Powerful Encounters: Mexico
After more than three weeks in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico we learned so much from the Holy Spirit about the Father’s heart for this special place, as well as countless divine appointments orchestrated by Adonai. We wanted to take this post to speak about a select few of those testimonies that stood out amongst the rest. Situated between white sand beaches and lush green mountains, the city is picturesque, but the strongholds that exist there became quickly evident as we walked the streets and what is called the Malecon, a walkway that skirts the beach for a mile or so.
During our three plus weeks stay, the Holy Spirit led us to stay in multiple locations throughout the city covering almost the entirety of it from the north to the south, and during two straight weeks had us climb to the top of a mountain, a lookout point with a view of the entire city to pray for the salvation of the city, worship in Spirit and Truth, and welcome Adonai to be enthroned there. Ever time we climbed the mountain, the Holy Spirit had already prepared a meeting with someone. These are just a few of those incredible encounters.
It was 500 plus steps from the bottom to the top of the mountain and every step was used to pray and intercede for the salvation of the people and the city, and those prayers were like a magnet for people who needed prayer or felt led to come there without quite knowing why.
One of our first encounters was at the very top of the mountain, when we saw a man lifting his hands sporadically up and down smiling from ear to ear in what seemed like worship, but something was off about it as we felt an eery feeling in the Spirit as we approached instead of a holy feeling like one would feel in the presence of Adonai. We approached regardless and introduced ourselves, asking if he was worshipping, and he told us he was worshipping many gods and inviting them to the city, saying that there were bad frequencies in the city that needed to be reversed. His name is Artemios and he is 29 years old, and he was right about one thing, the spiritual atmosphere was not right, and it needed to be reversed, but clearly he wasn’t making it better. We didn’t approach him with raised crucifixes or with great caution in fear of him, but with love of God that drives out all fear. We discerned that he also had an addiction that was badly effecting his life, which he later confirmed, and as we continued to speak we asked if he believed in Yeshua as the Son of God and as his Lord and Savior, and he said yes, but that he also believed in all the other gods and communicated with them. So we took him step by step explaining that there is only One God above all which is God the Father and the only way to Him is through Yeshua, and if he wanted to see change for the better in his own life and in the city, only Adonai was capable of doing so, not any other demonic spiritual forces. He understood and agreed. So we said a prayer of deliverance, transformation, freedom, and thanked Adonai for his life, and the shalom of the Holy Spirit embraced us all. We then proceeded to pray for the city together in the name of Yeshua for the Father’s blueprint to be made manifest there, we worshipped in Spirit and Truth, and blew the shofar over the city as a sealing to the prayer. The whole time he kept saying, this feels good, this feels right, thank you, thank you. His fervor to pray to all of the small “g” gods was transferred into his fervour to pray in the name of Yeshua, and the spiritual atmosphere was indeed reversed.
What if we had just decided to pray from a distance for him, knowing he was using witchcraft instead of approaching him? It turns out Artemios lived on that mountain, and was homeless because of his addiction, but that he was praying in that way almost every night over the city. The fallen kingdom of darkness wants to twist the great calling Adonai has on his life to serve the purposes of darkness, but the King of glory has other plans. We saw Artemios 4 or 5 more times as we continued to climb the mountain daily, and each time we embraced him with the Father’s love, prayed with him, and helped in what ways we could. He is still in a time of transformation, but is more clear and understands not only how to pray, but that Adonai is also delivering him from his addiction. As we prayed with him, the Holy Spirit was so clear that he has a tremendous calling to evangelise Puerto Vallarta. We saw him one last time the night before we had to leave, got his information and continue to be in contact with him, but we ask that you please keep Artemios in your prayers, for complete transformation and for him to walk in the fullness of his calling, and for others to continue to pray for him and for those who will continue pouring into his life. Artemios is just one example of someone we may want to try and avoid if we can, but if it were Yeshua walking by him, do you think he would think the same?
In another instance, as we approached the top of the mountain and passed an old man struggling to carry what he had with him up the mountain, we stopped and asked if we could help, and he was visibly relieved, and accepted our help gratefully. Maurilios is his name, and he is 76 years old, and he too lives near the top of the mountain where we walked with him to drop off all of his artwork and hand crafts he was carrying with him. We sat with him at his invitation, and he began to tell us his amazing story. For 25 years he had lived in that small place, walking down the mountain almost every morning at 8:00 AM to sell his goods that he painted and created himself, returning more than 12 hours later when the sun went down after walking all day up and down the Malecon in the sun by the beach. As he continued his story he began to glorify God and tell us how he loved Him and gives Him thanks everyday telling us that we should too, and the importance of living a godly life. He lived simply in a two room house with a couch, a bed, a table where he paints and creates his hand crafts, and a Bible that lays open on the top of his dresser that he reads every morning before leaving the house. When he spoke about his relationship with Adonai, the presence of God was palpable, and we realized the Holy Spirit had just allowed us to meet a gatekeeper of Puerto Vallarta at the high place of the city.
