The Heat


In the spring of 2017, Bevelyn, Edmee, and Jessica went to share Jesus in Las Vegas. Here’s what happened:

A City in the Desert

Las Vegas is known as a big party city, but the first thing that hit us was how overrated it is. Las Vegas is just a big city in the middle of a desert. The people who created it must have said, “Ok, let’s create a city in the middle of a desert where people can just get drunk and gamble!” So they dressed up the city with zillions of neon signs so at first glance it looks all glitzy and glamorous, but the after-effects are devastating…

When we set out to go on a ministry trip to Las Vegas, people assumed that we’d spend most of our time in casinos, but we actually spent most of our time in North Vegas. The day after we arrived we met a pastor who told us that North Vegas was the place to go—because the area was saturated with folks dealing with drugs, alcohol, hopelessness, and homelessness. North Vegas was similar to what we’d seen on Skid Row in Los Angeles, except the added dimension is that many of the people in North Vegas wound up on the streets because of gambling. In Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, people have gambled themselves into poverty. All kinds of people. We were surprised by the number homeless Asians we encountered, which goes to show that sin and despair are not respecters of persons. When we asked some of the Asians why they were living on the street, their answer was simple: “We’re broke.”

In Las Vegas, we learned a very important lesson: addiction to drugs or alcohol appeared to be the problem, but the real drug was gambling.

Hitting It Big

For the most part, the average tourist who visits Las Vegas just sees the glitz and glam. They stay in a great hotel for a week, and then they go back to their regular lives and humble abodes. But the people who live in places like Las Vegas and North Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada are enticed continuously by the possibility of “hitting it big” and winning the jackpot, and it can easily become an addiction because there are gambling machines everywhere—even in the check cashing places.

So picture this: in Vegas and the surrounding areas, you can walk into to a check cashing place; cash your check and then be tempted to play a slot machine even before you walk out the door! The hope of “hitting it big” is a constant lure, and people routinely lose their paychecks, or whatever money they have trying to hit the jackpot. So many of the people who live in the Vegas area are smoking, drinking and drugging to numb their minds to the fact that they’re broke and have absolutely nothing.

And to make matters worse, there’s a hardheartedness in that area that was a BIG thing for us to see. “Regular” folks don’t want to give money to the homeless or the needy for fear that they’ll gamble it away…

North Vegas

So we continued to be alarmed by what we saw. Shortly after we arrived, we encountered a woman who was screaming and shrieking and saying that she “had to get high, she had to get high!” And to see people living in makeshift tents in the desert of Las Vegas—in the scorching heat, that was something entirely new because Las Vegas was hotter than anywhere else we’d visited. It was hotter than South Africa, Texas, Los Angeles. Everywhere! To quote Bevelyn, “Las Vegas was hotter than fish grease!” It broke our hearts to see people getting high and drunk in the hot, hot, hot weather. The desperation in their eyes; people sitting and wasting away. We’d seen it before to a certain extent in LA on Skid Row—but that kind of despair is something that you never get used to. You just cannot get used to seeing people in such a condition.

Walking around that first day, we encountered a young Asian guy named Ben. We actually wanted to pray for someone else, but the guy didn’t want to be prayed for and Ben reprimanded him and said, “Hey they’re trying to do a good thing!” So we could tell that Ben had some sort of past with the LORD, but he was also struggling. So we prayed for him and encouraged him to rise up. This would be the first of many times that we saw Ben while we were in that area.

Planned “Murderhood”

Edmee really had it in her heart to go to Planned Parenthood and speak with women about abortion, and unfortunately, Bevelyn has had three abortions and knows firsthand the struggles and the pain, so we googled the closest Planned Parenthood location and drove there. When we arrived, the parking lot was empty, but we knew it was open, so we just sat in the car, praying and seeking direction from the Holy Spirit—telling Him that we just wanted to stop at least one abortion that day; we wanted to speak to at least one woman.

