John and Carol Arnott are the Founding Pastors and Presidents Catch the Fire (formerly known as the Toronto Airport...
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”
2 Corinthians 4: 27
This “foolish thing” was born, trying to come feet first, in an upstairs bedroom in our white clap-board house in a small town in Canada. Little did I know what God had in mind for me. My dad worked on the railway, and I like to say that I’m a railway man’s daughter who loves her papa.
Every Sunday we attended the Lutheran church. I knew about God but didn’t know that He really loved me. The “thou shall nots” seemed to be much more prominent than the message of the God of love. As a little girl, I felt that I could never do everything right and that God was going to punish me for not measuring up to His standards. I can remember pushing God away because I couldn’t be good enough to please Him.
We moved a couple of times and ended up living in Stratford, Ontario. There I married my high school sweetheart and thought we would live happily ever after. All I wanted was to love and be loved. We got married and had two adorable little boys. Then one day, I was told the marriage was over. My life fell apart.
But my heavenly Father was watching over me. One evening as I was brushing my teeth I heard an audible voice. The voice stopped and started about five times and finally I cried out, “All right, I’ll listen!”
Then the voice started again but this time repeated the 23rd Psalm from the beginning to the end. Half way through, I realized that it was Jesus and that He loved me in all my sin. I fell in love with Jesus that wonderful day as I was born again. There was such joy poured over me and at the same time an incredible peace that flooded my soul. I had known about Him in my head but not in my heart. Now I knew Him in my heart. What a difference eighteen inches makes! I was transformed by HIS LOVE in that moment of time, never to be the same again.
Loving, being loved and bearing much fruit were the Father’s promise to me. So it wasn’t too long until He brought a tall, dark, handsome man into my life. We got married and lived very happily ever after.
Years ago, John had trained for the ministry, but that never happened. Now God was stirring his heart again to fulfill the calling on his life. We went back to my hometown and began a church. I used to cry and say, “How can I be a pastor’s wife? I can’t sing or play the piano.”
John would make me speak on Mother’s Day. It would take me months to find something in the Bible to say, and it would take me days to put a message together; and then I was so very nervous and afraid when I got up to speak.
The first time Marc DuPont spoke at our church, he gave me a prophetic word that I would be speaking before hundreds and hundreds of pastors and leaders and also before thousands and thousands of people. I just laughed out loud and thought, “Some prophet you are – it takes me months to prepare to speak on Mother’s Day. I’m far too nervous and afraid to speak to that many people. You have really missed it on this prophetic word.” (I’ve since gone back and apologized to Marc.)
While doing the first church in Stratford, John heard God’s call to start a church in Toronto which began in his mother’s house. We pastored both churches for five years.
Then in the summer of 1992, we went to a Benny Hinn meeting in Toronto and saw many people healed and about 1000 give their hearts to Jesus. Benny invited us backstage after the meeting, and I got blasted by the Holy Spirit and had to be carried home and put to bed, all the while be- ing electrified by the presence of the Holy Spirit. That event was the beginning of a major change in my life.
For one and a half years we gave our mornings to the Lord. We worshipped, read the Bible and prayed and FELL BACK IN LOVE WITH JESUS just for us and not for ministry. We had heard that there was revival in Argentina. In November 1993, we used all our savings and our daughter gave us $500.00, and we put the rest on the credit card. Off we went to see what revival really looked like.
Once we were in Argentina, we visited a maximum security prison. As we were walking to the auditorium, we heard over 800 prisoners singing at the top of their lungs in Spanish, “I’m free, I’m free in Jesus.”
The trip culminated with Claudio Friedzon praying for us. I was totally overcome with laughter in the presence of the Lord. Again, I was so filled with His love and presence that I had to be helped to our room. Coming home on the plane, I lead two people to Jesus which had never happened before.
We were really excited and encouraged. We had heard that Randy Clark had been on the same quest for more of Him.
God has given a very effective and fruitful ministry to someone who thought she had no abilities or talents.
A pastor was telling us that Randy had a meeting which ended with the Holy Spirit coming in power. So John asked Randy to come on Jan 20, 1994. The Holy Spirit came in such power that none of us would ever be the same again. That began nightly meetings for 12 years.
At the beginning of the revival, many prophetic people would tell me that the Lord was going to teach me how to be a little girl with a very big Dad and to have fun in the anointing. One of the things that we quickly learned was that the Holy Spirit released so much joy and laughter. For the first time in my life, I was having fun in church.
This wonderful revival has changed me in many ways. I’m not the same person. I’m doing things I’d never dreamed I would be doing.
I now travel around the world speaking to thousands and thousands and just love to minister especially to pastors and leaders. It is amazing to me how he uses me to help burned out pastors and leaders have a breakthrough.
Is. 61:1 has surely been true in my life because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Lives are changed as people are set free and many broken hearts have been healed. God has given a very effective and fruitful ministry to someone who thought she had no abilities or talents.
John says that I have become a lion in the Kingdom but it is because of the Holy Spirit. I know only too well if the Holy Spirit ever lifted his hand off me, I would go back to that frightened person I used to be. The anointing of God has made room for this “foolish thing.”
This archived article was written by Carol Arnott for release in May, 2009. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.