Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America early last year, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ has been a major challenge for everyone. It has proven even more difficult on ministers, pastors and churches in Canada, which implemented some of the more stringent worship service restrictions on the continent.
But for Sandra Benaglia Smith and her husband, Todd, "the Word does not stop just because Canada is locked down." As the co-founders of Fresh Fire Apostolic Ministries in Ontario, Canada, the couple, while totally complying with government protocol, is using every means necessary to bring the gospel to the Canadian people and to the world via the internet.
The two co-host the Fresh Fire Podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network, helping listeners encounter a fresh wind of God's fire every day. The podcast will help listeners increase their faith through powerful and kingdom anointed teachings.
Since the lockdown began in 2020, churches in Canada have faced multiple run-ins with the police, and one pastor in Alberta spent a month in jail for repeated refusals to comply. Many churches in America have been back at full attendance for a few months.
"Ours is a full-time ministry, and it's a 24/7 call of God," Sandra told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "When people need you, you are there.
"We've been on complete lockdown, but we've just heard from the province of Ontario in the last couple of days that we're going to be opening up partially on June 16," she says. "So the churches have really, really suffered. We're only allowed 10 people in a facility, so we've been using social media platforms to get the message out. We've still been open every Sunday for those who want to come, but we've been very careful. We are still full-bore ministering, and we do deliverance sessions. Throughout the week, we do private counseling even through Zoom social media."
Todd Smith says despite the pandemic, the enemy hasn't been able to stifle God's kingdom in Canada.
"What the enemy has tried to do to close the churches isn't working," Todd says, "because Facebook is alive and well, and social media is letting us get out there to the people."
The Smiths have used Zoom to do group intercession, and they have conducted "encounters" through social media.
"We just keep going," Sandra says. "I just find that the need for healing and deliverance has increased far more than we can ever see right now because people are so far under oppression and depression. We need Jesus; we need God. So we will use whatever avenue we have to continue the work of the ministry.
For more of this compelling interview, listen to the entire podcast here, and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one. And don't forget to tune into the Fresh Fire Podcast with Todd and Sandra Benaglia Smith on the Charisma Podcast network.
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