Las Vegas was probably the our most challenging stop on the outreach thus far. We were confronted by the spirit of division, the spirit of addiction, the spirit of oppression and even the spirit of death from the moment we entered the city! The great thing about this tour and the people on it is that we are all standing on firm spiritual foundation; and again, that which the enemy meant for destruction, God used for good!
From the onset, the spirit of division was prevalent within the team as tensions were running high during our city brief and pre-load in. We have a very specific and tight schedule; but, the enemy tried his best to disrupt our schedule and split the team from going out into the community for outreach.
When we did finally go out to engage the community, we confronted head on the spirits of addiction and oppression. We came across a young lady who was high on heroin, physically abused (she had a broken wrist from fighting with her boyfriend/supplier) and she was on the brink of committing suicide (she told us that if we had not stopped to show her that she was loved and valued, she would have followed through). The funny thing is that the enemy tried to distract us by getting us lost on our way to the designated community location; however, God used that moment for us to minister directly to this young lady.
After engaging the community, we went to Freemont Street with the idea that we would invite people to come out and enjoy the show. When we got there, the atmosphere was extremely heavy with the spirit of death. I had an experience while we were there that I have never had before – I saw disfiguration in the faces of many of the people that were out that night. Quite honestly, I was shaken to my core by the experience. Within fifteen minutes, everyone in our group was in tears just from the intensity of the situation. It got to the point where we just needed to leave.
From there, we went to a local Denny’s where we spent the next hour or so in prayer and reflecting on everything that took place during the night. While we were praying and reflecting, God revealed to us that he removed the scales from our eyes so that we could see why he had brought us to this city. While very humbling, we also felt a sense of renewal in purpose.
The next day, we woke up ready to take on the adversary. As a group, we prayed together. We had a bible study where we talked about spiritual warfare and the effects that it could have if we go into it with carnal weapons rather than spiritual. We renewed our commitment to each other and to our purpose for this tour and outreach. almost immediately, the heaviness that we felt the day before began to lift.
Before our event, we arranged to go to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission to serve the patrons lunch and minister to them through music. To say that the atmosphere was completely opposite from the day before would be an understatement! The patrons and other volunteers were extremely nice and very loving. I absolutely felt right at home serving and speaking with everyone. We were only scheduled to be there for two hours; and, I was sad that we could not stay longer. God’s presence was strong while we were there; so, even though we had to leave, I believe that we successfully showed our friends the love of Christ.
From the mission, we headed back to the venue to begin set up for the event. Our sense of purpose was strong and we worked together as a team to get through sound checks, set up merch tables and prepare the venue for the night. Spirits were running high.
When we first arrived in Vegas, we befriended Lou – one of the audio engineers at the club. Lou went with us the night before into the community and to Freemont Street; and, Lou also prayed with us and reflected about what we had experienced. The day of the event, Lou and his partner Jim, were a very important part of us being able to get everything set up and ready to go. Lou was a spiritual warrior also; and, I now realize that he was that one divinely inspired connection in this city.
Because of the revelation that God gave us the night before, my approach to the Las Vegas event was combat mode. Spiritually, I armored up; and, physically, I put on the gear that I felt would best reflect my mental and spiritual state. I was blessed to be put in the ministry spot in the line up; and, I felt as if God could fill this broken vessel with his word so that it could be poured out for those who needed to hear it.
The event was simulcast through the venues website in addition to being open to the public. Each artist performed at a level that felt as if it were beyond their already high quality. Looking out into the audience, you could see the engagement in the faces of the people that were there. It was clear by the end of the night that nothing that happened while we were in Las Vegas was an accident – it was all by His design.