Season of Restoration

Do you ever feel like your life is similar to this car?

Stuck in the mud. Dirty. Worn out. Not going anywhere. Potential unrealized. Broken down engine. In need of love, care and attention but powerless to get there.

Then this post is for you.

 

I believe we are entering a prophetic season of restoration

I had a friend reach out to me just this past week. He and I have known each other for about ten years. We have ministered together, prayed together, wept together. Yet about a year and a half ago we had a dispute that caused us to part ways. This broken trust and offense robbed us both of the beauty of fellowship and the mutual encouragement God meant for us to have as brothers in Christ. As I have prayed and done my part to reach out to this brother over the past year, I trusted God would be faithful to restore. And he did. This was a sign to me.

Wherever you find yourself having suffered loss, wherever you feel stuck, God is moving things in your life right now. His power is able to do what we cannot. Lean in expectantly in prayer and faith and watch God begin to restore broken relationships, lost opportunities, financial setbacks. Closed doors are opening.

 

Everything has a time and a purpose

As I have been reading through Ecclesiastes, it speaks in the third chapter of the timing of life. Moses says also in the 90th Psalm, “Teach us to number our days rightly, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Jesus also says, “My time has not yet come.” John 2.

There is a purpose for every season in your life. There is a time to tear down, to scatter, to refrain… and there is a time to build, to gather and to embrace. Every person who was used by God went through a season of barrenness and destruction before they entered their season of fulfillment.

Between the promise and the palace is the process, the prison, and the persecution.

Despair comes when we fail to see God’s purpose in our life in the moment we are living in. When we are in a cave fearing for our lives as David was, this is when we sing worship songs to the Lord and learn that He is our refuge, our strength, our shield. When we find ourselves in the pit like Joseph did, this is when we learn to pray believing God will lift us out and fulfill his Word. When we face the death of a promise as Abraham did when told to sacrifice Isaac, this is when we learn to believe that God raises the dead.

Nothing is wasted. The suffering and pain you have gone through is propelling you into God’s great purpose. Ask for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation to help you see the lesson in what you’ve been through. You are being molded and shaped into the man or woman of greatness Christ calls you to be.

 

Take despair by the throat

I was watching an amazing video by Arnold Schwarzenneger about success and failure. He said that the secret to his success in life is that he has no Plan B. “People have a Plan B because they are afraid of failure.” He went on to say that there is no success without failure. We all fail. The greatest champions were knocked down, lost races, didn’t win the competition… yet what made them champions is they got up again. They resolved that they would continue to fight until victory was theirs.

The prophet Isaiah talks about those who were once rejected, broken, in prison, in despair.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to set at liberty the captives, and the release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all who mourn. To provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow upon them a crown beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”  Is. 61:1-4

The devil calls you victim; the Lord calls you victor.

David found himself on the brink of despair after returning one day from battle to find his entire city burned to the ground and all his family and those of his men taken as slaves.

“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.”  1 Sam. 30:6

David took despair by the throat by getting into the presence of God and realizing that restoration would surely come. He and his men fought according to the Word of the Lord to pursue and overtake… and they recovered all.

Take hold of this word for your life today. You are not defeated and God has not abandoned you. Rise up in faith and look to the hills where your help comes from!

This is your season of restoration.

Salvation at the Gym

SALVATION TESTIMONY @ the gym! (Jan. 17, 2019)

I’m here in Minnesota with my good friend Steven Uggen and we decided to go work out at the local YMCA in Minneapolis. (Steven is left, Mauricio Trejo middle, I’m on the right.)

Earlier that day during prayer, I said, “Lord, give me a burn for the lost. Guide me today and give me a divine appointment.” (Note: if you pray these kinds of prayers, be prepared for answers.)

So Steven and I went to the gym and I’m just doing my thing. As I walked by the bench press after doing some cardio, I saw this guy pumping away and I thought it was Steven. When I got closer however, it was not him! However, I sensed the Lord wanted me to talk to him so I waited on God and asked the Holy Spirit to open the way.

I then get an impression that there is something going on with his brother and this is a key to his heart. After a little more time and some more sets, I decide to strike up a conversation. (Note: Flowing with the Holy Spirit does not need to be awkward, weird or obnoxious. Just be normal and allow God to move through you.)

