To learn of her exploit on Everest we will use the main account written by Ana distributed by Peter Wagner in his Memorandum and the DVD video she produced on their expedition. Before we go into her story of climbing Everest we need some background on their spiritual warfare.
Ana Mendez Ferrell has been a large influence in "spirit warfare" taught in the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation formed by Peter Wagner and Chuck Pierce). She is simpatico with others engaged in a constant battle with the Devil and his armies strongholds located throughout the world.
Both Wagner and his wife Doris attribute Cindy Jacobs and Ana Mendez for introducing the teaching of spiritual warfare at the seminars of Plan Resistencia. Holvast in his book Spiritual Mapping refers to the Wagner’s as stating: "˜Before Resistencia almost nobody knew about Spiritual Mapping, but Ana Mendez and Cindy Jacobs knew some’ (p.48 ibid.). Ana has had a long term friendship with the Wagner’s.
Ed Silvoso’s Cosecha centre began Plan Resistencia in the city of Resistencia Argentina. Wagner launched his first Spiritual Mapping efforts with Ed Silvoso: "˜We agreed to run a large-scale experiment of strategic-level spiritual warfare in Resistencia’. This set in place one of my major courses for the decade of the 1990s "¦.’
Spiritual Warfare Network (SWN) on September 14, 1991 was officially incorporated into AD2000. It is through this and other spiritual warfare prayer organizations that Peter Wagner and friends promote their new revelations on praying against the enemy.
According to R. Holvast: "The international office of AD2000 was established in Colorado Springs. The United Prayer Track (UPT) started to function as part of AD2000 under the supervision of Wagner. He would be in this position until December 31, 1999.
AD2000 quickly grew into a global network, spanning large segments of the Evangelical and Pentecostal world. The Spiritual Mapping Division functioned under Otis within the UPT."
"To facilitate the many activities of the UPT, Peter and Doris Wagner established Global Harvest Ministries (GHM) in Pasadena in 1991. Its express purpose was to make it a "˜vehicle to activate the United Prayer Track at its highest level of efficiency’. GHM adopted the 10/40 Window concept as its main focus and moved to Colorado Springs in 1996" (p.73 R. Holvast "“ Spiritual Mapping: The Turbulent Career of a Contested American Missionary Paradigm, 1989-2000)
We read on Ana Mendez: "While in prayer in her [AD2000 prayer] tower, the Holy Spirit clearly showed her that a principal stronghold over the 10/40 Window [a designated mission area]was located on Mt. Everest in Nepal, and that she was to lead a team of intercessors in a frontal attack on this power of darkness, who was none other than the Queen of Heaven" (underline mine). www.etpv.org/1998/opqueen.html
Wagner at one point in his memorandum states: "This is not the place to recount the details of what happened during that awesome prayer journey, which was the probably the highest level one undertaken in the decade, not only topographically, but spiritually."
On the DVD "Mount Everest Expedition" that Ana Mendez produced, it reveals far more of than what is contained in Wagner’s Memorandum letter.
Ana: "When God spoke to us when we were in the tower of intercession that we established in Mexico and Costa Rica with Rony Chavez. The revelation began to come over us clear as a mountain stream. God was in the process of revealing to us the location of the throne of Satan on earth, the precise place of the government of the Babylon structure that controlled all the false religions of the world.
"It was a place of darkness and death, an ice castle isolated in occult[?]. For the prince of this world has established his dwelling place, a place where the imitator could sit like God over all the earth. This place is the highest mountain on the world it is Mt. Everest" (DVD "Mount Everest Expedition").
Ed. Note: some words are hard to understand, we did our best to be accurate inÃ‚Â translating, a question mark will accompany the more difficult words or it will be stated as undiscernable.
Ana Mendez Ferrell is advertised on her website as a general in spiritual warfare:
"Ana has coordinated many of the most important prayer initiatives in the darkest places of the earth, confronting major territorial spirits. The most difficult assault that she and her team undertook was the climbing of Mount Everest in 1997, which resulted in major spiritual breakthroughs in the 10/40 window (the less evangelized region in the world). Ana was also the special task coordinator for operation "Queens Palace," the first worldwide prayer initiative, involving nearly 75 percent of the nations in the world in a war against a dominion of darkness known as the "queen of heaven", the ruler of Babylon." [All underlining are mine].
