Anglican Renewal Ministries

Lessons Argentina taught me (A story of revival)
By Laurie-Ann Zachar Copple

March 2003

One of the ways that God has been speaking to me is through the beauty of nature. He has done so through Canada, but lately it has been through the scenery, people and history of Argentina. I was greatly attracted to Iguazu Falls through the 1985 movie The Mission; which was about the Jesuit missions in north-east Argentina, eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil. Since waterfalls are a symbol of the Holy Spirit's outpouring, I was 'doubly-drawn' and decided to actually go to this diverse country that God has been blessing with revival for many years. The province of Missiones is a blessed place and the land rich and plentiful. It is here that many Guarani came to the Lord in those original missions.

Argentina is also a land of mountain, desert, glaciers, and wide plains that support either cattle or lamb. One of these deserts is Patagonia, the land where only sheep can graze. The wind is intense and the plains are bare… it is a place where you feel utterly alone. Our own deserts are also lonely places; yet in our lives they are essential for our growth. They bring us to the end of ourselves. They are places where God woos us in a more subtle way than the waterfalls; and He works in our hearts to want more of Him.

Argentina had a long desert in their history. This was always a somewhat troubled nation politically, but when Juan Peron came back to Argentina with his third wife Isabel in 1973, this intensified. Peron died shortly after an election and Isabel led the people. Unfortunately people around her brought in strong occultization into the country, and gave her bad advice. In time, the "Dirty War" began - the military and police kidnapped many Christians, students and 'free-thinkers' and tortured them. Many were killed and simply 'disappeared.' When this horrible time had broken the people down, the president declared was on Britain and that the Falklands/Malvinas islands belonged to Argentina. This started the Falklands war, which rallied the people towards their government, but they were humiliated in defeat.(1)

At this time, the very proud Argentine people were crushed beyond hope - their economy had failed, the government had failed, the war had failed and many were bankrupt spiritually. It was at this time that many cried out to God en masse. Like most revivals, God must be invited (whether the people 'bottom-out' or not). In 1983, the first waves of the Argentine revival began with Carlos Annacondia, a businessman turned evangelist. Many other waves followed, with the learning of 'city taking' strategies, unity among the evangelical churches and many, many conversions. This revival has continued for many years in the evangelical church (and has yet to touch the Catholics).

Now what was the key to that revival?: Was it in asking God? Was it in 'bottoming out?' Was it humility - that of realizing that we really need God? While all three are factors, I believe that humility is essential. Without humility, we don't even know to ask.

Many of you readers have watched the Sentinel video Transformations II. When it premiered in Ottawa, we were encouraged by what God has done in Uganda, past revivals and most especially what is happening in the Canadian Arctic. While life is still difficult in the frozen north, Jesus has become central in government, parish life, and family life. St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Pond Inlet is strongly featured in this film, and this is a parish that continues its outreach and receiving from the Lord. A team of four adults and a child came to Ottawa diocese in October 2002 to minister out of what they had received. The most common question was, "what is the key to revival?" To this, Rev. Joshua Arreak said, "We asked Him to come." (2)

Yet do we really know to ask? Do we just lope along and don't realize our need for God? A number of intercessors in Ottawa cried and prayed after seeing the film … they knew of Canada's urgent need for God… Yet when my husband Tony approached another attendee about how revival could happen in Ottawa and beyond, the response was "Are we really that needy?" I would say YES! We've become the church of Laodicea! "You say, I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing." But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked [Rev. 3:17]." We need to realize our need, and ask. Intercessors, we need to pray that we encounter the Lord in this desert.

Now there is hope, for our Lord is in control. Marc Dupont was given a prophecy in June 2001 of another coming revival, different than what is at TACF. And like the vision of Niagara Falls that he was given before the Toronto Blessing, he was impacted by Ottawa's three rivers and Rideau Falls.(3) Intercessors, we are to pray in revival. It will happen, but we must realize our need… break down the barriers and pray with each other. Its time to keep our focus on the Lord. No matter what shaking and refining is to come, there will be a blessing coming to us… and it's for us to SHARE...

  1. Ed Silvoso, in C. Peter Wagner & Pablo Deiros, The Rising Revival: Firsthand Accounts of the Incredible Argentine Revival - and how it can spread throughout the world, (Renew, Venture CA, 1998)
  2. Rev. Joshua Arreak answered this question in one of the meetings in Ottawa diocese, October, 2002.
  3. Marc Dupont gave this prophecy while at a City Church prophetic conference in Ottawa, Ontario, June 2001.

Laurie-Ann Zachar Copple has an MDiv from Tyndale Seminary, and attends St. Paul's Kanata ON. She works as secretary in the ARM national office.

This article was published in Anglicans for Renewal, Canada magazine, Spring 2003 issue.

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