So he tells me his name is Mauricio and that he normally works out at a different YMCA but for “some reason” he decided to come to this one today because they had just gotten new equipment, and he wanted to check it out. Steven had come over around this time so I introduced them and told Mauricio we were pastors… preachers to be more exact. After a little more small talk, I mention to Mauricio about the impression the Lord gave me about something going on with his brother. Mauricio then begins to explain to us that his Mom, who is a very Christian woman, had been diagnosed with cancer about six months ago and it has totally shaken up the family. Although he is one of nine siblings, his youngest brother has been the most severely impacted by this trauma and has totally gone haywire with drugs. Somewhere during this time, Steven gets an impression in his spirit of a Hispanic woman on her knees weeping for her children while praying in Spanish. Steven then looks at Mauricio and says, “We are here because of your Mom’s prayers. You have a praying Mom.” Mauricio looks shocked and then says, “Yes she is always praying for everyone in the family. As a matter of fact, she was supposed to die but she and others have been praying and she is beating the cancer!”

Steven and I share a bit of the gospel with him. We tell him that God sent us to pray for his Mom, his brother, and that he would come back to the Lord!

Mauricio admitted that he had fallen away from the Lord. At one point during the gospel, Steven says, “When you come to know Jesus it’s like the Matrix movie and you totally wake up out of your slumber! Have you seen that movie?” Mauricio’s eyes bulge and he says, “That’s my favorite movie!” Lol. God is THAT good right?

Mauricio then says, “Ten years ago I was in a church service and a prophetess called me out of the crowd and said, “God is pointing you out. He is showing me that your favorite movie is the Matrix. And you will be used by him.”

Mauricio had always struggled to believe in God. But his mother’s relentless prayers had tipped the balance in the heavens. We were overjoyed in the spirit as Mauricio said he was ready to surrender his life to Christ. We prayed with Mauricio to recommit his life to Jesus right there in the YMCA sitting on the bench press!! (We even prayed in the Holy Ghost!)

Mauricio said that just that morning he had talked to his Mom who said, “I’m praying for you!” His whole countenance changed after the encounter with Jesus Christ. Mauricio was in holy shock. He couldn’t believe how real God was and how God had been pursing him time and again. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb. 13:8)

Please pray for Mauricio, his brother Carlos (the one who is going to be delivered from drugs), and his mother Juana.

To God be the glory!
Toda la gloria a Dios!

Unstoppable God | Berkeley Crusade Report

We did it! Another miracle crusade at UC Berkeley!

It was my honor to work together with Unity in Christ for this event along with ministries in and outside of Berkeley. Let me briefly share the wins and losses of this crusade to reach souls at UC Berkeley.

WINS

A number of individuals really stepped up to the plate and served. People from all over the Bay Area came even from even as far away as Modesto. Additionally, the finances all came in quickly. As I was sharing at a local church in Pleasant Hill, a gentleman was moved by God to give towards the crusade. He sent me a letter encouraging me and enclosed a $1,000 check! He said, “God told me to do this.” Hallelujah! Many other individuals gave very generously. A couple of people wrote $750 checks. One woman gave all the way from New Jersey and she hadn’t even met me personally! I am humbled and honored by this outpouring of love. Another win was that the presence of God was very strong during the crusades. Though we had some hiccups (like not really having a worship team) God provided through individuals and most importantly His Presence was there. Everyone who directly participated in or came to the crusade gave witness that they were impacted greatly. We also had a couple of people share their testimonies. One a young student named Michael shared his testimony from anxiety, depression and transgenderism to coming to Christ who has made him whole! Not only did we see all the aforementioned wins but there was also a woman who experienced healing of deafness at the crusade! See this on the Day 3 video! Finally the fact that we had a crusade in a place like Berkeley is in itself a win. We reached out to over 5,000 people via advertising, word of mouth and flyering to share about the event. We estimate 1,000 students saw, heard or walked by over the course of four days. This is the fourth crusade I have held at Berkeley over the past five years and the gospel being preached is always significant.

LOSSES

Although I wish I could say we saw everything we hoped for, that would not be authentic. I highly value being real in life and ministry so here are some of the areas that were a let down.

We reached out to ten ministries on campus and including churches in Berkeley. We saw very little real support. A couple of ministries half way helped and a few people showed up but sadly a number of them declined to help or even show up. Others said they would help / come but didn’t follow through. We only saw a sum total of about fifteen to twenty people show up / participate from all ministries in Berkeley…

The other heartbreak was that after four days of preaching my heart out and praying fervently, we did not see a single person come forward publicly to profess Christ! I wrestled with God about this, lamented and sought counsel from godly men and I concluded that even Jesus was not received in his hometown. My job was to present the eternal gospel. Whether people receive it is something they will give an account for.

