Monday, March 12, 2007

Reawakening - Sailor

Squeals and hugs permeate the atmosphere as friends old and new greet each other in the foyer of the Travelodge in Saskatoon. Many of us had prayed and wept together when the Lord met us in revival in 1971; now we are here to celebrate the grace of God in our lives over so many years as we gather for the 35th Anniversary Conference of Canadian Revival Fellowship.

Many like ourselves had been called to give up our secular positions and follow the Lord wherever He would lead. Now, 35 years later we weep, laugh and hug as we exchange news of God’s faithfulness to us and those to whom we were sent. Some are now single again as their beloved ones have been promoted to glory. We feel a sense of kinship...of family. We catch a glimpse of what awaits us in eternity as we share, reminisce and worship together..
We draw near the throne as Wilf and Sharon Gaertner lead us in songs of praise and worship. We lift His name on high with joy and thanksgiving...and yes, with tears running freely.
Over the weekend others (younger than we) share their gifts of music–Bert and Liz Genaille, Brenda Geneau, and Ron and Sandy Noble.

Reverend Bill McLeod had prayed for revival for many years; God honored the cry of his heart when revival began in his church in Saskatoon in l971. Despite his 88 years, Bill ministered powerfully and challenged us in our faith.

Platform leaders, Lou and Ralph Sutera, the human catalysts for the 1971 revival, have now ministered for more than 50 years, impacting churches and people in North America, Europe and Africa.

Some folk shared in workshops–others spoke of God’s faithfulness over the years. Three young children, ages 13, 12 and 10, were among those who gave testimony. They had surrendered their lives to Christ in the Nipawin meetings two years earlier, and blessed the entire conference as they shared their desire to follow Him.

Henry Teichrob described the working of God in Regina in the 70s. He was a vice-principal when God called him to join the Sutera Twins ministry. He and his wife Freda traveled with Lou and Ralph for the next three years. He shared how the Revival Fellowship News was born out of hundreds of enquiries from people hungry for revival.

Reverend Kirk Bartha ministered to the youth of Saskatoon, Dorie Van Stone (the girl nobody loved) shared with us her incredible story of redemption, and ventriloquist Harold Field used his considerable skills to share Jesus with the children during the entire conference.

Keynote speaker Dr. Henry Blackaby was pastoring a church in Saskatoon in 1971 when God met him in revival. Since that time he has published a plethora of spiritually enriching messages as well as the well-known Experiencing God. His messages challenged us to listen for the voice of God, go at His command, and represent Him at every opportunity He brings across our path..
We listened in awe as Ralph Sutera interviewed Dr. Blackaby and encouraged him to share excerpts from his journey of faith. God’s path for him has included ministering to the president in the Whitehouse, to the United Nations, to heads of state, to leaders in Africa and around the world. His four sons have also given their lives to serve Christ and are in active ministries in North America and overseas.

Reverend John McGregor, Executive Director of Canadian Revival Fellowship, reminded us that in the past year alone, revival teams have ministered in 27 countries and 300 churches in North America. The hunger for God continues. Let us pray and wait on the Lord as requests are coming in for a conference in Regina in 2008.

The reawakening conference concluded with an evening of testimonies and a powerful revival challenge by Reverend Lou Sutera. An Afterglow with sharing, praying and worshipping continued until midnight.

As we ponder what would be if God had not sent His gift of revival, we are reminded that the government is on His shoulders, and that peace and safety can only reign where we have given control of our lives back to the God who made us.
Ella Sailor

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