First, let me wave my tiny set of conservative credentials: I stand somewhere between Joan of Arc and Wyatt Earp, I support any conspiracy theory that can be explained in Basic English with a straight face, and I will enter any contest in which first prize is dinner with Ann Coulter.
That said, I feel that no array of think tanks, PACs, programs, and Fox News commentators is going to bring about the redeemed world we’re looking for. Not by itself.
Our problems are far deeper than politics. Psychotic-grade liberalism poisons politics, culture and economics, yes, but the real trouble lies in the human spirit. In plainer words, most evil springs from spiritual evil, and remedies must start there, or they are only patch jobs.
The good news: Rapid transformations have begun
The long tides of history have produced many slow shifts toward the good. For instance, the four waves of the Great Awakening, starting with the Moravians and the Wesleys, awoke the West from its 1,500-year Big Sleep, stopped the hate-driven surge of the French Revolution, and launched the modern missionary movement.
But now God is sending changes like lightning bolts. Since the late 1980s, total changes have begun to rapidly reverse the decline of towns, cities and even whole regions.
A prime example is the once-hopeless village of Almolonga, Guatemala. This town of 20,000 had been a drought-plagued pit of poverty, demon worship and alcoholism for 400 years.
When the Spanish conquistadores arrived, they announced they were going to build a nice church for the villagers. But the stubborn natives insisted they weren’t giving up worship of their local demon-god, Mashimon.
So a deal was cut. The Spaniards put Mashimon’s statue in the church, but his name was altered to San Sim?n (Saint Simon). Spiritually, this sealed the fate of the hapless village until our time.
Almolonga became the basket case of the region. Crops wilted – if they grew at all. Alcohol, petty crime, disease and despair ruled the town. By the 1980s, the government had built four jails! Yet on Saturday nights, they still had to rent buses to haul the overflow to jails in nearby towns.
Finally, some Christians in the area decided to get busy. With prayer and fasting, they came into town and began preaching the Gospel. Mashimon’s power was shattered as the people began reaching out to Christ. By 2000, Almolonga was perhaps the most thoroughly Christian place on the planet, with 95 percent to 98 percent soundly converted.
Now, the town’s 36 booming bars are down to a struggling three, wife-beating is pretty much extinct, and all four jails have been padlocked. The sheriff shrugs his shoulders and explains, “No crime.” Businesses have corny names like Garden of Eden Cafe and Hallelujah Laundry. Ready smiles have displaced the gloom.
The old church has shut down, and they can’t find a priest to come back and restart it, but new churches are hopping – literally; whenever they hold joint services, you see the almost 20,000 newly-saved believers singing together, dancing and waving banners. Quite a sight.
OK, you’ve heard revival stories before. But today’s revivals are transformations.
When the town repented and surrendered to Christ, underground springs broke open and drenched the parched soil – right up to the city limits. As you approach and drive through Almolonga, the foliage changes from brown to green to brown again at the town’s borders. The weather hasn’t changed, but the farmers have gotten serious. They’re producing up to three crops a year. The gourmet vegetables are large to huge. A highly respected researcher, George Otis, has produced a stunning video that has footage of him with produce, including carrots bigger than his forearm.
Orders are pouring in, even from outside Guatemala. Literacy has shot up as people struggle to cope with the paperwork and money. Some farmers have paid cash for big new Mercedes-Benz trucks. Almolonga is now famous as the garden spot of Guatemala. God does things in style.
Otis’ ministry – the Sentinel Group – now distributes “Transformations I,” the video that documents Almolonga and three other citywide dramas. Get your hands on it right away. I guarantee you’ll never see the world in the same way again. In fact, because of your tears, you probably won’t see the final scenes at all.
When Otis filmed “Transformations,” we knew of just those four miraculously transformed towns. Now we’re tracking 300 worldwide. Be encouraged. Be very encouraged.