CONCLUSION

As the Word says, “One plants another waters but God gives the increase.” I know that my labors and those of the community who supported this crusade were not in vain. God’s Word will not return void. Heaven alone knows the impact of the crusade. Many people saw and heard the witness. God will bring others to water and cultivate this word and to Him be all the glory! Jesus is worthy of every soul in Berkeley and the world and we labor to that end. As the Scripture says, “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.”

My sincere thanks to everyone who gave, prayed for, served and supported this crusade. We plan to come back again to Berkeley next year.

Good News from Eugene

Before I begin to tell you about this picture and the family whose lives were changed, I need to give the backstory to what brought me to Eugene, Oregon this hot weekend in July.

I am a member of the Luis Palau evangelistic network called the Next Generation Alliance. This is a group created to support, mentor, and further develop the next generation of evangelists. I had made a trip up to Oregon earlier this year to visit the Palau HQ near Portland and prior to this, there happened to be an outreach at the University of Oregon that I joined. Greatly encouraged after the outreach and my visit to the HQ, I wanted to participate in any major outreaches that were upcoming. The original plan this July was for me to be in Taiwan… but as that fell through, I was free to come to Eugene after all. But getting to the glory was not as easy as one might expect…

 

Hostess from Hell & Superman Dives

I arrived in Eugene after a beautiful but loooong 9 hour drive through the Oregon back road freeways as I was coming from Tahoe. I had booked an Air BnB in a “homey” and cheap place in the outskirts of Eugene. Easy peasy right?

An old blue house on a darkened corner awaited as an elderly woman greeted me about 9:30pm Wed night. The first thing I noticed was that my nostrils were being attacked by the smell of cat as soon as I came in the door. She then proceeded to tell me the door code to unlock the front door. Beep, beep, beep… eeeennnnnnntttt.. Beep, beep, beep…. EEEENNNTTT! Hmm… that’s funny. This code should be working… (and obviously wasn’t) But being that it was late and I was exhausted… I told her I was just going to go to bed and I’m sure she’d get the code working for the door. (I presumed) After I got into the room which was a cool 95 degrees Fahrenheit with only a ceiling fan… I was looking for the trash can to dump a few items that had accumulated during my 9 hour trek… alas there didn’t seem to be one. I was then informed by my hostess that “she only composts.” Sigh….

The next morning after having made my own trash receptacle out of a grocery bag, I asked to dump this in the bin and instead of obliging she looks at me eyes bulging and says, “Why do you have so much trash? No really, THAT is so much trash!” I decided I wasn’t going to argue with an eco-maniac and told her to forget it. I’d dump it at Safeway. I did not come back to the house that day until 11pm as I really didn’t want to talk to her anymore and just wanted to sleep in my oven and then go about my business the next day. (Oh, and the bathroom was from the 50s and when you turn on the shower fan… it sounded like a jet engine after about 5 seconds of sputters…) This is what I get for choosing the affordable route.

So there I was at 11pm Thursday night… and to my horror… the incorrect door code she had given me the day before was… STILL INCORRECT! After two or three tries… the lock effectively shut down, and I had to spend the night in my car. Bright eyed and bushy tailed is not how I would describe my next morning. After an hour on the phone with Air BnB and still no resolution (and still in my clothes from the previous day), I decided to go for a swim. I had nothing better to do.

A barista from the local Starbucks told me I had to try out a place called Wildwood Falls. It was a scenic thirty minute drive from Eugene. Once there, the rolling falls are surrounded by a near perfect semi-circle of cliff rocks and everyone was jumping into the crystal blue waters below. Great! So I joined right in. After about two hours, I decided that feet first wasn’t exciting enough. I finally mustered up the courage to do a superman dive off of a cliff about 20-30 feet in the air. It seemed like a good idea until I hit the water and something wasn’t right with my left arm. I knew this because a) it wasn’t working anymore and b) there were jolts of electric pain shooting through it. As I managed to one arm swim back to shore, I was wondering how I was going to get my sandals which I had left on the top of the cliffs and whether my shoulder was dislocated or sprained or what. (Turns out I actually broke my arm, which I didn’t know until later.)

After asking one of the locals to retrieve my sandals for me and then having to climb up the side of the hill one handedly using the rope that helps you up, I shuffled back to my car somewhat dazed and confused. At least I got a nice tan. But seriously… what was going on? I am an injured man hundreds of miles away from home, locked out of my air bnb and can’t even get a change of clothes or shower… and I’m supposed to be at a conference in a few hours and then help with an all day outreach the next day! “DEVIL!! You are not stopping me!!”

