Tag: Unbound

Experiencing the Lord’s Goodness in Cameroon

Cameroonian lay leaders gathered outside to pray with each other in small groups as a part of their Unbound ministry training.

This article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ November 2019 newsletter.

“Now to Him who by means of His power working in us is able to do more than we can ever ask, or even think—to God be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever!” (Eph 3:20-21)

“God is good—all the time!”

“And all the time—God is very, very good, and that is His nature. Wow!”

This Cameroonian adaptation to an oft-used phrase capsulizes our mission experience. God is very, very good—we all experienced the “Wow!” of the Lord’s goodness and healing power.

The purpose of this mission was to provide Unbound teaching and training for seminarians, priests, sisters, and lay leaders. Unbound is a method of deliverance healing that utilizes the five keys of repentance and faith, forgiveness, renunciation, authority, and the Father’s blessing. We were invited and hosted by Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF, formator and superior of the Claretian seminary in Yaoundé. You can read more about Fr. Jude, and his recent experience of being kidnapped and tortured, here. Remy Takam served as our translator. Remy is on staff with Catholic Christian Outreach in Ottawa, Canada; is involved in the Charismatic Renewal; and is very familiar with Unbound. He was a great addition to our team. We experienced the grace and blessing of the Lord for our entire mission.

Approximately sixty people attended our first training session. The majority were Claretian seminarians, from nine different African countries. Most were somewhat bilingual (French and English), though the majority spoke and understood French better than English. Eight sisters, from two different religious communities, had traveled far to be present. Five or six priests also attended.

Miriam Wright, a Renewal Ministries’ board member, and I alternated teaching the kerygma and the concepts of Unbound, and leading prayer ministry. The people were open and receptive. Miriam confirmed that my teaching and discernment were “spot on,” and I felt the same way about her. I experienced God at work through me as I led “activation ministry”—speaking prophetically of how God was at work in people’s lives. We thank God!

Our second training involved about 125 people, mostly lay Claretians and a few clergy. Though we had a shorter time with them, we again took time to not just teach the concepts, but also to teach how to pray with people through the Five Keys. I was amazed at the testimonies of healing, forgiveness, and newfound freedom. Participants were empowered to go forth using the Unbound method in their own lives and ministry.

Bishop Sosthène Bayemi, the national coordinator and episcopal moderator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Cameroon, joined us for Mass and dinner. He is very pastoral, inspirational, wise, caring, and supportive.

Political Unrest

We heard many stories of the violence and unrest in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon, both from the conference participants and from my missionary friends. It is so sad. There is no doubt that the ministry Unbound provides is both timely and impactful in this situation of war and trauma. There is great need for healing and forgiveness, and of course, of the proclamation of the Gospel, now more than ever.

Fr. Jude seemed very pleased with the fruit of our training. His personal experience of healing and renewal convinced him all the more of the value of Unbound formation.

Reflections from Miriam Wright

We, the team, offered our loaves and fishes and the Lord multiplied the impact. They key question we asked was not “what can we offer” but “what is needed.” The Lord closed the gap.

One memory that will stay with me is of a seminarian who felt he had lost his vocation. He shared a little of the struggle with me during a break. After teaching about the Father’s Blessing, I asked him to come forward to receive a blessing, as a demonstration for the group. The Lord moved powerfully in his heart as he received the blessing. In an email he sent after the event, he said:

“My faith has been restored. I feel the joy of my calling once again, a joy long lost. I must confess that not only did I feel an extra force of grace flowing in me when you prayed with your hands over me, I also was moved to tears when I reviewed the video for the very first time.”

He will be ordained to the diaconate in Rome this June. This one young man’s experience would have justified the whole trip!

Also, I was deeply moved by Fr. Jude’s faith, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit moving through him. He is a mighty man of God! So often we hear about those who are persecuted for the faith, or who suffer the ravages of war, violence, and injustice. When I recall Fr. Jude’s face, and his story, I see the love and mercy of God shining brightly through him. He is a living example of how God turns all things to the good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. God be praised!

In Rwanda, Unbound is one of the vehicles that is now bringing healing after the atrocities of the genocide. My hope and prayer is that Unbound will be one of the tools in Cameroon that will help diffuse the situation and help to turn the tide from anger, violence, and unforgiveness to communication, collaboration, and mercy.

Come Holy Spirit!

Cameroonian Priest Finds Healing After Kidnapping

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF, is pictured at left with Country Coordinator Peter Newburn, translator Remy Takam, and Renewal Ministries’ Board Member Miriam Wright.

This article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ November 2019 newsletter.

By Heather Schultz

When Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF, invited Renewal Ministries’ Country Coordinator Peter Newburn and Board Member Miriam Wright to do Unbound ministry and training in Cameroon, he did not know how their ministry would transform his own life. Unbound is a method of deliverance healing that utilizes the five keys of repentance and faith, forgiveness, renunciation, authority, and the Father’s blessing. Fr. Jude extended the invitation to Renewal Ministries in August of 2018, and that November, he was the victim of a kidnapping, along with two other Claretians and their driver. His story is below.

