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In one word? WOW!!!

Just a note to share some of the amazing things that went on at the dance and worship arts conference in Nevada this past weekend. When we get pictures, I'll send along a link so you can see some of the fruit of your prayers.

There is a group of primarily black charismatic dancers who have started a nifty network called Dancing Preachers, International. A number of those who are in some level of leadership in this organization have annual or bi-annual conferences. The woman who heads it up has been trying to arrange for ZionFire to be at a conference for several years and it just had not worked. Some of the opportunities would have seemed to have been amazing, especially the one a year or so ago that was held in the Bahamas, but it just could not seem to work out. This time, it did.

The connection actually started at a little arts conference in Rochester, NY back in January of 1994 or 1995. Snowed to beat the band and precious few folks showed up, but it was still a neat conference and people's lives were deeply affected. One person there remembered us, carrying those memories for these dozen or so years. She evidently moved to Atlanta and at some point hooked up with the founder of the Dancing Preachers and suggested that we might be a good fit for what they're trying to do in dance. God is amazing in how He gets things to happen.

For this event, we were asked to provide the environment and some teaching on banners and pageantry. We took a newly constructed Ark of the Covenant (quite portable, under 40 pounds even in its massive case), five banners, a crown, and enough fabric to swath and disguise the back of a 55' wide ballroom! Plus enough clothes & table materials to last the weekend. All in six bags or golf-club cases. Those of you who fly know that most airlines get antsy about anything over 50 pounds. We had 6 to check plus our carry-on stuff. The largest bag was the lightest of all, maybe even lighter than my carry-on! Four of the six were between 46 and 49.6 pounds! One came in at 52.5 pounds. That was amazing in itself. The rules of travel are such that we were able to take all that stuff without paying for extra bags. And an angel disguised as a skycap saw to it that the extra 2.5 pounds were not a problem. First blessing, no extra charges for any of the bags. Big YAY on that one.

Flight was perfect going out on Wednesday. Lumpy landing, but when you land in a desert, it's to be expected. Greeted at the airport, all bags accounted for, nothing damaged. Yay again.

Everything went fairly smoothly for set-up on Thursday. Pretty typical. It was only Helena & I, with about 45 minutes of help from one young lady who was a Godsend for sure. Helped us at exactly the moments we needed an extra set of hands. Set up took the two of us about 10.5 hours, so it was finished in time for us to take a shower and get dressed in garments for the opening evening service. Powerful night of dance, worship, and word.

Second night, we did a processional with banners, flags, crown, and dancers. Filled the space with color and movement, and filled the assembly with awe. God was already moving strongly. Part of the processional was to use our re-acquired fire silks as billows from a central point in the setting. The folks had never seen anything like that and when they came out to full length of 30 feet, they were wowed. The billows were used again by a local group of dancers in a particularly powerful dance piece. One of the main speakers at the conference was highly attuned to what was going on in the spiritual realm; she immediately sensed the weight of His glory in those billows and encouraged those who were needy to get on the stage under the glory. Helena & I rescued the billowers, whose arms were already heavy and billowed for another 20 minutes. It was so nice to be able to stay in that moment and not be held slave to the clock. Time was made for that unexpected ministry. People were touched, people were healed. A "Word of Knowledge" went forth that someone was in the room who had contemplated suicide within the last 24 hours and that the Lord was asking for bravery so that person could come and be delivered of that curse. The young man did come forward and was prayed for and we believe delivered of the thing that was driving him toward death. It was a powerful night. The banners and the setting with the Ark of the Covenant were preached a lot over the course of 4 days. They spoke loudly without words and their silent message was picked up and amplified by every speaker who used the main room.

On the last night, Saturday, after a general session in the afternoon, most of the conferees went on an evangelical outing. This conference was birthed out of what seemed to have been a casual comment by someone in leadership at a different event more than a year ago; the comment struck the hostess like a bullet and lodged in her heart. "Honey, where do you live?" "I live in Las Vegas." "Go. Dance on the Strip." That's all that was said. "Dance on the Strip." And the seed of the vision for this conference was planted. And it is also what those in attendance did for 3 hours on Saturday evening. They danced on the strip in Las Vegas! There is a touristy, shopping mall type area called the Hawaiian Marketplace. Dean & Helena headed up the intercessory folks who stayed behind while the others danced on the strip. We tore down and packed up and prayed a lot. Tear down was about 6 hours and we finished about the same time the folks in the Marketplace did. Reports included multiple decisions for Christ, requests for prayer for a number of people, and a number of unchurched believers who found church homes. There were times of "open praise" where the onlookers were invited to join the circles of dancers to simply celebrate Him in this place. Many, many people did just that and did not want to leave. We're told that the visual picture of so many people in dazzling garments with so many more people there in their touristy clothes was an incredible site. There were break times of about 10-15 minutes each hour when the dancers in all their finery wandered around the area and talked with the people and made good conversation, trying to bring it back around to the Lord. They feel that a lot of good connections were made.

