Special Forces – Deltona, FL

Jim Van GelderenSpecial Forces Updates

Wow! What a week. We have enjoyed coming to Deltona Christian School and Faith Baptist Church now for several years every other year. It is always a blessing to labor with the Herchroders and now with Mike Foster who is an assistant there.

One of the marks of the week was that there were over 50 salvation decisions and some of them were parents!

One of those decisions was a young lady that Gabe, the Seal captain, recruited. Gabe and some teens from the school pulled into the Winn-Dixie parking lot, and ran to where there were four teenagers standing. When Gabe got closer, he noticed that they looked like a rough group. There were two guys and two girls. They were dressed Gothic with dyed black hair, lipstick, and black clothing. Gabe mentioned to them that at the end of the War night there was going to be a short Gospel message. Although Gabe admitted that he didn’t think they would come, on Wednesday night one of the girls came with a friend. At the end of the night, she heard the message and responded and got saved. The next night, she brought her younger brother who was one of the two guys that was in that group of four. He ALSO got saved. On Friday night, this young lady came out and got up in front of 130 teenagers and gave a testimony.

“Since the 6th grade I was suffering from depression and like the really bad depression where like – cut yourself – kind of depression. . . . I was over there in the Winn-Dixie parking lot hanging out with my sister and a couple of friends. Gabe came with like a couple of other kids and he was like, ‘Hey! There’s this thing going on at the church. Why don’t you guys go ’n check it out? It’s going to be fun!’ So I was like, ‘Ok, sure, whatever, this fun activity thing at a church.’ So I came and it helped me out a lot. Wednesday is when I got . . . reborn. And I know that God, Jesus is my Savior.”


A father came on Thursday evening and stood in back during the Gospel presentation. Evangelist Chris Miller was standing next to him and saw him raise his hand. Brother Miller was able to give him the Gospel, but he did not get saved. The next night he came again and during the campfire service one of the young ladies gave a heartfelt testimony with tears. The testimony impacted him and he got saved right there! Evangelist Chris Miller was able to talk with him again and find out about his trusting the Lord during the testimony service!


Jessica recruited a mom and her daughter at the Dollar Store while she was waiting for others to finish recruiting at a park. The mom and daughter had just moved to the area two weeks before. They didn’t have a car so they tried walking to the church on Wednesday but they got lost. On Thursday they were picked up and brought to the meeting. Both the mom and daughter got saved. The mom gave a testimony at the campfire service. She said,

“I’m new in Florida and I was saved yesterday. . . . The Lord is the best thing that ever happened to me, coming into my life.” The daughter also testified, “I got saved yesterday and I’m thankful that I did get saved because now my life is turned around.”


There were some great testimonies at the campfire service. Below are a part of a couple of them.

“Some of you think that going to a Christian school makes life easy, but there’s still the peer pressure of people making fun of you when you stand for God. . . . And I’m sick and tired of it and I won’t let the peer pressure bother me anymore with God’s help and I will stand for what’s right.”

“I was also listening to the wrong music. Much of you guys listen to the same music and it’s not good. There’s SO much better music you can listen to, like Gospel music and Christian music, which it’s more fulfilling in your heart than whatever else. And I made a commitment to God this week that I’d live for Him and stay strong with Him. And I can’t do it on my own. I need the help of prayer and God.”


There also were some great testimonies posted on Instagram. Here is one of them.

“This week I have been fighting some spiritual battles. I kept feeling God speak to me, telling me to make changes in my life but I kept saying no. I kept trying to fight God because I was unwilling to give up those things in my life which were keeping me from having a good relationship with Him. I was being controlled by my sin. This entire week I’ve just been saying no to God, and it wasn’t until I got home tonight that I realized I can’t keep doing this and finally surrendered. This week has been such a blessing. I’m so grateful for God allowing these people to come to my school and help me realize that I needed to change some things, and I’m grateful He put me on the team I was on so I could hear what I needed to hear. Gabe’s message on Thursday really impacted me and if it weren’t for that message I probably wouldn’t have made my decision. It’s funny how God uses something like what team your on to change your life. I hope that if God has been speaking to any of you telling you to make a change in your life that you do it.”


It was a great week! We heard there were 45 minutes of more testimonies on Sunday evening as well as more in school chapel on Monday. We are grateful God is moving in Deltona. We can’t wait for 2019!

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.