Special Forces – Bonita Springs, FL

Jim Van GelderenSpecial Forces Updates

Last year the team had the privilege of coming to Gospel Baptist Church for the War of Special Forces. We were encouraged by the response of the students in the school. Also, our total attendance was 113 different teens in the evening rallies with a high night of 77. This year we were stunned with the increase in attendance. There were 170 different teens who attended during the three nights and there was a high attendance of 134 on Friday evening.

It was a blessing to see many young people respond to the invitation to get saved. I remember on the final evening a young man coming for the first time. I was burdened for him as I preached, he manifested a need in his life. I was encouraged when he raised his hand and responded during the invitation. The youth pastor led him to the Lord. I was thrilled later when I questioned him and saw that he was so glad he had gotten saved.

There also were some good testimonies on the final night. Below are some of the testimonies or part of the testimony.

“I’m on the way to Heaven because I believe in Jesus Christ. I got saved yesterday. I’m glad. He washed all my sins away.”

“I wasn’t a Believer, but now I’m a Believer. And I know I’ve done bad things, but now I’m a Believer and God saved me. Jesus washed away all of my sins.”

“I’m from here, Gospel Baptist Christian School. I’m a senior this year and being a senior here at a Christian school where’s there’s only about 100 kids from K-5 ta 12th grade is a big responsibility because being one of three guys, that means you have to be a good leader. And this week I’ve been able to realize that being a leader takes a lot more than you think and you can’t do it yourself. There’s a lot more to being a leader than just looking at people around you and trying to be like them and trying to be a little bit above them so you can lead them. You have to rely on God to just carry you through it. . . . So if you want to be a leader, don’t rely on yourself, rely on God. He’ll carry you through it.”

“I saw a few of my friends get saved and I’m just saying that God can use you for great things. . . . He could use you to help out people out there who believe in the wrong things. He could help you save people that don’t know anything about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I realized that I’m very self-reliant on a lot of things. I try to handle my bus route myself and keep the kids under control. . . . I realized that that wasn’t going to work and I need God’s help with that.”

“I’m relieved with joy! I’ve come to my parents three days out of this whole week telling them about things I’ve done.”

We are looking forward to next December and, Lord willing, the third War of Special Forces in a row in Bonita Springs!

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.