Discovering Unbound

Fr. Jude met Peter Newburn in 2015, when Peter and his family were serving as missionaries in Cameroon. They became friends, and even saw each other in the US during one of Fr. Jude’s travels. Fr. Jude had been introduced to the book Unbound, and he “read it from cover to cover.” Peter—who Fr. Jude said introduced Unbound to Cameroontold Fr. Jude that Unbound is the method of deliverance used by Renewal Ministries. He also helped Fr. Jude get in contact with the book’s author, Neal Lozano. Through that connection, the Claretians were able to help make a low-cost edition of Unbound available in Cameroon.

“I understood it to be a very great healing process that we could apply in our situation in Cameroon,” said Fr. Jude. “It is important, because the five keys are so easy, clear, and great to follow. Within one week or less, you can be drilled through the Five Keys, which is an effective means for personal healing and has the capacity to help others. Unbound exposed me to my vices, helped me to come out of them, and I thought it would be an effective tool to help others.” Fr. Jude added that his experience with Unbound since his kidnapping is a great testament to its ability to help other people in his country as well.

Political Unrest and Personal Trauma

According to Peter Newburn, “about twenty percent of Cameroon is English-speaking, and for the past two-and-a-half years, there has been an increasing clamoring for independence. Leaders of the insurgence, called the ‘Amba Boys,’ have promoted chaos and instability in hopes of garnering change. The predominately French-speaking government has responded forcefully, at times with indiscriminate violence. Many people have been killed.”

It was in this political climate that Fr. Jude and his companions were kidnapped. At the time, they were travelling to a Claretian parish in an Anglophone area of Cameroon to provide basic food, medication, supplies, and moral support to the parishioners and priest, who were hiding in the bush due to the unrest.

“I was so surprised,” said Fr. Jude. “When they kidnapped us, they said, ‘The Church needs to speak. It has not made a good statement about the Cameroonian president.’ They wanted to speak to the pope. However, since we lived on the other side of Cameroon, they also thought we were government spies.”

Fr. Jude shared the details of his captivity:

“From Nov. 23-29, we were kidnapped. We were tortured. They used very bad words and insults. They thought we were military people. They used machetes to cut our bodies, legs, and beat us. The used the under part of their guns to beat us on every part of our bodies. They made us look at the sun continuously for three hours. They made us go without clothes.

“The first thing I experienced was that, humanly speaking, I was afraid of dying. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re not going to survive.’ I was crying. It was really hard. We said, ‘Oh, God! When Paul and Silas were captured, they prayed, and You rescued them.’

“Any time we wanted to pray, they let us. The more we prayed, the more the days went on, the greater we were tortured. Finally, God heard our prayer, and one day, we were set free.

“There were so many praying for us and looking for us. One day, our captors just took us out and told us, ‘We are going to keep your driver, and you need to go and bring us money.’ They asked us for a ransom for the driver. As priests, our policy is that we don’t pay ransoms. But we got support from friends, because we couldn’t leave the driver there. He was in captivity for two more weeks, and then he was released. They suspected the driver was a military man, so they kept on torturing him until one of them identified him and said that he was not military.”

After their release, Fr. Jude, his fellow Claretians, and the driver were all hospitalized and received psychotherapy to help them recover from the trauma of the kidnapping and torture. They also received letters and emails from Pope Francis, who had been informed of their situation by the Claretian general superior in Rome. The pope “expressed his closeness to us in this situation,” said Fr. Jude, who added that this “feeling of closeness of the pope” was a great help after the kidnapping.

Faith and Healing

Unbound ministry also played a significant role in Fr. Jude’s healing. He believes the fact that the Unbound ministry was scheduled before his kidnapping—and then took place shortly afterward, when he could most benefit from it—shows that “God was with us, and God had a plan for it.”

When asked how the kidnapping affected his faith, Fr. Jude answered:

“All of the events that have happened since the kidnapping show that God allowed it for a purpose. During the Unbound prayer, someone shared with me the revelation that God had a plan for me. Everyone said, ‘God kept you there for a purpose.’ For me, it has been a faith-growing experience. I’ve got to understand that before every Easter Sunday, there is a Good Friday. My faith hasn’t just grown; I’ve gone through a leap of faith.

“God arranged the events so that everything fell within that period. The kidnapping experience was not just physical. They also used fetishes—magical things—within the camp, things like witchcraft, as a way of protecting themselves against the military bullets. They believed that would make the bullets not touch them. Additionally, these people took a lot of drugs. We needed physical, psychological, and spiritual freedom.

“Peter Newburn and Miriam Wright took me through the Five Keys of Unbound and prayed with me. God kept revealing there is a plan.