Well… the Lord heard my prayers as I drove back on that scenic route. “God, I can’t deal with any more right now. I need your grace. I need you to come through here.” I spent the first night at the conference in the same clothes I’d been wearing for almost 48 hours and then by a miracle, I got a response from the hostess who finally told me the right code to the door (after accusing me of lying to Air BnB because she claimed I really knew the code all along.) Late that night after the conference, I made a black ops mission into the den of cats to retrieve my luggage, left the room key on the table and said, “Hasta la vista, baby!”

 

CityFest, Eugene

I woke up the next morning in my local Motel 6, in pain but slightly relieved to have the previous escapade behind me. Should I check myself into the emergency room? Should I just power through this and worry about my shoulder later? I decided on option two. I had come all this way to participate in the outreach and while there was breath in these lungs, I was getting there. Everything took longer with one arm and certain movements triggered the electricity so I had to be very slow and methodical getting ready and getting to the morning session of the conference. The speakers, the prayers, the fellowship all profoundly blessed me. I could see God’s goodness despite what had happened the past couple of days. About 3pm it was go time and we all headed over to PK Park, the local baseball stadium, in Eugene. My role and that of many other volunteers was to counsel new believers and gather their information so that we could make sure to get them into a local church.

The Festival is a massive undertaking. Over 100 churches had been mobilized in the region with about 2 years of planning going into this. The first part of the day they had childrens’ games and a gospel presentation for the kids. People responded. I got to pray with two little guys named Alex and Edgar… and then prayed with another elderly woman who responded too during the kids gospel presentation. Goes to show there is no Jr. Holy Ghost!

Later in the day, there was a presentation by a stunt group. Skateboarders and bikers doing crazy tricks on ramps culminating with motorcyclists doing the same. It is here that we come back to the picture above. After all the tricks and stunts, a young man begins sharing his story. All he ever wanted to do was be a professional biker. He achieved that dream but realized it was not what made life worth living. He described how he always had a praying grandma and she would always tell him about Jesus. (He called her Billy Grandma) It wasn’t until he finally surrendered to Jesus that he knew his true purpose in life and that he had eternal peace inside. He knew where he was going to spend eternity. “This same forgiveness.. this same eternal life.. is available for you. Today is your day to say yes to Jesus. Will you do it?” Hands began going up all over the audience. As I looked to my right, a man was in humble contemplation and then put his hand in the air. His name was Randy.

I counseled him and prayed with him. He had been away from the church for many years, backslidden and lost. He wanted a fresh start and today was that day. I encouraged him, gave him the Luis Palau follow up packet including the gospel of John and prayed for him. His wife came over and thanked me with tears in her eyes. “God has you here for a purpose. You have no idea what this means. I have been praying for him for five years!” I realized in that moment what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “I consider that our light and momentary trials are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.” Randy, Patricia, and their little son Colton will have a new future because of this day. It was all worth it. Matter of fact, if Randy was the only person I came up to Eugene for… it was worth it!

Believe it or not, the night still wasn’t over. They then brought out the third wave. This included artists such as Tedashi and Rend Collective. Andrew Palau came out around 7pm and shared a heart felt and compelling gospel presentation. Again, the hands went up. I prayed with another couple who wanted to give their lives to Christ. And exhausted but so joyful… I left the Festival after a few TobyMac songs at the end of the event that night.

 

The Breaker Anointing

As amazing as CityFest was, something bigger is afoot. Hearing the stories from some of the pastors that this has been in process for over two years made me realize that God was at work in this community. The goal was not to have an event but to transform a region. There is a group in the Eugene area called OneHope that has successfully mobilized city wide unity and consistent prayer amongst almost a hundred churches and their leaders. This has been ongoing now for a number of years. Can you say spiritual plow?

You see God wants to release the breaker anointing. Eugene is known as a liberal / progressive area that is largely unchurched. But this is exactly why this anointing is needed. With our God, nothing is impossible. It is this anointing that breaks every yoke.

