Seven go to the far North!
Article by: Pastor Vinita Baker
Third most northerly community with 1400 people surviving the weather, 24 hour daylight for about half the year and 24 hour no sun throughout the rest, temperatures dipping to minus 50 degrees Celsius in the winter open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2004 we sent seven individuals to Pond Inlet, Baffin Island and ministered in teaching, youth interaction, and praying for the community and schools through acts of forgiveness and repentance bringing release from past hurts and injustices.
Three youth and four adults undertook to go to this third most northerly community to minister in teaching, reaching out to the youth and to proclaim victory over the enemy through repentance and forgiveness.
As the community welcomed the team with an outside BBQ on top of a coleman stove serving hotdogs and fish as well as bannock (fried bread) we took in the beautiful setting of Pond Inlet, located just across an bird sanctuary inlet! The mountains are breathtaking in this mid day sun 24 hours a day season in July! Looked like the whole community had showed up in the four wheelers and we were amazed at how whole families rode in one across to their destinations.
The church members and other curious residents filled the church until several hundred attended at the end. Teaching on Stronghold, Forgiveness, Vows and Judgments were shared and then followed through with a trip to the local high school where many students struggled with drugs and alcohol committing suicide. We walked around the school praying for forgiveness for the offences against the Inuit community on behalf of the government, teachers and the effects of blame and shame. Each apology was met with a corresponding forgiveness by an elder of their community. What a powerful intervention it was. Prayer walks were introduced and left with the community to follow up on.
The youth made a bold statement by taking the time and getting permission to clean up the land around the church and surrounding areas of the debris and garbage left on the ground. The local authorities were surprised and helpful in giving their permission along with bags and gloves. Several other children joined them in their endeavour—what a beautiful expression of servanthood.
Previous to going we had collected many boxes of clothes and toilet items to send ahead of our arrival. The ladies auxiliary committee upon receiving them had immediately set out to make sure the local families would be able to come and benefit from them. Many resources were presented to the community including a sewing machine, youth DVD resources, children’s craft resources and books and other teachings as well as a banner made by Lois Box and picture painted (by Debbie Bryski) and conceived by Nancy Romme .
Upon our departure the Inuit community also presented us with gifts of carvings, and handmade designs. In such a short time we had made many new friends which we continue to communicate with and visit with when they arrive at Larga Baffin in Ottawa for medical reasons. Many have visited our homes and at times we have taken them to their appointments, visited in Hospitals, out for lunch, supper, out to coffee or sight-seeing cows in local farmlands in Russell, Ont. and trees which are never seen in Pond! Long term friendships have been forged and our prayers continue for this community and the Inuit people who have survived in such harsh conditions.