In 1991, a Canadian pastor named Bob Birch founded a ministry called Watchmen for the Nations. Pastor Bob lived each day passionately seeking God, so that He might hear His voice and obey. Everywhere he traveled, Pastor Bob taught and encouraged people to live the same way.
“Let him who has ears, hear what the spirit is saying to the churches” was truly a watchword and life verse for this servant of God. Bob longed that Jesus’ prayer for unity would be fulfilled in the Church (John 17:20-23):
“I do not pray for these alone, but for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me”.
In 1998, at a meeting of leaders in Harrison Hot Springs, Pastor Bob turned the leadership of Watchmen for the Nations over to one of his spiritual sons, David Demian. David was born in Egypt, but he had immigrated to Canada with his wife during her pregnancy with their first child. David and a small group of men covenanted to walk together, along with Pastor Bob, that they would seek the Lord to see His purposes fulfilled in Canada.
One day, the Holy Spirit asked David what he would want to leave as an inheritance for his children, and he answered that he would want them to live in a nation that was under the blessings of God. However, at that time, David realized that Canada as a nation was following a path leading to judgment, and God was looking for a remnant of people who would walk with Him to see the nation healed and restored to God’s original intent.
So, beginning in 1999, and continuing for the next 10 years, a remnant of believers journeyed together with the Lord under the banner of Watchmen for the Nations. This remnant was made up of men, women and children whose hearts longed for the glory of God to dwell in Canada, and they traveled across the nation to cry out to the Lord for mercy, worshipping Him in complete surrender and obey His voice in all that He asked them to do. They prayed to see the redemption of Canada’s destiny and the fulfilment of the Church’s end-time mandate to become a resting place for the glory of the Lord.
These times of worship and prayer were known as “Gatherings.” As believers waited upon God for His strategy and then gathered as one unified Body at His command, He would guide them in prophetic acts and declarations to bring Canada into alignment with His original intent. Repentance—first to God and then to Jewish people in Canada and Israel—for historic acts of anti-Semitism built a bridge in the Spirit. That bridge created the way for Canada to become positioned among the nations of the world as the number one friend of Israel.
Next on God’s agenda for the nation was the need to address root issues of division between the French and English. After years of preparation, God led His people to Quebec City, where those gathered declared the Church’s commitment to walk in the foundational covenant of “holy matrimony” envisioned by God, and articulated by the Fathers of Confederation. This in turn released the First Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Metis) also to covenant to walk together and then, as original gatekeepers of the land, to dedicate the nation back to God. These covenants opened a channel for the release of supernatural power from heaven as the Lord addressed the spiritual stronghold of separatism that had hovered over Canada for decades.
Through the many years of this journey, believers from other nations came and stood with Canada to observe and support what the Lord was doing. Thousands from all parts of the globe were inspired and deeply moved, and they began to earnestly long to see this move of God come to their particular nations as well.
The journey of Watchmen culminated in July 2009 at the Promise Gathering in Ottawa, where the declaration was made that there is one Body of Christ united under one Head—the Lord Jesus Christ—in Canada. A few months later, the Lord asked the leadership to lay down all that they had been doing for ten years, in order to receive fresh instructions, a new “blueprint” for the next phase of the journey. This time of waiting ultimately stretched over six years, as the Father’s intention was not to create a new strategy or ministry function; it was to fashion new wineskins in each person’s heart.
In 2001, a remnant of Canadians began to meet with leaders in Hong Kong and China. A passionate fire to follow the Lord in this way was ignited in the hearts of these Asian leaders. As they sought God together, He began to release the Chinese, with the support of the Canadian leaders, to host Gatherings in Hong Kong. Thus began a further expansion of the family journey, now known throughout Asia as “Homecoming.” It has spread to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia.
Now, the longing for unity in God’s family and desire for healing the nation is growing. Nations such as South Africa, Germany, Guatemala, the United States and others are coming together to seek the Lord and begin to host Gatherings. These can be regional as well as national; and in the past few years global gatherings have been planned, where all family members from around the world are invited to come together as God directs and seek and obey Him with one heart.
Through tests and trials, the Lord has transformed our understanding of John 17 as His prayer for the Church to walk not only in unity of purpose or vision, but in one heart, as a true family, filled to overflowing with a revelation of the Father’s love so that we might in turn become a beacon, a light to all those living in darkness. As remnants of His people respond in obedience and come together in simplicity to worship our great King and rejoice in His goodness and faithfulness, the Lord will make a spectacle of every system that has defiled His name as He continually unfolds the revelation of His glory and love for every people group.
2 Chronicles 6:41
Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, You and the ark of Your might. May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may Your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.