After CityFest the next couple of days, I got to touch base with some team members. There was a massive follow up effort underway. They received over 500 decision cards for Christ! I did some phone banking that Monday at the war room to follow up with the new believers. The people I spoke with were profoundly thankful for the event. Nothing like this had been done in Eugene before. “When would the next one be?” seemed to be the consensus. Tom Mueller one of the Palau directors for CityFest and I were talking. He told me however that they didn’t have any plans to do another CityFest in Eugene anytime soon. In my spirit, that disappointed me. But I realized that it didn’t have to be the Palau network doing it. The Body of Christ needed to come together in that region to continue to hold mass evangelistic events in their city. I felt like it needed to happen every year into perpetuity. I sent a prophetic word to Steve Buss, the director of OneHope, telling him that God is saying, “Eugene is going to be a prophetic prototype of sustained revival.” What began with pastors gathering to pray would culminate in a region coming to know the Lord. The CityFest outreach was an important catalyst in that story but not the end.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6

Greater things are yet to come!

Oregon Trip

This past month I had the privilege of making an epic road trip through Oregon. I brought a friend with me named Seth. My reasons for going were to visit the Luis Palau Headquarters in Portland, visit my old friend Virgil, and get to see some gorgeous countryside! Additionally, I was able to time it during an outreach that was taking place at the University of Oregon in Eugene. My adventure included a few surprises!

My biggest take aways were the new and old relationships as well as feeling God’s heart for the people of this state.

 

FIRST STOP | UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, EUGENE


We rolled into Eugene early in the morning and started off the day by attending a leaders’ breakfast where we heard from Francis Chan and the Palau brothers. There was an outreach planned that evening at the University. In the pictures below you will see me with Andrew Palau on the left in the picture and Kevin on the right. These are the sons of Luis and it was an honor to meet and talk with them. During the day, my friend Seth and I went around the campus evangelizing students and inviting them to the event that night called COME AND SEE: Stories of Hope. When the doors opened there was a line of students waiting and they packed out the auditorium!! Over 600 students came out to hear the gospel! Francis Chan and Andrew Palau preached and Phil Wickham led worship. At the end, they counted 39 students who filled out a decision card to give their lives to Christ that night!!! The last picture is of me, Seth, and Jacob a student (wearing the Punisher shirt). We had shared the gospel with Jacob that day and he wound up coming to the event and recommitting his life to Christ. Praise the Lord! (click thumbnails to enlarge)



Second Stop | My Friend Virgil


My friend Virgil and I have known each other for over 10 years. He is a Bay Area native but moved up near Portland for work a few years ago. It was awesome to reunite. Below see me relaxing on his couch… then I visited his gym where he teaches boxing and martial arts. Shawn, the owner of the gym, was complaining of a recent knee injury. So I prayed for his knee (He wasn’t a Christian and seemed a bit awkward about it.) Virgil just texted me that the owner experienced an “exponential increase” in his knee’s recovery after that.. and that now I’m famous at the gym. Glory to God! One of the other days, we visited a nearby coffee shop called INSOMNIA.

Love you Virgil!



Pittock Mansion


We went on an epic hike through intermittent rain to a hill where Pittock Mansion, a hundred year old monument, overlooks the city of Portland. Oregon has some breath taking scenery. Pictured below: Seth and me along the hike, mossy storybook forest, and a great city shot of me looking at Portland.



Last Stop | Portland


Towards the end of the journey we spent the last day in Portland. Our first stop was to the Luis Palau world headquarters. (Located in Beaverton just outside Portland.)  Tom Mueller, below next to me in the first picture, gave us the full tour and talked about all the exciting work that they are doing in holding Festivals around the world and equipping churches and other evangelists. After that we moseyed along Portland’s waterfront, visited some coffee shops, and checked out the Deschutes brewery. That night after saying goodbye to Virgil, we stayed with a new friend Kirk Petersen and his family (last picture). Kirk is one of the regional directors for the Alpha course ministry. We had met in Eugene during the outreach and they were kind enough to welcome us right in!



And just for fun…

We stopped at In-N-Out and Bethel Church on our way back!!

2017 Year End Report

Dear friends, family, saints:

 

This has been a roller coaster year. I have had some tremendous victories and a number of painful defeats. But through it all God is faithful. I pray you are all well and enjoying the end of the year with your loved ones.

 

Heartbreak, Healing, Hope:

 

This year I have had a number of relational setbacks. For anyone who is a parent or mentor, you know the pain and disappointment when someone you have invested into either goes astray or gets offended thus severing the relationship. This happened to me this year with a spiritual son whom I had mentored for over two years. Additionally, my brother whom I have been close with my whole life has married a woman and while I am happy he got married, our relationship isn’t the same and he is now much more distant and unavailable. I even had a romantic heartbreak this year too! All that to say, this has been a year for me to process all these things in prayer and through the godly counsel of others as I seek to heal from all of this.

