Church planting among Aboriginal Canadians
Rev. Marcus A. Toole, Jr.
New Phone 780-352-0381
“I am a child of God called to be a spiritual guide, teacher, and friend to First Nations People. My mission is to guide First Nations people to our savior through loving relationships, telling the stories of the Covenant, discipling converts, developing First Nations Leadership, and promoting First Nations ministry in the larger church through vision casting, newsletters, articles, speaking engagements and leadership.”
Things are moving right along with the ministry to the Cree here in Alberta. Attendance at Hobbema Fellowship seems to be picking up a bit since the “Korean mission trip”. I think close to forty people came this Sunday. We had been having a bit of a slowdown in church attendance due to summer. Still some of our regulars are not showing up like they should. Never the less, attendance never got close to being as low this year as it was last summer. I am taking this as a very good sign. We are seeing a few people coming which I have not seen before. Several of the kids who just wonder the streets of Sampson have started coming to our services. One group of about six or seven of them wondered into a special service we had at the cultural center in Sampson this past Friday. (They came after the food.) I was able to befriend a couple of them, and consequently the group showed up at church Sunday morning. After church they said they had lots of fun and will be back next week. The Koreans who help with music and the kid’s ministry on Sundays gave the new kids lots of attention which they loved.
I have already mentioned the special service we had on Friday. One of the Kokums (grandmothers) in our church invited a gentleman to come speak on Native spirituality from a Christian perspective at the cultural center in Sampson. The man, Adolph Ketene, was formerly a medicine man, and is now a Pentecostal preacher from the Stony people (Necota Nation). We knew that folks who would never listen to me would come to hear Brother Adolph. This was also a good opportunity to start developing a more positive relationship with the other three churches in Sampson and Ermine Skin. Brother Adolph ministered to a lot of people, and as I have already mentioned the Lord used this event to inspire some kids as well as at least one adult to join our service this Sunday.
We have a few special prayer requests. First praise God for my safe move to Wetaskiwin. I wish to give special thanks to the folks at Crestwood Presbyterian Church inEdmontonwho helped me with the move. Pray that the Lord will help us get the folks in Hobbema active in ministry. Pray that the Lord will send me a couple of Native men from the community who will help with the ministry and who can be trained for lay leadership. All the mature leaders in our church at present are women. These women are a great blessing. I try to encourage them in their ministry, but God says in his word that he wants men to lead his church. Besides, if I get a call to go visit someone, it would be a lot easier to grab one man to come with me than to find two women. Pray for our efforts to find office space. Pray that when I start raising money to supplement our new expenses that it will go quickly. I think that I am going to wait till February before trying to go down to the States on a support raising trip. If your church would like for me to come visit, let me know. Finally pray for Antioch Church of Edmonton which is the Korean Presbyterian Church that helps so much with our ministry. They are experiencing an attack from the enemy on their leadership team right now. As a consequence of this attack, I have started preaching at their afternoon English language services once or twice a month. This is easy for me to do sense I have to go toEdmontonon Sunday afternoons to attend the evening service at Crestwood anyway. I see this ministry to the Koreans as an important part of my ministry to the Native community because theAntiochChurchis such an important part of our ministry team. God bless.
Rev. Marcus Toole