This afternoon, under blue skies and a blazing Maracucho sun with heat indices nearing 110ºF, thousands of people gathered together to walk the streets of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Was this some sort of political parade? No. Actually, it was a celebration. It was the celebration of Jesus! That's right, thousands of people walked through the city, proclaiming Jesus is Lord, He is alive, and He is the way!
Young and old, from every church and every denomination in the city they came. Crowded within the street next to the plaza, packed like sardines, we waited for the march to begin (more than an hour late- very typical of Venezuela). Once it began, there was singing, clapping, and shouting "Cristo vive!" as we walked down the main streets of town, heading for the stadium several kilometers away.
All traffic was stopped for our march. People in the cars, trapped by the march and the traffic behind them, wondered why all these people were marching. You could tell in the quizzical looks on their faces. One man was actually driving down the other side of the street with his head turned backwards, checking out what was happening on our side of the street. Many people from the apartment complexes were looking out their windows, shouting and waving Venezuelan flags.
We stopped in several places where we prayed for the city. When we approached the stadium more than 2 hours later, everyone was hot and tired, but energized from the excitement of proclaiming the name of Jesus throughout the city!
Gathering for the march
Marching through the city streets- for Jesus!
Pray for peace!
Hands lifted high in adoration of Jesus
Venezuela and Zulia State flags- declaring Jesus Lord of Maracaibo, Zulia, and all of Venezuela!
Marching into the stadium at the end of the march.