The following article, written by Renewal Ministries’ Country Coordinator Nancy Greenhaw, originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ June 2018 newsletter.
In Ethiopia, Catholics are less than one percent of the population and are very persecuted. Nevertheless, the bishop of Bahir Dar, Bishop Lesanu, gathered nearly one hundred eager college students for our first set of workshops, which will be the focus of this report. Bishop Scott McCaig and Companions of the Cross seminarian Marcus Schonnop, who has finished six years of seminary, joined our team.
It was impressive to see Bishop Scott wear his black long clerics to match Bishop Lesanu, who interpreted for him and also gave teachings. Bishop Scott told them,
“Jesus is still concerned for the poor, saving souls, and healing the sick, but He only has your hands, your feet, and your voice.”
Marcus also riveted the students with his testimony. This young priest-to-be shocked them by saying he had been an atheist! His roommate in college was an informed, serious, and joyful Catholic. During the three years that Marcus tried to prove his friend wrong, Marcus came to know and understand the truth of Jesus and the Catholic Church. He was in Adoration one evening, and after seeking the Lord with his head for all that time, Marcus came to know Jesus in his heart. Marcus challenged the students to be strong witnesses of their faith to all they meet at the university, because like him, many are searching for the truth.
We later realized that Bishop Scott, Marcus, and Lloyd were all converts to the faith and originally the only Catholics in their own families! Now Marcus’ parents are Catholic as well.
One day, Bishop Lesanu and Lloyd taught as a team on apologetics. It was a great mixture; you could witness both men getting more excited to be Catholic as they preached! The students had many questions, and Bishop Scott stepped in to give clear, concise answers that prompted more questions. These young people were hungry for the truth of their faith!
On another day, Bishop Scott talked to the students about the importance of Mass and how we enter into holiness through sacraments and prayer, especially the rosary. He stressed that we will not grow without a personal prayer life. He said the best way to grow in faith is to pray with Scriptures every day.
Marcus then taught on Lectio Divina. He said to ask the Holy Spirit, “What is going on?”—and then we can talk honestly, and Scripture will speak to our hearts. He told a personal story about asking the Lord how to obtain more holiness. The Lord took him to the story of David and Goliath, in which David had five smooth stones. In meditation, God said to Marcus that the five stones were: prayer, sacraments, the rosary, fasting, and community. The kids loved it!
Our next talks were with “One Year for Jesus” missionaries—a group that included seven seminarians. Last year, Bishop Lesanu had only one seminarian! Before my talk on the Five Keys to spiritual freedom, Bishop Scott gave a testimony about how, during his time as an exorcist, he only had to use the ritual of exorcism very rarely, because by taking people through Unbound’s Five Keys, almost everybody was set free. He explained:
It was only in the most severe cases that I had to use the ritual of exorcism. Unbound ministry’s Five Keys are basic biblical principles, and by applying them to people who have been demonized, it is remarkable how powerful they are. I encourage you to really internalize what you’re hearing and learn how to lead someone to faith and how to make a good repentance.
Learn what it means to forgive from the heart and how to teach that to others. Learn what it means to renounce evil by name, to understand your authority that you have received from Jesus to tell demons to go, and to pray blessings into people’s lives—to restore and heal what has been broken and distorted. You will discover, as I have, that it does wonders in people’s lives. It sets them free and gives them tools to set others free. Even when we had to use the ritual of exorcism, all we did was weaken the demon to the point that the person could cooperate with Unbound; then we were able to close the entry points and push the enemy away.
This is not just a tool for ministry or deliverance. This is a way of living out your own life, because we are called by the Lord to live with faith, repent of our sins, forgive our enemies, renounce evil, destroy the works of the enemy and live under the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
I use these principles in my own life very often.
If somebody treats me poorly, attacks me, or says bad words about me, and I feel anger rising up inside of me, I stop and walk through the Five Keys. In faith, I declare,
‘I’m here to work for You, Jesus. I’m here for Your favor, Jesus, not theirs. I repent of the anger and the hatred that’s going through my heart right now.’
‘I forgive this man, and I pray Your blessings upon him. I release him to You. I forgive him with all my heart. I renounce the evil and anger and all of the evil spirits behind it. I renounce the spirit of vengeance and all evil spirits associated with them. I renounce the spirit of self-hatred and all evil spirits associated with it, in the name of Jesus Christ. I command all those spirits that I have renounced to get out of here now.’
‘In Jesus name, I pray for a blessing: “Lord give me the grace to love this person, give me the grace to love my enemy like You command in the Gospel. Help me to be humble, kind, and gentle. Help me to treat them fairly, to be long-suffering, and to win them over with love.’
I cannot recommend the Five Keys strongly enough.
We departed for home feeling that the Lord had been with us throughout our trip, accomplishing His will and plan. I think the Lord is opening doors in Ethiopia!
*For more on the Five Keys, check out the book Unbound»