Elias Annacondia and Leo Castagnari, the event-coordination team, flew into Los Cabos on Wednesday, November 11. They were ready for the worker training event that night at 6:00 p.m. We were expecting possibly 25 pastors to be participating with their people and were amazed at what we encountered. When we arrived at Pastor Luis Lopez’s church, Centro de Fe, the atmosphere was charged. There were over 250 believers present, with the appropriate colored shirts, ready to be trained for the big event. As the night started with worship, the intensity of the presence of the Holy Spirit intensified, reminding us of the passion our Mexican brothers and sisters have for worship. Elias was amazed and thrilled! Our pastors worked overtime, with relatively short notice, and they and their people responded with enthusiasm!
The next day, the coordination team met with the steering committee to discuss last minute details. The Campaign Steering Committee is made up of ourselves and six of our seasoned pastors. They are veterans at running big, outdoor events. Since our largest church in town only holds around 400 people, most of the churches use area parks for outreaches of any size.
After the meeting, we were asked by Pastor Luis to pray for a lady in his church who had colon cancer in the advanced stages. This sister and her family run one of the popular restaurants in town and the family wanted to honor us with dinner before we prayed. We do not have an up-to-date report on Sister Maria, but we are praying for a good report. During the prayer, Elias took the time to call his father, Carlos Annacondia, and we could hear the familiar voice of his father, coming into the room from the telephone.
Then the big event arrived – on Friday the 13 (we especially liked the choice of date). Committees had been there setting up most of the day and there were others there the day before painting over the graffiti in the stage area. The praise teams start early the day of the event to saturate the area with praise for hours before the meeting. The committees, made up from different churches, looked like they had always worked together. The whole day, from setup to tear down at 10:30 p.m., looked like the army described in the book of Joel, who walk shoulder to shoulder and do not break rank. They and their pastors are amazing!
The event officially started at 6:00 p.m., but warmed up as the night cooled off, as is especially common in Mexico. If you take pictures at the beginning, you could miss half the crowd! The official count was 826 people present in the immediate park area and we’re not really sure if this counted the 250 workers that were spread between the two ministry tents and the boundaries of the main stage area.
Elias was thrilled that he could sense the spiritual hunger of the people and was able to send encouraging reports to headquarters in Argentina, reports that Los Cabos is ready for a Carlos Annacondia Crusade.
The altar was full for probably at least one hour, and that included pastors praying, as well as Elias and Leo. There were over ten testimonies of major healings given at the microphone, as well as many more reports that the Lord had touched them in many different ways. At our post-event meeting the following Wednesday, there was a huge pile of response forms that were quickly distributed to the pastors in the area where the people live, but we don’t have a total paper count yet.
The event teams cleaned that entire area of 1,000 chairs, power, lights, etc. in just a half hour! When I looked at the time when the event was over, I imagined when we would finally be cleaned up, but again, the troops amazed me.
I do have to share one last tradition that Richard and I have with Elias and Leo. It is always so late when the meetings of any kind are over that we are finally wandering to whatever taqueria is open (which many of them are open until 2:00 or 4:00 a.m.) to feed our guests. The Friday night of the pre-crusade was no different. At least I’m training my digestive system to accept food when it already thinks it is in bed sleeping. J
Finally, Elias and Leo invited us to a last minute breakfast on Saturday morning with some of the pastoral leaders from La Paz, in preparation for their pre-crusade, which is scheduled for January of 2016. We then whisked Elias and Leo off to the San Jose del Cabo Airport; finishing off crusade planning and preparation on trip three—until we meet again.
Blessings and thanks to all of you who are helping make this happen!