It's a New Day
It is with mixed emotions that I write the last article for our Spread the Fire Magazine, paper edition.
For fifteen years we have endeavored to bring revival news and updates to the hundreds of thousands that have been touched by the River of the Holy Spirit that has been flowing powerfully and faithfully from Toronto. Now we are transitioning, as traditional ways give way to technology. Spread the Fire will take on a new form now of monthly updates and articles through a totally new internet friendly format. I hope you will enjoy it; I know it will continue to bless you and serve the revival.
I would like to thank the faithful staff that made SPREAD THE FIRE MAGAZINE the success it was, including Melinda Fish, Kathryn Fenney and Amanda Humphrey. I would also like to thank Dinah Doucet who was our first editor, Bill van Caulart, Richard Fox, Connie Janzen as well as Russell Smith and his team who contributed many hours of work and expertise to make the magazine possible.
In reflection, we have so very much to be thankful for.
I am thankful for the preparation that Carol and I have had. For three years of Bible college, for our call into ministry following a mission to Indonesia. I am thankful to all our friends at Jubilee Christian Fellowship in Stratford who were so faithful, as we practiced on them and learned to be pastors and leaders. We are thankful to the Vineyard Movement that through John Wimber’s leadership, taught us the importance of contemporary worship and cell group ministry, along with power evangelism and healing. We are thankful to our friend Benny Hinn for many meetings and especially his meeting in Toronto in the summer of 1992 that changed the direction of our lives.
Carol and I were very familiar with the Gospel, and with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, yet throughout the ‘80’s we gleaned revelation from Jack Winter, Mark Virkler and John Sandford. The life giving importance of their ministry focuses changed us from the inside out. “A Revelation of the Father’s Heart”, “Hearing God’s Voice” and “Inner Healing and Freedom” respectively are values, which we now know as our F.I.R.E. values. These were life changing and positioned us for what God was about to bring.
By the time we got to Benny Hinn’s meeting in the summer of 1992, we were once again longing for the power and manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.
There we saw the lame walk, the blind see and the deaf hear. We witnessed about 1,000 people come forward and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. We were both powerfully touched – Carol got ‘blasted’ so that she could barely walk to the car. It fanned our hunger. We cried out, “Lord, we must have more of You!”
He gave me two things to do: spend time with other leaders who were anointed to catch vision and impartation and give our mornings to Him in prayer and meditation. It was easier said than done, but we prioritized it. Weeks and months along the way, it became our absolute joy. We had fallen back in love with Jesus. We had found again our first love.
By summer of 1993, we were in a very good place spiritually. Marc Dupont prophesied that a mighty outpouring was coming. Then Stacey Campbell and later Larry Randolph brought prophetic words equally as strong. We were encouraged, excited even, yet felt helpless to make anything happen. Providentially, we went to Argentina in November of 1993. We witnessed wonderful revival there in many churches and even a maximum security prison. Then when Claudio Freidzon prayed for us, we received a heavenly download of faith along with the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. Carol was ‘blasted’ again.
Something definitely was up – but what?
On returning home with renewed revival expectations, we heard that Randy Clark, who we new casually, had experienced a powerful touch of the Holy Spirit. We immediately invited him to come to Toronto. His earliest dates were January 20 – 23, 1994. It was a day that would go down in history. Randy gave his testimony, telling how the Holy Spirit had taken him from deep discouragement and replaced his hunger with fire. When he invited our little Thursday night group to receive more, heaven opened and glory came down.
We were all changed that night. Revival was not only happening in Argentina thousands of miles away, but it was in our midst, powerful and almost frightening. Well-known friends and congregants were melted down with floods of tears mixed with overwhelming joy. People were under the power of God for hours, unable to move. Many got up healed, seriously changed and deeply in love with Jesus. I knew instantly that this was what I could give the rest of my life to. My only fear was would it last?
But last it did, for days, weeks, months and then years. And here we are today, over 15 years later, and the revival continues, and the River still flows. We are now clearly in.