Eventually, a car pulled up and three people got out of the car; an older couple and a young girl, who looked to be no more than sixteen. The couple appeared to be Caucasian, and she looked Hispanic. We figured the couple was taking the girl to get an abortion. So a few minutes after they went into Planned Parenthood, we followed them. Bevelyn approached them with love and started a conversation with the couple and then asked them why the girl was there. When they didn’t want to disclose any information, Bevelyn just looked at the girl and said, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it! You’ll regret it the rest of your life. This is not a good decision. God is a Provider, and He will make a way for you to provide for you and your baby. Do not kill your baby. Do not murder your child.” The man stood up and started to raise hell, shouting at Bevelyn to mind her business, and yelling and saying that it was “a safe procedure and that it was just clump of cells, and we’re getting it early on. You have no right to say these things!”

The louder the man got, the more Bevelyn could feel the Holy Spirit keeping her calm and letting her know that what she was doing was an act of love and not war. She had not walked into Planned Parenthood to fight, but to save two lives—the baby’s and the girl’s—and maybe the couple’s as well. But Bevelyn was determined to keep speaking the truth, so the exchange continued.

All of a sudden some Planned Parenthood workers burst into the waiting room, and we’ve never seen professionals become so aggressive so quickly. It felt demonic—and it was. There was a spiritual war going on, and they asked us to leave. But Bevelyn continued to talk to the girl. The grandparents were yelling at Bevelyn to shut up and yelling at the girl to get up, but she refused and kept listening to Bevelyn.

Bevelyn could see the fear and anguish in the young girl’s eyes. And Bevelyn knew exactly what the girl was thinking: that she was sixteen and pregnant and could not imagine a future for herself and her baby and she felt forced by the grandparents into getting the abortion. The grandparents kept yelling. But the girl just kept listening to Bevelyn. The girl heard the love in Bevelyn’s voice, the love of Jesus, but eventually, the workers grabbed the girl and took her into a room. The grandparents continued to yell at Bevelyn, and then the workers started to grab and pull Bevelyn. (Big mistake!) She quickly let them know that that was NOT the thing to do… But thanks be to God, the Holy Spirit kept the love, and even though we decided to leave, the Planned Parenthood workers still called the police.

But here’s what blew our minds: Planned Parenthood called the police on us for telling a girl that having an abortion was not a good idea. Yet, Planned Parenthood had taken the girl into a room to kill her baby. We eagerly went outside to wait for the police, because we wanted to talk to them.

Trash Bag Ministry

The next day when we went back to North Vegas, we got down to the nitty-gritty of our trip. Imagine this: men with no shoes, dirty feet, no shirts lying down on hot rocks and gravel. The conditions were deplorable; there was trash and litter and garbage everywhere. That’s when the idea came. We’d have a Trash Bag Ministry! We decided to pay people to remove the garbage.

For some reason, there was a very strong mandate in our hearts regarding 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 “ that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” The World English Bible has a powerful translation: “If a man chooses not to work, neither shall he eat.” So we really felt on this trip, that money should be earned. So we decided to become temporary employers and headed to the closest Walmart, which is always our favorite place to get ministry supplies! We loaded up on garbage bags and other items, and we went back to North Vegas. We paid $5 per bag of garbage. And wow! It was awesome to see what happened! People (mostly men) started to line up and get bags. There were some who tried to scam us by filling up the bags with big bulky items, but for the most part, the men were filling up garbage bags with as much garbage as they could find. Then we had to find a place to dispose of the garbage, so we found a church nearby, and they let us use their dumpster. Men stepped up to take the bags to the dumpster, and we paid them $10. At the end of the first day, we were truly amazed: we collected more than 30 bags of trash and employed 12-15 men.

One guy collected two bags, and we had to give him $10. And after Edmee paid him, he said: “I want to thank you because I feel like I’ve done something productive today. Just the idea of getting up and doing something that helps really blessed me.” About 5 minutes later he came and gave the $10 back to us and said, he didn’t want to be paid. “Thank you for what you’ve done for us today,” he said. We were trying to respond to need—the men needing money. Some people told us that we shouldn’t pay the men money because they would just smoke it. But in our eyes, at least they would have worked for the money. So this was a start. We were business managers for a couple of days!

