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BCN Exclusive Interview: a First-Person Account of Last Weekend's Awaken the Dawn Event in DC through the Eyes of Worship Leader/Singer-Songwriter Hannah Ford
Aimee Herd : Oct 12, 2017 BreakingChristianNews.com
"It moved us forward! It was powerful! Regardless of what the news does or doesn't report, I know God heard the prayers, the cries, the repentant hearts. He saw many races come together with love and tears to fight for the souls of our young and old, and the unborn. He saw us cry out to have a realignment to His morals and heart. He heard the praise and celebration of how great He is! While we prayed for our political leaders to be guided with wisdom, we petitioned the highest Source: the King of kings and Lord of lords!" –Hannah Ford (D'Alessandro)
I was introduced to the music of Hannah Ford (D'Alessandro) while programming ElijahStreams' broadcast, and last year, had the immense privilege of meeting her in person—along with her wonderful family—at AzusaNow in California. When I heard that Hannah was attending the Awaken the Dawn event, I knew hers would be a great perspective through which to hear of all that went on—both in the natural and the spiritual. And, it was! (Photo: Hannah Ford D'Alessandro/Courtesy)
Although the mainstream media—for the most part—missed reporting on Awaken the Dawn, that likely doesn't matter one iota to God. What DOES matter are the hearts and actions of those who traveled to DC, to spend time—even in the rain—to worship and pray and to intercede for the LIFE of this country. Read on to hear this first-person account of an amazing weekend.
Hannah, have you ever been to an event like this before? Describe what it was like first arriving there on the Washington Mall...
I have never been to an event like this before. I was in awe when I first saw the National Mall—it is huge and it was lined with tents that would soon erupt with prayer and intercession for our nation and world. Between the Capitol building and Washington Monument were 57 tents and 1 beautiful tepee, representing our 50 states, plus national regions, Israel, and Native Americans. For three spectacular days, 24/7 worship ignited our nation's Capital! (Photo: courtesy-Hannah Ford)
Before Awaken the Dawn even began, I was blessed to attend the Senate Chaplain's Bible study and a special lunch. It was amazing! Chaplain Barry Black is the first African-American to serve as Senate Chaplain. Then a former Congressman's wife led a group of us into the House Chamber. It was surreal to be where lawmakers make decisions that impact our entire nation. I began to pray through some of the aisles and over the seats for those who sit in them. May they be moved by God's heart! Next, we got to worship and take communion in the Senate Chapel. It was a powerful time. As my friend was playing cello, I heard a song float through my mind and heart repeatedly: "We humble ourselves, we humble ourselves, we humble ourselves ... come lift us up." (A response to James 4:10)
After that, we gathered at the main stage in the heart of the National Mall for the kick off of Awaken the Dawn! Awesome worship began to fill the mall and at 9 pm the 24/7 tent worship began. I love how my state of California began with a ceremony honoring our Native Americans. They were the first worship band! It was fitting that we had a very ethnically diverse group of worship leaders for our tent.
Did you have a specific tent where you were assigned to lead worship?
Yes, I was assigned to lead worship in my home state of California. But I also helped in the Utah tent and sang with my friend in the Tennessee tent. I loved visiting every tent, seeing friends, and making new ones! I was overwhelmed with awe as I walked around and saw our country represented by passionate worshippers!
Can you give an idea of just how many people were there attending the event, and about how many in each state tent?
I don't know how many attended overall. I don't want to speculate, but I'd say there were many thousands. It's hard to count as Awaken the Dawn (ATD) was spread over several days 24/7 and over the large National Mall. At any given time, I'd say state tents ranged between 5 and 40 people. Regional tents were much larger. Even during the main stage events, people were still actively worshiping in all of the 57 other tents and ministering out in the streets. (Photo: courtesy-Hannah Ford)
What was the feeling there as you were in the midst of the tents on the National Mall?
It was so wonderful that it's hard to describe. God's presence was definitely there in a beautiful way. It was bold and beautiful and out in public in a very important place in the world. It was humble and unplugged, like campfires all over the National Mall, the fire being the Holy Spirit in our worship. It was full of freedom, love, and joy. Such a fragrant and powerful offering of love to God. It was awesome to proclaim to America that Jesus is the world's Savior, Lord, and King, that He loves them, and that He is worthy of our worship!
