It’s In You
In the spring of 2017, Bevelyn, Edmee, and Jessica went to share Jesus in Los Angeles for the 2nd time. Here’s what happened:
Bryin & Lashona
In the spring of 2017, we took our second trip to LA while ministering in Las Vegas. We really saw the LORD at work in so many awesome and wonderful ways! The glory and majesty of our God was re-confirmed to us, and we learned once again that everything is in God! It’s in You, Lord!
The first time we went to minister in Los Angeles, we were at the VA hospital praying for a man named Mr. X who was a veteran, but had also been a dancer on the TV show Soul Train! He at first did not want to be prayed for but did not mind us singing. As we were singing This “Little” Light of Mine, a lady peeked her head through the curtains and said, “I’d recognize the Holy Ghost anywhere!” And that’s how we met Ms. LaShona. She’s become like family, and so has her son! Bevelyn calls Bryin, her “brother from another mother.”
God always unites His children! And we are so grateful that the Holy Spirit connected us with Ms. LaShona, and her son Bryin. Meeting them was like the book of Acts when people shared what they had in the name of the LORD! Bryin wounded up housing and hosting us for the weekend, and we were able to share our testimonies. He has a beautiful testimony, and we look forward to having him on a podcast in the future.
When we first met Ms. LaShona, she’d told us to stay in touch, but we don’t think she thought we meant it, so when her son arranged for us to surprise her one afternoon, Ms. LaShona was surprised indeed! She was at the harbor enjoying lunch with her husband, but she was so happy to see us! And we were happy to see her!
Hitting Skid Row
Once reunited, we were itching to go back to Skid Row. This area in downtown LA is something to behold… It’s a hotbed of all kinds of addictions and poverty. There are a lot of ministries working there, and a lot of social help has been centralized in that area, but there’s also a heavy concentration of drug dealing and people suffering from mental illness. Most social services in Los Angeles are located in Skid Row. So, if a family needs help that’s where they’re sent which can be a dangerous snare. Folks are tempted by all manner of vices around them and some get dragged down, or skid into a pit. But praise God! We met some people who had been delivered from that cycle and were helping others to get out, but it’s a tough environment. You can smell it in the air. Drugs. Alcohol, Poverty. Hopelessness. Despair. Prostitution. We even saw a pimp and his main prostitute living in a tent with a little dog.
On our first trip there, we had connected with some of the Union Rescue Mission staff. We were shocked to find out that they routinely have lots of beds available. That night they had 100 vacant beds. When we inquired so as to why so many people were on the streets, we were told that some people would rather live on the streets then following rules. At the shelter, you have to get up at a certain time, but if you live in a tent, you can do as you please. You can smoke or drink what you want, and you can wake up or go to bed at your leisure.
Our host Bryin, for some reason, thought he was just going to host us, but the LORD had another plan that day. Bryin explained that it wasn’t his calling. Which by the way, is a typical response from lots of Christians we’ve encountered. But if you claim Jesus as your LORD and Savior, you have been reconciled with God, and therefore you are a minister of reconciliation! As followers of Christ, we are called to do what He did. When it comes to helping and ministering to those in need, we are all called to do that! Bryin ultimately Brian came along and what the LORD did was amazing…
Like a Fish in the Water
So we drove down to Skid Row, parked the car and prayed. If we recall, Bryin even led us in prayer! It was important for us to be in the Spirit. We got out of the car, bibles in hand and stood on a corner. We were going for it! And it really felt as if people were waiting to be ministered to because from the minute we stepped foot on that corner, we approached people without any introduction. We just went for it, laying hands and praying for people. People started to come to us as we… There may have been one person who did not want to be loved on. So we stood on that same block, talked, laughed, cried and handed out Bibles. What we experienced on that day will remain in our hearts forever. We saw with our own eyes and hearts the hunger in people for the things of God. People really wanted prayer, they really wanted bibles, and they really wanted the Gospel!
One special encounter was with a man (let’s call him John), who had strayed from the LORD. As Edmee who was with Bryin was ministering to him, John lifted his hands, and Bryin offered to lead him to the LORD. This man followed Bryin’s words and started to pour out his heart to the LORD. It’s interesting to note that just an hour before, we had to convince Bryin to come with us to Skid Row. But here he was leading someone to the LORD! And later that night he led someone else to the LORD as well!
Bryin was expecting street ministry to be boring, but it was anything but! He felt a freedom to minister he’d never experienced before. Previously he thought he had to put on his church clothes to go out in the streets and minister. But he learned first hand what Jesus said to do: “Go out into the highways and byways and preach the Gospel,” and Brian flourished out there. It was beautiful to watch because it was just Bryin operating in Christ. He didn’t try to be anyone else. No fake language. No stilted church talk: just Bryin in Christ.
We’d seen similar transformations in others when they would come minister with us for the first time. Once the people got out in the streets and started to move and operate in the Spirit, they feel a freedom, and a liberty to minister, and what God planted and rooted in them starts to come out! And when these epiphanies start to happen we’d look at each other and say, “Wow all this was inside!” And that’s one of the things we feel that we’ve been called to do. It’s to get people in a position where they can open up and get in Christ and realize what they are called to do in Him! In Jesus, there is total freedom! What Bryin did with such ease is something that every single believer is born again to do! We can all do it. We are all ministers of reconciliation! Our new nature in Christ makes us ambassadors of the Gospel.
