To put it plainly, 17-year-old Obid Kudjaaq needed hope.
His parents split up eight years ago. His father is gone and his mother and uncle care for him and his seven siblings—that is, when they’re not working for weeks at a time at a gold mine 70 kilometers from their home in the isolated Arctic community of Baker Lake, Nunavut.
Obid has lost several relatives in recent years, including his cherished grandfather who died in 2016.
“It was very heartbreaking,” he said amidst the noisy activity at Qamanittuaq Recreation Centre, an important meeting place for Baker Lake’s young people. “I was stunned and didn’t know what to do.”
Suicides and broken homes
Loss and struggle are a brutal part of life in many remote Arctic hamlets.
But thanks to generous supporters like you, Obid found hope at FM419. It’s a youth-oriented event that’s part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada’s Baker Lake Celebration of Hope with Will Graham.
About 120 people, mostly youth, watched a hip-hop presentation by youth evangelist Connie Jakab, listened as she encouraged them and led them in prayer, then joined in square dancing with local teens providing the energetic live music.
“There’s nothing you can do to make God stop loving you, because you are part of Him,” Connie told the young people, who stood in a circle around her. She asked anyone who had recent suicidal thoughts to be brave, step forward, and have others surround them in prayer. Many did, often with tears.
“Everything is a lot better”
Obid went to FM419 simply out of curiosity. “But when Connie said that God has hope for all us, and wants to bring us out of our prison bubbles—that lifted me up a lot,” he said. “I can feel a change coming.”
Obid used to attend church with his parents, but hasn’t been going in recent years. He confessed to knowing little about Jesus Christ – His life, miracles and ministry, His sacrificial death, or His life-restoring resurrection. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (1 Peter 1:3, ESV).
But Obid wants to know more because “everything is a lot better with this (FM419) event; better than before.”
He plans to attend at least one of the Celebration of Hope’s outreach evenings on Oct. 26-27. Each night will feature music from Christian musicians, testimonies, and a Gospel presentation from Will Graham.
Please pray for Obid and all 2,000 residents of Baker Lake, that the Holy Spirit would influence them to attend the outreach weekend and find their lives transformed by God’s promise of eternal life through repentance and faith in His Son.
And please know that many more communities need the hope that only the Lord can provide. Will you provide opportunities for that hope through your prayers and donations?
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.