There have been many times when Joan Killulark has felt helpless to deal with all the problems in the Arctic community of Baker Lake. But now she has hope, thanks to the work God is doing—and Canadians like you are financially supporting—through the Baker Lake Celebration of Hope with Will Graham.
“Somebody cares for us to spend so much money to come all the way here to make sure our souls are saved,” she said gratefully.
Crowded housing, poverty, broken homes and suicide are a sad fact of life in this isolated hamlet of 2,000 in barren tundra at the geographic center of Canada.
Her own brother committed suicide in 1997, the same year her father died. Through all this, Joan has leaned hard on her faith in Jesus Christ, because “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him,” (Acts 10:38, ESV).
“That stuck with me”
Her parents attended one of the three Baker Lake churches regularly. Joan went with them and as a result, thought she was a Christian. Then, in her early 20s, she overheard her father telling the Lord that he wanted to bring his family with him to Heaven, but knew that wasn’t his decision to make.
“That stuck with me,” Joan recalled. “When I went to church after that, I really listened to the pastor and realized I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and not rely on others to tell me I’m a Christian.”
Joan made that commitment, but due to her job—she is a Nunavut government community health representative, promoting physical and emotional wellness in Baker Lake—she still felt great responsibility for all the emotional and spiritual turmoil in the village.
Celebration prayer group
“I felt those suicides were on me, even though they weren’t,” she said.
Then, at the request of Baker Lake’s churches, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada (BGEAC) brought the Celebration of Hope to the area. The eight-month ministry includes prayer sessions, evangelism training, and worship events. All this leads to two nights of Christian music, testimonies, and Will Graham’s Gospel presentations on Oct. 26-27.
Joan was invited into a group of local Christians who meet weekly at one of Baker Lake’s churches to pray for the Celebration and their community’s needs. The group is part of a larger movement of prayer warriors stretching from Vancouver to Newfoundland who regularly pray for BGEAC Celebrations and local needs.
Being part of that group has given Joan a refreshing Kingdom perspective on her life and the life of her community.
“I’m not alone”
“I don’t carry the burden anymore; I’ve given it to God as we’ve prayed for the situation in Baker Lake,” Joan said with a quiet joy. “I realize when I’m praying with this group, I’m not alone—especially when others in Canada are praying with us. There are no divisions; we’re praying for the same things.”
In preparation for the Celebration of Hope’s two nights of community outreach in late October, Joan’s group has been writing down names of people to pray for, that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts to attend and respond to Will Graham’s message of hope.
“With the famous Graham name, more people may come out,” she said with a smile.
Even as we make final preparations for the Baker Lake Celebration outreach weekend, we know there are many, many more communities that desperately need “the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23). Will you provide that hope through your prayers and financial gifts?
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.