By Deloris Trujillo with Joyce Mulligan
Need encouragement? Need strength and wisdom? Need to know that God cares in these difficult times? Then join the almost 12,000 others who have already heard the messages and testimonies of how prayer provides power and answers to our greatest needs. These messages can be accessed by going to: https://www.youtube.com/cccsda
The annual Central California Conference (CCC) Prayer Conference was live-streamed on FaceBook and YouTube beginning Friday evening, May 22, and continuing through the Sabbath hours. This was not the original plan. Like all recent CCC events, the prayer conference that had been scheduled for the same dates had to be canceled. Yet, even in a situation like this, prayer can change things.
Joyce Mulligan, CCC prayer ministry director, felt that it was still important to have a prayer conference. Ed Walker, an almond farmer in Chowchilla who volunteers as her associate director in the prayer ministry, strongly agreed. They are certain that God answered prayers and provided miracles in bringing together this prayer conference. How grateful they were when Jim Hobbs of Mountain Top Media was available to provide the technological support so the weekend could be live-streamed.
When Mulligan shared their plans with other conference prayer coordinators in a Zoom meeting, they expressed interest in joining. The event now had many more wanting to benefit from praying together. “God is amazing, and He answered our prayers,” said Mulligan. “An outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place during this weekend.”
Because of his emphasis on revival and the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer, Pastor Pavel Goia, editor of Ministry magazine and General Conference associate ministerial secretary, was chosen as the main speaker. A favorite of CCC prayer conferences, Goia returned by request of former attendees. One of the participants, Dolores Jones, reported: “It was so enlightening that I shared with 50 of my friends across the U.S.”
In light of current events, Goia selected the theme “Now is the Time.” Having grown up in communist Romania, his life has been filled with powerful answers to prayer and many miracles. Trained in a variety of fields, through a remarkable series of events he became a pastor and eventually moved to the United States. His amazing story is told in the book One Miracle After Another: the Pavel Goia Story, written by Gregg Budd.
The weekend was filled with other testimonies and beautiful music. Welcoming messages and prayers were given by CCC President Ramiro Cano, CCC Executive Secretary Ron Rasmussen, and Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham. They were joined by Karen Martel, Pacific Union prayer director, and her husband, Lynn. Leon Brown, president of Nevada-Utah Conference, was forthright in his personal testimony of the power in prayer. Pastors Peter Neri and Ryan Johnson from Las Vegas, Nev., dialogued on how God talks to us during prayer time. During Sabbath School, Anil Kanda, CCC young adult youth director, emphasized the importance of a prayer life.
The weekend conference also included special praise time with music evangelist Jacqueline Jewel, along with the Cartegena family and Tara Peterson. Jewel lifted her voice in praise to God in a concert on Sabbath afternoon. Throughout the whole weekend, there were times for prayer and many encouraging testimonies of answered prayer. A highlight was the story of Mulligan’s prayer miracle of getting out of a locked garage!
Nancy Reynolds, a member of the Campbell church, summarized the event this way: “We were not locked down but lifted up as we joined in the spiritual feast of heartfelt prayers, music, and inspiring messages from Pastor Goia. His stories of answered prayers led me to the feet of Jesus. The time was truly right for this prayer conference.”
As Ellen G. White wrote, “Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, p. 453).