By Hayley Fedor
Birthed out of a love for God and fueled by a love for Tampa, Awaken the Dawn brought renewed spirit to the city all in one weekend. Set at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, the Awaken the Dawn event launched on May 6 at 7 p.m. and continued until May 8 at 11 p.m., with around 1,000 people participating at the start of the event.
“The heart behind it is really establishing the presence of God in a region, in a place or city and just allowing God to take over,” said Bruno Negrillo, worship pastor at The Crossing Church and the primary coordinator for Awaken the Dawn in Tampa.
Awaken the Dawn is a nonprofit organization that travels across the country acting on the premise that wherever the Lord’s presence is brought and where believers come together to worship and pray, there His presence will dwell and begin to change the atmosphere of the region.
For 50 continuous hours, the people of Tampa, including local pastors and church leaders gathered together to pray, offer baptisms, worship and intercede on behalf of the Lord.
“To see 21 pastors come together to pray for our region on that stage that first night on Thursday … it was just an amazing sight.” said Negrillo.
Through the event, reconciliation between local Christian leaderships transpired, which in turn fostered an overwhelming sense of unity amongst believers in the community.
Beyond simply gathering in one place, the movement also encouraged a spirit of local evangelism as groups traveled to nearby areas and ministered to individuals, oftentimes bringing them back to the event.
Worship played an important role at Awaken the Dawn in Tampa as well. Even after the 11 p.m. noise ordinance, worship still persisted throughout the night in quieter acoustic sets.
One special testimony from the event belongs to a woman with chronic pain from multiple sclerosis who showed up to Awaken the Dawn out of desperation and left set free after encountering the spirit and dancing for hours pain-free.
“A lot of people were inspired and something was awakened inside of them and all of these other leaders who took part in this; they’re wanting to keep it going, keep the momentum going,” said Negrillo.
For more information on the Awaken the Dawn movement and to find out how to get involved, visit awakenthedawn.com or visit its Facebook page @awakenthedawnmvmt.