Urban Report

Crying at the Gates Part 1

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Alex Niculaescu, Levi Longoria


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000230A

00:01 Did you know that slavery is alive
00:03 and well in these United States and abroad?
00:06 Well, stay tuned to meet two young men
00:08 who are determined to fight it with spiritual weapons.
00:11 My name is Yvonne Lewis
00:13 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:37 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:40 Today's topic may be a bit sensitive
00:42 for children to hear, parental discretion is advised.
00:46 My guests today are Alex Niculaescu.
00:50 How did I do? Did good.
00:52 And Levi Longoria.
00:54 Two layman with a burden for intercessory ministry.
00:58 They are the founders of Crying at the Gates Ministry,
01:02 an organization of lay intercessors
01:04 fighting sex trafficking.
01:06 Welcome to Urban Report, my brothers.
01:08 Thank you. It's good to be here.
01:10 Yeah. It's so good to have you.
01:12 I had heard about you from our head
01:16 of production here, Greg Morikone
01:18 and he said, "Oh, these two young men
01:20 had this powerful testimony."
01:22 And I said, "Man, I missed them,"
01:25 'cause I wish that you guys were here before.
01:27 Yeah.
01:28 And I just wished I had you for Urban Report
01:31 'cause I always like to bring our viewers
01:33 really powerful testimonies
01:35 and show how our God has changed lives.
01:38 And so I wanted to have you on and so you were coming back
01:42 and so I'm so glad you're here.
01:44 Thank you for having us. Yes, yes, yes.
01:46 So tell us about Crying at the Gates Ministry.
01:49 What is that?
01:50 Start, Alex. So, yeah.
01:51 Crying at the Gates is based off of Proverbs 1.
01:54 And we look at Proverbs 1
01:56 where the very first piece of advice
01:58 that Solomon is giving is that, he knows that his son
02:02 is going to confront people as it says,
02:05 you know, "If sinners entice you consent thou not.
02:08 Walk not in the way with them."
02:10 And he basically goes to description
02:11 of how there's going to be a group of people
02:13 that are basically going to say,
02:14 "Let us all have one purse, let us go after the innocent,
02:17 let us swallow them up as the grave,
02:18 and hold as those who go down into the pit.
02:20 You know, which will fill our houses with spoil.
02:22 It's basically profiting,
02:24 you know, from the oppression of the poor.
02:27 And Solomon says, "Don't walk in the way with them
02:29 because the nets that they spread are for themselves
02:32 and the traps that they set,
02:34 they're gonna fall into themselves.
02:35 And the following thing that is said right after that
02:39 is that wisdom is walking through the streets,
02:41 she's walking through the cities,
02:43 the openings of the gates
02:44 and the chief places of concourse or of meeting,
02:46 and she's crying, "How long, you simple ones,
02:49 will you continue in your simplicity?"
02:51 And if we jump over a few chapters,
02:52 later in chapter 7, we see that the simple one
02:55 are those that are devoid of understanding.
02:57 It's that man that goes into the house of the prostitute
03:00 and he's enticed basically not knowing
03:02 that he's going to basically the end of his life.
03:06 And if she goes into
03:07 and he gives into those types of sins that
03:10 it's gonna be very difficult for him
03:11 to escape from.
03:12 So we wanted to be that voice of wisdom
03:14 that goes and cries out against
03:15 these types of things in the cities
03:17 and the chief places of meeting.
03:20 And it's basically a prayer ministry,
03:23 an intercessory ministry on behalf of the things
03:25 that are going on in cities mostly.
03:27 How many people are involved in your ministry?
03:31 Directly just us, just the two of us.
03:32 Oh, okay, okay.
03:34 We've joined with lots of other people
03:36 that we've worked with and they say,
03:38 "Hey, can you come and teach us
03:39 how to intercede for cities the way that you have?"
03:42 And so there's lots of groups of people
03:44 that pray with us now and we have,
03:45 you know, a network that
03:47 whenever we have prayer requests,
03:48 we know we can count on them
03:49 and we text message like, all week long.
03:53 We're always praying and interceding.
03:56 But yeah, as far as just the direct part,
03:58 it's just the two of us.
03:59 And there are, yeah, there are people
04:01 who have started doing the same thing
04:03 basically in other places and other cities
04:05 and things as well but...
04:07 We're not trying to copyright anything.
04:09 Right, right, yeah, yeah.
04:11 It sounded to me, from your website
04:13 that you have like a network like,
04:15 different groups that have kind of coalesced to do this.
04:20 Yeah. How did you get into this?
04:22 Let's hear about your story. Where did you grow up and...
04:26 So I grew up mostly in Atlanta.
04:28 I was born in Chicago
04:29 but I grew up most of my life in Atlanta.
04:32 And I went to Arise Mission College
04:35 or mission school back in 2007 that's where I met Levi.
04:39 And since then, I kind of went, I did some missionary work,
04:43 I was gone for six months in certain countries.
04:45 And I was in East Africa and then also South Sudan
04:48 when I encountered my first case
04:50 of human trafficking.
04:52 And I got back to the States, I started researching.
04:54 I realized, "Oh, man!
04:55 This is not just a third world problem,
04:57 this is an American problem."
04:58 And so I started, you know, kind of doing more research,
05:01 watching documentaries, reading books,
05:03 getting involved in local organizations,
05:05 going to meetings.
05:07 And I got involved with a group in Atlanta
05:10 that was called "Out of Darkness".
05:11 And what they were doing is they had started
05:13 24 hour call center to begin rescuing women
05:16 from trafficking and prostitution.
05:19 But that was based off of five years
05:21 before hand of a project called "Princess Night".
05:24 And what Princess Night did was it basically went
05:26 to the streets in areas where they knew prostitution
05:28 was happening and they would minister
05:31 to the prostitutes on the streets.
05:32 They would take groups of girls and guys,
05:34 and the guys would drive the vans,
05:35 and they would be the ones praying
05:36 and watching out to making sure
05:38 overlooking the safety of the girls.
05:39 And the girls would go up and they would hand cards
05:41 and roses, and write in messages that,
05:43 you know, "You're beautiful, you've got value.
05:45 If you ever want to, you know, get off the streets
05:47 you know, we're here for you."
05:49 And so about five years of doing that
05:50 and praying, the first person decided
05:52 that they're gonna come off the streets
05:53 and they're kind of like "What do we do now?"
05:56 And so... After five years?
05:58 After five years, it took a while
06:00 but, you know, obviously they weren't doing it
06:01 every week, they were doing it every month.
06:03 But, you know, now that Out of Darkness
06:07 is running the 24 hour call center,
06:09 they have people going every single Friday night
06:11 to the streets to do that.
06:13 But for the most part, it was monthly
06:15 or bimonthly for five years and it took that long
06:18 until the first person decided to say,
06:20 "Okay, well, I've seen you enough times here,
06:23 you know, I'd like to get off.
06:24 What you can do about it?"
06:26 And so it was kind of it was born out of that need,
06:29 but had they not been there, you know, even caring about it,
06:32 like who knows what would have happened?
06:35 The organization never would have happened at all.
06:38 And so what we did with Out of Darkness is,
06:41 we ran a 24 hour call center,
06:43 and we worked with lots of organizations in Atlanta
06:46 that did recovery programs.
06:48 And so every single case is different,
06:50 you know, you have some girls that have children
06:52 or some that have drug addictions,
06:55 or you know, every case is different,
06:56 not every recovery home handles that.
06:58 So we had to broaden our network
06:59 and work with more recovery homes,
07:01 some that were even out of state
07:03 so that we could fill all of the needs.
07:06 But beyond that, it was actually the numbers
07:08 that were more of a problem, because the first year,
07:12 you know, we went from five years zero
07:14 and then one to the first year of running
07:16 the 24 hour call center and it was 45.
07:19 And then the second year of running the call center,
07:20 I think it was about 115 and then almost double
07:23 that the third year, well over 200.
07:25 And so, you know, you end up getting almost,
07:27 you know, 400, 500 within the first few years
07:31 and there's not enough recovery homes.
07:32 Most recovery homes have just very few beds,
07:34 you know, between 3 and 15.
