Tampa Testimony by Mariel Villarreal – Great American Cookies Treasure Hunt

Tampa Testimony by Mariel Villarreal – Great American Cookies Treasure Hunt

Tampa Testimony by Mariel Villarreal – Great American Cookies Treasure Hunt

This month, we held a Take the City conference in Tampa, Florida with the goal of gathering the body of Christ in the city and surrounding areas to receive equipping to do outreach and then to go out into the city to use the tools we learned to evangelize. An anticipation filled the room as we shared testimonies of salvations, healings, and miracles God has done on past outreaches when we simply reached out to those around us with the love and power of the Gospel.

What is a Treasure Hunt?

Before outreach, my team gathered to prepare for a “Treasure Hunt” , a type of evangelism where we pray and ask God to give us specific clues about where we should go, what we should do, and who we should meet. We would take note of the clues we received during prayer. While those clues would become the treasure map that would lead us to the people we share the Gospel with—our treasures. It’s a fun way to partner with the Holy Spirit and rely on His leading to impact people and situations that are on His heart.

Your Clues will Determine Your Treasure Map.

As we prayed, someone spoke up and said, “I feel like God wants us to go to the mall food court!” After another moment, I felt like the Lord was showing me a picture of a cookie store at the mall. With two clues for our treasure hunt in hand, we decided—let’s go to the mall and see what Jesus wants to do!

Your Treasure Map will Determine Your Destiny.

When we arrived at the mall, we instantly spotted the cookie store in the food court. It was the “Great American Cookie” store. My friend Ally and I walked to the store and looked for someone to share God’s love with. We instantly found our Treasure—the girl working behind the cash register. I asked if she needed prayer for anything, and her eyes lit up.

She said, “Yes! I really need prayer! I am heading to ministry school for missions in a few months, and I need funds to support my dream. Could you pray that God would provide?” We prayed for her right there, and she was very encouraged.

Destiny requires taking steps of Faith.

Thinking our job was done, Ally and I returned to our team and we told them what happened. “I have an idea,” said Jason, “Let’s take up an offering for her so that we can bless her and help her get to ministry school.”

With excitement, we gathered what we had as a surprise gift for our unsuspecting treasure-friend. One by one, we marched up to the girl behind the counter and handed her dollar bills, and told her we wanted to support the dream God had given her to go to the nations.

“I am so overwhelmed!” She said with tears in her eyes, as we exchanged hugs, “God is so good.”

The Joy of Seeing God Come Through.

In that moment, we got to experience the joy of demonstrating the love and provision of God to one of His children. Wouldn’t it be just like God to set up such a miraculous moment?

Now, It’s your turn.

What is it that you are trusting God for today? If He could send a group of people to the mall to bless a stranger, God can certainly meet you in your need. He loves you!

Join us for our next Take the City Click here to find out more.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” -Romans 8:32


Mariel Villarreal

This story was written by Mariel Villarreal, intercessory, conference speaker and blogger. Mariel has a heart to train and activate believers in hearing and responding to the voice of the shepherd (John 10:27). mariel.villarreal@teenchallenge.cc



  1. Great American Cookies Treasure Hunt – loveintercedes - […] published on Take the City […]

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My experience with the Take the City crew was like coming into a family.  Our team was welcomed in with open arms with like-hearted believers who love Jesus and have laid down their lives to serve the broken of the city! It was an honor to come alongside them, be welcomed into their homes, share meals, and experience the transformational work that God is doing in and through them to see His Kingdom come.
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