This past weekend honestly felt to me like a few days in the life of Jesus. Here’s why…
On Friday night, I worked late (about 10pm) at the office on my Sunday morning sermon and Sunday afternoon LCU teaching syllabus. Spending time reading the Bible, researching, and writing messages for the express benefit of other people is very rewarding. While you’re in those moments, you think to yourself, “Wow, these words will change everything for the people who hear them.”
Saturday morning 5:30am, we loaded a team of 52 DFCers into 5 vehicles (including a mini-bus & a passenger van)… and we headed for Washington DC. We stopped at First Assembly of God in Alexandria, Virginia to rendezvous with our homeless mission street guides: Evangelists Gerald and Phyllis Mayhan. Did about 30 minutes of street ministry training, got fired up with enthusiasm, and headed for our nations capital.
Gerald Mayhan, was a point man in Vietnam, has two purple hearts, spent 18 years addicted to heroin and cocaine, was estranged from his wife, and lived in the streets of Washington DC. He lived under the bridges and in abandoned buildings… he knows what the people are going through, because he was there! Gerald is one of the greatest evangelist in the world today. Last year, he personally led more than 5000 people to Christ in America and abroad. I’ve been partnering with he and Phyllis on these DC Outreaches for the past 18 years. Together, we’ve led a few thousand people to Christ during that time.
We didn’t go out with sermons made from words. Just like Jesus did it, we went to them with an outrageous expression of love. We had 450 care packages, food, blankets, coats, and the spirit of compassion. We gave a free copy of my book Make Me A Legend to every homeless person we ministered to.
At each stop, we gave those frozen, suffering people several stories of hope from members of our team. We sang songs and did dramas. We invited them to accept Christ as their savior. Then, we surrounded them with our 52, and we listened to them, cried and prayed with them, and lavished them with our special gifts.
Throughout the day, we gave away 125 MMAL books, meaning that we specifically prayed for 125 homeless individuals. We estimated (on the low side) that 90 of them fell in love with Christ. They made sincere commitments to turn their lives over to Him. They even claimed to experience relief when we prayed for their physical healing. It was beautiful beyond the stories and images we brought back home.
Here are some images from the outreach…
Then on Sunday, we had one of the greatest worship sets of all time at Destiny Family Center. Our homeless mission report to the congregation was moving – made us feel like we were there on the streets of DC again!
People responded amazingly to the first message in my Core Values Series (part 1): Together, We Are Devoted!
Then, at the end of the service, I prayed a blessing over Ricky Lee & Cassie Wade as they leave us for their new home in Pittsburgh, PA. Ricky gave his life to Christ at DFC after many years of drugs, drug dealing, and jail… met his wife Cassie who also gave her life to Christ at DFC, coming out of a similar background. I prayed them through the sinners prayer, performed their wedding ceremony, dedicated their two sons… and watched them become powerful beyond what anyone could have predicted.
For more than 7 years, Ricky and Cassie expressed UNPARALLELED LOYALTY to me and my family, they were the truest armor bearers we’ve had in 10 years of Pastoring… they stood with us and for us in the face of untold persecution, and they never wavered. That special moment, when I prayed for Ricky and Cassie on Sunday morning… I will NEVER forget it! Neither will anyone who was there. I believe they are the first fruits of hundreds and thousands like them who will find new life in our ministry, grow into mighty EAGLES, and go out from us after being perfectly loyal, with God’s HIGHEST BLESSING… to bring Christ into another generation! The very best is still to come for Ricky and Cassie… and I look forward to being a significant part of their lives, until the day of my death. That’s what true covenant is about. It’s rare, so it’s BEAUTIFUL when it’s seen.
Here’s an image of that blessing ceremony…
On Sunday afternoon, we had another legendary 3hr Bible College session. In ONE year, God has accomplished in these students what normally takes FOUR years to accomplish – no exaggeration. It’s phenomenal.
It’s taken us a long decade to get to this place where we can SEE our LEGACY being established. It’s nearly killed us at times, but we’ve not just survived… we’ve become a millions times more effective because of the process.
It seems that this is a prophetic moment for our ministry. Doors are opening to the entire world. What hasn’t worked (like we’d hoped) is suddenly working! The only thing we’re lacking now is money, but that’s been changing too… new people are coming, money is coming, and our new vision is being fulfilled!
My encouragement to others: Stay faithful to your God-sized dreams. Fight for the joy of your salvation. Guard your heart, stay in faith… no matter how dark and cold the winters have been… quitting is your only chance at failing. If you stay in the game and stay dedicated to the game for long enough… God will suddenly do it! What you thought would take 20 years, will happen in ONE or TWO. In the words of my friend and ministry mentor Pastor Marion Dalton, “God doesn’t move quickly, He moves SUDDENLY!”
I just prayed for you. Have a most triumphant day!
Hold on to Your Dreams,