When Kenyan believers gather to hear about signs, wonders and miracles for 22 days in August, the proof that God performs them will be in their midst
Kawika Cornelius miraculously survived a sport utility vehicle landing on top of his convertible in 2002. If he lived, doctors said at the time, Cornelius would never breathe on his own, or have any movement below his neck.
Within four months, his breathing tube was gone and, despite a rehabilitation doctor’s pessimistic prediction, Cornelius regained use of arms while living in a Colorado nursing home.
Today, as director of Freedom and Joy Ministries, Kawika (pronounced KaVeeKa) Cornelius believes God can heal him from paralysis below his chest to his feet, and eliminate his need for a wheelchair.
Nairobi, Kenya is his first overseas ministry trip and a dream come true for Cornelius who, from 10 years of age, was told by Christian leaders that God’s called him to the nations.
It’s fitting that on his first major visit to an African nation, Cornelius is partnering with an international non-profit headed by a former youth group leader who planted global seeds of evangelism.
HELP, an acronym for His Everlasting Love Prevails, is partnering with Freedom and Joy Ministries by donating medical supplies for the Kenyan outreach, which will last through Aug. 20. HOPE International founders Don and Jean Kaye-Wilson have known Cornelius since 1993, when Jean Kaye-Wilson predicted that Cornelius, who has Hawaiian, Japanese and Chinese ancestry, would preach to the nations.
“It’s cool the way that she loved me and marked me when I was only 10,” says Cornelius, whose first international missions trip as an ordained minister was to Mexico in 2012.
In Africa, Cornelius and a team representing Freedom and Joy Ministries will preach at three outdoor evangelistic-style meetings, as well as train and equip pastors, church leaders and believers in power evangelism. Salvation and supernatural displays of the Holy Spirit’s power to heal and deliver are expected.
Or, as Cornelius is fond of saying, “Living naturally supernatural lives as sons and daughters of God.”
Signs, wonders and miracles have followed Cornelius since his teenage years when, at 15, Cornelius was charged with adult crimes and faced eight years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He had been kicked out of three Colorado high schools and had developed a reputation with local police departments.
Admittedly, Cornelius was at the first of several low points in his life and ministry.
While in juvenile hall awaiting sentencing on felony charges, Cornelius was noticed by a female chaplain who was awakened at 2 a.m., and began to pray for him as the Holy Spirit gave her words of knowledge and a list of bible verses for him.
Donna Roth, a chaplain at the youth detention center in Fort Collins, Colo. remembers saying, “Kawika, you need to get your life right with God.” Before long, Cornelius prayed with Roth, repenting of sins that included fornication, drug abuse, excessive partying and criminal involvement with Hispanic gangs.
“I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and grace from God,” Cornelius recalls. “I remember it like it was yesterday. A dark cloud hung over my shoulders and I remember thinking I was such a loser and that I would never make it.”
After Cornelius prayed with Roth, the cloud was gone and she told him, “We need to get you filled with the Holy Spirit.”
“The glory of God invaded my prayer cell and the Holy Spirit started a fire in my life that continues to burn today,” says Cornelius, crediting Roth for his salvation and the beginning fulfillment of his call to ministry.
Before Cornelius could minister anywhere but a federal penitentiary, he needed a miracle from a criminal court judge. His attorney predicted only a 10 percent chance that the judge would render a lighter sentence in juvenile lock-up. Supporters who recognized Cornelius’ call to ministry and the nations began to intercede.
Miraculously, the judge sentenced Cornelius to a two-year maximum sentence in youth detention, mandating his involvement in Rites of Passage, a training program in a boot camp-like environment.
In that atmosphere, Cornelius began to develop a heart for ministry and a desire to touch lives the ways his had been touched by his former youth group leader and chaplain.
Upon parole, Cornelius enrolled in a Denver-area college-aged internship called Master’s Commission. There, the Holy Spirit became to Cornelius like gas to a car, intensifying his desire for ministry and zeal for Jesus, despite his acknowledged resistance to authority.
It was the life-changing accident, weeks in intensive care, eventual paralysis and breathing tube that God used to test Cornelius’ heart during his second year in the Master’s Commission program.
“I had a lot of zeal and passion, thinking I was going hard for God, but it was in the wrong spirit
“What began to set in after four or five months was the realization that healing wasn’t manifesting,” Cornelius says.
“I could have chosen to let depression get the best of me and forget about the call of God on my life, or by the grace of God I could continue to believe and trust him.”
Wisely, Cornelius chose the latter and began to minister to a group of about 35 in the nursing home where he lived for almost two years after the accident.
From the nursing home, Cornelius’ ministry led him back into jails and in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in theology.
Eventually, Cornelius was invited to join a pastoral team at Freedom Fellowship in its outreach to sexual offenders.
Though Cornelius fondly remembers ministry inside nursing homes, prisons and churches, it’s out-of-the-box, street-style prophetic evangelism that excites him. Both as a minister and as a teacher who trains others to do Holy Spirit-powered ministry in public places.
Like offering free encouraging words and healing prayer at a psychic fair, outside department stores and at community wide July 4th celebrations.
Prophetic minister Bob Hazlett confirmed Cornelius’ call to New Age practitioners, witches, warlocks, Goths, vampires and at occult high places like Sedona, Ariz. when he said God called Cornelius “a friend of witches.”
At the time, Hazlett told Cornelius that God was saying these people were some of his “best friends” because they’re hated by so many churches.
“I see them all just hugging you, saying ‘Welcome back. We’ve been waiting for you to come back,” Hazlett told Cornelius two years ago.
In January 2012, prophetic minister Cristina Foor shared a vision in which God was feeding Cornelius grapes and, as soon as they touched his lips, he was intoxicated with God’s love for people all over the world.
“I see you traveling, going places,” Foor said.
In June 2013, Cornelius and a 13-member team from Freedom and Joy Ministries traveled to Las Vegas, Nev. where, over five days, the group ministered on the strip, preaching, giving prophetic words and handing out roses to sex workers.
On the way back to their hotel rooms one night, Cornelius and a team member were accosted by several young, attractive women who flirted with them, testing the waters, eventually offering the two a night with them.
“God opened the door for us to flip this on the enemy,” Cornelius said. “We began to bring theses girls into a life-changing encounter with Jesus, prophesying God’s destiny to them as a business woman, a homemaker and a mother.
“It also opened the door for us to ask them forgiveness on behalf of men who used them and failed to value them as God’s daughters, “ Cornelius says.
Visiting the strip with Freedom and Joy, Paul Jones says Cornelius’ greatest gift is as a teacher and trainer in facilitating the workings of the Holy Spirit in people.
Because Cornelius provides a ministry environment in which it’s okay to fail as much as succeed, Jones says he’s had success in activating the prophetic gift in himself at venues like the psychic fair, where people already believe in the supernatural.
When they’re healed or hear a word from God, people are open to the message of Jesus Christ, Jones says.
To host Cornelius or support Freedom and Joy’s ministry to the nations, visit freedomandjoy.org or find the ministry on Facebook.