Monday, January 25, 2016

Salvation on the Streets: A Testimony from Brazil

The "Red Light District" of Belo Horizonte is a neighborhood populated with brothels, porn theaters, and lost souls. It's the perfect place to do ministry! We went there several times on this trip, each time bringing worship, the Word, and the presence of God. This past year we saw God move upon one man's heart in an undeniable way. Here's the story from Ryan's perspective:

"Our first night in the Red Light District, during our second or third worship set, a man who was either just leaving a brothel or on his way into a brothel  was drawn by the music and stopped by to see what was going on. A few members of our team approached him with a translator to talk and share with him (I was watching all this happen from about a hundred feet away). After a few minutes of conversation, I saw the man put his hands over his face and start to weep uncontrollably. His sobs where audible even over the music! Then he dropped to his knees and just started crying out to God, confessing and repenting of his sins. This went on for several minutes. Once he calmed down a little bit, he stood back up shouting, "Jesus! Obrigada Jesus!" (which means "Thank you Jesus"). Without any hesitation at all, he joined in with us praising and dancing, just worshipping Jesus. I even went over and joined him! We both danced and celebrated his new life in Christ together."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2015 New Year's Ever Outreach

Since 1997, we have yet to miss an opportunity to minister to the estimated one million people that gather in Times Square ever year to celebrate the New Year, and this year's outreach was just as good as years past. One young man named Enrique was drawn to the Prayer Station when he heard we were offering free hot chocolate. After making some small talk he confided in one of our staff members and shared his life story. "My mom left me at the age of five and I never knew my father." he said solemnly. "I've just started going to church and I know I need God, but let me ask you something... how do I let go of all my bitterness? How do I get rid of all the pain in my heart from the way I've been mistreated?" His humble question turned into a long conversation about the gospel, finding our identity in Christ, and the healing that comes from knowing God as our Father. Enrique was blessed that evening. He was just one of many who entered into the new year with a fresh perspective on God.