“As we went through the Five Keys, we were able to forgive. I thought I had forgiven, but any time I heard that one of my captors had died, I was thankful. With Unbound, I was able to more fully forgive. I found freedom from the kidnapping and other things from my whole life—situations in which I needed to forgive people, to accept Christ, and accept the freedom He offers.”

While Miriam was praying with Fr. Jude, she had a vision of Jesus being stripped naked (which is another suffering that Fr. Jude and his companions went through), with the very cloak of Jesus being given to Fr. Jude. In fact, he was named superior of the Claretians of Cameroon.

He explained, “I never expected that. I thought, ‘Should I accept? Should I refuse?’ Many people had prayed for me and told me, ‘Your kidnapping is preparing you for something.’ And with Miriam’s vision, I know it is from God. I’m convinced God gave me this responsibility. It’s very challenging, but I’m not afraid, because God will never give you something you can’t carry. He will give me all the support needed. One of my supports is the Unbound training through Miriam and Peter.”

Bearing Fruit

Fr. Jude saw his own suffering bear fruit in his role as superior, when two Claretians were kidnapped in August. He said his experiences helped him know what to do, and how to best help the men once they were rescued.

“God sent me there to get experience to be able to help others,” he added.

Now, since the training with Peter and Miriam, Fr. Jude said that he has many people asking for more of Unbound: “They say we need more—come again! So we want to offer it as many times as possible, to everybody possible. It’s a great innovation, and we want more of Unbound. We want more Christ! We want to be liberated! Please come again! We need a lot of prayer for Cameroon, that peace and justice will have reign, so we can enjoy the benefits of living in a peaceful and just country.”

“I think we were blessed,” concluded Fr. Jude. “I am so grateful to Unbound. I wish to talk to those reading: Do not be discouraged when you go through suffering, especially when you go through persecution for the sake of Christ, as the Beatitudes tell us. We were persecuted for giving food to the hungry. At times, I felt like God was far away, but my experience shows that God is never far from us. My faith is strengthened. I have found freedom in Christ. God is never far from us. He is ready to free us in every situation.”

Ralph Martin Leaves for India Today

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Banners like this one, in the Marathai language, are displayed in all forty parishes in one Indian diocese.
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This is the English translation of the banner that is on display in forty Indian parishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Partners in the Gospel,

Your support is making possible a really significant mission to India, beginning today. We have our visas, we have our inoculations against typhoid and Hepatitis A, and we are taking our malaria pills. As you read this, a small team and I are on our way to the airport, getting ready to fly to India, where Renewal Ministries has been invited by four Indian dioceses to provide training and encouragement for their priests, nuns, and lay leaders, as well as to conduct large rallies. I will even deliver a theological paper at an academic colloquium.

One of the archbishops who invited us has confided to us that he is very concerned about the condition of his priests and is grateful for our service. The Church in India has been, in many places, badly affected by pressure from the dominant Hinduism into a sometimes watered-down approach to proclaiming the true identity of Jesus and His call to all people everywhere to believe, repent, and be baptized.

From January 6 (yes, it will take us two days to get there!) to January 12, we will be in the diocese of Vasai, just North of Mumbai (the former Bombay). From January 12-15, we will be in the far South of India, in the State of Kerala, in the dioceses of Trivandrum and Tiruvalla. We have been invited to Trivandrum by Cardinal Cleemis, who is the current president of the Indian Bishops’ Conference. We have been invited to Tiruvalla by Archbishop Koriloos, who has visited us here in Michigan and also in Rome, and who arranged for The Fulfillment of All Desire to be translated into Malayalam, the dominant local language. Then we move by plane, train, and automobile, back to the central region of India, to the Diocese of Poona, in the city of Pune, where we will be until January 23.

My wife Anne is going with me, as is Renewal Ministries’ Board Chairman Deacon Dan Foley and his wife Dolly, whose daughter married a young man from Pune. This whole mission began with their wedding in Pune, which sparked the invitation to the Diocese of Pune. Then, former Indian students from the seminary and friends from previous visits to India heard we were going to be there, and a mission to one diocese evolved into a mission to four dioceses!

John and Michelle Kazanjian also will join us in Pune, for the week-long priests’ retreat and sisters’ retreat; they will lead prayer for deliverance from various bondages using the “five keys” of the Unbound method developed by our good friend Neal Lozano. Anne and Dolly (who are coming at our personal expense) will help them pray for people. Fr. Chas Canoy will join us in the south and in Pune, to help minister to the priests. He is the pastor of a parish in Jackson, Michigan, and a Sacred Heart Major Seminary graduate.

As time permits—every day is scheduled!—I will be sending “reports from the field” to let you know how things are going, hopefully along with some photos.

Thank you for your support, and please include us in your prayers during this time!

Gratefully,

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Ralph Martin

President

Renewal Ministries