07:37 And so, you know, the need is there
07:42 but I think just most people aren't necessarily aware of it.
07:46 How broad is this issue of human trafficking?
07:51 Like, you know, we don't, recently,
07:54 I had a husband and wife team on that
07:59 wanted to go to Thailand to get trained
08:02 to help rescue women and children from trafficking.
08:06 And this is something that we don't really talk about
08:10 that much in this country
08:12 but it's really slavery, isn't it?
08:15 It is slavery.
08:17 So go ahead, continue with how you got into it.
08:20 Yeah, it's slavery.
08:22 And I think that the problem is that
08:24 when we think of human trafficking,
08:25 we think of what we've either seen very briefly,
08:28 maybe on TV or on some social networking
08:32 where somebody is, you know, gagged
08:33 and thrown into the back of a van
08:35 and, you know, but that's not the reality of it all.
08:38 I mean, that's a very, very, very small portion of it.
08:41 Majority of the girls that are ending up in the streets,
08:43 even in kind of like small time prostitution
08:46 are local girls from neighborhoods,
08:48 you know, a few miles away, you know.
08:52 And it's not just the poor, there's tons of people
08:55 who get involved in it that are just have issues.
08:59 And so the way that a pimp would generally do this is,
09:03 he'll go to the mall, and he'll find girls or boys,
09:06 and they'll see like an odd number.
09:08 And he'll notice, you know, what their characteristics are
09:11 and basically categorize them within three categories.
09:14 "Oh, you know, she looks like the crazy one.
09:15 She'll be the party girl.
09:16 Or she looks like she's always looking through the windows,
09:18 that's a materialistic one.
09:20 Or that one, she's kind of like,
09:21 you know, the third wheel.
09:23 And so, maybe that's the one with daddy issues.
09:25 And so he kind of categorizes
09:26 and he plays upon those weaknesses
09:28 and he tries to fill the role, you know,
09:30 and he'll go and manipulate
09:33 whatever that girl is dealing with
09:35 based on her vulnerabilities.
09:37 And that's just kind of the basics of it
09:39 but in reality, it's more than just prostitution.
09:41 I mean, it's an organized crime,
09:43 it's children doing it to themselves
09:45 within the schools, you know, they're getting messages
09:48 through music and through media,
09:50 there's no need for a third party.
09:52 I mean, they're doing it themselves.
09:54 And then obviously, you have it within organizations,
09:56 and cults, and even, you know, high levels of government
10:00 and things like that.
10:02 There's always the demand for something.
10:04 And you know, sometimes, the higher you go,
10:06 the more illicit it has to be.
10:08 And so we deal with kind of the bottom level.
10:12 We rarely deal with the higher levels of it.
10:15 And that's the hidden part. So how do you get to that?
10:18 And so we realize that the way that you can
10:20 only deal with that is through spiritual means.
10:22 And it took us a while to do that.
10:24 It took me a while, you know, to realize that
10:25 because I'd always try to go through law enforcement,
10:27 and through legislation, and working with government.
10:30 And, sure, that has its place.
10:32 But there's places you can't reach
10:34 and things that even they themselves won't do
10:36 because there's certain law enforcement,
10:38 and there are certain government
10:40 people and government that are complicit in it.
10:41 They're actually protecting those who do it.
10:44 Right, right.
10:46 So we're talking about corruption.
10:48 Yeah, I'm not speaking ill of government or cops.
10:50 I'm saying there's always portions within,
10:51 you know, there's even divisions
10:53 within all of those institutions.
10:54 Right, right.
10:56 Levi, what have you found as you've been involved
10:58 in this ministry as far as human trafficking is concerned
11:02 and how ubiquitous it is everywhere like how,
11:06 what have you found?
11:08 Really the whole thing was new to me.
11:10 I was, I mean, taken back by, I mean, everything.
11:14 I basically started from scratch.
11:19 When Alex invited me to go to Brazil,
11:21 and I'm sure we'll get to that,
11:23 but I knew literally nothing about it.
11:26 I've never even looked into it before.
11:29 So I mean, it's still to me, things that I'm still learning
11:33 even just recently the stuff
11:35 we were talking about is just shocking
11:38 and it's, you know, it's really sad all of it.
11:43 But like Alex said, you know, I do know that the way
11:49 that we fight it is not on our own power,
11:52 we have to fight it spiritually
11:53 because it is a spiritual issue.
11:55 And it's all tied in some way
12:00 to spiritual issues even, you know, we understand that
12:04 it's kind of obvious in the very high levels
12:07 of trafficking and prostitution.
12:09 And you know, the secret kind of rings
12:13 that there's obvious spiritual ties
12:16 and cultic things that go on.
12:18 But even in school settings, you know, why are young ladies,
12:25 why do they feel the need to sell themselves.
12:28 It's a spiritual issue, you see.
12:31 And so it doesn't matter
12:32 if it's just on a personal local
12:35 kind of scale or of really deep,
12:38 you know, dark rabbit hole.
12:40 It's all tied to the same things.
12:42 How do you...
12:44 what's your story like, where were you raised
12:46 and how did you get into this?
12:49 So Alex was a missionary and you saw something
12:55 over in Africa and other places.
12:57 What about you, Levi, where were you?
12:59 Yeah, I was raised in Michigan in an Adventist home,
13:04 godly parents, amazing examples,
13:08 you know, that I grew up with.
13:10 And in 2006, well, to back up a little bit before that.
13:17 When I was about 16, 17 years old,
13:20 that was when I kind of gave myself,
13:23 my life to God.
13:24 And I told Him, you know, "Whatever You want to do
13:25 with my life, I know I'm still young.
13:28 I want to find out what Your plan
13:30 is basically for my life."
13:32 Because I know so many young people,
13:34 they just go off and do their own thing.
13:35 And maybe they come back later, maybe they don't.
13:38 And I said, "God, I want You to do
13:40 whatever You made me for."
13:42 That's what I want to find out.
13:44 What led you to that point?
13:46 Did something happened that made you decide,
13:48 this is my day to do this?
13:50 It was a really simple thing basically.
13:54 And I won't go through the story
13:55 but basically, through a very, very simple means
13:58 God showed me that He actually wanted
14:03 to have a relationship with me personally,
14:04 outside of my mom or my dad.
14:08 Because, you know, before growing up,
14:09 you're kind of your father's son to God,
14:12 so to speak, you know.
14:14 And so it was really through simple...
14:16 Tell us, tell us, we have time. Simple means.
14:18 When I was... That was, I think, my last...
14:23 No, like my second to last year in high school.
14:27 And I, at the time was working a job
14:32 that was like five hours a week.
14:35 They gave...
14:36 They weren't giving me anything so I was always broke,
14:39 you know, which is still the case,
14:41 that hasn't ever changed.
14:43 And I had a class once a week that I would go,
14:48 I was home schooled.
14:49 And so I had a class once a week.
14:50 I'd go to outside of home to do some of the higher level,
14:54 and grade level stuff.
14:56 And each week,
15:01 I would go and I had a guitar.
15:05 I play guitar, I'm a musician.
15:06 And so I would basically, I wasn't good enough,
15:09 you know, I wasn't making enough at my job.
15:12 And so I had a guitar student to kind of help me with,
15:15 you know, gas, money or whatever.
15:17 And one day, she called me and that's basically
15:20 how I got to school every week, you know.
15:22 If that's how like, tight it was.
15:24 And one day, she called me and she said,
15:27 you know, "I'm not going to be able to do it.
15:28 I got such and such going on.
15:30 So we're going to have to drop the classes."
15:33 And I said, "What?
15:34 How am I supposed to get to school now?"
15:36 And without like skipping a beat that
15:41 before the next class came, the next week,
15:45 one of the girls from class called me
15:46 and she said, "Hey, I don't have
15:48 a ride anymore to school.
15:50 Can you get me?
15:51 And every week if you pick me up,
15:52 I'll give you gas money to go to school.
15:54 And a super like, simple thing, you know,
15:58 but it was very clear that God was providing for me.
16:01 And it had nothing to do with my parents,
16:03 didn't have anything to do with.
16:05 It was just something that I needed
16:06 between God and myself, you know.