Why did she believe she had to hike the Mountain of Everest to do her Spirit warfare? Because their spiritual warfare is not about praying to God "“ having the armor on to stand against a spiritual enemy, it is about being "on site." This concept was published by the "Sentinel Group" in 1995, "Strongholds of the 10/40 Window to assist journeyers in their effort to pray on-site with insight."Ã‚Â The video shows them declaring and prophesying.
The Bible does not speak or instruct confronting principalities, powers in prayer or to travel to where they are located to do prophetic prayer acts or declaration? According to the spirit warfare model of the new apostolic movement, it is necessary.
"Spying out the land is essential when warring for a city... Christians should walk or drive every major freeway, avenue, and road of their cities, praying and coming against demonic strongholds over every neighborhood..." (Engaging the Enemy: How to Fight and Defeat Territorial Spirits - C. Peter Wagner, p. 98)
God does not tell us to go hike a mountain to confront what cannot be seen. This is a fleshly way to battle, going to the high places (to confront imaginary strongholds). People that practice this spirit warfare are driven by their demonology, which has more to do with the occult than the Bible (see pt.3 of real spirit warfare). What I mean is that they hear instructions that are not in the Bible or even scripturally based. It cannot be God, because the Lord does not contradict himself by giving new revelation about demons and our resistance to them. Their supposed hearing from God on this teaching is either their imagination or worse, deceiving spirits themselves.
If they really wanted to get close they could have taken a plane to fly over the top of the mountain, instead of practicing this frivolity, or they could have stayed home and prayed to God like all Christians do.
There is no question to the reality of demons; however, the Bible tells us how to deal with them, by casting them out of individuals, not cities, countries or mountains (see the series on spirit warfare real or imagined). It is especially important that one stays within the parameters of the Bible on matters like this.
This spirit warfare concept was taken to new heights as they claimed to be instructed by God to venture to Mt. Everest to combat the chief of all territorial demons, the "Queen of Heaven."
The fact that Ana Mendez Ferrell has an abundance of supernatural stories makes one pause, but none are so dubious as her adventure to confront the Queen of heaven on Mt. Everest.
Since the New Apostolic Movement made this story of prevarication into such an important event of theirs, we who hold to the Bible are obligated to test it. Getting the facts on this trip were difficult. Not only was their secrecy on their mission but many of the details still are. Numerous parts of this escapade are more than questionable because of the details provided, and, more importantly the details missing.
Lets look at one of the more significant statements in the aftermath:
Chuck D. Pierce states: " "¦ Doris even took a team to the highest of high places, Mt. Everest, to command the enemies of the Gospel to "˜let go’ of the harvest."
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6089951535&topic=3118 (Accessed Nov.2, 2010) underline mine
The statement "highest of high places" in reference to Everest insinuates she climbed the mountain?
Peter Wagner: "Operation Ice Castle, 1997. An experienced prayer team scaled Mt. Everest in the highest level (both topographically and spiritually) prophetic prayer initiative to date. ("THE AD2000 UNITED PRAYER TRACK" C. Peter Wagner) Google's cache of http://www.ad2000.org/re00623.htm (Accessed Nov.2, 2010)
To the highest level topographically means to the top of Everest. This is also in the Memorandum. Along with these statements (and others), Ana is advertising her book "The making of a prophet" on her website (after her climb) which states: "Ana Mendez Ferrell explains the challenges God placed in front of her to bring a newly trained team to climb to the top of Mt. Everest to tear down the powers of hell. What steps are you willing to take to set your nation free?" (Website Accessed Nov.2, 2010) underline mine
"to climb to the top of Mt. Everest" Were Her instructions"¦
On the DVD: "God asks how far are you willing to go for me. He asked us to go to the summit of the world, Mt. Everest." (Mount Everest Expedition DVD)
summit 1: top, apex; esp: the highest point : peak 2: the topmost level attainable (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
In her DVD it shows the Everest camp and Ana says, "Another problem that our team faced was the intense cold, the temperature at the summit reached between a minus 40-60 below Fahrenheit", which certainly implies the goal of reaching the top of the mountain.
