August 2017

I recently traveled with a small team to Shamattawa, a remote First Nations community of 1500 Blood Cree on Hudson Bay. We were invited by local leaders who had become overwhelmed by the number of suicides and broken lives in their community. Their only store was burnt down by teenagers last fall, and their church was burnt down on Christmas Day. We went there to listen, learn and pray together.

I have visited impoverished communities in places like Congo, India and Laos, but I have never witnessed hopelessness like we saw in the people of Shamattawa. Drug and alcohol addictions were destroying families and leaving many children with fetal alcohol syndrome and learning disabilities. There seemed to be no understanding of consequences.

On one occasion, as we were exploring this community, we came around a corner and witnessed an accident with four young people on an ATV. A young man flew off it, and we watched his head bounce on the gravel. He didn’t move. We raced over and found that he was not breathing. I knelt over him and cried out to God for life to return to him. He coughed and began to breathe again, while still unconscious. Later that day, he was airlifted to a hospital in Thompson, MB. Every week, someone dies in this community.

The loss of identity, culture and understanding of our value before God are killing us. I say “us” because it is in identifying with the brokenness of each other and recognizing sin’s brokenness in our lives that we enter into God’s healing mission. The healing of memories and lives is possible in Jesus. When James calls us to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16), he is giving us principles that apply to more than just our personal relationships. Jesus is our peace, and the Church is his peace vehicle. The Body of Christ is where we are reconciled to God and each other. Will we live this mission of healing here and in every conflict God invites us into?

Randy Friesen
General Director

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for peace camps happening in the Middle East this month. Pray that participants would encounter Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
  • Pray for God's hope and restoration to break through in First Nations communities that are broken and in need of healing.
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LIVING FREE

Physical slavery is prevalent around the world; it takes many forms. Individuals and people groups are in bondage. Guest speaker, Randy Friesen has seen the amazing power of the Gospel to bring freedom to the oppressed. In our own lives, we can find ourselves enslaved – to sin and to fear. How can we be free? Knowing who we are in Christ is vital to our freedom.
January 2015 at Central Heights Church, Abbotsford, BC Play Button PLAY SERMON