by Dennis Ouellette, Pastor-pilot, LAMP
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (ESV)
When you stop and ponder the purpose of LAMP and its mission — “sharing Jesus Christ with God’s people in remote areas of Canada,” — what comes to your mind? A little red plane? Missionaries, perhaps? I think about the Indigenous people in those northern communities desiring to hear about Jesus. With more than half of the population in the North under the age of 15 years, reaching the next generation with our ministry is even more essential.
This leads us to an important component of LAMP, which is how the Gospel is taken north. Hundreds of volunteers go to their LAMP community in the summer to hold Vacation Bible School (VBS). More teams are going north to visit in the “off-season” as well.
So, what impact does the ministry have on our volunteers? Does going into a community affect the volunteer’s faith and life? The fact that the average number of years a LAMP team returns to their community is eight years speaks volumes!
Relationships built on faith and trust go both ways. The love of Jesus freely given to God’s people in the North are reflected back to the volunteers in appreciation, love and friendship. It is difficult to write about one story that stands out above the rest. Honestly, I can’t think of just one because there are enough to fill a book! I’ll share one with you as an example.
John and Sue Folger have been going to Red Sucker Lake, Manitoba for literally decades. This is Sue’s 35th year serving in the North. The children they first taught in VBS are now bringing their children to VBS. John and Sue also make a winter trip driving into their community on the ice roads and have become such a part of the community that the friends they have made have become their extended family. The Disbrowe family is one of them.
Their dear friend, Gordon Disbrowe, was diagnosed with cancer last year. The Folgers visited him on trips to Red Sucker Lake and kept in contact with the family during his year of treatment. When Gordon’s life was approaching the end, his family called John and Sue. The Folgers immediately drove from Minneapolis to Winnipeg and stayed at the hospital with the family. John and Sue stood beside them as Gordon entered eternal life with Jesus and remained with the family until after the funeral service in Winnipeg. They are brother and sister in Christ to the family and to the community by providing encouragement, comfort, and support.
It truly is the teams of volunteers who are willing to invest themselves in the communities they serve with LAMP that make it possible to carry out this vital ministry. Likewise, you as a supporter of LAMP, make it possible for people like the Folgers, the teams, and the staff missionaries serving the northern communities to keep sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
Call to action
The Indigenous communities in northern Canada welcome our VBS teams to come and teach their children about the Gospel. We need your help! LAMP’s ministry is in need of short-term volunteers to serve with us. If God has placed a call for sharing His love with others this way, please call 1-800-307-4036 today or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more on Dennis’ blog at lightabovemypath.blogspot.com.