Letter of Intent for Community Kitchen in Birch Narrows
July 18th, 2018 – Report by Beverly Hadland, Crossroads Ambassador to First Peoples
Thank you so much for your prayers. Praise God, things are moving along as you will read below.
I recently spent a few days in Birch Narrows, northern Saskatchewan. While there I presented Rebecca Sylvestre with a Letter of Intent for their Community Kitchen. At the time of presentation, Crossroads had raised $15,000 for the project. The letter will help them get the rest of the funding needed to bring this dream to fruition. Turnor Lake council has offered an existing building that needs some upgrades as well as an extension which is more cost effective than starting from scratch. The facility could be ready before winter so please keep praying for that to happen. Canada Kitchens and True North Aid have also come along side of this Dene community in the subarctic.
Crystal Lavallee and I were privileged to visit Waskaganish, Quebec on James Bay at the invitation of Rebecca Jean Cowboy and her church. This is the home of the late Grand Chief, Billy Diamond, who was interviewed on 100 Huntley Street Feb. 1, 1988 by Rev. David Mainse.
Chief Billy Diamond was a celebrated Cree leader who promoted Cree rights throughout his life. His impact, since signing the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement thirty-five years ago, continues to flourish as a powerful economic and political force in Quebec and Canada. The Cree never signed any of the treaties but signed agreements which is evident in the special three hundred and fifty-year celebrations being held all year in Waskaganish. Chief Diamond created Air Creebec, Cree Construction Co. Ltd. and Cree Yamaha Motors propelling Quebec Cree nation as a powerful economic force. The many jobs, strong cultural awareness and education, stand as an enduring testament to his contributions.
Rebecca loves the Indigenous New Testaments published by Life Light in Winnipeg that highlight many First Peoples testimonies. We brought a case for her to distribute. This trip was about encouraging the local church and hearing their painful life journeys through residential schools. Crystal conducted nine interviews during our time there. Many tears were shed. Many hearts were healed. We will keep you informed as to when the interviews will air.
The biggest need we were made aware of is the condition of the church building. It has been closed due to rotting wood and other issues. The Father’s Heart congregation now meet in Pastor Leonard Hester’s home. Pray for them to hear from God as to what type of structure HE wants them to have. I declared Psalm 61 over Waskaganish and this fellowship. The best is yet to come!
Waskaganish is celebrating three hundred and fifty years of existence. The Hudson Bay company started here with a group of businessmen from England and local Cree families. They celebrate by having week-long festivities in all four seasons of the year. This week is their summer celebration!
I will be flying to Weagamow Lake in northern Ontario the last week of July to meet with Ivan and Fay Wapenisk. Ivan pastors the church and Fay runs the Christian school. Both of them have been guests on 100 Huntley Street.
You can watch their amazing stories at
Ivan and Fay are experiencing a great problem resulting from growth. The Indigenous community is seeing the transformed lives of their children through the school and church programs. Naturally, many more want their children included but there is no more room! I will check out the community, listen to their stories and see how Crossroads can help them in this growth period to insure continued healing and autonomy.
Many Indigenous communities tell me that by Crossroads sending me there, coupled with the work that is ongoing, they are now encouraged and believe God is blowing a fresh wind across the First Peoples of the land! Thank you for your prayers, your friendship and your support.
Let us not lose momentum!