The facts show that neither she nor any of the others climbed to the top. In her own story she claims to have climbed from the base camp to 20,000 ft. The top of Everest is 29,000 ft. high, where only the most physically fit experts survive the climb. If it was her intention to climb to the top (she claims God told her to climb to the top with a team) then why did none of her team actually climbed to the top? This will be answered at the conclusion [part 3].
The recent video "Vanguard, on Current TV, that Indus made for BBC on Mount Everest; stated very few women climb.
On the List of women climbers, Ana is not listed among them (http://everstnews.com/everst1.htm (http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/List_of_female_climbers)
I find it perplexing that the DVD "Mount Everest Expedition" Ana MÃƒÂ©ndez Ferrell`s climbing and spiritual warfare expedition is NOT offered on her website. It appears to have been produced many years later.
Birth of the Everest climb
How did this spirit adventure begin? Peter Wagner and his wife Doris explain:
"While we were in Turkey, Doris and I learned a great deal about the Queen of Heaven"¦ her worshippers are the only ones in the Bible for whom God prohibits prayer." He refers to Jeremiah 7:16. "Almost every major prayer initiative that we have held in connection with the Spiritual Warfare Network in different parts of the world has surfaced the Queen of Heaven in one form or another. She has succeeded much too much in spreading her power to keep people from the gospel, perhaps more than any other principality of darkness."
"As we prayed for the Turks, we knew that the power of the Queen of Heaven had to be broken in order for the gospel to spread in Turkey. Doris sensed this very strongly when we prayed near the altar of Diana. The evil power is still there, and it is very strong."
"Mary is a skillful adaptive deception of the Queen of Heaven. Since Diana became worthless after the spiritual warfare of Paul and John, the Queen of Heaven needed another disguise. When I suggested this to Hector Torres after returning from Turkey, he said, "Of course. Don't you realize how many pictures and idols of the Virgin Mary in Latin America have her connected to the crescent moon, the symbol of the moon goddess?" This was news to me, but as soon as I looked, there it was! In fact, one of the frequent titles given by Catholics to Mary is "Queen of Heaven."
Wagner states: ""¦ I have a hypothesis (and only that at the moment) that the Queen of Heaven is the demonic principality to whom Satan has delegated the primary responsibility of implementing his purpose to blind the minds of unbelievers to the gospel (see 2 Cor. 4:3-4). If this hypothesis is correct, Operation Queen's Palace can be considered the culmination of the prayers of the AD2000 United Prayer Track and the Spiritual Warfare Network throughout the decade of the 1990s with the singular objective of "A church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000." If we are successful, this could be the most significant action ever taken to push back the forces of darkness so that the light of the gospel penetrates into the hearts of unbelievers previously blinded to the love of Jesus Christ." (http://www.etpv.org/1998/opqueen.html (excerpts: Accessed Nov.2010)
According to Peter Wagner, Diana was replaced by Mary and this Demonic Queen has prevented the gospel all over the world. Those also involved with his Spiritual Warfare Network around the world traced spiritual hindrances directly to the Queen of Heaven. So in their eyes, if they succeed in their spirit venture to destroy her, it would be a tremendous victory.Ã‚Â It can change the way things are in the world.
This is their world of spiritual warfare. From their spiritual warfare headquarters, the World Prayer Center located in Colorado, a team has the mission to seek and destroy the Queen of heaven to free those in the 10/40 window. As we will see, what was good enough for the apostles is NOT good enough for the "new apostles." In fact, none of the apostles in the Bible ever participated in spiritual warfare in the way Wagner’s apostles and trainees practice it.
