After the public confession, everyone gathered around him to pray for his deliverance. It was beautiful to watch as the body of Christ took turns anointing him and praying for his freedom. My face had been stuck to the floor earlier because I was a bit fearful about what might transpire in this meeting and I wanted to make sure God knew I was serious about needing His help. But there was nothing fearful about the deliverance. He fell down several times under the power of the Spirit and willingly renounced his participation in all things evil. The pastors and leaders took authority over the darkness and once again it was clear that the Holy Spirit was leading. Perfect love casts out all fear.
Marcos’ face was full of peace and joy as church members took turns hugging him and giving him words of encouragement. I was not about to miss out on hugging this new brother in Christ whom I knew God would use in a major way. His conversion was really bad news for the kingdom of darkness. Pastor Francis said he had presided over 6000 gang members.
November 15, 2009 Two weeks later Pastor Francis asked me to preach at several of his services and to bring the Jericho worship band. Marcos arrived sporting shorter hair and his car was overflowing with a crew of ex-gang members. He remembered us and seemed pleased to share about how he was now using his resources and leadership for the Kingdom of God. The last service was like nothing I have ever attended in my life. It was just the messiest thing. I looked out at the congregation and a sea of young faces stared back at me, some so hardened by life that it was a little scary. I knew I was looking into the faces of ex- and not so ex-drug addicts, rapists, assassins….. You name it; they were there, exactly where they needed to be. Every nook and cranny of that church was filled with a young person hungry for God. What touched me most was watching Pastor Francis. He was fearless as he called an entire gang to come forth for prayer. He lovingly took a young drunk under his arm. He led that service with power that came from above. I remembered thinking to myself ... ”Now this is church”! We all agreed that night coming home together in the busito that we wanted to be like Pastor Francis.
So I’ve been thinking and praying a lot these days about Sembradores de Amor and their new disciples. The ministry is messy and demanding and there are slip ups on the horizon for sure as these new disciples grow and mature. But it is oh so worth it ... these new disciples will make a huge impact on the Kingdom of God. Love compelled these believers to reach out to these gang members who threatened their very lives and faith has helped them believe that these conversions are true and will bring forth much fruit.
December 7, 2009 You can imagine the sadness we all felt this morning when Pastor Francis called to tell us that Marcos was assassinated last night as he was leaving the church. He had just walked out of the worship service and his last words to Pastor Francis were, “There’s so much work to be done.” Several minutes later he was lying dead in the middle of the street in a pool of blood. It has been said that it was done by a rival gang, by hooded men in expensive cars. I don’t know. But I do know where Marcos is. I know that by God’s grace he is rejoicing in heaven. His conversion was true and perhaps in his short lived life in Christ he produced more fruit than some who live a lifetime without truly sharing what Christ has done for them. Please join us in praying for Sowers of Love Church, that they will be strengthened all the more by what has happened. Please pray that Marcos’ life and testimony will bear even more fruit. There is so much work to be done!
In His forever love,