From Onion Lake to Peter Ballantyne Cree Nations
December 4th, 2017 – Report by Beverly Hadland, Crossroads Ambassador to First Peoples
As soon as Crystal Lavallee, Kelly Nuttall and I landed in Saskatoon (Friday, Nov. 17), we headed to the Onion Lake Log Church women’s retreat as invited guests of Linda Naistus. Crystal and I shared in ministry and prayer all weekend. Kelly prayed, interceded, employed her photographic skills and served wherever she saw a need. Every woman in attendance was blessed with their own copy of Stormie Omartian’s book, The Power of Praying Through Fear.
Following ministry time on Saturday night, Kelly and I prayed over each woman to specifically break off any negativity, anything not of God. Once prayer was completed, each woman stepped forward to an arch way declaring with a loud voice Psalm 3:3 which says, ‘You oh Lord are a shield around me, You bestow glory on me and lift up my head’.
Once each woman felt she had declared that promise over her life and loved ones, she moved through the arch to receive prayer and blessings from Crystal (Metis) and Linda (Cree). This spiritual process cleared off that which was not of Jesus. It was amazing how the anointing fell on that place. It was 2AM before the last woman went through the arch.
Sunday morning Crystal and I were invited by Pastor Martin Naistus to again share ministry and prayer. Holy Spirit led us to directly address the men. Every man, including the pastor, came forward for a blessing. Praise God. We experienced yet another awesome visitation of God’s love and inner healing.
Linda asked for one of the medical missionary teams from Education Ministry and Service Canada to come to Onion Lake. We are the go-between taking questions from EMAS to Onion Lake and getting the necessary answers so that this experience has a positive outcome. The next step needed was a meeting with the mental, medical, dental health clinics and the Chief for final approval. What a privilege to meet Chief Okemow Wallace Fox who shared his heart and vision for Onion Lake.
Having Crystal represent the media side of First Peoples Voices and Kelly representing the Relief and Development side of First Peoples only added to the credibility of what Crossroads wants to do as part of ‘Reconciliation’. Chief Fox gave his blessing for us to work together in love and unity for his people. Youth empowerment, mental health and dental services seemed to be the areas of most concern.
The transport truck carrying fresh produce from Southwestern Ontario Gleaners was delayed until Friday. Since Crystal and I were scheduled for Southend on Thursday, and Kelly was to fly home on Wednesday, we were equally disappointed to miss this historical event. I received a call Wednesday night from Karen Bird, organizer of the weekend in Southend. Due to a number of circumstances she said we were released from our commitments. We were now free to be a part of the food distribution. I was so excited to work with Jai Lall organizer of over 30 volunteers from All Nations Church (Pastor Marvin Netmaker), Prince Albert Full Gospel (Pastor Vern Temple), Prince Albert Food Bank, students from Montreal Cree Nation and S.H.A.R.E.
Reporters from Prince Albert. RIGHT NOW!, an online local news source, and CTV PA were there early. I learned from both news sources the magnitude of this event. They were there to report on the first truck to ever deliver 23 skids of fresh produce. I was amazed at how much excitement was in the air. Chief Peter Beatty, Vice Chief Harold Linklater as well as councilors from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation showed up. They paid for 80% of the shipping costs from Ontario to PA while Crossroads Relief and Development paid the balance. See link below.
It was a herculean task as each tote of potatoes, carrots and onions had to be packaged into small 25 pound bags, then reloaded into the totes for shipping to the northern communities. Food went to Sandy Bay, Pelican Narrows, Deschambault, Pinehouse, Southend, Red Earth, Denare Beach, the local PA food bank, and S.H.A.R.E.
Chief Peter Beatty told me that many of these northern communities are desperate for fresh produce. Healthy food is always very expensive if even available! He believes this will help many families over Christmas and is looking forward to seeing this happen again. My dream is that every isolated community would have access to fresh vegetables and eventually grow their own.
A big thank you to South Western Ontario Gleaners who got the food from local farmers to make this happen for northern Saskatchewan.
I believe that farmers donating food to these northern communities is a perfect example of reconciliation. It is people helping people, coming together, making it happen whether locally or country wide. The best is yet to come!
Thank you so much for your prayers. We felt lifted up every day. I believe God’s eye is on the First Peoples and I feel so privileged to be a part of this effort.
This was our final trip for the year. After a needed break we will turn our attention and our efforts to that which lies ahead in 2018.
Crossroads Ambassador to the First Peoples