Every time we went up the mountain somehow we always arrived at the same time, which was odd because we tended to go up the mountain at different times at night, but without fail there was Maurilios, and we were able to help him again. On a couple of instances He told us that he had literally been praying that Adonai would send an Angel to help him because he was so tired after a long day, or because he had just gotten groceries and there was no way he could have carried them up the mountain by himself, and lo and behold we were there when he arrived. The last night we saw Maurilios was the same night was saw Artemios for the last time. As we prayed together he started to weep giving thanks to God as Adonai’s presence fell, and we knew we had completed the work we had come to do led by the Holy Spirit. At 76 years old, he is as fit as a 20 year old, has no aches and pains in his body after walking up that mountain every day, contributing it all to the King of kings. We are still in touch with Maurilos as well, and we ask that if Adonai puts it on your heart to pray for him, please do so as he is a blessing to all of Puerto Vallarta, everyday walking the streets of the city like Abraham who walked the promised land knowing Adonai was giving it to him and his lineage as an inheritance.
The last night walking up the mountain was May 2nd, and when arrived to the top, it had been prepared for a Catholic celebration and was full of Palm branches and other decorations. It was a small sign from the Holy Spirit that during the time we had been there, we were preparing the way for Yeshua to invade the city. Puerto Vallarta is a city of Prodigals with multiple strongholds, but that is nothing in the face of Adonai’s perfect love, the love of the Father that embraces his sons and daughters who return to Him with open arms, new clothes, new sandals, a signet on their fingers, and a feast awaiting them.
Perhaps the most impactful divine appointment we had was with Alberto. It was on a night where Emmanuel went to climb the mountain by himself that upon reaching the top, he saw a boy sitting at the foot of the giant cross there with a sad look upon his face looking lost. All he did was approach him and ask him, how are you, are you OK? Alberto said, “honestly, I feel alone, I have nobody.” He immediately began to pour his heart out and tell Emmanuel his life story, a story that was riveting, and heartbreaking. Alberto is 16 years old now, but at the age of 8 his mother died, and in the same year so did his dad. He became an orphan at 8 years old and because he has no ID and no birth certificate, no orphanage would take him in, so he has been wandering the streets doing odd jobs and searching through trash cans for food to eat. He sleeps under a tree where he hides his blanket on the nights when he has enough money to take the bus there, and when it rains, he usually has to stay awake all night because he gets too cold to sleep. For three hours they spoke at the top of the mountain when Lion called Emmanuel due to the late hour, and Emmanuel told him the situation.
We had him come back to our place and soon realized that he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to turn on the shower because he took a bath in the river. When we turned on the shower he looked at us in shock like this was some kind of miracle. He didn’t know how to wash his clothes, turn on the stove, and all of the things a person who lives in a household knows how to do. So we took him in and taught him all of those things he did not know. A roof over his head, even in a simple place like ours was like a castle to Alberto, but most importantly he wasn’t alone any longer, and we were doing our best to show him how the Father would take in one of His own children. When we finally had to leave the city, we were not able to take Alberto with us, though we would have gladly adopted him then and there, but we helped him as best we could in that moment to get him on his feet and we continue to keep him in our prayers knowing we did all we could do, and that Adonai will do the rest. We asked Alberto what his dream was, and he told us his dream is to have a house, to have parents, and to have a family. Meeting him was such an honor and privilege, and stirred our hearts for the thousands and thousands of young people in Mexico who are in the same situation and the millions and millions of kids around the world who do not know the love of the Father, an entire generation of orphans that Adonai is calling us as the Body of Messiah to bring into the kingdom. Please, we ask you to continue praying for Alberto and for Adonai to answer his heart cry, and continue to guide him and lead him in His perfect love.
Every time the Holy Spirit leads us to a city we can tend to think, do we need to contact other believers here, should we have a gathering, etc., and none of those things are wrong, but what we have realized on many occasions is that even without doing these things, Adonai arranges so many divine appointments in the everyday things we are doing like walking down the street, going to the market, getting something to eat, etc. At one point we were asking the Holy Spirit, where is the remnant here, and the next day when we moved to our next place it was right next to a church where everyone was doing Bible study and worshipping the King of glory. Even in places where it seems there is so much happening that is not from God, there is a remnant, and as we walk out the Gospel boldly, whether it be 1 person, 10, 100, or 1,000, it takes just one of those people to touch a million. One simple encounter was in a grocery store with an old woman standing in front of Emmanuel at the checkout counter who didn’t have enough money for her groceries, and simply buying her groceries with the little that we had, was just such a divine appointment and an opportunity to share the love of Adonai.
Church is not the only place God goes, but everywhere we go, and all we have to do is take a small step of faith. Sometimes we are just planting seeds, and sometimes people give their lives to Yeshua on the spot (1 Corinthians 3:6-9), so don’t feel pressure or feel nervous when approaching someone, but just ask the Father, “what is your heart for this person”, and the Holy Spirit will lead you. No need to plan what you will say, Adonai tells us we don’t need to because He will put the words in our mouths. That last night as we prayed from the top of the mountain for Puerto Vallarta we prayed that the city would be hit by a wind of the Holy Spirit like the waters cover the sea and that the oil of the Spirit will flow from the top of the mountains all the way to the Malecon, the walkway that skirts the ocean which is the main walkway of the city. The strongholds of Puerto Vallarta will fall to the love and might of the Father, and what the enemy used for evil will be turned to good for the glory of Adonai. These are just a few examples of many many similar encounters we had with people during our time in Puerto Vallarta, but even if it was just one person, it would have been worth it. We pray this has encouraged you, and if two people like ourselves who were once super lost that have now been found can do this, because of Yeshua in you, you most definitely can too. Adonai bless you and keep you!