Typically, Elias and team travel to the location of one of their next crusades four months before the event to organize the local pastors and make sure everything will be ready for the main crusade. Since La Paz was scheduled to have a crusade this coming November, Elias told us if we wanted, he would come on down to Los Cabos during his trip to La Paz. It turned out perfect. Our pastors were already fired up and ready with their own list of event preparations, including cost estimates. Elias and Leo were impressed by the efficiency, encouraged by the unity of our pastors, as well as blessed by the open arms for the Annacondia team.
The week looked something like this:
Monday, May 25, late afternoon – We picked up Elias and Leo at the airport, took care of their needs and brought them to their hotel in Cabo San Lucas, the Casa Bella Boutique Hotel. This hotel is owned by Mr. Carlos Ungson, the dear brother who has offered the free use of his centrally located, thirty acres for use for the crusade. Mr. Ungson and his family also blessed us tremendously, not only with their graciousness to our guests, but also in waving the entire cost of Elias’ and Leo’s stay.
Monday evening, dinner at 7:00 – As we have shared previously in our blog, Carlos Annacondia’s ministry has a special place in Pastors Cesar and Sara Sotomayor’s hearts. When they told us their story, just a week before Elias and Leo came, we felt, if we could gracefully work it into the itinerary, we needed to do something special for Cesar and Sara. Since we had not been sure exactly when the Elias and Leo would arrive, Monday night’s dinner was open. We all experienced a special moment as Cesar and Sara shared their hearts with Elias in a God-given, divine appointment at dinner at Maria Corona’s Restaurant.
Tuesday morning at 9:30 was the long-awaited meeting with the local pastors at one of the largest churches in the area, Centro de Fe. We, along with the pastors’ alliance, worked diligently in the few weeks we had before the meeting to invite every pastor we could make contact with to the meeting. Elias’ presentation was compelling, as well as inspiring. Hope of Los Cabos being transformed filled the air. After the presentation, Elias shared very thorough, specific information that we would need to prepare for the upcoming crusade. He also shared the possibility of holding pre-crusades before the big crusade in the spring of 2016.
After the meeting with the pastors, we hosted a luncheon at the Campestre Restaurant for the Pastoral Steering Committee, which had been working so hard to be ready for Elias’ and Leo’s visit. This was a great time of fellowship, along with allowing the steering committee to get to know more about the Annacondia ministry and ask any questions they still had.
That evening at 7:00 we held the kickoff of a Christian Business Person’s Association in the Los Cabos area. The dinner was hosted by and provided for by Pastors Cesar and Sara Sotomayor at their restaurant, La Mesa Poblana. Due to the time frame we were working with, it was a small beginning, but a special start to a ministry in Los Cabos that has been on our hearts for some time.
Wednesday morning started with a meeting at 9:30. All of the pastors interested in praying over three possible crusade sites with us (Mr. Ungson’s property and two others) met at that time. The Holy Spirit’s presence was heavy and it was an important foundation for the upcoming crusade. After we were done praying and inspecting the properties, the pastors were dismissed and we headed up to San Jose del Cabo with old friend, Pastor Jose Montoya of Templo Bet San. Templo Bet San put on an area-wide outreach in San Jose using the city’s new baseball stadium (in case you’re wondering, we haven’t seen anyone playing baseball yet). He brought Elias, Leo, and us to see the stadium as a possible site for one of two pre-crusade mini crusades Elias thought might work for our area. Pastor Montoya then took us all out to Jasmin’s Restaurant (one of our favorites).
That evening we returned to Templo Bet San for the 7:00 p.m. mid-week service where Elias stirred up the faith of the people with many testimonies of what God has done in different areas after large crusades. Pastor Montoya’s people welcomed the ministry time afterwards and several testimonies have been given as to how God touched them that night. We were done shortly before 12:00 midnight and, much to my surprise, there was a taco joint open on the main drag at that time of night.
Thursday at 11:00 a.m. we picked up Elias and Leo to give them a tour of the area before the nighttime activities. They were scheduled to arrive at Pasto Carlos’ Cristo es el Camino at 7:00 p.m. for the mid-week service. Pastor Carlos’ mid-week service is always packed. The worship was passionate and powerful. As usual, the people flooded the altar at ministry time. A spirit of deliverance was present and several people were set free from significant bondage. Elias and Leo, as well as Richard and I, helped, as directed by Pastor Carlos, and prayed personally for at least fifty dear people. When we were done praying, it was 11:00 p.m. and, by the time the crowd cleared, it was midnight. Janet, with more energy than I remember having even when I was young, then served a light dinner to over fourteen people. We finally headed home at 12:30 p.m. from a powerful night of ministry and fellowship.
Friday arrived and we went to the Casa Bella Hotel for the last time (this event) to pick up Elias and Leo at 10:00 a.m. to drive them two hours to La Paz (the state capital) to meet with the pastors of that area. We all said our goodbyes to the Ungson family and thanked them for the special hotel experience the young men had had, due not only to the lovely accommodations but also to the graciousness of the host family.
It was a fabulous week and was only the start of what the Lord is going to go in Los Cabos. We can’t wait to see what the Lord will do here through the Carlos Annacondia Ministries!