would do his best to stay out of harm’s way.

“What you do with the cartel is you ignore it,” Diego says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “They were there before you and they’ll be there after you. You don’t be nosy. You’re just there for souls.”

Diego took over a church in Tijuana established by his brother, who moved on to another ministry. In the yard of his first house, a man was killed by revenge-seekers from the cartels. So he decided to move.

At his second house, a man who had been committing adultery with a drug trafficker was killed on Diego’s doorstep. He moved again.

Unwittingly, he fell out of the frying pan and into the fire. His next-door neighbor was a drug lord. What happens when the drug lord faces off with the Lord God?

The drug lord’s henchmen were annoying, parking in front of Diego’s driveway. When he got home from church, he couldn’t park in his driveway. He asked them to move their cars; they ignored him. They were drinking and partying.

Realizing he was never going to get away from the cartel, Diego decided to send his wife with food to evangelize the dealer’s wife. “My wife can cook some good food,” Diego explains.

“You try to avoid the cartel,” he adds. “But the problem is that as you preach, you begin to mingle in their world.”

It wasn’t the first time he directly evangelized them. Out on the streets passing out handbills for the church, he would run up to their SUVs with darkened windows and pass out flyers to occupants of the cars that only the drug traffickers drove. As a general rule, the cartel members received flyers and were respectful.

One even opened his heart: “God could never forgive me.”

“That’s a lie,” Diego countered.

“I’m in so deep,” the man mused.

But it was his interaction with the drug lord next door that pulled him into a full-blown war with the cartel. The wife got saved, and the drug lord didn’t like it. She showed up to church with black eyes and had clearly been beaten.

For some days, Diego remained quiet about the physical abuse he was witnessing. But eventually, his outrage got the better of him, and he went over to talk to the drug lord. He knocked. Mr. trafficker opened the door.

“Hi, I’m your neighbor. I’m the pastor,” he started. “I see what you’re doing to your wife. Men who beat their wives are cowards. One day you’re going to stand before the living God, and you’re going to give an account for all the mess you’re doing.”

The drug lord didn’t respond a word.

“This man is dead,” he thought (he admitted later).

The drug lord’s four-year-old daughter scampered out. Diego saw her. “This is your daughter, right? Do you want men to treat your daughter the way you are treating your wife?

“Listen, I have the real deal,” he continued. “It’s Christ. If you call upon him, he will save your soul. But you must get right.”

Still the drug lord said nothing. So Diego went home.

A few days later, the drug lord’s wife came over panicked. Diego had been out of town preaching for another church. The wife implored Diego to come over; her husband had been locked up in his room and hadn’t spoken to anyone. He was out of his normal mind.

Diego decided to go and visit. Diego’s wife tried to dissuade him. “It’s a trap,” she cautioned. “He’s going to kill you.”

Diego remained firm in his resolve. He knocked on the neighbor’s door.

“You wanted to see me?” he asked. “Here I am.”

The drug lord’s eyes said it all.

“When I saw his eyes, I knew something had happened for the positive,” Diego tells.

“You know what you told me a few days ago?” the drug lord told him. “That’s real, dude.”

He no longer consumed or wanted to consume drugs. He was going through withdrawals. Diego led him in a sinner’s prayer. It was Friday night. On Saturday morning the former drug lord who had met the Earth’s Lord participated in outreach. He was handing out handbills and testifying to people about the wonders of Christ.

He was filled with wonder and joy and thrilled with the reality of Jesus.

On Sunday morning, Pastor Diego preached about repentance. Unbeknownst to Diego, the ex-drug lord just happened to be carrying 2 kilos of pure cocaine left over from his just-ended trafficking career. In a flourish of enthusiasm, the ex-drug lord flushed them down the toilet after the sermon.

Had Diego known, he probably would have counseled his new convert to give the drugs back to the cartel – and to negotiate an exit from the cartel.

