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Program 32 - Mario Sims

Welcome to healing the land with Kevin Mitschelen, brought to us by pure assembly.

Welcome to another healing the land broadcast. And I'm so glad that you're a part of the conversation today and tonight. And so I do have a couple guests with us with healing the land, I do want to first let you know that the program is being sponsored by pure assembly. We are, what pure is, is that it's actually an acronym. It's prayer, bringing people to prayer, God's people with prayer, bringing unity. And that is also an act of humility. That is not exactly sometimes the easiest thing to do is fine unity. And so especially in this day and age where we have all this social media and everything else, where we just kind of hit each other all the time. But we see a different narrative, and that's Jesus Christ. And that's a unity under the banner of Jesus Christ. And then we also believe that repentance is a very big key word. And we don't hear that a lot in our culture as well. But guess what, Jesus Christ talked about that. So I think we need to be able to talk about that. And then also edification, we need to edify and glorify Jesus Christ, for what he's done for us dying on the cross, being resurrected. And we have hope, as a result of that. And so we want to lift Jesus Christ up, we also have this horizontal ability, where we can lift each other up as believers in Christ and be able to see the different giftings that we have. So that in, in sort of a very small nutshell is what those who are involved with pure assembly are trying to see. And we we have this desire to see as a reflection of of God, he is a healer, yes, he loves to heal. And you can see it from Genesis all the way to Revelation. And so we're looking to see God heal the land. Yes. Again, that's not the narrative of majority of people in the media today. And so what we're looking for is something counter narrative. And that is Jesus Christ and his father healing the land through the Holy Spirit. So saying all of that, that's you, if you do want to know more about us, feel free to go to pure assembly calm. Now, to the part in which I've been looking forward to for a while, I have two that are here, that you become friends, solid friends, and Mario and Tiffany. And I appreciate both of you being in the studio today. And pastor Mario, thank you for your love for Christ. Like, can you just so people kind of get to know you a little bit more? Can you tell us a little bit of your testimony? And in just a few minutes? I'll it's hard to do that a lifetime and a few minutes. But if we could do that,

I think it's more appropriate. This probably started in 2013. Yeah, because I'm 69 years old. So it would take when I was born, but actually, the relevant parts began in 2013. My wife and I were going to Calvary Chapel church, we've been going there for three or four years, we'd love to another church that I met her at, to go to Calvary Chapel, we went to Calvary Chapel three, four. And I want to say, I like to believe we will, we were typical bench member Christians that the service was started 10 we'd make it to our seats about 1015 everybody's singing and so we could kind of sneak in and not be noticed and and get into our seat before the sermon began at 1030. And then we would you know, give our offering and then leave and go eat and you know, that was basically it. Well, God, at some point, laid it on our heart on both of our heart the same time to start a church and I'm like, started, it's like, build an ark, you know? Okay, start what what, what, you know,

how do you do that?

How do you do? You know, so we started looking, we drive all over South Bend. You know, we even went to New Carlisle. And we're driving around one day, and there happened to be a gentleman who was a Muslim who we had met through some interaction in the community and my wife suggested that we he looked, it was kind of cold outside, pick him up, and we picked him up and we, you know, and chatting, and we said, you know, we're looking for a church just, you know, making guy he's a Muslim or whatever, you know, we're not looking for a mosque, looking for a church. And he said, Well, that is a building, you know, and it's on South in St. Joseph street, and, you know, some gay, we dropped them off and we went by and there's a big cart. There's a plywood over the door with this spray painted number and so I call that number In Isaiah Khan, who was a deacon who I didn't know at the time, I called him and I said, we're interested in a church and he said, Pastor, you're going to get the church. Well, I later on found out he was a deacon responsible for caring for the church. And he had just gotten to the point it was a big load on him to go buy and care for the church. And we joked about that later. But But he gave me a word from God, whether he knew it was a word from God or not, that we're going to, you know, get this church. So we made an offer. We made a ridiculous offer for the church, and we got a call, they accepted it. And and so we go to closing and I'm sitting there with the, the the bishop, Ralph, Pastor Charles, who was on the show years ago, right? And Bishop Ralph's brother, and I can't remember his name now. But but so they're sitting across from me, they're attorneys to my right. So the attorney gets it, we bought on land contract, get some land, it holds it up and says, Well, we always if you're going to do this, you need a down payment. Well, yeah, you know, I'm like, my, I don't have anything.

