Declaring God’s Goodness in ‘Ontario’s Darkest Places’

By   •   October 6, 2019

More than 2,000 people from all over the Quinte Region traveled to Belleville, Ontario, for Saturday's Quinte Celebration of Hope with Will Graham. Many brought friends who needed to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. The three-day Celebration concludes Sunday.

There’s a war happening in eastern Ontario, Canada.

But instead of raging gunfire, there’s a stillness in the air from a much stronger force: prayer.

For years, Wendy Anderson has been in a spiritual battle against the devil for the entire Quinte Region. As an intercessor, she’s fighting Satan with passionate and ongoing cries to God.

“I just want to blow up the lies from the enemy and keep declaring God’s goodness in the darkest places,” she explained.

The mother of two, Anderson believes Will Graham was invited to her city for a reason. The grandson of Billy Graham and son of Franklin Graham is sharing the Gospel at this weekend’s Quinte Celebration of Hope in Belleville, Ontario.

>> See photos from the Quinte Celebration of Hope. 

Saturday, Will Graham told more than 2,000 people at the CAA Arena Who wants to change their lives for the better. Nearly 2,900 others from 46 countries watched via livestream.

“Jesus wants to come into your life tonight, but you have to be willing to come to Him,” Graham said.

Warning the crowd to resist Satan’s temptations, he continued, “You get that high, that buzz, then it’s gone. And your life’s miserable.”

And the predicament gets worse. If a person doesn’t repent of their sins, there’s no turning back, Graham said.

“Hell is a very real place. Once you close your eyes [in death], your decision is made permanent.”

Will Graham preached on the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. “He remembered how good home was,” Graham said. “He started to realize how bad a person he had really become.” Nevertheless, his father welcomed him home. “God’s arms are open wide and He’s running to you. He’s been waiting for you to come home.”

For the more than 130 people who made decisions for Christ Saturday night, their eternity is sealed in heaven.

Twelve-year-old James* felt a burden lift after surrendering his life to God. His father recently passed away and he misses him terribly. He also struggles with a lung condition.

Andrew Doxtator, a prayer counselor, listened to the pre-teen’s story and his heart went out to him.

“It’s not going to be a lonely struggle. You’re filled with the Holy Spirit and you never have to be alone,” Andrew assured James of his heavenly Father.

“I wanted him to feel like he has a place he belongs,” Andrew explained. The 18-year-old told James about an app that reads Scriptures aloud—something to bring him peace before he goes to sleep.

Wendy Anderson is the Celebration’s prayer co-leader. She’s traveled to churches all over the Quinte Region, leading monthly prayer events. Anderson is encouraged that pastors from various denominations have gathered together to win souls for Christ. “I really believe there has to be unity,” she said. It’s important to see pastors “really love each other and be unified in purpose.”

Before James left, Andrew prayed and thanked God for opening his heart, another victory on the battle line.

Prayer is what believers around the Quinte Region have been doing 24/7, asking God to change lives. Tomorrow marks the final and 100th day of the initiative. Talk about a powerful defense against the devil. Even at 3 a.m., while most were sleeping, someone has been praying for a spiritual breakthrough.

As founder of the Belleville House of Prayer, Anderson thinks it’s no coincidence that the Belle HOP sits beside a methadone clinic. Several times a week, two dozen people faithfully cry out to God for the residents of Belleville and surrounding communities.

“Downtown used to be booming,” she said, “but now there’s a spirit of poverty, hopelessness and addiction.” In addition to drugs, some residents practice witchcraft, temptations which are not of God.

“Satan’s going to tell you that there’s a better life out there and you’re missing it,” Will Graham continued at the Celebration. “Satan is a deceiver. He’s going to lie to you.”

The city of Belleville experienced revival in 1998 and held a major outreach in 2010, but the momentum didn’t last. There’s been a long stretch of dark in between the light.

This time around, though, Anderson’s hopeful for a lasting impact for Christ. And a victory over the spiritual war.

“I never want the enemy to come back to this city,” she said. “It’s been a difficult battle, but I feel like God’s light shines brighter in the darkest places.”

*name changed for privacy

Please pray for the Quinte Celebration and also Will Graham’s upcoming Canadian outreach in Baker Lake, Nunavut, October 26-27.

Are you in spiritual darkness? Find hope here.

The weekend event started with KidzFest on Friday night. There were bouncy castles, games, a climbing wall and more, preceded by a Gospel message from Will Graham.