You don’t run off with the cartel’s drugs. You either give them the money or the drugs.

Sure enough, the higher ups showed up. Where’s the money?

I don’t have it. I threw it down the toilet.

Curse words. Threats.

The new convert’s days were numbered.

Sure enough, the hitmen showed up.

It was Sunday after church. Pastor Diego was napping and woke up to the blood-curdling screams of the new convert’s wife. From his second story room, he looked over the wall and saw the screaming wife.

“Help us,” she pleaded. “They’re going to kill us all.” They had four kids.

Diego sprang into action. Once again, his wife warned him not to get involved. “You’ll die,” she said.

“Then I’ll die,” he responded and went out the door.

When he entered his new convert’s house, he distracted the gang of hitmen, so that the new convert grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed one through the heart.

It was the capo’s brother. The capo was a woman.

The hitmen didn’t think. They panicked and packed up the brother and rushed him to the hospital.

Pastor Diego called the Mexican police. Eighteen SWAT-like cops showed up with masks and “AK-47s and AR-15s. Diego explained to them the situation.

Sure enough, the cartel showed up in their bulletproof Suburbans with darkened windows. When the cops saw the high-ranking cartel members, they panicked. Read the rest: Pastor 007 takes on Mexican cartel and wins.

Skateboarding, drugs, fighting, suicide attempts, Daniel Sherwood’s wild journey to Christ

His last hope to make something of his life – as a skateboarder – shattered when his knee shattered.

“I was a guy who had never heard the gospel and who lived a reckless, dangerous life,” Daniel Sherwood says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast.“

Sherwood grew up in Mesa, AZ, doing normal childhood things like camping, hunting, fishing, and riding his bike. What was less normal was that he started driving when he was 10.

“My father was an alcoholic and he played music, so I spent a lot of time around bars,” Daniel remembers. “He would play his sets, and I started to have to drive him home when I was 10, 12 years old.”

By the time, he was 12, his parents got divorced. “I saw physical and mental divorce of my family,” he says. “I got punted back and forth between Mom and Dad. One would get tired of me and send to the other. I took advantage of that. I wanted to be like my dad, play music and be in bands. What was OK for him seemed OK for me. I kind of just spiraled from there.”

Daniel excelled at baseball and wrestling, even earning a state championship. But when he transferred to Chandler High School and didn’t even make the A-squad, he quit completely in disgust.

I’m just gonna go skateboarding, he thought at the time. “I got really good at skateboarding, started filming, got a few sponsors.”

For Daniel, drugs, liquor and partying came with the skateboarder life. By 16, he had attempted suicide a few times.

“One time I took 80 sleeping pills after a breakup with a girlfriend,” he recalls. “I was pretty much a goner. That will pretty much kill anybody. But somebody found me actually, hauled me down to the hospital, (and they) pumped my stomach.”

Fighting was favorite thing to do when he was drunk at parties.

“I would wake up the next day just covered in blood. No idea what happened,” he says. “I’d have to call around the next day to find out why I was covered in blood. People would tell me, ‘You fought this guy. They hit you over the head with a bottle. You chased this guy down the street with a knife.’

“It was a wild life.”

Daniel got kicked out of high school for leaving a kid so badly beaten he was sent to the intensive care unit.

Daniel scaled up from cigarettes and drinking Dad’s liquor to marijuana, then LSD.

“It was the party life,” he says. “They say skateboarding picked up where rock-n-roll left off.”

With consumption came trafficking also. He sold marijuana by the pound, guns, whatever he could get his hands on. “It just got worse and worse and worse,” he says.

Daniel sold marijuana to an undercover cop at a party. Next thing he knew, the cops raided his house, kicked his door in and put a Glock to his head. Police were disappointed that the sale – only 2 pounds – wasn’t significant under the law, so they pressured him to turn State’s witness and turn in his dealer. At their direction, he bought five pounds of pot, but instead of collaborating with the cops, he turned around and sold it to make money.