16:09 And I hadn't told anybody about it.
16:12 And so through the simplest thing,
16:14 it really got me thinking, "Well, God is...
16:19 He's real. He's personal.
16:20 He actually is thinking about me independent
16:23 from whoever else.
16:26 And that's when I decided, "I want to find out,
16:29 if that's the case,
16:31 You're going to have my life from right now.
16:33 And I want to find out
16:34 what do You really want to do with my life."
16:36 So kind of getting back to your original question though,
16:42 that was when I was 16.
16:44 And when I was 18,
16:46 my dad actually passed away, suddenly.
16:49 He had a heart attack.
16:50 And that pushed me even farther,
16:55 actually toward God,
16:56 you know, like I had told someone earlier today,
16:59 when that kind of a situation happens
17:00 that basically it pushes you this way or that...
17:02 That's true.
17:04 And it pushed me closer, more dependent on God,
17:08 more focused on doing His work and His will for my life.
17:12 And so the next year
17:14 is when I felt called to go to Arise.
17:17 And that's how I met Alex.
17:19 And I got, after that, I basically got involved
17:21 in mission work and, you know,
17:25 lay Bible work and that kind of thing.
17:27 So, you guys, both feel really...
17:29 You feel called to do what you're doing.
17:31 This is not just something that you have an interest in,
17:35 this is a calling for you, isn't it?
17:37 Definitely. Definitely, it is.
17:39 So back to you, Alex.
17:41 So after you got involved
17:45 with the Out of Darkness organization, then,
17:50 when did you decide
17:52 to do Crying at the Gates, and how did that happen?
17:54 So in 2013, we were working during the Super Bowl.
18:01 And so during large events, not just the Super Bowl
18:03 is not exclusive to it,
18:04 it's just whenever you have large groupings of people,
18:06 large events, people coming from all over the place,
18:09 you always have a gathering also of an underground network
18:12 that offers other types
18:14 of entertainment and distraction.
18:16 And so we had gathered together a group of people
18:18 from Out of Darkness, and a few other organizations.
18:20 And we went about 20 of us to work
18:23 during the Super Bowl to kind of be on the streets,
18:25 to be presence, to go into places
18:27 to have some of the girls that we were working
18:29 with to walk into some of the clubs
18:30 that we knew were going to be running
18:33 behind their front, other things.
18:36 And so we weren't ignorant of the fact
18:37 and we didn't act like
18:38 as if we were ignorant to the fact.
18:40 We walked straight into the clubs
18:41 and we said, "Hey, listen, we know some of these girls
18:42 during this weekend are going to be
18:44 going through tremendous amounts of stress.
18:45 Is there any way that we can just give them
18:47 some care packages,
18:48 let them know that we care for them?"
18:49 And you'll be surprised that a lot of,
18:51 you know, the bouncers
18:52 and some of the owners were kind of like,
18:53 "Yes, yes. Please do, help the girls out."
18:56 And so while it is, you know,
18:58 financial economic at some level,
18:59 there are people who honestly care
19:02 even within that network.
19:04 Not everybody is, you know, sometimes you just,
19:06 you get to the point where people are just trying
19:08 to make ends meet.
19:09 And surely, you have that.
19:11 We also confronted other types
19:13 where it was obviously more notorious than that,
19:15 more sinister than that.
19:17 You know, we had to go through back pages
19:19 in Craig's list to kind of track interstate trafficking.
19:23 We knew what keywords to look for
19:24 and things like that
19:25 because a lot of stuff happens on the web.
19:28 You know, it can't happen visibly
19:31 because it gets tracked and people don't want trouble.
19:34 And so we did that, you know, we made some phone calls
19:37 to some of the advertisements and things like that,
19:38 and we said, "Hey, listen.
19:40 You know, if you want to get out of this,
19:41 we'll get you out of this."
19:43 And so we were working during that time.
19:44 And I just felt like this huge spirit of oppression
19:46 the entire time.
19:48 I mean, we were always up late, we were in,
19:49 like you know, bad situations
19:51 and, you know, shady parts of town.
19:53 And there were people that were partying
19:54 and drunk in the streets and vomiting
19:56 and getting into fights, and it was kind of like a,
19:58 you know, a pre party and tons of stuff was going on.
20:01 But it was just,
20:02 the atmosphere itself was really heavy.
20:04 And I thought to myself, "Man, this is gonna be
20:06 happening on a larger scale,
20:07 the following year in 2014 with FIFA.
20:10 I said, you know, "I may not know anybody in Brazil
20:13 but I've got to do something, you know.
20:15 I'm tired of this."
20:17 I got to a point where I was so tired
20:18 of what was going on.
20:20 At that point, I was still fighting
20:22 in very much with carnally,
20:24 you know, trying to solve the issues in my own strength,
20:27 you know, with our organization
20:28 and with what we had planned in our projects,
20:31 I wasn't thinking much about praying.
20:32 And so I was kind of being worn down after,
20:34 you know, about five years of doing this.
20:37 And so I said, "Well, I know that
20:39 I'm not in the best spiritual condition
20:41 but this has to be done."
20:43 And if I know that it's going to be happening to kids
20:45 and I ignore it, you know, then I'm not going
20:47 to be able to live with myself as a man.
20:49 So whatever it is, you know, whatever people tell me,
20:52 I don't care, I just need to go or figure something out
20:54 when I get there.
20:56 And so I decided, "Okay. I'll just go."
20:58 And so I ended up doing that.
20:59 I try to make some connections, they all kind of fell through.
21:02 But I got to Brazil
21:03 and I try to do things my own way.
21:04 Did you go alone? I went alone.
21:06 I went alone, I didn't know anybody.
21:09 I just kind of showed up, you know, I told some people.
21:12 And one person is like,
21:13 "Oh, you can stay at my cousin's house."
21:15 And so they were very kind to give me a place to stay.
21:17 You know, I try to go to the Adventist University
21:20 there to some different organizations
21:22 but nothing was just coming together.
21:25 And so I was kind of like, "Wow, I told everybody
21:27 that I'd be here for at least six months doing something.
21:29 And here I am, you know, a month end
21:31 and nothing's happening.
21:33 And so I figured, "You know what,
21:35 I'm tired of this."
21:36 So I just started walking through the streets
21:38 and I started praying.
21:39 Well, I didn't start praying.
21:41 I saw somebody that was hurting.
21:42 And, you know, I didn't speak Portuguese.
21:44 So I said, "Oh, I'll pray for them."
21:45 And that was like, kind of like, an odd thought.
21:47 I mean, as a Christian, you know, you should pray
21:49 but you don't always think like,
21:51 "Oh, I'm going to pray for people."
21:53 Because we believe in prayer
21:54 but we don't really believe in prayer.
21:55 So at this point, I'm just kind of like,
21:57 "Okay, well, I can't do anything.
21:58 She looks, you know, depressed just like me."
21:59 So I started praying for her.
22:01 And I ended up doing that for about five hours.
22:02 I just kept on seeing people, and places,
22:04 and things like that, you know.
22:05 And my eye had already been trained
22:07 through the years to kind of notice things.
22:08 And so I was just walking and praying,
22:11 and walking and praying.
22:12 And five hours had passed and all of a sudden,
22:13 I come back and I'm energized.
22:15 And I feel like, "Oh.
22:17 Maybe this is what God wants me to do.
22:19 He wants to strip away all of my dependence upon,
22:22 you know, the arm of man to accomplish things.
22:24 And He wants to show me that it's the arm of God
22:27 that accomplishes things.
22:28 So I said, "You know what, I'll make a deal with You.
22:29 You take me to all of the cities, all 12 of them,"
22:31 and I don't have money at the time.
22:33 I said, "But you take me to all 12 of them
22:34 and we'll do something.
22:36 You know, you do it.
22:38 I'll show up and I'm going to see
22:39 what it is that You have prepared for me
22:40 but You got to send me somebody."
22:42 And so I just randomly called him and yeah.
22:44 Wow, now these 12 cities, how had they been determined?
22:47 What made you choose these 12?
22:49 Well, these were host cities for the FIFA World Cup game.
22:52 Yeah, so each of them had a stadium
22:53 that was going to host some of the games.