 

After returning in June from Africa, I clearly sensed the need for an extended time of rest. I decided to press into a sabbatical year and focus on being refueled, mentored, and to simply rest. I haven’t taken a step back in nine years and I felt the weariness in my soul. Amen that God is a God of rest! Practically, I have gone on some retreats, pulled back from any one on one discipleship of others, and been very guarded with ministry commitments. My focus has been to seek the Lord, get rest, get healed, process and go deeper in my walk with God. This has infused me with an unshakable hope that the best is still ahead. God is in control and he is working all things together for good to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Often, until we rest and reflect, we don’t realize how far we have come, what still needs work, and what wisdom we can learn from both our successes and failures. I will continue this sabbatical season until the summer of 2018.

 

Kenya / Uganda:

After waiting for over ten years, I finally made it to Africa! I had wanted to go back in the mid 2000s and then again in 2013 but neither trip materialized. God is good and faithful. Working with Bishop Imoite Papa of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, we put on three evangelistic crusades in Nairobi and the surrounding regions. The Kenyans received us warmly and their passion in worship was contagious. During the course of the three week campaign, we documented just under one hundred new salvations. We also saw numerous miraculous healings including: a man on crutches get up and walk after being in a severe accident, a blind eye restored, numerous bodily pains and emotional and psychological traumas healed. They have invited me back in 2018. In addition to Kenya, I was able to spend a week in Uganda while in Africa. Leaders, pastors and the host of Spirit FM radio all became new friends during my time there. I can’t wait to see what God will do when I return again!

 

UC Berkeley:

This past year I have spent another two semesters on the UC Berkeley campus. We have seen a number of growth areas that are worthy of celebration. First, what began as a once a week endeavor has multiplied to two days per week. Another young student by the name of Joseph has taken it upon himself to add Friday prayer, worship, and evangelism to the roster. So now we are on campus on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Additionally we have seen a number of new people join the ranks including people from out of the Bay Area. One group of women commute all the way from Manteca to join us for prayer, worship and evangelism each week. They are powerful intercessors and have enhanced the group tremendously. We also continue to see greater levels of favor in working with local churches and other ministries on campus. We have students joining us from Living Water Church, NAOS house of prayer, Gracepoint, the Ark and occasionally Campus Crusade. It has always been our vision to have an interfellowship movement around the three Ps: prayer, praise, and preaching. Next semester will make five years that I have been laboring on campus. Follow at: http://openairmov.com

 

Looking Ahead to 2018:

The Lord spoke to me in 2013 when I launched Overflow Ministries about having ten nations. What this means is making a sizable, quantifiable, long term impact in these nations. Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to build significant relationships in Nicaragua, Kenya and Uganda. Moreover, I have been receiving invitations to Pakistan and India on a regular basis. My good friend Evangelist Andrew Mutana from Kenya has also invited me to come with him to Indonesia this coming summer. Pray for the guidance and resources to go to the nations this coming year as well as the further development of the ten nation vision.

 

In addition to the international work I am engaged in, I have a heart for the USA and college campuses of California. As many of you are aware, I have been preaching and discipling students on the UC Berkeley campus for four years now. This coming year, I am going to be passing the baton of leadership at the UC Berkeley campus over to the other students who have been raised up in ministry. I will stay as a spiritual father and mentor to see that the work continues but will turn my attention to other campuses such as San Jose State, San Francisco State, and the University of Southern California. God has been opening up relationships in Los Angeles with pastors and ministries. I feel clearly led of God to begin investing much more heavily into Los Angeles this coming year. Finally, I will continue expanding relationships with churches throughout the Bay Area and other parts of the country.

 

May the Lord bless you and your family as you continue in the faith. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and generosity.

 

In His Service,

 

Zac Linton

Overflow Ministries

Christmas Outreach to the Poor and Needy

Christmas Outreach 2015

Recently during a time of meditation, I distinctly heard the Lord Jesus say,

“Remember the poor this Christmas.”

Although the majority of my ministry consists of preaching and teaching, this was the perfect opportunity to pour out in a different way, a tangible and intimate expression of the love and message of the gospel.

Here’s what we did. I rounded up the people I’m discipling and invited a few other friends along.

We all pitched in and bought some presents for a variety of families in need. I specifically wanted to bless families that really had little to nothing. The word the Lord gave me is that they are not forgotten by Him.

Here are the stories of the families and pictures from the outreach on December 12, 2015. Thank you to everyone who participated and gave! It was my honor and privilege to lead and minister along side you all.

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Zack Surunis writing Bible verses on the Christmas cards we passed out.

 

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Arjun Thounaojam proudly presents one of the gifts. That he wrapped!