Let’s examine the story in portions as told by Ana contained in a MEMORANDUM To: International Spiritual Warfare Network members
International Spiritual Warfare Network
C. Peter Wagner, Coordinator
PO Box 63060 Colorado Springs CO 80962-3060 USA http://www.etpv.org/1998/opqueen.html
OPERATION QUEEN'S PALACE (Also known as "LOVE TURKEY") C. Peter Wagner
A Proposal for a Major International Prayer Journey and Prophetic Act
Date: September 20-30, 1999
Sponsor: International Spiritual Warfare Network
Purpose: To pray the blessing of God on the people of Turkey and other nations of the 10/40 Window and beyond through prophetic intercession at the home base of the Queen of Heaven
In: Addendum No. 1: The Role of Operation Ice Castle
"Ana Mendez established an AD2000 Prayer Tower in Mexico City some time ago in order to mobilize powerful prayer targeted on the 10/40 Window. While in prayer in her tower, the Holy Spirit clearly showed her that a principal stronghold over the 10/40 Window was located on Mt. Everest in Nepal, and that she was to lead a team of intercessors in a frontal attack on this power of darkness, who was none other than the Queen of Heaven. Before finally deciding to go, she sought the agreement of Rony Chavez, Harold Caballeros, Cindy Jacobs, George Otis, Jr., Fred Markert, Chuck Pierce, Doris Wagner, me, and others."
[It is important to remember the people involved and those endorsing this mission. Wagner mentions 26 intercessors in all went to Nepal (p.36 "Confronting the Queen of Heaven" P. Wagner), hisÃ‚Â letter below we count 29.
Wagner: "For three weeks at the end of September 1997, what we called "Operation Ice Castle" was underway. Ana, her husband, and Rony Chavez led a team of 11 who operated out of the base camp at the foot of Mt. Everest at 18,000 feet. Doris Wagner led a team of 8 English speakers operating out of the Everest View Hotel at 13,000 feet, and a third team of 5 Spanish speakers from Mexico and Colombia, led by Silvia Valenzuela, were there also. Doris provided the necessary bilingual bridge."
We see no indication Ana’s husband went on this climbing expedition on the DVD. Doris stayed at the hotel withÃ‚Â the others for three weeks, estimated to cost $170-$270 per night (today’s rates). On the Elijah list website, Doris Wagner on Rebecca Greenwood’s book "Authority to Tread" writes: "I have served alongside Becca in the trenches on a prayer journey to Nepal just short of the foot of Mount Everest in 1997" (Accessed Nov.15, 2010) http://www.elijahlist.com/words/textonly.html?ID=6778
http://www.hoteleverestview.com/hev.html - here is a picture of the hotel with Mt. Everest numerous miles away in the distance. It is estimated 25 miles in a straight line, it is much further on the winding road. I don’t think one can consider being 25 miles away the foot of Everest. But more importantly, why go there to pray if you are this far away?
From the Everest view hotel it normally takes approximately 2 weeks to hike to the base camp, people take their time to acclimatize. At 9,000 ft. The oxygen level is 71%. At Base Camp at approximately 17,000 ft. the oxygen level is at 51%. The Hotel is at 13,000 ft. the oxygen level be approximately 60%. You would have to be in good shape just to stay in the hotel.
On the DVD we see them arrive at Kathmandu Sept. 3 1997. Six people are brought to Lukla, a small sherpa village at 7,000 ft. elevation. Ana states, hiking through the mountains and valleys lasted 7 days, 8-10 hrs. a day (with extreme exhaustion). The base camp being 2 miles further up the mountain.
Map of Mount Everest
This site shows the geography of the climb from the base camp (i.e. the Khumbu Ice falls)
Discovery channel coverage: http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/everestbeyond/game/gameplay/
To understand what it takes to hike Everest we had to look at those who climbed Everest mountain and rely on their experience.Ã‚Â Knowing these details helps clarify the accuracy of what is actually taking place in the DVD account.
"From beginning to end, your Mount Everest adventure will probably run about 68 days. Seven weeks of that (approximately) will be spent on the mountain itself, but only 21 days or so will be spent actively climbing. The rest will be days spent acclimatizing, resting, waiting out bad weather, building up your energy, and resting some more." (Source: http://outdoors.whatitcosts.com/mt-everest-pg3.htm)
They recommend a week to trek in from Kathmandu"”allowing your body to acclimatize to the altitude. It takes time to acclimate, if you do not acclimate correctly, you can get very sick or die. It’s critical to acclimatize properly to maintain health and fitness and avoid altitude problems. You gradually hike up so your bodies can get used to the air pressure.
We are told Ana and her team spent 3 weeks to go up and down the mountain. It usually takes one to three weeks to establish the climb to the base camp because supplies must be carried up the mountain in several separate trips. You stay at the base camp for weeks to acclimate. The climb of Everest mountain begins from the base camp.