You want the coin from the fish to come out all the sudden, right?

You know, and so Bishop Ralph tells the attorney, you just go make go get copies of the contract and attorney leaves he leans over and he says, Pastor, God told me sell you this church. Wow. You know, wow, you know, who, you know what? So so we buy the church and, and then through obedience to Him saying, I never had a desire to be a pastor. I have been pretty much I was a kid that in the summer would play with my little sewed the rubber soldiers, you know, Army Man, right? I don't want to go outside. I read a book that I was an introvert. And so this is requiring me to come out of that. And the pastor, I never want a pastor, you know, but I decided if I, if God was calling me the pastor, I've seen mistakes a lot of pastors had made and I don't make the same mistake. So. So we began, we bought the church. It's 50,000 square feet, it had sat vacant for three or four years, it was totally trashed. So we had to invest a lot of our money to make repairs. We had people come alongside us to help. Long story short, our desire was to help the homeless to house the homeless, and even before the church was ready to hire, how's the homeless people start coming? And it's like, you know, the first person was brought to us he just got out of jail was brought to us by a US Attorney. He needed he was from Rochester. He couldn't stay with his family because of restrictions he had for probation and parole. So we weren't even ready. It's like, yeah, that said, you know, we started there. And then we had a family. With two or three children in November come three children just show up at the door and they're cold, and we're like, we don't even have electricity. Or what if, and it's like coming in, we'll find your bed. We'll give you a blanket, it will give you a pillow. We end up at one point housing 15 people is the most we house at one time, ultimately, from 2013. Through today, we've housed over 127 people. We have had an emergency warming Center, which another thing that I had, what's an emergency warmer? What is it do that? Well, what would the important thing

see the expressions on your wife's face is

what what what? What's so important is the connection of the Big C church, how God sends you people within the church body. And and what happened was pastor Greg Lynn Watson came to the church one day, he had helped us raise money to get furnaces because the steam boiler had been trashed. So we had we have to do zone heating and that kind of stuff. And he walked into church one day and he said, Why don't you do something to because there's no place in the winter for the homeless to go. They leave whether amnestied like 730. Yeah, they go to the library and then to their loss there. Yeah, during the day. And so, you know, 1520 degrees there with a luggage or backpack, everything they own wandering around. So pastor Watson said, Why don't you do something to help the homeless and he laughed, and I thought, What? What, you know, so out of my mouth came, we're going to open an emergency warming center. What is that? And we committed to a date like December 5 was a Monday and so how do you do this? So we just we had a relationship with cultivate culinary has given us a bunch of microwavable really good meals and we had the Milford food bank had helped us we have a lot of food. And we open that Monday and you know, nobody came in about one o'clock that afternoon homeless guy came in, looked around and said, I'm going to let everybody know. Well, the next day we had 30 people every day from December 5 to April 15. We had 50 people a day. 50 people by word.

I mean, seriously logistics of that. We just made me go nuts.

It was it was it was

five loaves and fishes, man. Yeah,

I mean, you know, but the, but the beautiful thing is, you know you, I remember sitting there one day we, you know, micro because we had two microwaves going, we got people coming and going. And and so, you know, I took one guy meal and cultivate color had really nice meals. I mean, you know, so the guys eating the meal, and I see him he starting to slow down I go, brother, are you okay? He goes, Yeah, this is really good. I go, you want another one? He goes, Yeah, yeah. Can I have one? I go. Yeah, yeah. So I go warm up another meal and put it down. You know, that? Man, it's so much joy. Yeah, it's, it's, you know, early in my life had been a businessman and I thought, you know, start shirts and driving a Mercedes and living in suburbs and having a business card with a, you know, corporate title. But I remember sitting thinking, there's got to be more. And and man, serving the Lord to the least of these is the greatest joy I've ever experienced. Yeah, I, my wife and I've been married for 13 years, and certainly a joy. Yeah, you know, it's wonderful. Yeah. But, you know, being a servant is actually it's