“They found out about it and brought me in a small office,” he remembers. “I was so high. I was surrounded by these undercovers: a Mexican cowboy, a biker, a workout bro. They were screaming at me. I’ll never forget what the biker guy said to me: ‘You’re high right now, aren’t you? You are a menace to society.’”

He was 17-and-a-half, which meant he would be tried as a minor and given a lighter sentence.

“They pushed for adult court, and if they would have gotten that, I probably would have done 10, 12, 15 years. I got six months. Like all juveniles, I got a slap on the wrist. I didn’t learn my lesson. When I got out, I went right back to it.”

When he was 18 and moved out on his own, he got a two-bedroom apartment whose second room was exclusively used for growing hallucinogenic mushrooms, which he consumed.

He stopped selling drugs because, as an adult, the sentences in court, if caught, were higher. But he didn’t abandon crime entirely.

“I was very adept at stealing,” he admits. “Me and a buddy of mine would steal carts full of liquor and throw these massive parties. We had a little crew and called ourselves the ‘40 Crew.’ We would get drunk, and the goal was always to find somebody and beat him up. We just loved it.”

But God, in his infinite grace and mercy, was pursuing Sherwood’s heart, and brought the Gospel into his life.

Drunk at 3:00 a.m., he rear-ended two guys on Harleys, pulled a gun on them, drove off and, trying to escape pursuing police, scraped up two cars when he tried to drive his ‘88 Cutlass Sierra between them.

Under the police chopper spotlight, he surrendered to police. He spent a month in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tent city jail, shivering at night, wrapped in a plastic bag during winter trying to stay warm.

“My time in tent city was so awful that I swore I would never go back again,” he says. “As critical as people like to be of Joe Arpaio, it worked.”

Daniel was placed on a work release program that… Read the rest: Skateboard, drugs and suicide, Daniel Sherwood’s wild journey to Christ..

When the Goth guy with one blue contact lens showed up at church

He dressed in all black, wore long dark hair, and had one blue contact lens – 90s Goth style. So when a church-goer saw him at the store, he freaked and thought: This guy will never get saved.

So when Genaro Nava showed up at church the following Sunday, the Christian guy felt rebuked internally for judging people: “It was like God just slapped me across the face. It blew my mind.”

Today Genaro is not just rescued from the darkness of underage clubbing across the border in Mexico, he’s a pastor in Brownsville, Texas, his third pastoral assignment.

Genaro came with his family to America to start the 1st grade. When his mom got divorced, she fell into a deep depression. Genaro and his sisters fell into drugs and partying in high school. Genaro’s room was painted black, covered with worldly posters.

One night he left a club, and there were Christian street preachers from the Door Church declaring the love of Jesus. Genaro joked to his girlfriend: “One day, I’m going to do that.”

The next night after a movie, there were the street evangelists again, passing out flyers. Genaro said he wasn’t interested but accepted the flier and pinned it to his wall (where there was a clutter of things on display).

The street evangelist said: “You can’t go to Heaven if you don’t have Jesus in your heart.” Those words haunted Genaro.

Years later, his sister got saved and invited him to church. It was, startlingly, the same Door Church whose flier was still on his wall. It seemed more than coincidental, so Genaro, then 19, agreed to go.

Bit by bit, he began attending church more and leaving his sin behind. At one point, he had to break up with his girlfriend of the time because she vowed to continue using drugs while he wanted to get clean. He left his old friends for the same reason.

“We would do drugs there in my house,” he says. “They would be there drinking and say, ‘Hey come on, join us.’ I had to make a stand.”

Eventually, he needed to read them the riot act: either come to church or stop coming over.

“I invited my friends to church,” he says. “They all went once and never came back. It’s not like you’re cutting them off; you’re just choosing different paths.”

People at church were really nice, and they threw him a small birthday party just a month after showing up at church. That made quite an impression.

