The 24/7 Cebu House of Prayer was opened on June 7, 2008 by Shawn, Anna and Joshua Maragni together with the support of Brian and Anisha Longridge and children.
The Maragni’s have been serving as full time missionaries with Youth With A Mission Philippines since January 1999. After spending nine months at the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) in Kansas City in 2004-2005, the Maragni’s received a clear direction to pioneer a 24/7 house of prayer in Cebu City, Philippines.
During this time at IHOP-KC, the Maragni’s were seeking for GOD’s direction. One day, while Shawn was pacing back and forth in the prayer room, an acquaintance asked him what YWAM location he was from. Shawn said, “The Philippines.” While standing at that moment in front of a big map the friend said, “Show me where that is on the map!” After pointing to the Philippines, the man looked at Shawn, then back at the map and said, “Do you see that city? Yeah! Cebu City. Tell the leadership of that city that there will be a day and night House of Prayer in Cebu!”
The word didn’t fully connect to Shawn until him and his wife Anna had a total of 6 dreams in a period of 1 week about moving to Cebu and joining a YWAM prayer ministry under the leadership of Juan and Helen Corimina.
After communicating, Shawn had surprisingly discovered that Juan and Helen had already been praying for him and his family to join them in Cebu City. Everything within that time frame began to fall into place and on July 29, 2005 the Maragni’s moved to Cebu City Philippines
From 2005 to 2008, the Maragni’s cast the vision for the house of prayer through city prayer gatherings, conferences, seminars, and weekly prayer initiatives in Cebu City together with the partnership of the Longridge’s family. The first prayer meetings began in the Longridge’s home every Thursday night for a season then we transferred to Church of Our King until the prayer room was opened. In 2008, the Maragni’s had sensed that the time to open up a prayer room was coming.
Then in the early part of 2008, the Maragni’s received an unexpected check for $1645 designated for the opening of the prayer room. This was the first donation that had come in for the HOP. At this time, there was no prospect place for the prayer room. However, soon after receiving the check, Shawn received an unexpected phone call from a man whom he had not heard from in over a year about a space for rent. After visiting and inquiring about the room, they surprisingly discovered that the first month’s rent together with the two months required deposit was almost exactly as $1645. At that moment it seemed obvious that God had opened the door for a prayer room. Then after further confirmations the renovations of the prayer room soon began in April 2008.
All through the prayer room renovation, grace and trials were experienced. Unexpected donations from unexpected sources came in quickly. After the renovations finished though, the financial blessing came to a complete stop and a new walk of faith in finances began. It was amazing, that even before the renovations began, six months of the rent was already covered. Challenges of the most unusual kinds hit every member of our team from financial, physical, emotional, relational and even sickness to the point of death. Our worship leaders, Brian and Anisha were strongly struck. Anisha was hospitalized for 8 days and almost died. Thank GOD He was gracious to them!
The Maragni’s personally were hard pressed at many times with emotional, physical, financial and many pressures from within the household. Their vehicle broke down almost every day throughout the 1 month time of renovation. They had one minor car accident (not their fault) and one time the vehicle they borrowed while their car was being fixed got towed away by the city officers. Another problem that happened right in the middle of the renovations was the entire building’s water supply broke down beyond repair. It forced the owner to dig a new well. The water problem was so bad that the owner hired men to work literally 24 hours around the clock for 7 days and nights.
After finishing the renovations through a time of hell and glory, Shawn asked the Lord to give understanding of the pressure they had endured. It was then the LORD released this word: “You are digging a new well! Just as it took the workers to dig a new well 7 days and nights 24/7 around the clock, so I have called you to dig a new well through day and night worship and prayer that will release a new work of my Spirit that will spread across the nation.” The Lord encouraged us by this prophetic picture and the prayer room was officially opened on June 7, 2008.
One morning shortly after the renovations were done, Shawn entered the prayer room’s parking area mentally exhausted. In the horizon was a full and beautiful rainbow. Shawn understood that GOD was communicating His faithful promise since the Lord had already impressed upon his heart that “Every time you see a rainbow you declare my promise.” Later that same day, co-pioneers, Brian and Anisha Longridge, visited the prayer room with a gift for House of Prayer. Surprisingly, the gift was a large rainbow-designed banner to be placed permanently upon the prayer room wall. This banner has become GOD’S constant reminder of His faithful promise to us. GOD truly showed Himself as our faithful Shepherd.
Since the opening of the prayer room, God has been slowly, and uniquely, bringing unexpected people to be part of the ministry. Although, we have not achieved 24/7 yet, we know that God has begun a good work and He will faithfully carry it onto completion.