everything, did it? Yeah. And as we're going to kind of wrap up this section here pretty soon. The thing that I love about what drives you? is, yeah, you got this incredibly large building, which is great things also can be, oh, my word, it's a large building, but you're using it for the for the kingdom of God. And and so in that kingdom of God. I have I have heard different things and what you both of you have said and Mario what you have said about your love for Jesus Christ. And that is that's the Hallmark. That's the hallmark, I think of duels Chapel of what you're trying to convey, because you can have those people come through before you you also let them know about the love of Jesus Christ. And that is so foundational. In you're in a zone that is hard, spiritually speaking, and I can attest that, because I've been in that zone, trying to do ministry, and but boy, you're making us so the ground is softer, the Lord's making a softer guess. And he's using you to do Would you agree?

I agree. 100%? So,

yeah, we got just a few seconds left, but I just like to kind of pray this prayer over. Absolutely. Let's chat. Yeah, love to have that and do that. Lord, I just give you praise. I thank you for this precious, wonderful couple that you called them to be in downtown South Bend. And that is a calling. That is not something that the average person just says, gee, I'm going to wake up and do that. So Lord, I thank you for putting that calling on them. And I asked for your encouragement for your protection over them. And I also asked for those who have a desire to help want to help who's listening right now who want to help who have a heart to help and who are led to help. I asked that, that would take place. Your father just give you praise for what's happening at doulos chapel. It just will come back on the other side, folks, and we'll hear more of some just incredible, wonderful ministry items. But I believe also I would say, miracles of the heart, as well. So hang on with us. We'll be back in just a few seconds.

I am dawn board member of pure and healing the land is brought to you by pure assembly. Your assembly is a nonprofit with a mission to heal the wounds of A divided and injured nation through prayer, unity, repentance, and edification. To learn more about us, check us out at www dot payoor. Assembly calm or find us on Facebook, just search for pure assembly. While you're there, we'd love you to like us too. Thanks for listening to healing the land.

We're back with healing the land. And my name is Kevin Mitschelen. And we are with Pastor Sims. And I just am so grateful that Tiffany and Mario you are here and so appreciate this. When we were on the break, we were actually talking about something that I'm like we have to put this in and and that is that you pastor Mario you were talking about? Peter, can you share a little bit about what you just were telling me? Well,

you know, we talked about it. We bought the church in 2013. And it was it was a mess. We have to put it's 50,000 square feet. It's not completely done. Now. In fact we praying, praying for God to give us a rough I mean, you know it's 126,000 but he's done things before. You know, we know he's going to do it. But he was preparing us for a great challenge. And that was, we were on the way we're on the way to the church one day and it was May of last year. We're in a driving together a phone, we get a phone call. And it's three homeless activists. So I put the phone on speaker and narrow. Hey, we're over here on Monroe in Michigan, which is a city lot with 10 City was at you know, the city's getting ready to demolish the tents here. Could you guys come over? And I'm like, it this is a phone call. I really didn't want it. Yeah. You know, and I had an on speaker, I probably would have said, We're out of town now. But my wife her first response was Let's go. And we're only like, it's God was we're two blocks away. You know? And so we turn and and Kevin, it was it's like a scene from a movie. We got there and there are 50 or more police officers in riot in a in a skirmish line. Right and riot gear. Yeah, the media is all around. There are people on Monroe street on the the west side of the east side of Michigan Street. A huge crowd and there maybe 40 5060 homeless people and they're agitated because the city's got a bulldozer and they're gonna bulldoze chansons the homeless with everything they have. It's and that is it.

That's like me don't have some reserved garage your shed someone

like me both those in your house. Hey, imagine it this is their house. So we pull up and and we see this. So I happen to know, the Chief cruttenden who was uniformed tree chief and I go up to Chief crit and I go, she couldn't Can you just give me five because they're, I mean, the homeless are breaking bottles are sharp edges and they're picking up rocks and sticks and everyone ready to fight for their lives. So I go, could you give me a few minutes? He goes yeah, and you know, he's relieved you know, because he doesn't have to tell this because a lot of people are going to be hurt police officers in the homeless. So I go over to the homeless that we know and I go Hey guys, why don't you just put your tents on our lights? Which would you do that and they were like yeah, so I go back to police said just give us you know a few minutes we're gonna get a move and so the police also start help us move in and they're started loading tents into the city trucks and you know, our old pickup she it looks like something out of Mad Max. You get people hanging off the truck.