“I was asking myself, how could you have a good time without drugs?… Read the rest: Goth gets saved

Meat cleaver attack did not deter Rene Celinder from evangelizing Denmark

Rene Celinder was leading an all-night prayer vigil in support of the Jews at the Israel Plads in Copenhagen 2002, when a Palestinian immigrant struck him over the head with a cleaver at 3:00 a.m.

“Luckily, I have a hard head,” Rene quips. The doctor explained that had the attack not been a glancing blow, he could have died or wound up in a wheelchair.

From the hospital, he called his wife: “Don’t worry I’m alive,” he told her. “I just took a cleaver blow to my head. No problem. I’m ok.”

Such is the life of a Christian evangelist is Denmark. Today, he travels internationally to preach the gospel to people lost in darkness. He, too, was once lost in darkness.

Raised by an abusive father, Rene became a painter and a handyman. When he contracted stomach cancer at age 30, he made a promise to God: “If you heal me, I will serve you for the rest of my life.”

He didn’t know God but remembered his childhood prayers from the ritualistic church he visited in his youth. The surgery removing the egg-sized mass was a success. Rene didn’t immediately fulfill his promise to serve God.

Three years later, he received a $50,000 insurance payout for the damage done by chemicals he worked with as a painter and fiberglass worker. He traveled and drank extensively until he spent all the money in under two years. Later he would resonate with the Prodigal Son when he read the Bible.

After the “living it up” was over, he had no money and nothing to do. An aunt told him to go to church and get saved. So that’s what he did.

Almost immediately, he enrolled in Bible school and was fascinated with the truth of Scripture. As he grew in the Lord he stopped swearing.

Unfortunately, he didn’t stop all sin. He fell into fornication with another student at the school. Caught by administrators, he got kicked out.

He returned home and avoided Christians and church because of his guilty conscience for some time. The brethren sought him out. Why aren’t you coming to church? they asked. “ I was afraid because I had been sinning so bad,” he said sincerely.

They encouraged him to return. When he did, he was embraced. He vowed to sin no more.

Eventually, he met and married his second wife, Dora, to whom he has been married for 25 years. He is now 66.

At a Christian camp years later, he spotted the old fling from Bible School. He asked his wife what he should do.

“You need to go ask for forgiveness?” Dora responded.

He did so. Then he asked her “spiritual parents” for forgiveness and then her kids. On the final day of the camp, both went up to the altar and asked the Lord for forgiveness.

“I learned forgiveness,” he comments. “Then I was free.”

Rene and Dora had a child, Emma, who was born with three holes in her heart. Doctors operated for 12 hours but were unable to save her. Baby Emma died six days after birth.

“I was really really angry at God,” he remembers. “I’ve never been angry like this before.”

Rene wanted to run away. But the doctor encouraged him to cradle his baby and to say goodbye. The grieving process was very healing. On the day of Emma’s funeral and burial, snow was falling, and the wind was blowing inhospitably. But after the sermon inside the church when they all came out, the storm had passed, and the sun was shining. It was beautiful moment to bury Emma. The birds were singing. He felt God’s presence.

Rene prayed a very unusual request: “Lord, show us our little girl one more time. I know that we cannot ask anything like this. But if you can, can you do something about it?”

Typically, a request to communicate with the dead is strictly a no-no because it derives from witchcraft. King Saul, in an attempt to contact the dead prophet Samuel, went to a medium. It was his last act of life; the next day he was killed on the field of battle.

But God took Dora to Heaven, Rene says.

One night she had a dream and in the dream she went to heaven. The first person to greet her was God.

“Father, have you seen our daughter?” Dora asked.

Yes, yes, she’s over there crawling around having a joyful time, He responded.

Then she talked to her baby, who, not limited to earthly constrains, could talk, Rene says.

“It’s really beautiful up here,” she told Mom. “I’m going be more blessing here in Heaven.”

