“This is the best day of my life.”
That unexpected announcement from a young girl summarized many people’s experience as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—and supporters like you—brought fun, joy, and the hope of the Gospel to Hay River and the neighboring Katlodeeche First Nation in the Northwest Territories.
Along with local churches and Home Church, our Red Deer ministry partner, we kicked off Will Graham’s Northern Canada Christmas Tour with community events in Hay River and another NWT community, Fort Smith.
More than 500 people attended the two events, designed to raise awareness of Will Graham’s outreach evenings Nov. 30 in Fort Chipewyan, Dec. 2 in Fort Smith, and Dec. 4 in Hay River.
The kickoff events featured food, a multitude of children’s activities, art lessons, music from Canadian Christian band JJ and The Ringers, and testimonies from speaker Mike Gordon. All this is rare in northern communities that are often forgotten by the rest of Canada.
“We see a lot of spiritual need here,” said longtime Hay River resident Jane Groenewegen. Broken families, abusive relationships, a lack of career opportunities, and drug use are persistent problems. “There are a lot of families hurting, and we’d like to see a major impact on meeting the needs.”
Jane, a former member of the territorial legislature, sees Will Graham’s northern tour as an answer to many years of prayer. “We’ve hoped and dreamed for revival, so maybe this is the genesis
of a new time that will result in more people getting involved in meeting the needs of northerners.”
Lydia* from the Katlodeeche First Nation Reserve, across the Hay River, attended the kickoff event.
She bore a heaviness on her face and shoulders. One of our staff asked if she could pray for her and she immediately said, “Pray for healing.”
Lydia had endured abuse in her life and the grief of the death of several of her children. Lydia started to cry as our staff member prayed.
The staff member asked, “Are those happy or sad tears?”
“They’re happy,” Lydia replied.
We praise God that Lydia experienced relief through prayer. Please keep praying for her and her entire community. We know that full and permanent healing can only come through the hope of the Gospel. And we know, from these community events, there is much need for healing in Hay River, Fort Smith, and Fort Chipewyan (the first stop on the tour).
Through your gifts and prayers, you can offer that healing to northern Canada when you partner with the Northern Canada Christmas Tour.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”—Isaiah 43:19, ESV
Give To Festivals and Celebrations
Your support will help us proclaim the Gospel of hope in Jesus through our Festival and Celebration evangelism events, which feature inspiring music from well-known Christian artists, powerful stories of transformation and Gospel messages by Franklin and Will Graham.