You got a crazy day.

You know, we go over to the church and we get everybody there. And then so we go inside my office and you got you know, folks that are gonna we you get only you only have to keep them for 72 hours and we'll do stuff and and then they leave and we don't see them again. And the 72 hours comes and goes and I'm like Moses, well how am I going to feed these people? How we don't have any and this is doing a height of COVID and we what do we do I we don't have we're poor church and we don't have any money and God like smacks you upside the head and just goes, you're just discounting me right? Who do you serve? I mean, wake up, man. Don't Don't look at you, Peter. Come out the boat. Okay, walk on the water. Okay, you're walking on water. Hey, but God, I can't walk on water. Right? So we just learned not to look down and not to focus on anything but him Don't look at the problem. And so what happens is the big c church shows up. Pastor James McInnes in price typical epistatic gives us a porta potti Horizon church, New Horizon church when the given give us a Givens. Yeah, they give us they give us two porta potties. And they hold a session. So we can come and talk about what we need. And so food and water and,

and there could there could have been crickets just nothing. Yeah, that Praise God. Yeah,

we're walking on water. We're talking when we're driving to the church every day and you know, you pull up and before you get, you know, into the church, you know, would be your herd. You've got you got unchurched people, right,

it has to be this thought, what are they doing to the building? Even though they're outside? Well, yeah, but

I mean, well, it's all kinds of thoughts in my head. At the same time, we had tents outside, we had a maximum of 37 tents, which has anywhere from two to three people. So we had 87 people, okay. 37 tents, you know, 87 people, okay. Many of them, most of them. 90% of them. unsaved and that, you know, you're dealing with World stuff. Yeah. In a church. We had the we had them for 61 days. No COVID it was just it God just they had so much food, Kevin, that that they would eat like four times IT companies would come and and mail would cook for them. For them, okay. It was so so you know, they would like have fried chicken and pizza and in so you go, Hey, you guys want some food? You know?

It was just it was it was God. You know, it was just it was like, you know what I just tell people welcome water. I mean, don't if he if he? If he calls you do it? Don't Don't go away, you know, because we're a small poor congregation, right? Kevin, we've never taken up an offering in our church. And since 2013. People would just go, Hey, Pastor, I need do you need this? Do you need that? I go, yeah. Okay. And he would always send it when we needed it. So we never had to take up an offering. I mean, it's just the reason this is so important is I think, even though we're Christians, we're still in the world, and we still operate in the realm of the impossible, the physical realm, the limits that we think exist, but God goes, No, I mean, you put me in a box, okay? I'm not in a box, okay. And once he Commission's you, and he sends you to do something, it's not like, I'm going to send you to Chicago, and you get there and you run out of gas, because then you go, and guy goes, Oh, you know, I forgot to get you gas. He's already he's already put in motion. He's already he's sent you this message, do it. You know, how's these people? And it's like, the question you never asked God, why how, you know, but at the same time, he's already laid on the hearts of other people pair in a parallel, you know, so when you are faithful to what he's told you to do, here they come. They come

because God has orchestrated all of this. Yeah. You know, when you're talking about this, it does remind me to have the story with Moses. And, and there is first of all a crying out from God's people. Because they've been oppressed. Yeah, there's, there's a, where do they go? What do they do? Right? There's nowhere for those that are Israelites in Egypt to go anywhere. They're slaves. Yeah. And then, um, but God hears that Scripture says he hears this. And that sets a whole chain of events that begin to happen from God hearing them, and you get to the I love the story, then, you know, where you have only got the plagues. But then, and God basically decimated Egypt, but their armies still standing. And then God leads them to water. Yeah. Right. You talk about Peter and water leads him to water, which makes no military sense. Makes no sense. What so add yourself up a great water and you were in the military. You're sitting ducks, if you would somehow get your military and the only thing you got is the back of you is water. Right. You know, you understand as a former Marine, you're trapped. Exactly. But he's got God. Yeah. And so everything changes. Yeah. And so they walk on dry ground through water. And and that sounds like exactly what you guys were experiencing. you're experiencing that every day. But before we get too far, we had talked about when we were off, Mike, we were talking about this dear woman, Lucille Ross Hill, can you tell us a little bit about that? Because there's lives are being transformed to and I'd love to highlight her. Well,

