jubileechurch's Video ChannelLast Updated 2010-10-02T01:14:41
My wife and I pastor an amazing people ( First Nations).We love them very much.
Jubilee Church Of God
Kenora ON Box 6 Site 11 RR1 Keewatin ON P0X 1C0
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood. Isaiah 9:5.
On Sundays our worship service often has confused noise, and yes, sometimes there is even blood, for our church is not easy.
We have committed ourselves to work among Kenoras gas sniffers and alcohol abusers who live in difficult conditions in downtown Kenora located in northwestern Ontario.
That is the location where God has placed us. And that is the location where He inundates us with His presence week after week after week.
On September 12, 1999, in the small living room of our home in Kenora, my wife Lynn and I held the first service of our newly formed Jubilee Church of God. Standing with us were our two teenaged children and two close Native friends from Whitedog Reserve located 1 hours away.
A few months after that we moved to the chapel of a near-by nursing home until we outgrew that location three years later, and then we moved downtown.
Now our place of worship is located in a rented Knights of Columbus Bingo Hall with drug deals, bootlegging, and other assorted activities going on right outside the front door. The Bingo Hall can seat 150 people, has air-conditioning, and has a fully-equipped commercial kitchen that makes it easy to feed everyone after our Sunday service is finished. Attendance varies from between 60-100 people.
From the time of its inception, our church has been blessed with First Nations people. They come from the many reserves around Kenora and they delight to attend services with us each Sunday. Some of these people are solid Christians. They are active on their own reserves doing their best to display the love of Jesus, but often these communities do not have a weekly church presence available, so the people travel to worship with us at Jubilee. We decided to name our church Jubilee because we wanted to declare our Lords ability to set captives free from the great bondage of alcohol and drugs that seems to enslave the people of our area.
But others that we welcome into our doors live a much more desperate lifestyle. They drink mouthwash, they sniff gas and lacquer, and they continuously end up in either jail or hospital. Every week we invite the street people to help change the Bingo Hall into a Church, moving tables, washing floors, etc. The street people can only attend the Church services as regularly as their kind of lifestyle allows them, but still the people feel the need to do something tangible to help care for their church. So when they can, they help us by setting up the chairs, washing the floors and cleaning the kitchen and in return we show them lots of love, respect, and appreciation for the hard work that is done.
We do our best to make everybody feel welcome, and it has been asked of us, Is this the church that lets anybody come inside? Our answer, of course, is a resounding Yes, but this letting in of anybody can make our Sunday services unpredictable and uncomfortable. Still, we know that the divine hand of Jesus is upon us to protect us, and we are not afraid.
We develop friendships with these people during the meal that we provide after each Sunday service. We live the Gospel as we show love by supporting them with food and clothing. We visit with our peoples extended families, and help them by buying groceries and giving rides. There are days in the middle of January when its -35 outside that I think we should have a taxi sign perched on top of the church van, because its hard to refuse help when they make a collect call to our home asking for a ride to the hospital or to their home reserve. All told, we are in contact with and have developed an ongoing relationship with about 200 people, 90% of whom are First Nations origin.
Many of the people who live in the downtown core area frequently respond to the call for prayer at Jubilees altar and we can hardly contain our excitement as we watch firsthand what the Lord is doing in the broken lives of the ones who venture through our doors.
Recently we received a phone call from one man who lived on a reserve north of Kenora, who told us the story about what had happened to him when he had visited our church two years previously.
He stated that he had lived on the streets of Kenora for number of years, and one Sunday he had wandered into our services. He reminded us that during that service he had caused a commotion because he had collapsed to the ground, and that we had called 911 and prayed for healing for him while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.
He said that he had, as a younger man, traveled with his father who was a preacher, and they went to many of the northern fly-in reserves, but that he had turned away from that Christian lifestyle because of bitterness, and had found himself living on the streets of Kenora.
While in the ambulance on the way to the hospital that day, the Lord Jesus spoke to his heart again and he rededicated his life. He then returned home and has been following the Lord ever since. He said that he just wanted to phone and thank us for being there.
As we talked together, we could only vaguely remember the incident he described, because we have had to call the ambulance a number of times to take care of the transient people who flow through our doors. But as he finished his conversation, saying that he believed that God is going to use him to show others what God is able to do with anyone, it made us wonder how many other people does our Master touch at Jubilee because we hear numerous stories just like this.
A day after this phone conversation, another man spoke of an incident that happened to him the previous weekend.
He had been attending our church for some time and his two years of sobriety was now falling in around him. Sitting in his apartment with a bunch of his old buddies and a twenty-four pack of beer at his feet, he started his decent into the abyss. But the Lord would not let him retain an ounce of that liquor. He would drink the alcohol and then he would vomit it out. He repeated this procedure over and over again with each bottle of beer that he tried to drink. He cursed God and pleaded with Him to let him get drunk, but God would not let go.
As this man retold that miracle story to me, he had tears of thanksgiving rolling down his face. He stated that he could hardly contain his joy at Gods great love towards him, and even some nights now the presence of the Lord keeps him awake all night long. He now has a full time job.
We have not had the chance yet to travel to the many more Fly-In Reserves of Treaty Nine a huge land tract area of Ontario just north of Kenora that has no road access to the communities; but we have made several contacts so far, and I believe the Lord is calling us to go there to teach the people the importance of consistent local pasturing.
These reserves need pastors who stay in each community, because the rate of youth suicide in this area of Ontario is one of the highest in the world.
My wife works as a literacy teacher, and many of the young men from these fly-in reserves are held in jail in Kenora awaiting trial before they can return home.
While they are waiting, they come to the upgrading educational program that she works for, and from there some of these men find their way to our church as Lynn encourages and teaches them, and after finding their way to our church, they often come forward for prayer. These young men then go back north to their home reserves wanting to start afresh.
I left my secular job of 15 years in February 2006, trusting that if the Lord has led us this far, then He will continue to provide for us from here on in. Since February of 2006, other churches and individuals within the community have been partnering with us.
At times the task seems hopeless because we see the people take one step forward in health, but then fall back two steps into sickness. But we believe that Gods Word will not come back to Him void, so we continue to preach the gospel and show unconditional love.
We believe our God is incredible, and that He can do anything.
Here I am to worship
Up and coming young worship leaders.From Lakeside Baptist Church
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