22:56 Yeah. Got you.
22:57 So that's when you called Levi.
22:59 And I don't even know why
23:00 'cause I hadn't talked to him in like six years.
23:02 Wow.
23:03 Since Arise, basically maybe, we had like messaged online,
23:08 like once or something but we were never in touch.
23:12 And so I had actually just gotten back at that time,
23:18 probably a couple months before that I got back from Mexico.
23:20 I had been in Mexico for about four months in 2013.
23:26 And I got back, I ended up coming back early unexpectedly.
23:32 And I knew, God had brought me back for some reason
23:35 but I didn't know why.
23:37 And 'cause I was planning to be till,
23:39 you know, at least 2014 through the end of the year.
23:44 And so I got back
23:46 and I'm just kind of there at home,
23:47 like you know, I don't know why God brought me back
23:49 but I got this message from Alex.
23:53 And he said, "Hey, do you want to come to Brazil with me
23:56 for like four months."
23:58 Like, totally out of the blue, you know.
24:01 And I said, "Well, what are you doing there?"
24:04 And he told me, "Well, we're gonna walk
24:06 through the cities and pray for the stadiums
24:09 and pray for the cities."
24:11 And I'm like, "Are you there with someone?"
24:15 He was like, "No."
24:17 So you're not with an organization or something.
24:19 "No."
24:21 "Do you have sponsors?"
24:23 "No."
24:24 "Do you have any money?" "No."
24:27 I'm like... "Do you know anybody there?"
24:28 "And do you know anybody? Do you speak the language?"
24:30 "No, no, no." There is all no.
24:32 There is all no.
24:33 And I'm like, "Well, that sounds pretty interesting."
24:38 Oh, sure, I will go.
24:39 So I prayed for a couple days about it
24:41 and God impressed me,
24:43 "Yeah, this is why I brought you back.
24:45 And this is, you know, what I want you to do."
24:48 So I thought I was gonna have some money,
24:52 so I had some work lined up for a little bit
24:54 before that and I ended up, you know, how life goes.
24:59 And I didn't end up making
25:00 as much as I thought I was going to.
25:02 And so I left for Brazil with about $800 for four months
25:06 of food, hotel, planes, buses, whatever I didn't know what.
25:11 And I figured, "Well, Alex invited me.
25:14 Surely, he has some money."
25:15 So I got there.
25:17 I'm like, "Hey, Alex, you got some money, right?"
25:18 "Well, I have $800."
25:20 So we both had $800 to begin with
25:23 which was like a fraction
25:25 of what we needed then turns out,
25:26 this is just kind of a freebie, I'll throw in there.
25:33 By the end of the four months,
25:36 we had received $8,000 in donations.
25:40 We never asked for anything, we never told anybody
25:43 what our needs were, we just prayed.
25:45 We had received $8,000 without talking to anyone.
25:49 And we use every penny, in fact,
25:51 I had to sell a camera lens to buy my plane ticket back.
25:55 And so we started out with $800 each
25:59 and God provided $8,000 so we basically paid the tithe
26:02 and God provided the rest, you know.
26:05 We're just kind of a neat sort of example
26:07 of the tithing principle.
26:09 Yeah, for sure.
26:11 So that was how I basically got involved.
26:13 So how did you eat and where did you...
26:17 You stayed at the person's, the family members...
26:19 Yeah, but that was just in when I started in Sao Paulo.
26:23 And so after I left Sao Paulo, I went to Salvador.
26:26 And in Salvador is where he joined me.
26:28 And then we started the whole tour from Salvador.
26:31 So we passed back through Sao Paulo
26:32 but basically, all 12 cities, there was nothing lined up.
26:37 So I arrive in Salvador before he does.
26:39 And, you know, I'm praying for something
26:41 and, you know, I rent a little place first.
26:44 And I go to church.
26:45 And a family hears about what it is that I'm doing.
26:47 They invite me to go stay at their house,
26:48 so when he arrives, we stay at their house.
26:50 And it just so happens that,
26:52 you know, every single person that we had stayed at,
26:55 called somebody in the next city.
26:58 And so we didn't know who it was but we basically,
27:00 we went on the bus or whatever,
27:02 and we would show up at the bus station,
27:04 and somebody would be there
27:06 and says, "Hey, are you Alex and Levi?
27:08 We heard about you, come stay at our house."
27:10 And this happened 12 times.
27:12 Well, 11 times because the first time, yeah.
27:14 So every single city, we got used to it.
27:17 Show up at the airport, show up at the bus stop,
27:19 and somebody will be there.
27:21 And say, "Hey, are you Alex and Levi?
27:23 You're coming to our home."
27:24 It was something because literally,
27:26 you're going to a place, you don't know anyone there.
27:30 And it's a brand new city of different people,
27:32 they're pretty far, it's a huge country.
27:34 So it's not like, they're next door neighbors.
27:37 The cities are across the country,
27:39 some of them and you just show up.
27:44 And every single time someone would come up to us.
27:46 They'd be like, "Hey, are you such and such?
27:48 Come to our house and we'll feed you
27:49 and we'll take you places."
27:50 We would, I mean,
27:52 we'll get to some of the stories
27:54 but everywhere we went, there were all,
27:58 not just like a place to stay
28:00 and food and that waiting for us,
28:03 but there was also opportunities,
28:05 there were sometimes whole churches
28:07 that were three days
28:09 after we got there and knew no one.
28:12 For example, one time,
28:14 we had that Sabbath after we arrived,
28:19 we ended up speaking to the entire leadership
28:24 of the youth conference for that state.
28:27 Wow.
28:29 As like the keynote speakers. Speakers.
28:32 And don't ask me how, we didn't know anybody.
28:36 We never met...
28:37 You're just not there and you were keynote speakers.
28:41 We were getting dragged places, like,
28:44 I have no idea.
28:46 You know, we'd get to somebody he says,
28:47 "Oh, you're going to be speaking in front of like,
28:49 200 like, youth leaders."
28:50 We ended up going to the general conference.
28:52 In Portuguese, mind you. In Brazil.
28:54 Good. You know, and so you know...
28:57 So we also needed the gift of tongues.
28:58 Well, it did happened, it did happened.
29:00 And this is two months in...
29:02 This is two months in and they're having us
29:03 basically present to,
29:05 you know, groups of leadership in Portuguese.
29:10 And, you know, we're kind of like,
29:13 well, we don't really speak Portuguese,
29:15 we're learning it.
29:16 But you know, stuff would come out,
29:18 like it would be Portuguese, Spanish,
29:19 a little bit of English
29:20 and then as soon as you get used to it all of a sudden,
29:22 like by the end of the time we were there,
29:24 we were fluent, we were going to the associations,
29:27 like the Adventist associations.
29:29 We were doing the devotionals for all the pastors,
29:32 for the conference leaders, for these kinds of things,
29:34 like they were putting us to young people
29:37 to basically pray with and do devotionals
29:41 and leadership trainings for people,
29:44 you know, more experienced and twice our age.
29:46 Yeah.
29:47 And in positions that, you know,
29:49 there were actual positions,
29:50 not like ours where we were just kind of like..
29:51 Yeah, we were nobody.
29:53 Walking around, we're not even recognized.
29:55 And the thing really to think about though
29:57 with all of this isn't 'cause obviously nothing,
30:00 none of it had to do with us and who we are and how...
30:03 Whatever we are.
30:05 All had to do with the fact that
30:08 God was going in front of us, He was the one doing it.
30:10 Literally we were, we were running to keep up with Him.
30:14 And to both of us this is really
30:18 what got our attention to say, when a ministry
30:22 or a work is based on prayer
30:24 as the first thing this is the way that it goes.
30:28 This is the way it works
30:29 because then God is the one doing it
30:31 and you're following what He's doing
30:33 instead of trying to make it work the other way around.
30:36 Absolutely. And the thing was is that
30:38 it wasn't just Adventist churches
30:40 that were doing this,
30:41 it was the secular powers as well.
30:43 So there was one time where we showed up to a stadium
30:46 and we invited a group of people to come pray with us
30:48 over the stadium, the church, you know, they said,
30:50 "Okay, we'll come and we'll pray."
