Hours before sunlight crept upward into the morning sky, our team busily gathered for breakfast in the hotel café. It was the last day of our mission trip and our crew of ministers, musicians, intercessors, and mission-trip-junkies gathered for a final meal. Among the chatter, I heard shouts of joy and applause as we recounted the miracles, healings, and demonstrations of God’s goodness. Looking down the long breakfast table, I witnessed thankful smiles and rejoicing because of God’s mighty work through our little team. Since the inception of the idea of Freedom Crusades, we never dreamed it would look like this.
Last year I journeyed with my friends Pastor Enrique and Jason Cattell to the remote city of La Ventosa, Oaxaca in Mexico. We were amazed at the unified effort of the local pastors who invited us into their city. We shared with them the vision of hosting a Freedom Crusade and they, without hesitation, pledged their support. Our mission was simple; we wanted to host a two-day regional event. Our focus would be to join with them against the strongholds in their area and minister salvation and healing to the people of La Ventosa. We returned to the US and started our planning. Beyond our expectations, the pastors and leaders began immediately working to make this event a transitional step forward for their community.
Now, a year later, we arrived to hear of the battles that our local pastors endured in coordinating this weekend event. Through the loss of family members to near-death experiences, these incredible men and women held true to their pledge. They faithfully prayed, worked, and labored to bring revival to their community.
The miracles began during our first meeting. Led by Ms. Charmaine, our intercessors joined with prayer leaders from local churches and marched out to the field where we would host our meetings. Immediately they sensed the strong presence of Holy Spirit in the meeting field. Then, in our preparation meeting, we talked about a few logistics surrounding the event. Following this, we felt impressed to pray over all one hundred and fifty volunteers. As we began praying, Holy Spirit entered the room. One after the other they were radically wrecked by the Holy Spirit’s power. As we laid hands on each person, they literally collapsed under the weight of God’s presence.
Then there was Caleb. He was a tall young man worshipping in the crowd. I stretched out my hand to pray for him and immediately he flew back twelve feet and collapsed on the ground. It was unnatural. He began writhing on the floor in tormented. I knelt down and began to whisper in his ear, commanding the demons to stop. His body became immobile and he fell lifelessly backward. A few from our team began to pray with me over him and Pastor Reuben, the pastor over the church, came in and began to pray with him. In a few minutes I realized we were dealing with a demonic force in this man. We propped him up on the shoulders of a few men and they led him to another room. Our prayer time continued and other demons manifested and were easily cast out of a few people. The team rejoiced as they sensed the work of Holy Spirit. In the meantime, I joined with Pastor Reuben as he continued casting demons out of young Caleb. It felt like the demons came out in waves. Jason, Charmaine, Pastor Enrique, and a few more leaders rotated in and out as we fought for Caleb’s deliverance. Caleb worked so willingly with us as he fought for his own freedom. The demons reported to us that there were a hundred of them inside of him. Undaunted, Pastor Reuben continued. Caleb renounced the demons and after about two hours, he walked out of that small little room free and committed to Jesus! Exhausted, our team retired to a late evening meal. We could only smile in appreciation for what God had done. With great anticipation we looked forward to a weekend of miracles and deliverance.
On the first evening of the even (Friday), local pastors orchestrated and led a parade throughout the town. Vibrant colors of flags and choreographed dancers decorated the streets with joy and worship for King Jesus! Shouts of exhilaration and praise drew in observers and gave them an invitation to join us. It was no ceremonial procession; it was an extended party that marched throughout the town welcoming Jesus into the community.
As the first service began, Pastor Bedzai’s worship team started the event as the parade concluded its march in front the stage. Then Eunice Rodriguez and her team led the crowd into a time of celebration and worship. Pastor Daniel delivered the message and called for the crowd’s response. At the beginning of his invitation, a few came forward. By the time the call was given for the sick to come forward, however, the stage was flooded with thousands seeking Jesus. Demons came out wailing, and the sick were instantaneously healed. A little later boy reported to us that a lump on his shoulder, which he had for years, miraculously dissolved. Another man told us how he felt God’s healing power literally realign each broken vertebrae in his back. Some cast down their crutches and went from limping to running. Many came to find complete healing as God poured out His love on the people of La Ventosa.
The second night a thousand more came to see what was happening. The power of God was even stronger and the reports streamed in of miracles and salvations. Many were laid out flat on the grass overwhelmed by God’s presence. Young and old people alike could be found uncontrollably sobbing in tears as God himself dealt with them. Heaven collided with earth and the impact transformed many broken people in La Ventosa.
As the rally concluded the winds off the mountain slopes increased and forcefully swept through our encampment. Looking up into the dark night sky, a few of us were surprised to see a single white dove, undaunted by the wind, soaring over the meeting place in three distinct circles. Holy Spirit was telling us, I believe, of His work and His presence.
On our final day we divided into four groups and ministered in various churches. The group that came with me was so encouraged to see a room overflowing with participants from the night before. I felt a surge of expectation as we stood before the church. We worshipped and Jesus entered the room. At the close of my message we began to pray for those who responded. Again the doors of Heaven flung wide open. Demons came out screaming, broken bodies were healed, and many touched the Father’s heart again.
Later that night, as I laid on my back in awe of what I had witnessed, I slept knowing God had literally touched down in this community. In the early morning hours, the literal ground beneath us quaked. The earthquake, which we heard about in the morning, sent tremors throughout the entire region. I believe it was the simple response of the earth to work of Heaven in the city.
In finishing up our mission, part of our team returned Monday to the U.S. and the remainder of us took a little rest in the port city of Huatulco. We were so honored to play a part in this mighty work God began and we look forward to the coming Freedom Crusades in Oaxaca. In La Ventosa, the “city of wind,” the currents of Holy Spirit blew mightily and it will never be the same again.