He wanted to be a millionaire by age 33 but the Holy Spirit had a different plan for Robert Canton. Instead, the Lord wanted him to travel the world and heal millions in God’s name.
To accomplish his mission, the Lord gave him the gifts of prophecy, tongues and healing. He also gives him daily revelations. Since 1991 Canton, now an international leader in the charismatic renewal, has travelled to 41 countries preaching the word.
“I started to have a new life in the Spirit since then,” he said at a charismatic prayer breakfast Oct. 8 at the Chateau Louis Conference Centre. “I’m not perfect but I’m better than what I used to be. I believe I’m the happiest person on top of the earth.”
Canton, a council member of the international Catholic Renewal Services, gave his testimony following the breakfast. His wife Chita, also a charismatic leader, was present as well.
“The Holy Spirit is certainly active in the entire world,” Canton said.
“I go out of the country, the U.S., once a month and I witness the workings of the Holy Spirit wherever I go. I’ve seen signs, wonders, miracles healings and conversions.”
Canton gave what he called a “life-changing testimony.” As he did, the large crowd could not but laugh at his antics and gestures.
Born in the Philippines of an American father, Canton came to the U.S. in 1973, at age of 21. Two months after his arrival, he landed a job as an auditor appraiser with the government.
“Of course, I went to Church on Sunday but God was far away from me, far away from my mind. I would only remember God on Sunday, just one hour a week.”
He met Chita, a registered nurse, in 1976 and they married six months later.
Since his goal was to become a millionaire, Canton took on a second job selling insurance. Then he invested in the stock market and bought a six-unit apartment building in Las Vegas. Later, he opened a travel agency.
“I thought I was on the way to becoming a millionaire.”
But in the 1980s the stock market crashed and with it Canton’s dreams. He lost virtually everything. “I was depressed and I told Chita, do you think you can work a double job as a nurse? She told me, ‘No way José.’”
In 1984, a cousin visiting from the Philippines encouraged the Cantons to attend a Grow in the Spirit Seminar. The Cantons decided to go but then sneak out after an hour and head to the mall.
At the seminar they listened to couples’ personal testimonies and were touched. His two sisters-in-law also attended.
After dinner there was praise and worship and then Mass and during the Mass people were singing in tongues, which the Cantons found weird.
When a lady suddenly fell on the floor touched by the Spirit, they thought she had a heart attack and went to help her. People gestured to them to stay quiet.
Participants formed a circle and the leader started to lay his hands on people and people fell to the floor one by one.
“I said to my wife, ‘I think we should leave.’ She said, ‘I think so.’” But they couldn’t. The tall man standing next to him had a firm hold of his hand. “He didn’t want to let me go.”
As the deacon and the group leader came closer, Canton’s heart pounded faster. His legs suddenly buckled and down he went, babbling in an unintelligible language.
“I was embarrassed while on the floor. I wanted to stand up but my legs were just like rubber bands. I could not get up.
“Then, a little later the strength came back and I was able to stand up. I looked around and my wife was still standing. A few minutes later my wife went down together with my sisters-in-law.
“I was planning to run away from there and now with my wife and sisters in law on the floor I just couldn’t.”
Chita, Canton’s wife, stayed on the floor for three hours, long after everybody except the leaders had left. With help they put her in the back seat of the car.
At home she and her sisters began to walk around in the living room speaking in tongues. Suddenly his wife said in a manly voice, “Son, I’m Jesus. Do not be afraid.”
Canton ran away from her. And she insisted: “I’m Jesus. I’m talking to you through your wife.’”
That was the start of the couple’s conversion. “Since that time we started to pray together as a family. In retrospect I say that was a visitation from the Lord. The Lord had visited us.”
His wife had all the gifts together: prophecy, tongues, healings. Canton, then 33, had none.
On Dec. 8, 1984 while praying with his wife he told the Lord: “Lord, why don’t I have the gifts my wife has? That’s not fair.”
The Lord spoke again through his wife and said, “My son, you have a disease. You have the disease of analysis. You keep on analyzing and analyzing the gifts. As a result, you don’t have them. The gifts you receive in faith.”
As they continued to pray, the Lord spoke again through his wife and said, “My son, do not be afraid. My name is Jesus. I’m going to use you to heal millions in my name. You will go far and wide in my name.”
So far Canton has visited 41 countries.