Dora woke up happy. “We knew that we are going to see her again,” Rene explains. “She now would be 25 in human years.”

Moved on by the Lord, Rene opened his first cafe in a cellar. He invited people, gave them coffee and food, prayed for them for healing. It was a continual outreach center.

How he got the cafe is a miracle. When he first saw it available, it cost $5,000 a month. He felt God’s urging towards this place but couldn’t afford the rent. So he waited a year. The next time he saw it, the rent was now $2,000. He made his move.

Saying he had no money, he offered to paint for the owner to be able to use the cellar. After thinking it over for three days, the owner told him that he had no need of painting but if he would clean up and repair three flights of stairs, he could use the cellar for free. The job took four days.

“That’s how I got the key for free,” he says.

For three years… Read the rest: René Celinder evangelist in Denmark.

A man of God, Torben Sondergaard, in jail for arms smuggling?

Friends are expressing dismay that a Danish man who works tirelessly spreading the gospel around the world has been arrested in America over charges of smuggling arms from Mexico into America.

“Today Torben (Søndergaard) is sitting in jail because somebody made a false accusation against him, something that is not true,” says Jón Bjarnastein on a Facebook post on The Last Reformation page. “It’s because he’s preaching the gospel. This is nothing new under the sun. The Bible says that everyone who wants to live a godly life will experience persecution.”

Torben Søndergaard fled Denmark in 2019 after repeated attacks by the government to discredit his street ministry, which riled secularists by casting out demons in public places. If you don’t believe in the supernatural, much less demons, then one might think Torben is a manipulative charlatan. He applied for asylum in America and now is being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


“I was invited to a meeting with Homeland Security who wanted to talk about my asylum case – a case where I, in Denmark three years ago, was accused of doing many things I had not done, and where I ended up fleeing to America seeking asylum,” he wrote on Facebook. “But then, they suddenly said that the real reason I was there was because they had been notified that I was smuggling weapons from Mexico to America.

“I was in shock.”

The accusation of arms running is strange because the illegal flow of weapons is generally southward, from America to Mexico. America is a manufacturer of arms, not an importer. What America imports illegally from Mexico is drugs, not weapons. CBN says the Department of Homeland Security had no comment on the case.

Doing ministry in Denmark for 18 years, Søndergaard, 45, founded the Last Reformation street evangelism movement with the purpose of restoring Book of Acts-style ministry. His Jesus Center trained disciples from 30 nations to spread the gospel worldwide, CBN reports.

But authorities in secularist Denmark didn’t like him and, starting in 2016, launched investigations from six separate Danish ministries into everything from food safety to unpaid taxes. They found nothing wrong, CBN reports.

The persecution continued when Søndergaard decided to homeschool his daughter. Seeking an abatement from the persecution, Sondergaard re-enrolled her in public school. But the attacks continued… Read the rest: Torben Sondergaard Danish evangelist.

The Gospel in Denmark, a tough nut to crack

Rene Celinder is an evangelist in the classical sense of the word. In other words, he doesn’t focus on mega churches with an expectation of receiving a love offering. He evangelizes out on the street.

Rene is leading an outreach in Denmark, which is in the throes of post-Christian woes like much of Western Europe.

June 25 was his latest strike. One hundred evangelists hit the streets of Copenhagen dressed in impossible-to-miss yellow vests with letters that say, “Jesus is your hope.” They shared testimonies, sang songs, passed out tracts and became a visible sign that, as hard as the devil tried, Christianity is not dead in Denmark.

“The Holy Spirit was with us,” Rene told God Reports. “Ten or 15 people got saved. We got their number, so we can call them again. We are going to have the same event in October in another place in Denmark.”

Rene is organizing Christians nationwide, using mostly house churches.

“We’re like Gideon,” Rene says. “Gideon was a small fighter. Gideon is the same like we are doing here in Copenhagen.”

Denmark is a tough nut to… Read the rest: the gospel in Denmark