BC Mission to 5 Indigenous Communities
by Bev Hadland, Crossroads Ambassador to the First Peoples
I was invited by Lana and Rick Wolf to visit Blueberry River First Nation to listen to their concerns and pray with them for revival and a strong church to be established in the community.
I was both shocked and saddened to hear about the history of Blueberry River First nation. This land is rich with oil and gas having 2600 wells on their land, 740 Km of petroleum developed roads and 290 forestry cutbacks harvested on their traditional territory. That means only 14% of their land is considered intact traditional territory while the rest of BC enjoys 60% intact land. 14% is not enough wilderness to maintain their traditional lifestyle. On the one hand, there is a lot of money for the community but their traditions, culture are being squeezed out the same way the Christians have been.
The community is finding it more and more difficult to carry on their traditional ways of living off the land. As a matter of fact, in 1976 the entire community was forced to relocate from a beautiful valley with a river running through it because of the release of ‘sour gas’ which can be very toxic and since it is heavier than air, likes to hang low in the valleys.
Troy Grey Wolf who says he is the only Christian on the band council, his parents along with several other elders took me to their original homestead which they had not returned to in decades! I spent the afternoon walking over the land with them, hearing their childhood stories, looking at the few remains of their homes, visiting the cemetery and spending considerable time in prayer.
It was a time of sadness, reflection, soaking in the amazing beauty and peace of the valley compared to where they all live now along one of the developed roads. May saw the graves of her husband and two of her daughters and was really impacted by that connection.
We prayed at a location where the last strong Christian chief used to sit and teach the Word of God and tell stories of his people to those gathered. Chief Charlie Yahay passed on in 1976 leaving a legacy of unanswered prayers. The biggest need in this community is encouragement and discipleship to the Christians there and prayer for revival among the chief and council. I hope to bring a small team in the future.
Speaking of teams, I joined up with Barry Chailfoux who is the Global Development Manager with the Gideons. He asked me to join his team of 7 from Oct. 1-8. We met in Prince George for orientation and then spent the evening with many Indigenous homeless people in one of their first freezing nights. We brought coffee to many, gave out the HOPE magazine with the gospel of John in it and spent much time in conversation and prayer. Vanderhoof became our base for the rest of the week as we ministered on Nak’azdli Reserve, Tachu Reserve, Cluclez Lake Reserve; the streets of Prince George, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James as well as the Living Waters Teen Camp.
We teamed up with Larry Keegstra who has been ministering to the Indigenous populations in Alberta and BC for decades. He truly is one of the unsung heroes of the faith. No fanfare, no national recognition, simply doing what he was called to do. 100 Hundtley Street aired his story on Oct. 10th so I have added the link below to watch the interview.
The team spent two and half days at Camp Living Waters with 15 teenagers who are also camp leaders during the summer. We came to simply bless them, pray with them, pour love and life into them, eat with them and play with them too. We all had a chance to pray with the youth, share our testimonies with them and do skits for them too. Sunday’s service ended with a hand washing for this group which was powerfully healing to all. With lots of tears, hugs we parted ways after lunch heading back to Prince George.
With a stop at Costco to purchase everything necessary to make and serve a Thanksgiving dinner for 113 people that showed up for the service at the Prince George Street Church. It was so nice to see many of the girls from camp show up to help serve while Barry led worship and then preached. Even though we had been going 16 hours a day for the last six days, Holy Spirit came through and gave us the energy and anointing we all needed to minister. It was an amazing end to an incredible week. Everyone of us was changed. The fields are white unto harvest. Thank you so much for your prayers as nothing moves mountains like focused intercessory prayers of the saints.
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Once again thank you so much for your incredible faithfulness. May the love of Jesus keep you.