On Saturday, April 16, inside the Los Angeles Coliseum, a miracle happened. A man with terminal brain cancer became healthy and later stood on the stage to testify. A number of Vanguard students got to experience this first hand at Azusa Now, an annual event of worship and prayer, lead by its founder, Lou Engle. gathering that brought together thousands of people. Miracles of this nature seemed to be a regular thing on that particular day; bodies were healed, diseases were cured and lives were saved.
From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., masses of people filed into the Coliseum. 110 years after the very first Azusa Street Revival, there was a handful of Vanguard students present to celebrate the movement that once helped wash away society’s color line that segregated God’s children.
Matthew Merryman was one of the many Lions in attendance at Azusa Now. He shared some of his own personal experience, describing how he felt being amongst such a large crowd that was beaming with joy and happiness. “I just loved how happy people were,” Merryman stated. “It was crazy seeing all these people coming together even though they didn’t know each other, and just watching them being touched by everybody was something special,” he says.
The day started by introducing a handful of powerful speakers. There was spiritual leaders of all different ethnicities who took the stage. While they differed in skin color and nationalities, their messages were full of love and unity. The speakers were followed by worship and prayer, where the impossible seemingly became possible.
“We saw multiple people, who had been in wheelchairs for years, literally stand up on their own two feet out of nowhere,” Merryman says.
This was just one instance of countless miracles that occurred down on the field that day. “We brought one of our friends who hadn’t really been in the church in a while, and she got prayed over and suddenly her rib got healed. She hadn’t been able to run because her rib was out of place, and after that, she got the confirmation she needed to say she wanted to go back to church,” Merryman says.
Everybody that was in the crowd shared a vibe that was exuding love and affection. It was a day full of miracles, and at the end of the day, each one pointed back to one thing: the fact that God exists, more now than ever. Even the security guards and police that were hired to supervise the event were impacted greatly by the power of the Holy Spirit. “They were trying to stay out of it at first, but we started praying over one of the security guards and he just started laughing and crying,” Merryman said.
Azusa Now serves as a reminder to spread love and happiness to everyone that we cross paths with, because even the simplest gesture of kindness can make a life changing impact on someone. In describing his feelings after the event, Merryman said, “I just felt inspired to love everybody and just be happy. If we could take that and bring it here to Vanguard, it would just be amazing.”