Perhaps most impressive to the locals was that the vendors from the Hawaiian Marketplace popped out of their shops to watch what was going on and to offer kind words of encouragement. The organizing staff had been warned that the venders made up a "tough house" and that they were often rude and coarse in their treatment of guest performers of any sort. There were no such incidents reported, and the management of the H.M. approached the hostess of the conference to find out how often they could return! Sound like favor to you?

Tear down, pack up, and trip home all went smoother than most conferences we've done. God's grace, for sure. We're home, our stuff is home, and while sorely depleted, it was all good.

Wanted y'all to know the effects of your prayers both in our lives directly, and for the Kingdom!

Thank you for praying and supporting us.

Dean & Helena

[official conference pix are here:

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ZioFire's pageantry pix are in the Friday night grouping]
One of the neat things that comes as an "overflow" of this event is that our pastor/bishop has asked me to share with our congregation about specifics of what went on in Las Vegas. Many of them know some of what we do, but don't always realize the impact, so he asked me to share. Helena asked that I share what I read to the congregation. And this week, I've been asked to share about the baptism in the Holy Spirit as it related to that conference (and our lives). Exciting. Here is last Sunday's report:


I have three separate things in mind to share:

Power of the visible to affect the spiritual: In a class on spiritual warfare and after we prayed for about 22 people to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the main instructor had the people gather in groups of five. They were carefully instructed about what was going to happen. They were encouraged to confess within the group some one thing that was a hindrance to their walk with Christ. They were taught to go through the physical motions of pulling down the stronghold in the life of the one who had confessed it. They then went through physical movements that signified wrapping that stronghold up, binding it up, and then casting it down to the ground. They marched and stomped on those bound strongholds and then asked the Holy Spirit to smooth His oil on those things and seal them from ever returning. Did that for each of the five in the group. I watched as the instructor taught them that this was part of what they could do when their spirits were troubled at circumstances in their lives, even as part of their normal lives. I watched some of the people and could see them trying to imagine themselves doing this outside the group. The Lord quickened a word in me. “What you’ve just experienced can be seen as ‘training wheels’. Everyone here knows that we could not walk through a mall, in a casino, in a restaurant and go through the gyrations that had just happened; if we did, they’d call the men with the funny long-sleeved jackets to fetch us to the funny farm! Because we are in Christ, seated at Father’s right hand IN Christ, we have authority. When these things bother our spirits, Father is saying ‘Do something about it!’ All we have to do is speak to it, just as Jesus spoke to the storm that caused such fear in the disciples. What did He say? The word in Hebrew is the same word that the master of the house speaks to an unruly dog: ‘Sit down!’ It is about authority. What you saw today happens in the spiritual realm, not the physical. When we speak those words in authority, in the spiritual, those forces are pulled down, bound, put under our feet and sealed away from us in Jesus name.”

Power of the visual to affect the spiritual: ZionFire was responsible to set the stage and establish the “atmosphere”. We did a tabernacles colors backdrop with a representation of the Ark of the Covenant at center. After a particularly powerful dance piece where the battle between the Holy Spirit and our reluctant flesh was excellently portrayed, there was ministry on the platform for about 20 minutes, using fire silks from the fabric hang to move over those who came forward. It was during that ministry when the word of knowledge came forth concerning someone contemplating suicide during the previous 24 hours. The speaker came shortly after that and asked, “Where did His glory go? Did He take His shekinah back to Heaven? Did He leave us? WHERE DID HIS GLORY GO!?!??” She swept her hand behind to indicate the backdrop and the Ark. "It came from all this, and it went back into there." She then said that it was God’s intention was that His glory reside in US, not just in inanimate objects.

Power of the unseen to affect the spiritual: On the mercy seat, we needed to prop the crown just a little higher. Helena found something exactly the right size: the Las Vegas phone book was hidden under that crown, symbolically placing the entire Las Vegas community on the mercy seat! Five people gave their lives to the Lord that Saturday evening; at least two recommitted their lives. Eighteen of twenty-two received the baptism with evidence of speaking in tongues. One young man was delivered of the things that were speaking suicide in his ear. Lives were changed and eyes were opened to new dimensions.

Sounds like it was awesome.

Did you meet Ralph & Mindy Seta? They were there to teach messianic dance. I've known them for a few years, and I'm organising Mindy's first trip to England next month (see the billboard section for more information).

Yes, I did get to meet them. Talked with Ralph several times, and with Mindy a couple of times. Sweet spirits. Popped my head into their sessions, just to see how they worked with the folks. They were well received. Always fun to watch folks outside their element trying to "get it". A whole bunch of dancer types who'd had little or no exposure to Hebraic circle dancing working to get the rhythm. Lots of laughs and giggles both within the circles and from those of us watching them enjoying "playing in the river". Greet them for us.
It was really great that the Seta's were at the conference bringing the messianic dance message to many participants who had never been exposed to that expression. We were so grateful that they were there and that they brought such a grace and sweetness to the event.

The did a dance to "Great is the Lord", sung by Jonathan Settel, that was powerfully anointed. I'm sure God was putting a stamp of favor on them. There were a lot of people there that had never heard anything about Jewish roots.