Special Forces – Arcadia, FL

Jim Van GelderenSpecial Forces Updates

The team has had the privilege to come to Heritage Baptist Church in Arcadia for four years in a row. We appreciate so much Pastor Bedell and his wife and their burden for their mission field. This year we were thrilled to see over 30 teens respond to get saved at the Gospel invitations. May the Lord continue to work in that needy town!


Jessica, one of our team members, was out recruiting teens when she saw a young lady with her mother out shopping. She recruited this young lady and then later saw her again with a young man at the fair which was in town. Jessica asked if she had talked to him yet about the War of Special Forces. “A little bit,” was the reply. Jessica proceeded to invite him. Somehow the first night of the War of Special Forces, he didn’t get picked up. Since he was eight miles away, we could not get him until the next night. Thursday, he texted, “You’re coming to get me tonight, right?” He came that night and got saved. The young lady came the first night and got saved!


Jessica recruited a young man at the Middle School. He texted later,

“I’ll be there. It sounds like so much fun!”

On Thursday night he responded to get saved and the Pastor went through the Gospel and he prayed. The next night he came again during the invitation. You could tell he was disturbed about his salvation. He said he was confused. I had the privilege of talking with him and reviewing the Gospel. When he prayed, he cried out to the Lord. Whether he was receiving assurance or salvation, I do not know. All I know is that he left glad he was on his way to heaven and knew it. Before he left he gave me a big hug!


Bethany recruited a young man waiting for a ride outside of middle school. He came the first night with him mom. His mom asked Bethany if she could stay. Bethany said, “Sure, you can stay.” She stayed the whole night and heard the Gospel preaching. She raised her hand indicating she was concerned about her soul. She responded to the invitation and Bethany led her to the Lord. She related that she had a hard background and had been searching. Bethany asked her, “Has there been a time where you trusted Christ?”

“No, this is the time!”

she exclaimed.


One of our team members, Annaleese, recruited two girls from the registration table on Wednesday. They said they could not come until Friday, but they did come Friday. After the service Annaleese talked to them about their need to be saved. One of them went with Jessica and she led her to the Lord.


God also worked in several of the Christian school students’ hearts. One young man took a lot of steps during the week, but was especially helped by the truth that our Christian life is a total dependence on Jesus to supernaturally strengthen us to do His will. Another young man dealt with the fact that he would view things he knew he shouldn’t, especially when his mom left the house. A young lady, who had gotten saved last year at “Special Forces”, dealt with some cheating. One young lady came to deal with bitterness. While she was being counseled it came out that she wasn’t saved, but didn’t want to get saved. The next day, she responded again this time to get saved. Another young man responded to the invitation during the school day and was saved as well!


We thank the Lord for all He did in hearts. It was great to be in Arcadia again! We look forward to next time!

About the Author
Jim Van Gelderen

Jim Van Gelderen

Dr. Jim Van Gelderen is president of Minutemen Ministries, vice-president of Baptist College of Ministry, and evangelist out of Falls Baptist Church. He and his wife, Rhonda, travel the country in evangelism. They have three daughters.