you know what? Lucille was a homeless lady probably in her late 40s, mid 50s I would think maybe in her 50s and she, she there was a vacant there was a vacant house right next to the church, she would live there with her boyfriend. And she would you know, we would feed people. But she she wouldn't come to the church. And at one one point she asked could hurt her boyfriend live in the church and and this is God's house. I you know, I have to, you know, we can't allow a single man of single woman to lie together on the roof. But we will feed you will love you will, you know, all of that and it angered her. But we fed her and you know, and in that type of thing, and this went on for weeks, she know where to come and get food and I think ultimately she got an apartment and she needed some furniture and we we get a lot of furniture and linens and blankets and you know all those household item needs and so we every time she called us a pass she got a bed. Yeah, well, yeah, we bring it in and get it over and get her beauty box of food. This went on for months. We hadn't seen or heard from her and then last year, October, we are having a service. We hear the door open. And I don't know if you went out and looked. Okay, well. My wife and I went out loved and eat because I'm giving a message. My wife goes out and looks and then the door opens. And here's Lucille on a on a 10 speed bike. Okay, it's it's not a lot of snow on the ground. It's late October, but it's cold, and it's blowing snow. And you could tell she's sick, because we knew her when she was healthy. She's sick. She's got that sick appearance, and she's had a stroke, and she's on a cane. And and so I, you know, and she comes in and she goes, can I leave my bike and I go, bring your bike inside. I mean, we don't want somebody to steal it, bringing it so we bring it inside, and she sits down and my wife gets her some hot chocolate and we get her a blanket. And she raises her hand and and you know, as a pastor normally in a sermon, you know, if you have a large fortunately, we have a small congregation, you know, but if you have a large congregation, you can't take somebody, but God blessed us with a small congregation. So she raises her hand, and I stop, and I go, yeah, and she has questions about repentance and salvation. And I answered her questions the whole congregation began giving her, you know, scripture and encouragement. And you could tell, she just she's sitting here with a with a blanket over and she's drinking hot chocolate. And she just had this radiant blessed month in her sickness. So when my wife and I left that day, we just, it was like one of the greatest services we ever had, because this is what a service is about. Is it? a sick person wanting to be in a place of healing, of healing of not necessarily physical healing, but healing of the soul. And so doulos was blessed using the word of God to give her that healing. Well, a week later, we get the message that she had died. Yeah. And I was asked if I would do her service, which I did. And at her service, I said, I had never seen faith like that before. I mean, I just, we, her sister, Claire Ross is a homeless act, advocate. And Claire told us Do you know, she said, after all this had happened. She do. You know, my sister rode her bike from the lake in, in South Bend. It's about five miles from our church, past five or six churches to get your your church that day. We just cried. We just, we just cried. I mean, it's just it's awesome. Yeah,

I use pumps just hearing that. It's, you know, this is the problem with a show like this. It goes too fast. It really does. And I it's one of those things where we need to keep having you guys on to tell stories of what God is doing and how he's healing the land. This is not an easy thing. But he is healing and it is through His Son Jesus Christ that he's doing that. And I would love to just if Is there a way to get a hold of you guys? If Facebook?

Sure. Yeah. Well, we have tried to think we have doulos chapel Facebook page. Okay. We have my personal Facebook page Mario Sims, you can reach us at if you'd like to communicate with us by email. It's Mario l The Church. The physical street mailing address is doulos chapel. peal box 1334, South Bend, Indiana. 606 to four.

Awesome, great, so. Okay, we'll keep you with that. And thank you folks for listening to this. And may God bless you. We love you. Take care.

Second Chronicles 714. If my people who are called by my name, humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. Healing the land is brought to you by pure assembly. Pure assembly is a nonprofit with a mission to heal the wounds of A divided and injured nation through prayer, unity, repentance and edification. For more ways to get involved and to be a part of their ministry. You can reach them at WWW dot pure assembly comm that's p u r e or look for pure assembly on Facebook.

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