Can you share some of the highlights of the weekend that really stood out to you?
I could sense the chains of racism being broken as we gathered and prayed for racial reconciliation in our country. So many people of different ethnicities were involved both in the leadership and in the audiences. There was hardcore prayer, repenting, forgiving, loving, and praying with one another. This is what the family of God is supposed to be like! This is how we wage war on darkness—with our unified prayers!
I had so much fun meeting curious people from around the world, talking to them about Awaken the Dawn, giving them my CDs (I call them seed-ds), and praying for them. Everything we did was out in the public on a busy tourist holiday weekend. I loved being able to minister to people from China, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Uganda, Jamaica, etc. (Photo: courtesy-Hannah Ford)
I prayed for one of my hotel workers who was from El Salvador. God healed her shoulder and touched her heart. Even some Muslims from Kuwait that I reached out to kept telling me how beautiful this display of worship was. Also, many others were healed and came to know Jesus through the teams that went out to minister on the streets.
What do you feel was accomplished during and by the Awaken the Dawn event, and what affect do you think it will have for this country, going forward?
This event was so beautiful and powerful. It was beyond historical. It filled the atmosphere. I had such a strong sense that God was calling us all "forward". The mainstream media hasn't covered this event, but it is making special alert headlines in the spiritual world. Awaken the Dawn plans to expand these events into state capitals, cities, and schools. ATD kicked off what will become a worship and outreach movement.
My mom was an atheist and met Jesus during the "Jesus Movement" of the 70s. Those times changed so many lives with a massive ripple effect that spanned the globe. We are praying for another Jesus Movement. Only God can make this happen, but we want to do our part to let Him work through us.
What is the most important thing you—and possibly others who attended—will carry with you from Awaken the Dawn?
I think everyone was inspired and also challenged in good ways. The speakers were really truthful; about fears, overcoming them and focusing on all that God is calling us to. Worship blesses God's heart. As we worship Him, He also impacts and reshapes our hearts to His will. His heart longs for the world to know Him. That is why he hung on the cross. True worship, in Spirit and in truth, leads us to love Jesus more, to be pure vessels, and to have His heart for the world to know Him as their Savior. I love how Awaken the Dawn focused on evangelism and missions, as well as worship. (Photo: courtesy-Hannah Ford)
What do you think this weekend has accomplished spiritually for America?
It moved us forward! It was powerful! Regardless of what the news does or doesn't report, I know God heard the prayers, the cries, the repentant hearts. He saw many races come together with love and tears to fight for the souls of our young and old, and the unborn. He saw us cry out to have a realignment to His morals and heart. He heard the praise and celebration of how great He is! While we prayed for our political leaders to be guided with wisdom, we petitioned the highest Source: the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Has taking part in worship at Awaken the Dawn this weekend affected you personally, and if so, how?...
Yes, most definitely! I feel knit together with worshippers from around our country. I feel re-inspired that we are all here for this moment in time—"for such a time as this." I want to bring God worship with my songs, but also with every part of my life.
Hannah, talk about your music for those not yet familiar with it.
I have a brand-new album called "Personal Decree" and it fits the theme of ATD so well. I believe it was "born" for this time. I hope it inspires people to make their own personal decree to live for God and to worship Him through every storm and battle with peace and strength. A friend in my Bible study was in the Las Vegas shooting and barely escaped. My new album ministered to her as she regained strength that fears tried to steal. My other friends just lost their home to the California fires. Life is truly unpredictable, but through it all God is faithful and He's calling us to be faithful to Him and to prioritize our lives towards His heart. He told us that life would have hardships and that following Him wouldn't be easy. But He also told us to take heart because He has overcome the world. Our lives aren't so much about the here and now—they are about making an impact for eternity. (Photo: courtesy-Hannah Ford)
Being in Washington DC reminded me of both our nation's former sins and also its goodness. But it also reminded me of God's power to redeem every wrong and use it for good. My prayer is that as we Americans humble ourselves before Him, seek His face and turn from our wrongs, that He will hear, forgive, and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) By God's grace, may our best days be ahead! It's time for us to rise up in unity and be the light we are called to be!
Visit Hannah Ford's website to learn more about her music, log onto: HannahFord.com
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