Once again, we traveled up to the northern reserve of Sucker River (25 minutes north of La Ronge). There were 3 of us all together from Saskatoon (Kurt, Jenni, Kara). This time, we were able to get an earlier start to our trip and we left the city shortly after Friday lunchtime. Most of the way, we had wet roads from rain but thankfully they did not freeze. We reached the community safely around 6 pm. It was nice to arrive earlier, as we were able to meet some of the fellow believers up there and a few other connections as well. There is a believer a few years younger than us, named Megan, that helps us arrange things up there before we arrive. She also helps us out with kids clubs and other activities. It is very helpful to have someone in the community who knows the people and can give us advice on various decisions and situations. There is another local, believing young lady in grade 12, named Denise, that also joined us for the weekend. Altogether, we had a team of 5 people.
Friday evening, we had a conversation with one person that was very direct and we prayed together for freedom from addiction. The Lord was opening the person’s eyes to see the decisions that they needed to make with new eyes and a better perspective. Please pray that this person could turn from this sin, have the wisdom to know how to “cut off the hand” of this struggle, and then to have the courage to walk in the path that Jesus calls us to.
We have also been extremely blessed with favor from members of Keshia’s (believer from the community) family. They love us and really want to bless us however they can! They willingly move out of their homes and find other places to stay, so that we can have a place for our team. In the past, we have stayed at Keshia’s Kukom’s (Grandma) house, however this time we were at Keshia’s mom’s house. It is amazing to have a home for our time up there.
Saturday morning included waking up, personal devotions, team devotions, and planning for the day. Shortly after lunch, we headed over to the school gym for Kids Club/Bible School. In Sucker river, we have the luxury of having the community center, band hall, and school gym as options for holding events. This is crucial, especially in winter months, when it is too cold to do anything outside. The gym is an excellent location for the Kids clubs with lots of room to run around.
Generally, before we arrive at the school for kids club, we will cruise the town to tell as many kids as we can about it. Often the children are unaware beforehand, yet delighted to see us and hear that the kids clubs are happening! We rounded up a good number of kids and ended up having 30 kids total! That is the biggest amount of kids that we have had with the trips that Jen and I have lead! It was a bit chaotic but not bad. The Lord most definitely multiplied the efforts of our small team. After some games and songs, Jen taught on why we celebrate Christmas and the reason Jesus’ birth was so important, which included recapping the gospel message. We ended with some coloring and snacks.
Before this trip, we were really praying and asking others to pray for more inroads into the community, especially the teens, adults, and elders. We were not sure exactly how to do this. The morning we left Saskatoon, a generous lady from our church, donated 90 homemade buns to take along with us. Man, did they look delicious! We resolved not to eat any and use them to connect with others in the community! Somehow, we were able to accomplish this feat without eating a single bun! If you saw them, you would realize how hard that was! This turned out to be such good way to get into people’s homes, introduce ourselves, and start a relationship with new people. We dropped off buns at the homes of kids that we knew and met more parents and family members. This was such an answer to our original prayer for more inroads. We can continue to pray for more inroads, but now can also pray that these connections will grow! Thanks Heather, that was such an enabling blessing to our trip!
Saturday evening, Jen had hoped to get some of the young teenage girls together for a bible study. This didn’t end up happening as there was a movie night for them at the community center. It was a bit disappointing, as on a weekend trip there is very limited times that this can happen. Instead, we went back to the home that we were staying at. We brought along Megan, Denise, and Denise’s younger sister. We also got a surprise visit from Keshia, as she joined us Saturday evening. We were not expecting to see her this time around as she is living elsewhere now. We had a great time eating supper together, playing games, and singing Christmas hymns.
Sunday morning was much the same as Saturday morning. After lunch, we hosted another kids club. This time we had 24 kids come. This kids club ran smoother and the children were paying attention a lot better. We know that the Lord was working and allowing things to work out beyond our efforts! Jen’s lesson went over the lesson from the previous day to reinforce what was said.
After Kids club, we headed over to the band hall for a worship service/bible study. One older Lady joined us, as well as half dozen kids. We sang Christmas hymns and I shared a similar message to the one Jen shared for kid’s club. We really wanted to remind people of what it really is that we are celebrating this December.
Once this was complete. We cleaned up the home we stayed at and then gave our goodbye hugs (One goodbye is never enough, 3 is often sufficient).
The Lord blessed us with great, encouraging fellowship on our trip back home. Kara was a blessing to have on our team.
Overall, out of our trips up north, the energy level Jen and I had at the end of the weekend was the best we have had yet! Normally, we come home just wrecked and exhausted. God is really growing our hearts to love that community and the children there!
I must say, I know we had many people praying for us and supporting us in various ways! Thank you so much for all of it! We cannot do it on our own! We saw the Lord answering your prayers. It means so much to us and this community! This is a team effort and we hope to be faithful on our end to all your support, so that we might “seek for the profit which increases to your account” (Philippians 4:17b).
For those that would be interested, we are returning to this same community Feb 19-25 (Feb. Break). If you are willing and able to come, feel free to come talk to me.
For those seeking to continue in prayer, here are some things to pray for:
1.) God to receive the glory from this community
2.) Protection for the children, in all ways (lies, abuse, bullying, neglect, drugs, alcohol, suicide)
3.) that the seeds planted this weekend would take root and grow into a great harvest
4.) That is generation of children would turn to seek the Lord
5.) The community would surrender to the Lord and the He would heal their land
6.) Repentance and freedom from addictions and other sins
8.) Faithful, strong and stable families
Praise the Lord for the great things He is doing!