Love Extreme 2010 - June 19
The day that everyone had been anticipating for such a long time had finally arrived. The preparations had been made. The fliers and posters were all over the city. The project was being bathed in prayer from around the world. Now we just had to wait and see what the Lord would do.
Love Extreme started early on Saturday morning. We showed up at the church at 7 am. We took buses out to Cerro Juli, which is where we held Love Extreme. We spent an hour in prayer, and anointed each speaker, singer, presenter, and translator. The doors were opened around 9 am, and there was a crowd of between 2,000 and 3,000 waiting to get in. People were excited to be there.
The grounds at Cerro Juli allowed us to hold all kinds of events. The Men’s & Women’s Conferences and Prayer Salon were held in a Conference Center. Concerts took place on the main stage. An entire building was reserved for the Children’s Festival. Rooms were used for a medical clinic, and there was even a gated area holding a giant ostrich and llamas! This place had it all. We also had areas reserved for buying food, which included empanadas, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs (not like you’ve ever seen—they were pink!) and cuy. Cuy is guinea pig—a delicacy for Peruvians. It was a diverse menu!
The Women’s Conference was standing room only. Tammy Trent and Lonna Vopat were a dynamic duo in the Women’s conference. Tammy sang and shared her testimony during the Women’s Conference. Her husband died in a scuba diving accident while they were on a mission trip to Jamaica. She talked about how her whole world fell apart, as this happened the day before September 11, 2001. God brought her through the experience and her faith lies solely in God. Lonna shared her story of abandonment, abuse, divorce, alcoholism, drugs, depression, and suicide attempts. Her story had something to speak to every woman. By the end, over 150 woman came forward to accept Christ. Amazing!
After the conference was over, several of our Extreme staff members and short term volunteers had the opportunity to speak one on one with woman who were hurting and in bad relationships. It was great to see how God put people in just the right places to be there for these women.
As the Men’s conference began, it quickly became obvious that they would need more space, so the prayer salon was moved to a different room in order to expand the Men’s conference. Even after this, the room was still filled beyond capacity. Felix Vargas shared his story of being a member of the Colombian drug cartel, and how Christ came to save him. By the end, between 150 and 200 men came forward to accept Christ. God used his story to meet the men where they were, and his story resonated with them.
Over 2,000 children attended the event, which meant the kid’s festival was always full. They had something for everyone, drama, face painting, inflatables, balloon animals, and much more. But, beyond the fun, everything was Christ centered. The children were able to hear the message of God’s love on their level, and many responded to this good news.
It seemed like there were people everywhere by lunch. I think every arena was busy. There were concerts on the main stage in the afternoon, and people received Christ then as well. There were some young people surrounding the stage as a North American pastor spoke, and they seemed to be hanging on his every word. Nazareno, a group from Cali, Colombia, also performed, and were able to get the crowd ready for Nick to come speak.
People had been anxiously awaiting Nick all day. Nick has no arms or legs, but has an amazing testimony in Jesus. One statement he made that really hit me was “I could spend 90 years with arms or legs, or I could spend my life as I am and bring thousands of people to Heaven with me.” For him, it was no contest. Nick gave a powerful message and invited Peruvians to receive Christ. He estimated that there were 6,000 people there, and 80% raised their hands to receive Jesus as their Savior. Nick turned to Christian Saramiento, his translator, and said, "There are too many people raising their hands. They don't understand. Say it again." Christian then said, "This is not a blessing, this is a commitment." Most of the people raised their hands again. The crowd was asked three times to be sure, and they continued to keep their hands raised.
When Brian Tibbs was taking Nick back to the airport, they had a chance to talk about the events of the day. Nick said that he was amazed at the response. The typical response at his shows is 10%. He commented how obvious it was that God was at work in this city, and how the event must have been bathed in prayer. Thank you to everyone who was praying for this event. Your prayers were obvious.
Local pastors and 40/40s have over 1,000 contacts to follow up on this week. They will be making phone calls, visiting people in their homes, and inviting them to a spiritual retreat this weekend. It’s a big job! But when God moves like He did at Love Extreme, you just have to be ready to follow through on the harvest. Praise God for everything He did at Love Extreme!