30:51 So we started walking around the stadium
30:52 and it was still on construction,
30:54 hadn't been open to the public yet.
30:55 And some lady walks out and she says,
30:58 "What are you doing?"
30:59 And she's like, "Oh, these two guys here
31:01 they brought us here to pray."
31:02 So they come to us and ask, "Well, what are you doing?"
31:04 "So, we're praying.
31:05 We're interceding for the stadium.
31:07 We're asking for God to, you know, protect,
31:08 you know, all of the workers here,
31:10 you know, the staff, all those that are coming here,
31:13 you know, the players.
31:14 We're just asking because we know stuff happens
31:15 during these kinds of events, we just want to pray
31:17 God's protection over here
31:18 and dedicate this stadium to Him."
31:21 And it so happened that she was actually
31:22 the head of security for a FIFA for that stadium.
31:25 And she says, "Do you guys want to come in
31:26 and pray on the field?"
31:28 And so she opens the door,
31:29 she takes us in through the construction
31:31 and she says, "Here's the field..."
31:33 completely empty stadium, it's not even open
31:35 to the public yet
31:37 and here we are walking on the field,
31:39 you know, by request of the head of security,
31:42 you know, for that stadium praying and dedicating...
31:45 Was she a Christian? I would imagine so, you know.
31:47 And so it was... it was amazing.
31:50 And it doesn't happen just once,
31:52 you know, we were allowed
31:53 into two stadiums prior to the...
31:54 Prior to the day they were open.
31:57 But it was just even...
31:58 Even schools and even governments that,
31:59 you know, that were not Christian related,
32:01 they had us come over there
32:03 and speak to them and work with them.
32:05 It was a lot of doors were open
32:07 and we didn't even open them ourselves,
32:08 none of them we opened ourselves.
32:10 God is amazing because He had something
32:14 in mind for you to do
32:16 and you guys responded to it and that's all He needs.
32:20 It's somebody that's going
32:21 to be available to do what He...
32:23 He's going to do it.
32:25 He's going to open the doors, He's going to provide,
32:27 He's going to do all of that.
32:28 He just needs somebody who is going to who says,
32:30 "Here I am Lord, send me."
32:32 Yeah. That's all He need.
32:33 So tell us some of the experiences
32:35 that you had over there?
32:36 Oh, well, all right, we'll see how much time we have.
32:40 You better talk fast. All right.
32:41 So, three missions that we had, we said,
32:44 "We're going there to pray, we know that,
32:47 but what are the three things that we need to pray for?"
32:48 I said, "I'm coming here for human trafficking,"
32:50 obviously we can't start with that,
32:52 Levi doesn't really know much about that.
32:54 We don't know what the whole situation is like,
32:55 so let's start with this.
32:57 We'll pray for the stadiums first.
32:58 Mission number one,
33:00 we dedicate the stadiums as venues
33:01 and those entire areas
33:03 and communities around the stadium to God
33:05 because those are the places
33:06 that are going to be the center of attention.
33:08 Number two, if you want us to add this,
33:10 "Lord, you have to show us exactly,
33:12 we want to go into the slums the favelas," okay?
33:14 There are some of the most dangerous slums,
33:16 some of them, some of them are okay
33:17 but the majority are very dangerous places,
33:19 you don't walk in, we've been warned,
33:21 "Do not go into these places."
33:23 "So, Lord, if you want us to go into these places,
33:25 you have to show us."
33:26 Mission number three, "If you want us to work
33:29 with prostitutes directly,"
33:30 because that's what we're technically here
33:32 for is to pray for them
33:34 but not only for them with them.
33:35 "Help us to establish a ministry
33:37 where we can work with the locals
33:39 to continue outreach to prostitutes
33:43 and praying for their city for that case after we leave."
33:47 So those are the three things.
33:48 Number one, we already had been established.
33:49 God had already told us we had to be there and pray.
33:51 "So you have to show us now, Lord, if you want us to do
33:53 number two and number three."
33:56 And that's basically what we're going to tell you
33:58 is how number two and number three were answered.
34:01 So if you want to go with number two,
34:03 or do you want me to go with number two?
34:05 Well, I want to tell number one really quick.
34:07 Go for it, okay.
34:08 With the stadiums?
34:10 Actually just praying, praying for people,
34:14 for the prostitutes on the streets.
34:18 What city was that?
34:20 The girl that we met under the bridge.
34:22 Recife. Recife.
34:23 Yeah.
34:25 So the first like direct encounter
34:30 that we had with a person on the streets was
34:34 when we were with a man from that city.
34:37 He was kind of, taking us around,
34:38 showing us different places around the city
34:40 and he was one of the guys from the church,
34:43 good, good guy, Christian guy.
34:46 And basically he would go
34:49 and he would pick one person a day
34:52 he tried to pick to pray with them or for them through,
34:56 throughout the day.
34:59 And so we were driving along on the highway there
35:02 and we saw on the side of the highway
35:04 under a bridge there was a lady walking on,
35:08 you know, back and forth on the side of the road there.
35:10 And he said, "There's one of the prostitutes from this,
35:13 you know, area and you guys want to stop
35:17 and pray for her."
35:18 And it's the day, you know, it's the middle of the day,
35:20 we're not like, normally you wouldn't do that
35:23 especially at night, you know,
35:25 just because it doesn't look right
35:26 if you don't have at least
35:28 some ladies with you or whatnot.
35:30 But it was middle of the day like, you know.
35:34 We said, "Sure, let's do that.
35:35 We can at least get her name and pray for her
35:37 and see what her needs are and that."
35:40 So we stopped and the lady comes up,
35:43 she comes around, you know, to the driver side,
35:46 the Brazilian guy, he was the one driving.
35:49 And he rolls up down the window, she says,
35:51 "Do you guys want to program?"
35:53 Which is their way of saying, you know...
35:55 Do you want a session, yeah.
35:56 Right, okay. Session.
35:58 And he says, "No, no, no that's not why we're here.
36:01 Actually the two guys with me are missionaries,
36:04 they're from the States
36:05 and they just want to pray with you
36:08 or pray for you and we want to know,
36:10 you know, if there's anything we can pray for."
36:13 And she went from being a strictly business,
36:17 you know, like lady on the street to being,
36:20 she was a totally different person in an instant.
36:24 In what way?
36:25 Her whole countenance changed, her face changed,
36:27 she became friendly and warm and she got excited,
36:32 you know, and she said, "Wow, you guys really,
36:34 you just want to pray for me?"
36:36 And he said, "Yeah, what's your, you know,
36:39 what do you need?
36:41 What can we pray for?"
36:42 And she started to tell us her story
36:44 and she said, "You know, I study the Bible
36:47 and I love God and I want to be baptized
36:51 and I've been studying the Bible
36:52 with a church for a while
36:58 but I don't have a job.
36:59 I don't have a husband, I have two kids,
37:01 I don't know what to do to support them
37:02 and I feel stuck in the situation.
37:04 I don't know what else to do."
37:06 And she said, "But the church that I go to,
37:09 I've been doing Bible studies
37:12 and it's the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
37:14 we don't, do you guys know what that is?"
37:16 And we said, "No kidding." What?
37:18 Really. God sent you directly to her.
37:20 The first person that we met was studying
37:25 to become a Seventh-day Adventist.
37:26 And she was worried, she was worried
37:27 that the church wouldn't accept her
37:29 if they knew what it was that she was doing.
37:31 And so in essence, you know, she was an answer to our prayer
37:34 and that we knew that God was like saying,
37:36 "Yes, I want you to pray for prostitutes and with them.
37:40 And so go ahead and start, you know,
37:42 going towards project number three."
37:46 But the other thing was that it was an answer to her prayer
37:49 because now she knew that there were people
37:51 within the church that were looking for her.
37:53 She wasn't going to be discriminated against,
37:55 she was going to be cast out or judged.
37:56 Obviously, there's always people who do that,
37:58 but there's also people who are looking for her.
38:00 And as long as she has
38:02 that confidence that are people saying,
38:03 "Hey, listen, there's people in this church
38:05 that are actually searching for me,"
38:06 and that's kind of, you know, that gave her a comfort.
