Special Forces – Miami, FL

Jim Van GelderenSpecial Forces Updates

Years ago our team came to Miami, FL for the first time to conduct the War of Special Forces. Ever since then, about every two years or so we have had the privilege of coming to Westwood Christian School to conduct the War of Special Forces. It has been a joy to see the Lord work in many hearts and this visit was no different. We thank the Lord for the good staff here. They are always a great blessing!


Trystan, the Marine captain, recruited a young man outside a middle school in a group of kids with hordes of other kids pouring out of school. The amazing thing is that he came to the War of Special Forces alone. The first night he came late, but got saved that night. He came early both the other nights and was wearing a huge smile on his face. It was a joy to talk to him about his salvation. This young man talked to the youth pastor about coming to school there and coming to youth group. On the final night Trystan talked to the young man’s mother. Evidently he had already talked to his mom about what God was doing in his heart!


On the final night a muscular young man and his girlfriend came to the evening rally. A seventh grade boy talked to him during the invitation and urged him to respond to the invitation and get saved. Initially it did not look like he was going to respond, but then he and his girlfriend walked to the back. Although he and his girlfriend didn’t get saved, the Ranger captain was able to give them the Gospel. It was a blessing to see the courage of that seventh grader!


On Friday a young man came back during the invitation. Ryan, the Seal captain, went to counsel him. The young man circled prayer and devotions on the Verses Sheet. Ryan asked him to be honest and gave him back the pen and he then circled “Internet” as well. Initially he seemed hesitant to talk to parents, but told Ryan at the evening rally that he came clean with parents.


On the final night, there were some good testimonies. Below are a few to encourage your heart.

I got saved in my 9th grade year. I’m currently a senior. When I got saved I thought, ‘Ok, I’m going to Heaven and I can live the rest of my life in peace knowing that I’m going to Heaven and don’t have to do anything else, just live the rest of my life for myself and when I die, I will go to Heaven.’ But the truth is that if you don’t live for God, then you’ll never have a purpose in your life, so there’s no point in living the rest of your life for yourself or for anyone. So I’m sacrificing the rest of my life to God and I’m going to live my life for God . . . .

I really felt like I was convicted of my sins. And I talked to my parents and it really felt good just to get the weight lifted off my shoulders.

I wasn’t born in a Godly home. I just thank God that He gave me the opportunity to come to a Christian school. I got saved here. . . There was bitterness in my situation because I was going through trials and everything. And I saw myself stronger than God and I said, ‘God, I’m going to do it my way.’ And I forsook Him. And then this week Dr. Jim showed me how small I am. And every single time I tried to put a big smile in front of you guys, all of you. That was outside only, but on the inside I was really hurting. I was hurting myself, my family, and everybody. And this week God got a hold of my heart and He told me, ‘I’m bigger than all your trials. I’m bigger than everything else. You can trust Me. When you fall, I’ll be there. I’ll be there to hold you and don’t ever forget that I’ll be beside you. And if you need any help, I’ll be in front of you. I won’t be from your back. I’ll be IN FRONT of you to hold you…to hold you.’ And I just want to encourage everybody, if you are going through something, that you can always trust Him because God is always bigger than your trials . . . That’s why I give glory to God for everything He’s done in my life.

We thank the Lord for all He did in hearts!

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.