Drugs and poverty don’t discriminate! So on those streets, there were Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, you name it. We met a man who was from Dallas, a white guy and he really wanted to get out of Skid Row. He kept repeating over and over: “I have to get out of here. I have to get out of here.” He had a son in Dallas and he wanted to leave Skid Row and we were moved by his desire. So we asked the man if he had a plan. How would he get to Dallas? He said he planned to take the Greyhound bus. We didn’t know exactly what he’d do once he got to Dallas, but we did know that getting him out of Skid Row would be a start at a better life and a new beginning. God was moving, so we told him right there on the spot that in the Name of Jesus, we’re getting him a ticket, and he was shocked! He thought that maybe we would give him a few dollars toward the ticket, but he never expected us to get him the entire ticket to Dallas!
Once again, Bryin was right there in the midst! He volunteered to take the man to the bus station, and we ladies went to get the man some food for his long trip. We then all met at the station, got him the ticket for Dallas and prayed for him. So after the man was on his way back to Dallas, we headed back to Skid Row where we encountered the awesome ministry Teen Challenge. If you’re a Christian and you know anyone who’s been affected by addiction, you may be aware of Teen Challenge which was started in the 1970s by the Dave Wilkerson, a great man of God.
The Kingdom is at work in these tough areas like Skid Row and God forbid if we ever think that we’re the only ones doing the work! Because then we’d be like Elijah, who said, “I’m the only prophet left”… When he wasn’t! There are tons of ministries at work doing street ministry and it’s always a blessing to connect with them, and either break bread with them, or partner with them. So to see Teen Challenge there was great. They had an evening service at which one of the TC ministry workers prophesied over Bryin, and we think that testifies to the great growth in the future and what the LORD wants to do in the lives of people like Bryin who don’t realize what they’re capable of outside of the walls of the church. There are so many who, at first, are reluctant to step out, but then realize who they are when they start operating in Jesus and are freed from themselves! When you’re freed from yourself and from all of the confines of churchy demeanor—when you’re freed from all of that and just operating in the true Spirit of God, people discover that they are at their mightiest; they are at their best!
Baptism in Skid Row
You realize that you can be a true vessel of the LORD in a world where people don’t even want to mention His Name! So Bryin’s Skid Row experience was a lesson in the first steps of discipleship. And now’s he’s open to it. He’ll have to go out again, and again, but once he and others get a taste of discipleship and ministering in a different way, they’ll just want more and more of it. They’ll learn that in God they are free! They’re not ridiculed. They’ll realize that Wow! They are free in Christ. The whole Skid Row experience was a blessing for all of us.
As we were leaving after spending time with Teen Challenge, we saw a man who was searching through the trash. He had a bad gash over his eye as if he’d just been attacked. Bevelyn went over to him and asked him what had happened to his eye. The minute she asked this big man what was wrong with his eye, he started to weep and said a guy had just body slammed him. So Bevelyn hugged him, and as she hugged and comforted him, the LORD led her to prophesy, and she started to speak into his ear, and continued to do so for a few minutes and then she concluded by saying, “I know you’re tired. It’s time. Are you ready?” Bryin was close by and was watching the entire time and took over and started to lead the man to the LORD.
When we go out to the minister, we carry gallons of water in the car. Aside from drinking lots of water, we use it to baptize. So Bevelyn went back to the car to grab a gallon of water, and when she returned, we baptized him in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! By this point it was late, so we hugged the man. Jessica gave him her Bible, and then we got in the car and left. On the way back to Bryin’s home we reminisced and celebrated about all that had happened and gave thanks for what the LORD had done.
Bryin carried that same openness to church the next day. We were grateful to worship with him and his mom Ms. LaShona who agreed that there were a number of young people at their church who would benefit from being discipled in a similar way. And that’s what we’re planning to do again on Skid Row when we go back to LA in February of 2018 for four weeks. Our goal and plan are to support local churches. We look forward to disciple the young people there and equip them for the work of the ministry through intimacy with God, identity in Christ and inheritance in the Holy Spirit. We plan to help them minister in Spirit and in the truth of who they are in Jesus. We trust those young people will be operating in exactly who God created them to be. In the unique way that God made them. And that’s a beautiful thing! We don’t all minister the same! God made us all different for a reason. We’re all different flavors, but we have the same goal, and His Name is Jesus.
So we look forward to reporting back about what the LORD has in store for us on our next visit to LA.
2 Corinthians 5:20 reads Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Bevelyn’s Prayer: “Father in the Name of Jesus, I thank You for every evangelist hearing this. I call forth every evangelist. I call forth every minister. I call forth every Christian. I call forth every person who claims Jesus as their LORD and Savior. I’m calling them forth, Father, so let the seed You placed in them flourish. I pray that they are listening to the water and the sunshine and that it may grow and may Your Word manifest in them fruit in the Name of Jesus, and may it manifest encouragement so that each person knows: “I can do it! I can minister!” “I can talk about Jesus, not only in how I live but that the word’s that come out of my mouth can minister to my LORD and my Savior. LORD, let each person believe: “I can do it!” In the Name of Jesus. Amen.”