Mike and Dawn Menning serve with the Great Commission Utah which focuses on bringing the gospel to the people of polygamist groups.
February 5, 2019
Good afternoon on this fine winter day,
Last week we were able to get away for a week. God blessed us with a really good deal on an all inclusive stay in Cancun, Mexico. The good news is that I only gained a pound and half. We had two half days of rain, plenty of sun, miles of white sand, delicious food and the good company of friends, Tom and Gwen Smith.
I am parting from the usual news of ministry with those from the polygamy culture in this Monday Message. I want to tell you how God allowed me to share the Gospel with a new friend, Francisco. What a bonus this was! This part of the story started when Tom and Gwen agreed to listen to a resort timeshare presentation. They didn't buy in, but were given $250 "funny money" to use at the resort. Well, one thing led to another. The next morning Dawn and I listened to the pitch. From the very beginning I just knew there was something special about the presenter. Francisco. The presentation was an interesting concept, of course, filled with loop holes. In my opinion, it would be a very poor investment. That evening I shared with Dawn, Gwen and Tom that I felt God working on my heart encouraging me to talk further with Francisco. I knew I needed to share the Gospel with this young man. We prayed that evening and the next morning I sent him a message asking if I could meet with him the following day.
Francisco and I had breakfast the next morning. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a big believer in "Restaurant Theology." Over the years I have shared the Gospel with many over a cup of coffee and a meal. I was upfront with my new friend. I told him I was not there to show further interest in the timeshare he had presented to us the day before. I asked him about his life and who he really was, and what was on his heart. He told me that somehow he knew inside of himself that our meeting would be an unusual one. What he didn't know was that the Holy Spirit had begun the work on his heart. He told me of his journey which was bitter/sweet. He explained that when he was in middle school he and his family traveled legally from Mexico to Boston. However, the his father, mother and sister illegally stayed in the U.S. He finished high school in Boston. Then he went back to Mexico to visit his uncle. He found out he could not return to the U.S. and if his parents and sister returned to Mexico they would not be able to get back into the U.S. It's all very complicated! He has not seen his family in twelve years. We talked for a very long time, it was a very emotional time for both of us. I was crying inside and I sat across from a 29 year old who was shedding tears. I assured him I would continue to pray for him and he appreciated that.
I told Francisco that the "timeshare" I wanted to tell him about was unlike his presentation to us. What I shared with him was that this "timeshare" would apply to all eternity and would not cost him a single cent. Francisco came from a Catholic background but had never opened a Bible. I asked him if I could could share some of the truths from the Bible. I told him these truths would give him much comfort. He enthusiastically agreed to listen and take a look at what I had to say. Tom, Gwen, and Dawn were covering us with pray while enjoying the sun on the beach.
Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." Well, I was prepared -- in my Bible I have six passages specifically highlighted, starting with Romans 3:22-24. I opened the Bible and turned it toward him and asked him to read the passage. After he read it I asked him what it meant to him. I watched and saw the Holy Spirit working through the power of the Word. I went on to the next five passages using the same process. I learned this method many years ago through the book, Sharing Jesus Without Fear, by Bill Faye. Please pray for Francisco this week, ask God to protect him from the arrows of the evil one and pray that the seeds planted take a firm root.
Next week I will share details of how I presented the Gospel to Francisco using these six special verses from Scripture, how the Holy Spirit took hold of Francisco's heart and the unexpected turn at the end.
For those of you who have been praying for Joe Cooke, I say, "thanks." Joe is recovering, but is in need of continued prayer. I would not be surprised if he would be released from the hospital by the end of the week and fly home to Colorado City. Please pray for healing and strength to make the trip.
In His service,
Marion "Mike" Menning
`1673 Parkridge Dr.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84121
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