It is a repeated process especially for novices. It takes 30 days to make an ascent /decent starting at base camp. Going down to sea level takes time, and it can be just dangerous. If you fail to allow time for acclimatization, you may develop symptoms of AMS Acute Mountain Sickness). Which can go away with a day's rest, if ignored it may lead to death.
Preparation to Climb Everest
Climbers prepared to take on Everest should have completed at least a
week long training course and have completed a series of high altitude climbs. All climbers are required to have past high-altitude mountaineering experience. They recommend a minimum of two to three years of regular practice climbs in high alpine terrain, including steep faces, rough rocks, night climbs, ice falls and snow climbs. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack. In addition, members should be able to ascend and descend fixed lines independently and be proficient with cramponing on steep ice/snow slopes.
Though the air is very cold one can become very hot, as the body does not adapt to the environment, air masks are required, you are to drink lots of water. You need to drink boiling water to avoid infections. Numerous oxygen bottles are required to be refilled (To survive on the mountain, you need an open or closed - circuit oxygen system) You are to test all your gear in cold, severe conditions before you pack it. As we can see this is no ordinary climb and is dangerous from start to finish even if you do not going to summit. Read more:
In her DVD Ana says "not one of us were a mountain climber, that meant we had to go through intensive training" climbing 13 mountain peaks in Mexico and Peru (the date July 25 1997, is on the screen, one and a half months before Everest. It shows a quick video of one person climbing) Ana says, "God allowed us to go through an extraordinary experience in the heights of Peru - in a spiritual battle it unleashed 11 avalanches around us."
Training climbs suggested for an Everest expedition are Cuzco Andes, Peru 20,945 ft. Huascaran Andes Peru 22,205 ft. They recommend Aconcagua in Argentina at 22,834 (Andes) or Denali in Cho Oyu in Nepal at 26,906 which are considered easier mountains that would help you condition your body to the demands of Mount Everest.
Practice climbing elsewhere is totally different, a amateur climber with short training cannot attempt to climb Mt. Everest. Everest climbers will tell you, no other mountain range will train you for what you will face climbing on Everest. Mt. Everest is the most challenging mountain on earth to climb, its elevation is 29,035 feet (a bit less in 1997). To go on a expedition a comprehensive medical insurance policy is required. A comprehensive medical exam and a physician signed Medical Release Form is required.
Ana who is still inexperienced leads a team of 11 novices with her short training on the most dangerous Mountain in the world. There’s no way you can even think about climbing Mount Everest if you’re not already a seasoned high altitude climber. Many commercial guide companies actually require that you either take their specialized high altitude, pre-Everest training course, or sign on for another of their 8,000-meter guided climbs.
Ana on her DVD speaks of the summit in Mexico as 10,000 ft. less and Peru 5,000 ft less than Everest, stating "at this altitude there is no oxygen. We had to climb with oxygen tanks especially made for high altitude" (this is not accurate, certain people have climbed Everest with no oxygen tanks). But this does matter, since they did not attempt to summit .
Costs to climb Everest
The cost to climb Mt. Everest vary; Ball park figures are $65,000 to $100,000. Climbing on Everest is very strictly regulated by both the Nepalese and Chinese governments. Permits cost thousands of U.S. dollars ($50,000 or more for a seven member party in 1996), and are difficult to obtain, a waiting lists extends for years. Today it costs, $20,000.00 deposit each and $45,000 balance which is non-refundable. All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified.
Airfare ranges from $1,700 to $5,200 "“ Round trip per person: Los Angeles (LAX) to Kathmandu.
Equipment and Clothing: ranges from $8,000 to $15,000 per person. The equipment needed to reach base camp and climb the mountain: cooking gear, fuel, stoves, ropes, all forms of rock and ice protection, radio communications, medical supplies, numerous oxygen tanks (High quality oxygen and oxygen canisters are essential to the success and safety of climbers. There are absolutely necessary to summit) cost is in the thousands of dollars, for an expedition it can go as high as 25,000.
Continue to Part 2Ã‚Â - The Climb Up to Base Camp and Beyond