I wonder how my life would be different today had it not been for what God has done for me through the outpouring in Toronto. Today I e-mailed a thank you note to my friend, Joanne Stockhowe, who helped to change my life with a postage stamp. I still remember the words of her letter to us exactly nine years ago this August.
“You need to go to Toronto. People from all over the world are lining up outside the door of this little church in a shopping center. There are no stars on the platform, only nameless faces. Everyone is there just hungry for God. There are some unusual manifestations, but ...”
What would have happened if we hadn’t listened to Joanne? Two months after receiving her letter, we crawled to Toronto with what then seemed to be our last gasp. I remember how awful it was to feel like we had been buried in our circumstances and that there was no way out. God seemed so far away.
And then I remember the moment Guy Chevreau laid hands on us for the first time in Toronto.
“What are your names?” Guy asked.
I remember mumbling: “We’re the Fishes. And we’re really dry.”
“Well, then,” Guy prayed, “let the River flow.”
What he didn’t know then was that for more than eighteen years, one prophecy after another had declared that one day we would see a River and something called, “The Blessing.”
Originally Published May/April 2003 Editor Melinda Fish
It was the beginning of a flood of God’s blessings that has kept coming for ten years now. Our church, once dead, is now alive again and still soaking in the River of His Presence. The lives that He touched ten years ago are still bearing fruit today. Our circle of friends has widened to include people on every continent who have one thing in common: loving the presence of Jesus.
The Lord has touched both of our children, too. Sarah, now our assistant, is married to Sean Colligan, the top son- in-law in the world, a Canadian whom we all met through Toronto. Our son, Bill, is on staff at TACF, helping to carry the blessing to other nations. Bill and I who rarely traveled before 1994 are Platinum frequent fliers on Continental Airlines because the River keeps carrying us around the world to bring refreshing to people who are dry like we were ten years ago. And now we have a baby grandson who wouldn’t even exist had it not been for my faithful friend, Joanne Stockhowe, who in 1994 took our names from her Christmas card list, wrote us a letter and “wasted” a stamp.
So now it is my privilege to introduce this, our Catch the Fire 10th Anniversary issue. As we “waste” a little postage on you this month, may your life be changed as mine has been. John Arnott’s article goes to the heart of the main purpose of what He calls “The Father’s Blessing.” Mike Bickle’s article about intimacy with the Bridegroom places the outpouring in an end-time prophetic context. Guy Chevreau, whose teaching drew so many of us into the River in 1994, describes what it’s like to see revival first hand. Perhaps the icing on the cake will be the testimonies of people like Kumiko Obara Okuyama of Tokyo, Japan who shares what has happened to her and her husband as a result of 65 trips to Toronto.
Join us in celebrating the renewed relationships we all have with God the Father, Jesus our Bridegroom and the intimate love of the Holy Spirit as a result of what He has done through a little church once located next to the airport runway in Toronto, Canada. May the Holy Spirit blow on the candles of our anniversary cake, fan the flames of our love for Jesus, and may you catch the fire again.