If we had decided to play God and try to figure out how the men were going to use the money, we wouldn’t have been able to touch as many men as we did. There were some diamonds in the group. Men who really needed the money wanted the money and were going to put it to good use. They wanted to feel as if they had worked for their money and earned it. So we did the Trash Bag Ministry for two days—on the third day, we were helping a man that we’d met, and we got a phone call from one of the men and asked us when we would arrive? This guy had been feeding his family with the money he’d been earning.

That’s when it dawned on us that what we were doing was not just a ministry idea—people’s lives were at stake. People were depending on the $10, $15, $20 that they’d made. And the man then said that there were six men waiting with him who wanted to work. So immediately we got more trash bags and headed back over. And every time we went back to that area, there were men ready to work. There was a lady helping as well, it may have been the same lady who had been yelling about “having to get high,” but we’re not sure. But whoever the lady was she started to come and work diligently. We started to see people who really wanted to work.

We learned a good lesson about paying attention and really looking at what people do with what they have; and who’s willing to work hard and multiply; and who’s not willing to work and multiply. Because our ministry work depends on the money that we get from you, listeners, we want to make sure that we are being good stewards over all of our resources. We realized that if we had just worked with the few people who were diligent, and not worked with the other men who were slackers, the hardworking men would have received more money. But above all, we were so grateful that all of the workers got to experience the hands and feet of Jesus and make some money.

A Guy Named “D”

One of the men from the Trash Bag Ministry was a guy named D. We sort of adopted him during our visit. D was homeless, and when we first encountered him, he was suspicious of us and wanted to know who we were, where we came from and what we were doing. But once he got to see us in action, he started to tag along with us; it really blessed him. D had a relationship with the LORD, but at this point in his life he was broken: homeless; separated from his wife and family. He was in need of restoration and so with the love of the LORD, we were trying to get him to see his value as a man and his responsibility to care for his family. He’d lost sight of who he was and his responsibilities. Getting to know D and all that he was experiencing was an eye-opener for Bevelyn who previously thought that only women could be hurt and broken. In learning that hurt is hurt regardless of gender, Bevelyn knew that as in all things the only solution to the hurt was the love of Jesus and His Word.

So after the Trash Bag Ministry, we really wanted to give D money, but keeping 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 in mind we thought it was important for him to continue to work for it. So we wound up going into a store of a gas station/rest stop. We explained the situation to the lady in charge. We told her that we had a young man who we really wanted to give work too but that we weren’t a company, but if she had work that needed to be done, we would pay him on her behalf. What boss would say no to that? So she agreed. She had him clean the store, mop, pick up trash, and anything she wanted him to do. In the end, including the money he made from the Trash Bag Ministry he had earned $200! He was homeless and separated from his wife, so he took the $200 and got a motel room for the week so he could spend time with his kids.

Unfortunately, the motel cost the entire $200, and he hadn’t thought about food or other incidentals—he was still growing as a man, but being able to put a roof over his kids’ heads for a week was a big step for him. He had a great heart, and his intentions were good, so we provided groceries, and we also spent some time with his kids.


The Silent Victims

As the LORD would have it, we met another guy named Ben who was of Jewish background and invited us to a pool party he was having. He was definitely the wildest person we’d ever met, and we got the sense that he took pride in the fact that he’d gotten some Christian women to come to one of his parties. He was trying to provoke us by talking about his exploits, he shared details of his sexual relationships with men and women, also by his own admission was involved in white-collar crime. He was talking about all kinds of things, but when he started to share about his ex-wife, that’s when we learned about the utter pain, hurt and brokenness he experienced when his wife aborted their child.

As far as abortion goes, the silent victims that you don’t hear from are the men who don’t want their wives or the women in their lives to abort their children. It may come as a shock to some people but there are many men out there who don’t want to abort their child! And so here’s Ben, a man who is married, and for some reason, his wife believed the lie from the world that she had control over her body and she should abort their child, and she also believed that her husband should have nothing to say in the matter.