 

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Prayer time before we head out.

 

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The first family we visited was a refugee family from Thailand / Sri Lanka. Their father had wanted to get them out of the country so badly that he had threatened suicide if the government didn’t send them to the USA to have a better life. He tried to reunite with them but was prevented due to an illegitimate passport. He is currently in prison in Thailand.

The mother was so grateful we came that she made us a small meal afterwards with the little food she had. We got to sing them some Christmas carols, pray for each of the children, gave them a Bible, and some gifts. The big hits were the sheriff kit (with handcuffs!) and the whiffle lacrosse set. One of the two young boys prayed to receive Jesus. The names of the family are: Sitta (mother), Thomas (son), Johanna (daughter), Jude, and Paul (younger sons).

Thomas lives in a group home. Please pray for this family to continue to experience the love and growth of God in all their lives.

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Sitta makes us a meal as a measure of her gratitude to us.

 

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“You’ll never get away! I’ve got you now,” says Paul.

Where’s the sheriff to help keep poor Roberto from being kidnapped and turned into a Ninja Turtle?


After we finished with the family in Oakland, we went to Berkeley for a number of stops.

Unfortunately, a couple of the people we had intended to visit weren’t at home as planned… but we made the most of it and went around the neighborhood caroling!

There was a woman named Barbara who was hesitant at first and then as she sat and listened to us sing Joy to the World, and Hark! The Herald Angel’s sing, she began to warm up. Minutes later her husband Alfredo shows up and joins in the caroling! He later thanked us for coming and said that it’s so good that we’re out doing this. He insisted on giving me money to help with the church. 🙂

Next, we met a woman named Eve walking her dog. She saw us and asked if we were carolers. We said yes and she joined in singing along with us. We got to pray for her at the end and invited her to recommit her life to Jesus.

Lastly, in the picture below, there’s an apartment building that Zack thought would be a good idea to go up to. To our delight, both families came out of their apartments, joined us in the caroling, and thanked us. We got to pray for them all at the end before saying good bye.

 

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Us in front of the apartment building where we caroled. From left: Frania Martinez, Erika Alvarez Martinez, Betty Yu, Arjun Thounaojam, me (Zac Linton), Roberto Diaz, Zack Surunis. And the talented Cassandra Lopez was taking the photo!

 

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The last family we visited was a Mexican family. The father’s name was Adolfo and the little grand daughter is Marisol.

 

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Marisol opens her gift.

 

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The other daughter was named Jasmina. She got an Etch-a-Sketch, some Origami, and a Hoola-hoop.

We prayed for them, sang for them, and read them the Christmas story from Luke 2. Frania even got to pray for Adolfo in Spanish! I don’t know exactly what she said… but I’m sure it was good! (I felt the anointing on it.)


Jesus said,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) 

and,

“Whatever you have done unto the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40)

In all these visits, I could just feel the love and heartbeat of God for the people all over. Some are very broken and struggling. Some rejected the news while others rejoiced at the glad tidings we brought.

Truly, the greatest gift ever given is that of Jesus Christ, God’s Son born into the world. There’s no greater reason to celebrate. Amen!

This concludes our Christmas outreach. We hope you were encouraged and inspired by these testimonies and may God use you also to let people know they are not forgotten this Christmas.

Peace, joy, and love to you and yours this holy season.

~ Zac

(PS Thank you everyone for your participation and also to Jackie and Mario Alvarez Martinez even though you couldn’t make the whole thing!)

Cristo Todo Poderoso Ministry

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We had a great time on November 15th at Cristo Todo Poderoso Church with Pastor Martin and Laura. (In the picture from left: Betty Yu, Zak Surunis, Laura & Martin Diaz, myself, and Roberto Diaz)

This is my second time ministering here. I preached a word that the Lord gave me about relying on his grace. Often, we forget that it is God’s power and purposes working through us and we try to live the Christian life in our own strength.

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that Jesus spoke to him after he was going through a trial a “thorn in the flesh.” Jesus says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Hallelujah!

God allows trials in our lives sometimes to bring us back to a fresh place of relying totally on his grace and strength to sustain us. As a matter of fact, some of the more powerful times of ministry in my life have been when I felt the weakest or least capable of preaching a good message.

The end of our rope is the beginning of God’s!

I likened living by God’s grace to the gondolas that people take to get up the mountain when they go skiing or snowboarding (which I love to do). You can either try to climb up the mountain yourself, or you can accept that the mountain is too big for you, too treacherous, and despite the most valiant of efforts, there will be parts of it that are unscalable in your strength. Get into the gondola of God’s grace and give him praise as he lifts you up to places you could never get to alone.