38:08 And our friend, his wife was a social worker
38:10 and so they connected her and they found her work
38:13 and it wasn't a city that was too far away.
38:15 And so it was, it was, it was a real answer
38:17 to prayer on all sides.
38:19 Yeah.
38:20 It was basically like, "How much more
38:21 of a confirmation do you need..."
38:23 Exactly.
38:24 "That this is what you're supposed to be doing."
38:25 You know. Exactly.
38:27 The first person you talk to is a prostitute
38:28 that is studying with, you know, the Adventist Church.
38:30 That is incredible. Yeah.
38:32 You just want to say, "Look at God, look at God,"
38:35 because He cares so much about us,
38:37 about each individual that He was answering.
38:41 And He does a lot, He accomplishes a lot
38:44 with one move, so one move confirmed
38:47 your situation and hers too.
38:50 Yeah. Boom.
38:51 So all we needed now was a group of people to train,
38:55 to minister in like manner. Right.
38:57 And so we put off project number three,
39:00 we knew there was to go forward
39:01 but we just kind of put it on hold for the time being.
39:04 Now we need to find out number two,
39:05 do we go into the favelas?
39:07 Do we go into these places?
39:08 The family that we were staying with,
39:09 you know, they were kind of basically adopted us
39:11 and they were very wonderful to us
39:12 and the woman, you know, who we called Mom
39:15 was basically terribly worried for us.
39:17 She's like, "Don't do it.
39:19 Don't go into these places, you're going to die."
39:20 Yeah.
39:22 You know, you guys are Americans,
39:23 you don't know how the whole culture thing works
39:25 and whatever... Which is true.
39:26 Yeah, it's true. She was right.
39:29 But we decided that,
39:30 "Hey, God had called us to do this,
39:31 we need to do it."
39:33 And so we were with another Brazilian friend of ours,
39:34 who are speaking Spanish, he understood Spanish,
39:36 so they were speaking Portuguese.
39:37 It's still very early,
39:39 you know, in our, in our journey.
39:40 And so, you know, we're communicating
39:41 through Spanish and a little bit of English.
39:44 And we're walking at night
39:47 and I'm kind of like stopping in,
39:49 like, "You know what, I think we should go in here."
39:52 And he's like, "No, that's not such a good idea."
39:55 So I kind of like skip over what he says.
39:57 I turn to Levi, I said, "Levi, are you okay with that?"
39:59 And he's like, "Yeah, sure, why not."
40:02 He's like, "I'm not scared," and he's okay.
40:04 Still Americans. You know, they don't know...
40:08 Strong in faith. So he's kind of like...
40:11 That's right.
40:12 He's kind of like, "All right, there's a guy standing
40:13 at the corner, maybe if we walk,
40:15 he'll tell us to get out of here or something,"
40:17 so we walk a little closer and he's hoping
40:19 that this guy's going to confront us
40:20 and tell us to, you know, "Get out of here."
40:22 So we get closer and this guy's like,
40:24 you know, at one of the walkways,
40:26 one of the streets that will go into this favela,
40:28 into the slum.
40:29 And he stops us and he sees, you know,
40:30 I've got a camera in my hand and things like that
40:32 so it's nighttime and you've got a camera,
40:33 he was like, "Okay, that's not questionable."
40:36 So he comes and he's like, "What are you guys doing?"
40:38 And you know, our friend's kind of, like,
40:40 you know, a little sheepishly,
40:41 "Oh, these guys, just kind of, pray for you.
40:43 They want to see if there's anything you wanted,
40:44 you know, and they're just here
40:46 just to pray for you guys
40:48 and see if just to get to know you, you know."
40:51 And he's kind of like, "Oh really?"
40:52 He's like, "Wow, that's amazing.
40:53 Yeah, we would love to have you.
40:55 Come on in."
40:57 And he's like, "Oh, for real?"
40:58 He's like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on in."
40:59 So the first place he actually takes us
41:01 is to the high priest of black magic, Candomble,
41:04 which is like a voodoo type religion.
41:06 It's a mixture of like, Catholicism
41:08 and like African animism.
41:10 Like Yoruba? Shamanism.
41:11 Kind of like Yoruba?
41:13 I'm not too familiar but yeah, possibly.
41:14 Okay.
41:15 So they basically, they take us to his house
41:17 and his house is like full of paintings of saints
41:19 and they have like an idol, they sacrifice alcohol too
41:22 and they also do chicken sacrifices
41:23 in cross streets and things like that.
41:25 But this is the guy that he runs the favela.
41:27 Now he doesn't take us to the drug trafficker,
41:29 he doesn't take us to the human trafficker,
41:30 he takes us to the religious guy.
41:33 He's the head guy, he's the head honcho.
41:34 And so he's got to bring us to him
41:36 to get us permission to enter.
41:38 And the guy says, "You know what,
41:40 nobody walks in here."
41:41 He say, "We see darkness from this side
41:44 but that's because that's all we've ever seen.
41:46 There's some of us who don't want to be in this situation
41:48 but nobody ever comes from the other side to tell us
41:50 what it's like or to even give us a chance.
41:52 They all, you know, they all pushes aside saying
41:54 we're dangerous, we're going to kill them or whatever.
41:56 So that's not the case at all.
41:58 And so thank you for coming here
42:00 and for not looking at us in,
42:02 you know, something like, we're some crazies or whatever
42:04 and for actually caring for us."
42:06 And we actually prayed with him.
42:08 Wow.
42:09 He allowed us to enter his home,
42:10 I mean, he allowed me to film inside his home,
42:12 the idols and all of, you know.
42:14 At some point maybe we can show you
42:15 some of the stuff that we,
42:17 we've taken pictures of and documented.
42:20 But he's like, "Yeah, come on in."
42:22 And we just met tons of people and people,
42:25 kids were coming around
42:26 and people stopped doing marijuana,
42:28 people stopped, they have like glue and plastic bottles
42:31 that they would sniff to get high off of,
42:33 everybody put that down.
42:34 Everybody stopped doing all the things
42:35 that that they thought were wrong,
42:37 you know, their consciousness like came alive
42:39 and they came like, "Oh, here's these missionaries,
42:40 you know, let's, let's act accordingly."
42:43 But it was amazing, you know, we just,
42:45 we hugged everybody, we talked with them,
42:47 they took pictures with them
42:49 and it was just a really, really beautiful moment.
42:52 And, you know, a lot of stuff happened
42:54 even within that favela,
42:55 we don't have time to get through it
42:57 because I want to get to some of the other things
42:58 'cause our time is running a little short.
43:00 But people were crying when we were leaving
43:01 and they said, "You know, thank you, like just,
43:04 just thank you for doing this
43:06 and just for at least showing us
43:07 that there's people who care."
43:09 And it opened the door for the church to be like,
43:12 "Oh, man, we should probably go,
43:14 start going to this favelas,
43:15 it's not what we thought it was."
43:17 And if anything, you know, we know we can't stay
43:19 in those places forever but if we could at least
43:21 change the mind of the local churches
43:23 about certain things,
43:24 then we can break down those barriers
43:26 and they can begin ministering in that regard.
43:28 Yeah. Yeah.
43:29 And something just an interesting point
43:31 on that story is like,
43:33 when we were actually leaving,
43:35 Alex was behind and of course, he had that camera, you know.
43:39 And these two young guys came up behind him
43:43 and the guy we went with and the older gentleman
43:47 who had kind of let us in, they were upfront,
43:51 I was behind them, Alex was way in the back.
43:54 And these two young guys came up behind Alex
43:57 and I mean, don't ask how, I mean, we know how
44:01 but the man who had let us in,
44:06 it was like he had eyes in the back of his head,
44:07 he turned around at that exact moment
44:10 and he told them in Portuguese,
44:12 he said, "They're with me, get out of here,"
44:14 and the guys took off like they saw a ghost.
44:16 They want to rob you. So they were...
44:18 So I was by myself
44:19 because I was trying to film, you know.
44:21 And it was kind of like an old camera
44:22 and so I had to hold it really steady
44:23 because it was dark, it was night time,
44:25 you know, we had very little lighting
44:26 and so they were kind of walking
44:27 and they got very far away
44:29 and I felt these two guys coming behind me.
