Walking Alongside Northern Communities by Pastor Sam Leiter

Published on October 13th, 2017

I had the privilege of spending two weeks with Pastor-Pilot Dennis Ouellette as he flew into some communities before all of the VBS teams arrived to serve the Indigenous communities of northern Canada.

LAMP has partnered with many churches and leaders in these various communities to support, encourage and walk alongside them, especially with the Vacation Bible School teams.

Over the course of the two weeks, we met with pastors, leaders, VBS coordinators, and individuals in the communities.  God gave us opportunity to meet and pray with people who were hurting and needing a renewed sense of hope.  Prayer needs ranged from healing from an illness to dealing with the death of a loved one who committed suicide.  Pastor Dennis listened patiently and then shared the hope we have in Jesus.

When meeting with one of the families, who I had never met before something amazing happened that only God could accomplish.  They initiated a hug with both Dennis and me.  That is apparently very rare in Indigenous communities.  It is obvious that Dennis has done significant work to really connect with key people in the community to support, minister and keep in contact with them. Dennis is doing a great job of developing relationships to build bridges of trust, hope and unity.

Although our stay in each of the communities was brief, God accomplished so much in that short time.  It was a joy to see people who truly loved one another, wanted to serve, and relied on Jesus. It was so exciting to see God at work in this way!

Jesus’ first disciples proclaimed a message based on their personal relationship with Jesus. We have that same privilege. If our lives are not based an intimate, experiential knowledge of Jesus, our words will sound empty and we will not be able to sustain a lifestyle of servant leadership.

Who do you know Jesus to be? Have you heard Him speak to you? Have you seen Him at work? What can you tell others about Him?

Photo of Pastor-pilot Dennis Ouellette (left), Pastor Sam Leiter (right) and a northern friend