The service was powerful and many people testified at the end after the ministry time at the altars that they felt God’s presence, they were encouraged, and that the message seemed to be specifically for them!

Thank you to everyone at Cristo Todo Poderoso. We look forward to being with you again soon!

Dios les bendiga! Gloria a JesuCristo!

UC Berkeley Evangelism – Raging abortionists, witches, and salvations!

Yesterday I went out to preach the gospel as is my custom each Tuesday on the UC Berkeley campus. I was joined by Andrew Mutana and my disciple Zack Surunis. There were a number of other Christians with us initially worshiping and praying before we began preaching. Pastor Vieng of ICA and others from Living Waters were there.

A short time into the preaching, a group of pro-abortion campaigners clustered on the steps of Sproul Plaza. I quickly realized they were there to stage a “mock protest” against people who believe Planned Parenthood is evil. (which it is) Planned Parenthood has recently been under major fire because of the release of numerous undercover videos exposing their depravity in laughing about ripping babies apart limb by limb and selling their body parts for profit on the black market. (google: center for medical progress) Liberals try to deny all these claims and the main stream media has been outrageously silent on the issue and refuses to expose this atrocity. So there they were… with their mob mostly of old ladies and a few gay men with the camera crews from local new stations. (Why doesn’t the news come out to cover the preaching of the gospel?)

The mob started to heat up as I continued preaching about the mercy of God (my sermon that day). At first they tried to ignore us and then as they began mocking faith and telling us to F*** off and take our Bibles with us. They then started singing a mockery of a gospel song called “We Shall Not Be Moved” and praising abortion. We counter attacked by singing, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus”! This shut them up surprisingly as the demons in them likely shuddered at the mention of that name!

I told the people promoting abortion that it was evil and that if they repented, God would have mercy on them. I told them if they didn’t repent, that the blood of innocent children would be on their hands and judgment would follow. To this, they only continued to heap insults on us.

One woman even exclaimed, “You should be ashamed of yourselves. Get off of this campus!” She blamed us for the fact that she has a gay son who is suicidal. (?) I guess she blames Christianity. We said we’d be happy to pray for her son and she should bring him to us. To this she refused and repeated that we should be ashamed of ourselves.

A small cluster of angry students also began peppering us with questions and accusations. As I stepped down from the stairs, I was met by a demon-possessed man / witch who was mocking us and aggressively in our faces saying, “Ooooh, you guys believe in the invisible man! Get off of this campus! People like you aren’t fit to live!” He didn’t actually do anything.

A group of women from Living Waters kindly asked if they could pray for me and encourage me. As we all began to cluster up and they started praying for me, the mob of abortionists chanted, “We don’t want your prayers! We don’t want your prayers!” But we just prayed on anyway.

Later as I was talking with another student, Andrew Mutana was confronted by the same demon possessed man. He starts threatening Andrew saying, “You’re a fool for believing in the invisible man.” and “I’m going to set you on fire and your Jesus can’t save you.” Andrew very calmly replied with authority, “Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world!” He kept saying to the demon-possessed man, “Jesus is greater. The one in me is greater!” speaking the name of Jesus. The man turned around and fled.

Then, I met a young man named Dimitri who had been witnessing all these events. I shared the gospel with him and Andrew also had some words of knowledge for him about someone being a strong Christian in his family who was praying for him. (It turns out it was his mother) Dimitri was shocked that God knew the secrets of his heart and gave his life to Christ on the spot. (He had had a nominal background in Christianity but was confused by Jehovah’s Witnesses.)

Dimitri told me later, “Even though all that mob of people was opposing you and mocking you. I could tell that you guys were the ones speaking the true message.”

Dimitri came out to my Bible study later that night. Please keep him in your prayers as he’s a brand new Christian. The picture on the top is myself on the left and Dimitri on the right.

Blood Moon Pictures 2015

These pictures were taken September 27, 2015 from my LG phone camera. We watched this event from the hills of Orinda, CA in the USA. This was the fourth blood moon of a series occurring from 2014-15 and makes up what is called a Tetrad (“Four”). This has only occurred three other times in the past 500 years. Each time it has coincided perfectly with major events for the Jewish people. For a good book outlining the Biblical and historical significance of these events, check out: Four Blood Moons by John Hagee. I personally believe these are signs in the heavens from God to alert us to things he’s about to do on the earth. Blood Moons Video

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