44:30 And you know, I've, I've been on the streets
44:32 and you know, I'm not like a crazy tough guy
44:34 but I've trained, I've done martial arts.
44:35 I'm like, "I can, I'm pretty sure
44:36 I can take these guys," you know.
44:38 And so I'm waiting for them to come upon me
44:39 and then I'm gonna like, "All right,
44:41 let's see what we got."
44:42 But, you know, it's kind of, like,
44:43 I'm trying to get in God's way again.
44:45 And, you know, the impossible shout,
44:48 like from a distance, like how does he even notice,
44:50 like there's no, he's engrossed in conversation,
44:52 he's far away, he turns around,
44:53 he puts out his and says, "No, he's with me."
44:55 And these guys are like, they've seen a ghost
44:57 or the devil himself that is basically like just run,
45:00 I mean just like in fear.
45:01 And I'm kind of wondering,
45:03 "Okay, I get it,"
45:05 you know, it's kind of, like, "Alex..."
45:06 Yeah.
45:07 "I got this," you know, like...
45:09 Yeah. Just don't worry about it.
45:10 Yeah.
45:12 And it was like that the entire time through.
45:13 He was trying
45:14 to just basically beat it into my head
45:16 that He's, He's got this.
45:17 There were actually multiple stories,
45:18 I wish we had,
45:20 you know, more time where we could tell all of them
45:21 but there were multiple stories,
45:23 very similar to that.
45:24 Yeah, people who try to rob us who ended up, you know.
45:26 Witnessing?
45:27 Witnessing and then praying for them.
45:28 Tell us one? Tell us one?
45:30 I'll tell that, yeah. Okay.
45:33 One of the stadiums
45:35 that we're walking around with a friend.
45:38 Excuse me, I got a frog stuck in there.
45:42 One of the stadiums we were walking around,
45:44 praying around with a friend there.
45:47 One lap around this guy came
45:51 with the way they do it in Brazil if they,
45:55 sometimes they have a gun, sometimes they don't
45:57 but they'll put their hand in their shirt
45:58 as if they have one and you don't know so that's.
46:00 Right.
46:02 They'll come up to you that way basically to say,
46:03 "Give me what you got,
46:05 you know, otherwise you'll find out
46:07 if I have a gun or not."
46:09 Right.
46:10 And so a guy came up to us
46:12 with his hand in his shirt and of course,
46:14 we didn't really understand, you know, that aspect.
46:16 Well, he wasn't facing, I was facing that direction
46:19 but our friend me and our friend Andre,
46:21 he was facing that direction.
46:23 and of I kind of like was like, "Ah, well, whatever."
46:25 So Andre, he's from there and so he knew what was up,
46:28 you know, and before the guy had a chance
46:32 to say anything to us, Andre said, "Hey, we're..."
46:36 He knew what the guy was trying to do
46:37 but he jumped on it first,
46:39 he said, "Hey, you know, these guys are missionaries.
46:40 We're here to pray for this area,
46:42 do you want us to pray for you, for something?"
46:44 And the guy,
46:46 you know, he was like he was ashamed
46:47 of what he was about do.
46:49 Completely disarmed, completely disarmed.
46:50 He's kind of like,
46:52 you know, he pulls his hand out like scratching
46:54 and he tries to pull up his shirt,
46:55 and he was like,
46:57 "I was just holding my hand there
46:58 because I got hurt," and you know,
47:00 and then he begins breaking down.
47:01 and he's He says, "Listen, I was in prison,
47:02 you know, I just got out of prison."
47:04 And he says, "I, you know, I just saw you guys."
47:05 And he said he had been in prison
47:06 for eight years, right?
47:08 Something like that, yeah.
47:09 And he had gotten out,
47:10 he told us he had memorized like,
47:12 parts of the Bible in there
47:13 and quoted some scriptures to us and...
47:15 A little broken but it was working.
47:16 Yeah.
47:17 And so we got to pray with him,
47:19 we got to talk to him and get to know him some.
47:22 We even invited him to lunch, he didn't come for.
47:24 Yeah, well, I mean,
47:26 we offered him some clothes and some things
47:28 and we asked him to come to lunch with us
47:29 and he said, "No, I'll just, you know,
47:30 if you just mind getting me a taxi, I'll go back."
47:33 And I think, I think he was just ashamed
47:35 like he felt that that he was going to do
47:37 something wrong and he got caught.
47:39 Right.
47:40 And, you know, it just put him to thought.
47:42 And you heap coals of fire on his head
47:44 by being kind to him and loving him
47:47 and saying you would pray for him
47:49 and I'm sure he just felt very embarrassed.
47:50 But his name's actually in this book
47:52 and I don't know, I need to find out what page.
47:53 Tell us about this book.
47:55 So this book I actually, I actually decided
47:57 to just to do this on my way to Brazil.
48:00 And I said, "You know what..."
48:02 Because I went to Brazil,
48:04 I found out things aren't working,
48:05 I decided to do a prayer ministry,
48:06 I came back for about a week or two
48:08 and then I went back to Brazil.
48:09 And so when I came back, I got this book and I said,
48:10 "Now that I know
48:12 that God wants me to do prayer ministry,
48:13 I want to make sure
48:14 that I write everybody's name down
48:16 that I meet," because I don't know
48:18 if I'm going to get to minister to them
48:20 for the long term
48:21 but at the very least if I have their name,
48:22 I can remember them in prayer
48:24 even if I don't remember what they look like
48:25 or what their situation is, God knows.
48:27 And so that guy's name is in here,
48:29 some witches names are in here, some drug traffickers,
48:31 human traffickers, prostitutes,
48:34 probably around 400 names of people from Brazil,
48:37 more than 200 from people
48:38 who are on the streets of Brazil.
48:40 And so it's just kind of a way,
48:42 it reminds me daily,
48:43 you know, because you don't always share your testimony
48:45 but when you open this book,
48:46 this book and you kind of look at all the names of people,
48:48 yeah, you see your friends,
48:50 your family but then you see names like,
48:51 "Wow, I don't remember who that was
48:53 but that's probably one of the person
48:55 that was struggling on, somebody that was in,
48:58 you know, the depths of hell," so to speak.
49:01 And the prayer that Levi and I have for him
49:05 are probably the only rays of light
49:07 that he's getting where he's at.
49:10 And so we do this because we want people,
49:14 you know, we want Satan's hold to be loosened on people.
49:17 We want them to have access, we want...
49:19 So, do you pray over this book every day,
49:21 is that...
49:22 So there's times where I go through the pages
49:24 and I read the names individual and all of the messages
49:26 and there's times where I kind of like,
49:28 just read the names quickly then I'll pray in general
49:30 and there's times where I make excuses,
49:33 I'm so tired, "Lord, just pray for the book..."
49:34 Yeah, yeah, yeah.
49:36 Put my hand on the book and get everybody in there.
49:37 Yeah.
49:38 So I've gone through it,
49:40 I've gone through it a few times
49:41 but yeah, it's something that I'm learning to do
49:44 on a more consistent basis.
49:46 It was at the very least getting me
49:47 to try to focus more on praying for people
49:50 because I knew that God wanted me
49:51 to be an intercessor.
49:53 Did I always intercede for it? No, I didn't.
49:54 Do I wish that I did? Absolutely.
49:57 And I'm still learning to be more consistent in it
49:59 and the more names I write,
50:01 the more guilty I feel if I ignore it so.
50:02 Yeah, yeah, yeah.
50:03 What would you say
50:05 'cause we have about seven minutes left,
50:07 what would you say
50:09 was your most profound experience together
50:12 over there?
50:15 Wow.
50:16 That's really hard to pick I think one, I think...
50:21 I would say Fortaleza though.
50:22 Everything that happened there.
50:23 Yeah, I was going to say that,
50:25 that's probably the one story I'd want to share.
50:28 Tell us?
50:31 There was the fourth city
50:32 that we went to was a different kind of deal
50:37 than the rest of them.
50:39 As soon as we arrived there,
50:41 as soon as we stepped off the bus we both felt it,
50:44 we even said it like...
