The Apostolic Faith Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, under the leadership of the District Superintendent of Canada, Reverend Chris Hewlett, was blessed to host the 2023 Toronto special meetings themed “Revive Thy Work, O Lord” from August 23-27. The meetings were graced with the presence of pastors and ministers from our churches across Canada. Over 500 attendees joined physically and virtually for the meetings, and all are grateful to God for the outpouring of His manifold blessings.
The opening service on Wednesday night began with the orchestra playing “Jesu, My Lord.” The choir followed, singing “Thank You for the Cross, Lord” and “I Gave My Life for Thee,” setting the tone for a Spirit-filled service. Brother Chris gave a short welcome, acknowledging the presence of the delegates in attendance and conveying the warm regards of the Board of Directors and congregation at the district headquarters in Roddickton, Newfoundland. Norma Rigor sang “Free at Last” before Brother Chris preached on the topic “Ready for Revival.” He took his Scripture from Psalm 85:6-11 and implored everyone to pray for revival, noting that revival starts from within the church. Additionally, he identified four major requirements to stir up revival in the hearts: obedience, humility, prayerfulness, and diligently waiting upon God.
The Thursday evening service was another time of spiritual blessings, refreshments, and encouragement for all who attended. More ministers from the Apostolic Faith churches from across Canada joined in. The orchestra started the service by playing “How Great Thou Art,” followed by the choir singing “These Are the Days of Elijah.” Then the congregation joined the choir in singing a variety of songs from the church’s hymnal. After the announcements, the choir sang “There Is a Balm in Gilead,” ushering in the testimony session. Pat Hewlett testified to being re-anointed by the Holy Spirit during the altar call at the previous service and the grace given to her and her husband to build a Christian home on the Solid Rock of Christ. Other inspirational testimonies followed, with saints sharing about God’s power to save from one’s life of sin and deliver in times of trials. For the last special, Pearl Akazue sang “He’s the One.” Folusho Oladunni from Edmonton, Alberta, delivered the sermon which he noted was a message of warning. The theme was taken from Isaiah 55:6, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while He is near.” He encouraged everyone to surrender their lives to Christ, noting the significance of seizing the opportunity now since this is the dispensation of grace.
The third service of the special meetings began with the orchestra playing “The Great Physician,” after which the choir sang a medley of timeless songs. There was also a special rendition of “Just a Little Talk with Jesus,” by the men’s choir. Following the testimony service, Randy and Jean Antalan sang “Until Then.” Kirby Hewlett delivered God’s word for the day, preaching on the “Living Water.” Using Isaiah 55:1, he admonished the congregation to approach God with great thirst because the living water is an eternal thirst quencher.
On Saturday, the ministers and their spouses convened at the Apostolic Faith Church in Kitchener, Ontario, for a meeting led by Brother Chris. The group then enjoyed a dinner hosted by the Toronto church at the Mandarin restaurant in Kitchener.
The last day of the special meetings began with a 10:00 a.m. Sunday school service. Edet Ibok from Toronto taught the adult lesson titled “House on the Rock.” The service followed with a presentation by the children and a baby dedication. A violin solo was played by Brother Folusho, after which the choir sang “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying.” Toyin Akindele from Langley, BC, testified of the miracle she and her family experienced upon their arrival for the special meetings in Toronto. God returned their foster son home after he had been declared missing. There were other testimonies about God’s divine power to save, heal, restore, provide, and deliver. Following the testimonies were congregational songs, prayer, and an appreciation message/announcement by the Toronto church pastor, Tobi Shobukola. A quartet sang “Help Me, Lord, to Stand,” before Michael Ivany from the church at Roddickton, Newfoundland, preached. His soul-lifting sermon hinged on Luke 9:13, which tells how Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand with just five loaves and two fishes. He admonished everyone to awaken their spiritual appetite so that they could be fed spiritually, emphasizing that spiritual hunger is triggered by seeking God steadfastly.
The special meetings ended with an evening service at the Apostolic Faith Church in Kitchener, where the saints gathered to listen to music by the choir, inspiring testimonies, and God’s message delivered by Samson Jimaza, the pastor from the Winnipeg church. The revival that followed was another evidence of God’s presence that had been present since the beginning of the special meetings.
During and after the special meetings, workers recorded several testimonies and blessings received by people who attended, and the Canadian saints pray that this will be the beginning of many special meetings to come.