What a time to be alive!
The California Canopy of Prayer has taken root and is growing. In the state there are currently 1473 streets adopted, 53 local prayer initiatives with top notch local leadership, 5 cities that have committed to 100% adoption and are moving towards that goal, and at least 2 of those that are at or over 20% adoption.
One of these local prayer initiatives is Canopy of Prayer East County, San Diego. This prayer initiative is anchored in El Cajon by Foothills Christian Church which is working with other pastors and marketplace leaders to cover their city and all of the east county.
"The Crystal Meth Medellín"
In 1987 when David and Mark Hoffman founded Foothills Christian Church, El Cajon was a troubled city. It was the world's number one producer of the illicit drug, crystal meth, and crime was at an all time high. Things were so bad that nationally syndicated columnist George Will dubbed El Cajon "The Crystal Meth Medellín" comparing it to the Columbian city, home of the infamous Medellín cocaine cartel. As usual, children were particularly victimized by the crime and drug culture, many were in broken families and attending struggling schools. The city was not welcoming to churches. No church permit had been allowed for over a decade and in the El Cajon General Plan, the document used to determine proper usages for property in the city, there was not a single direct reference to churches. In other words, in the view of the city, churches were irrelevant to the future of the city and they had no plans for more.Now through the power of prayer things are changing.
Today over 5,000 young people weekly are impacted through church youth meetings. Bible Clubs have been established on 24 public school campuses. After school programs are providing one on one mentoring for hundreds of unchurched youth. The local High School Board is comprised of a majority of God-fearing Christians and two Christian schools, a K-8 and a high school, are providing Christian education for hundreds of students at half the cost of other private schools.
As Christians began to pray and get involved in the political process, things began to change. Christians were elected to City Council and began serving on the city planning commission. A God-fearing mayor was elected in an upset victory. A strip club and other so called "adult entertainment" businesses moved out and churches moved in. There are now 60 churches that serve the city. Not only were they able to remove pornographic newspapers from being sold on El Cajon city sidewalks through coin-operated machines, but through their efforts led by city councilman Bob McClellan, state wide legislation was introduced to prohibit this throughout the entire state.
No longer the crystal meth capital of the world, crime has dropped dramatically. Property crime dropped 23%, domestic violence dropped 24%, violent crimes and homicides plunged 50% and are now the lowest in over 25 years!
More to come!
There are currently 668 streets adopted in the San Diego region with about 200 of those in the city of El Cajon itself. Next objectives on their agenda: 1) Get each of the 764 streets of El Cajon adopted. 2) Reach out particularly to the businesses who have been hard hit by the economy and are struggling to survive. The businesses are very open to prayer, watch this short piece in the local news
San Diego county isn't the only place where things are heating up, in fact it's happening at different levels and in different ways in areas all across the state.
At our recent conference in Hawaii we had over 70 delegates from California--the largest delegation from any region outside of Hawaii. Each delegate was deeply ministered to and at the conclusion of the conference we met together as a California team and unanimously committed to be "all in" to work together as family for transformation in California. This was extremely significant and we are seeing the fruit as these delegates have come back and imparted what they have received to others. One contingency has started Holy Spirit fires in the Palos Verdes area of Southern Cal. Out of this has come a transformation seminar early next year to further help their efforts. If you're local, we'd love to have you join us at Rolling Hills Country Club from 9 to 4 on Saturday, January 15th. Tickets are only $40 for adults $15 for students, and that includes a nice lunch. Click here for more info.
It's not just California. In October we took a quick trip to Florida to help launch Pray Tampa Bay. In one weekend a movement coalesced. They have a top notch leadership team, a core of enthusiastic a prayer activists and the first streets adopted in their region. Already reports are coming back of changes in the spiritual climate.
Keep it Simple
Transformation is all about people on the ground who are filled with the Spirit of the Lord and are executing God's mandate and God's method. God's mandate is to disciple nations not hide in caves waiting for the rapture. Jesus didn't save us just so we can die and go to heaven, but so that we can bring the kingdom of God to here on earth where it's needed--discipling nations in practical ways with measurable results. God's method is simple: let God do the heavy lifting. We call it prayer evangelism. Rather than trying to convince people of how good God is and how bad they are, bless them and pray for their needs so that God can show them Himself. It's really very simple, you don't need a PhD in advanced-astro-societal-transformation, you just need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and obedience.
The progress of this prayer evangelism movement is being tracked right here on TRANSFORMOURWORLD.org our super cool new website. It is a powerful tool to track and connect these people on the front-lines and is filled with many dynamic resources to inspire and equip world changers. Visit it. Take advantage of the free resources including our extensive mentoring section, and if you haven't yet, adopt your street and start letting God loose to do the heavy lifting.
Rejoice! Great things are happening all over the world and right here in California--one of the most influential places around (even if I may be a little biased). As we seek the Lord for next year, I get a firm impression that 2011 will be the year that transformation hits a tipping point both in California and globally with many lost being saved!
Thank you so much for your support. Your partnership has made a difference.
As 2010 comes to an end, please prayerfully consider making a generous end-of-year gift. 2010 has been a tough year for everybody and especially ministries. Nevertheless, we have been able to press forward and thanks to your partnership we have seen significant results. Please help us now with a generous gift so we can close out 2010 and move boldly into 2011. Click here to donate.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and your loved ones this most special Christmas season.