50:45 There was like heavy, heavy, heavy oppressive
50:50 spiritual atmosphere there.
50:52 And which, that city is actually
50:55 I think the worst for a child.
50:57 It's the worst for child sex tourism
50:59 in South America
51:00 and the second in the world, yeah.
51:03 You want to say, would...
51:04 Fortaleza.
51:05 Oh, Fortaleza.
51:07 Yeah. Okay.
51:08 So it was just weird, it was different,
51:09 you know, when we got there
51:11 and so we were staying with a family,
51:14 a pastor and his wife while we were there.
51:17 And they were great people, really great people,
51:22 they helped us a lot, they did,
51:24 you know, they gave us a place to stay
51:26 and food and just good people.
51:28 But it was different with them
51:30 than with some of the other people
51:32 we had kind of stayed with and met
51:34 where they were doing good things
51:36 in the church, great things, you know, God was using them.
51:40 But somehow
51:41 they just didn't see necessarily
51:44 what we were doing,
51:45 what the point was of reaching out to prostitutes,
51:49 going in and praying around the city
51:50 and that and they said,
51:52 "You know, those things are good,
51:53 but what are you going to do if someone says,
51:55 "Yes, you know, I wan to come off the street,"
51:57 you don't have infrastructure for that,"
51:59 and so on and so forth.
52:00 And we said,
52:02 "Well, the first thing you have to do is,
52:05 is you have to make relationships before.
52:07 You can't set something up if there's no need, right?
52:10 So you make the relationships
52:12 and you create the need and then God can..."
52:15 That's the way it worked in Atlanta.
52:16 God brought other things later.
52:20 So, but it was just kind of like that.
52:22 We just, we didn't really feel like
52:24 with God anywhere there except the very last night
52:27 that we were there.
52:29 We were going to leave early the next morning,
52:31 we ended up stopping by some like birthday party
52:34 and meeting this random person there
52:37 who was kind of one of the leaders
52:39 for the youth in that area
52:42 and he seemed kind of interested
52:44 in the project and we explained it to him,
52:48 Alex did and we left the next day.
52:52 And we had gone while we were there we,
52:54 both of us had walked around the city
52:58 with a group of young people
52:59 from a previous city that came to join us
53:01 because there was no one there
53:02 basically joining except for one girl there
53:06 had joined us
53:08 going around the stadium and praying
53:09 and that and we had talked that one guy
53:11 the night before we left and then we left
53:13 and that was kind of it.
53:15 A couple weeks later,
53:17 Alex got a phone call from the girl
53:21 who had walked around the stadium
53:22 in that city with us and she said,
53:27 "We went out after you guys left.
53:29 We actually went out and did the project
53:32 where we basically wrote little handwritten notes
53:35 and took a card and a flower out
53:37 to the ladies on the street
53:39 and we prayed with them and asked them
53:40 what their needs were and gave them a phone to call
53:43 if they needed some help with something,"
53:46 and she said,
53:47 "We got a phone call today from a lady
53:50 that we met that night we went out a few weeks ago,"
53:54 said, "The lady said,
53:56 "I'm calling because
53:57 I met you on the street a couple weeks ago,
53:59 I don't know if you remember me
54:00 but I was one of the ladies on the street
54:02 that you came and you prayed
54:03 with that night a couple weeks ago,"
54:05 and she said,
54:06 "That was my first night in prostitution,
54:09 my first night in prostitution,"
54:11 ever in her life, and she said,
54:14 "Before my first customer came you guys came.
54:18 And I knew when you left
54:20 I knew that God didn't want me in this life
54:22 and I left too before my first customer."
54:24 Wow.
54:26 And she said, "But I have kids,"
54:27 just like the other story we talked about earlier,
54:30 she said, "I have kids, I don't have a husband,
54:31 I don't know how to support them.
54:33 This is all I know how to do because I'm desperate,
54:35 can you guys help me?"
54:37 And they gave her work
54:38 actually working for the members
54:40 of the church that didn't understand
54:42 why we would even do a project like this.
54:44 That church...
54:45 That's her recovery program
54:47 and here they are preventing somebody from that...
54:48 And now that, that very church
54:50 became the recovery program for this lady
54:53 who left the street the first...
54:54 Remember Alex said, they had prayed for five years
54:58 in Atlanta before the first one left.
55:00 This is the first night
55:02 that they went out and the lady left
55:03 and now she's working for the people
55:05 of that church, cleaning their homes.
55:07 So this city was a real battleground,
55:09 I mean, this is the last story there.
55:12 But while we were there we basically,
55:14 I mean, there was a Satanist that came in,
55:16 he was part of really high level secret societies,
55:19 his whole family were part of secret societies,
55:21 they were all part of Satanic church.
55:23 And he came and somehow he was miraculously converted
55:25 in a very short amount of time in this church
55:28 that we were working at.
55:30 He came and talked to you?
55:31 He came and he came
55:33 because there were some situations in his life,
55:35 he was trying to get back to a certain town.
55:37 That he came into that church
55:39 I guess he thought randomly but God had a plan for him.
55:42 Right.
55:43 He listens to what the pastor
55:44 and the Bible worker were talking about.
55:47 He realized that, "Oh man, this is a message
55:49 that I've heard from a Christian before."
55:53 He was impressed, he said, "You know what,
55:54 I need to get baptized right now."
55:55 The pastor comes quickly back to us saying,
55:57 "I told you, we're doing great things.
55:58 This guy just came in three days
56:00 wants to get baptized
56:01 but he said he wants to meet with you."
56:02 And so we go and we meet with him
56:04 and he tells, he tells us that,
56:05 "Hey listen, I've got a message for you.
56:07 I know why you're here,
56:08 they don't know why you're here.
56:09 They talk about great controversy,
56:11 they seem to understand it theoretically
56:12 but they don't understand it
56:13 the way that I believe that you do."
56:15 And I'm like, "Who is this guy?
56:16 He never met us before."
56:18 And, you know, he says, "I can't tell you everything
56:19 that I want to tell you right now
56:20 but just I have to wait until Sabbath,
56:23 I want to get baptized and then I can tell you."
56:25 So Sabbath comes, he gets baptized,
56:26 he gives us this entire like ridiculously long dialogue
56:29 on spiritual warfare,
56:31 on the ways that Satan is trying
56:32 to destroy us.
56:33 We start taking it seriously,
56:35 we get together and we start praying,
56:36 you know, I pray, Levi prays, our friend Andre prays.
56:40 While she's praying,
56:41 I begin to see a tree and there's like these,
56:44 you know, I can't see the sky, it's completely blacked out,
56:47 I mean, very little light trickling down
56:48 and there's these chains hanging down
56:50 from the branches with dolls and mannequins
56:51 tied about the neck
56:53 and they've got no faces and they're dangling.
56:54 I'm like,
56:55 "Why in the world am I thinking about this during prayer?"
56:57 And so, you know,
56:58 I try to shake the thought away,
57:00 nothing happens.
57:01 So I start jumping up,
57:02 pulling the chains from the branches
57:04 and I'm kind of like, "Okay, this is not working."
57:05 So I cry out for help.
57:07 The moment I cry out for help I see the base of a tree
57:09 and a man standing with an axe,
57:10 I'm like, "Oh, yes, do something."
57:12 So he picks up, he starts nailing,
57:14 I mean, hitting at the base of the tree,
57:16 the tree is shaking violently,
57:17 it finally falls down and the first thing I do
57:20 is I look up at heaven and I see the sky,
57:23 I thank God,
57:24 I pull the chains and they're set free.
57:27 Wow, and that's your mission. Exactly.
57:29 I cannot believe our time is up.
57:32 I can't believe it and I hate this
57:34 'cause I know there's so much more.
57:35 Yeah.
57:36 That you have
57:38 so I'm going to have to ask you guys,
57:39 will you come back again?
57:41 Will you come back another time
57:42 and give us some more of your experiences
57:45 because I just think that this is so valuable.
57:50 I thank you so much for being with us
57:52 and we will put your website up on the screen,
57:54 so people can take a look.
57:56 And thank you so much for being with us.
57:59 Join us next time because you know what,
58:00 it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2017-08-14