So after listening to Ben talk, it was immediately clear, that all of the crazy things that he’d done had been in response to the brokenness he experienced from his wife aborting their child. He wasn’t even a Christian, but he’d gone to Christian websites to show his wife what happens when a child is aborted. Here was this unsaved man going to Christian websites to help save his child! Later that night, D shared how he had persuaded his wife not to abort their third child. We met his beautiful little girl the next day.

If you’re a feminist, you’re not going to like this but: it TAKES TWO PEOPLE, a man and a woman to have a child. And if you’re a Christian woman, your body isn’t your own anyway; it’s the temple of God. So you can’t claim that your body is your own. A woman’s so-called “reproductive rights” are not in her control. So if you are a Christian and you advocate for abortion, you have no right to abort your child, whether you are female or male. If you doubt what we’re saying, open the Bible, read the Word and start renewing your mind.


The next day we had lunch with Ben, and we encouraged him to hear the LORD, but he wasn’t ready for it. But we believe that the LORD is doing something in his life. And at some point down the line, he’s going to reflect back and realize that Jesus was in his life and that he wasn’t alone and one day accepts Jesus as his LORD and Savior.

We didn’t really believe that Ben was homosexual. We could tell his brokenness caused him to sleep with men. Just like a woman who’s broken can fall into thinking she’s a lesbian, it’s possible for men and women to think they’re gay because they don’t feel they have a place or a purpose. Anyone with a broken heart will look for an escape or some meaning in their lives. Only Jesus can heal a broken heart. Pills, drugs, alcohol, money, relationships, sex, pride, status or suicide cannot and will not heal you.

To see the Word manifest right before our eyes is what’s so amazing about these ministry trips! It’s not like we’re out on a humanitarian trip just being nice! These ministry trips are about going out and being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. As we’ve traveled from city to city, we’ve seen Christ, not just in ourselves, but in others. And we’ve come to know that we know that we know that He is real! We have seen the Word become flesh right before our eyes! We have seen that our LORD is not a liar, but that His Word is true! We can’t stress that enough! By doing these ministry trips and living according to His Word and being His hands and feet we’ve come to understand the personality of our Father. We’ve come to live in His word and exercise it. We’ve seen the Power of our Father! We’ve seen miracles! And we just want to speak over Ben’s life right now that one day, he will come to know Jesus.


On one of our last days in North Vegas, Jessica gave away her shoes to someone in need. Yes, Jess frequently walks barefoot and will walk just about anywhere, but North Vegas with that hot pavement was not the place to walk without shoes! So Bevelyn put Jessica on her back and carried her a block to the car. And it was a sight to see because Bevelyn is about 5’6” and Jess is about 5’11”! But Jesus is LORD! Jessica gave away her shoes! And Bevelyn gave her a piggyback ride!

Thinking about it now, we just love the image of Jessica giving away her shoes, and we pray that we will all have the heart to extend ourselves as necessary. So in the Name of Jesus, we pray that each and every one of us as believers would extend ourselves to the degree that we understand that whatever we have, did not come from us, but from God and that there’s plenty where that came from, and that we can always share with liberality.

Luke 6:47-49

Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”


You have to build your house on the rock! We do so by hearing Him, The Word, and obeying Him, The Word. Hearing without obeying Him is like a man who builds his house on sand. No matter what you lose in your life whether husband, wife, child, work, hearing, and obeying Him will establish you in your identity in Christ. A man who decides to build his house on sand is a fool! This passage of scripture really came alive for us in Vegas.

Luke 6:47-49

Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”


You have to build your house on the rock! We do so by hearing Him, The Word, and obeying Him, The Word. Hearing without obeying Him is like a man who builds his house on sand. No matter what you lose in your life whether husband, wife, child, work, hearing, and obeying Him will establish you in your identity in Christ. A man who decides to build his house on sand is a fool! This passage of scripture really came alive for us in Vegas.