Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
“Let’s make sure we ask him if there is anything we can get him or do to thank him.”
“I already know exactly what he will say. Send us some help, send us a missionary. “
It is easy to think of all the things that could benefit you, me or the next guy. The conversation above came after one of the host families for MissionX found himself in a difficult situation and bailed us out of another one simultaneously. For the past 20 years all of the second year students from Steinbach Bible College(SBC) have come North and been put through the MissionX or Mission Exposure training program in partnership with Mid-Way. Ideally, teams of around 4 students have been placed with a Native, Christian family in a First Nations community for almost a week. Coupled with training done ahead of time at SBC, some cultural and missions orientation and debriefing with Mid-Way and active relationships with God, MissionX has become a valuable experience for students, hosts and communities. Over the past 9 years, that we have been involved, we have seen God use this cross cultural meeting of people to do great things and have seen the ups and downs that go along with different groups and community situations. This year seemed different. From the planning stage on, as Morgan talked with different community leaders and contacts, there was a cloud hanging over it all.
By December there were the warning signs of depression and unrest and by the time the students arrive in mid-February there had been at least 5 suicides and as many or more attempts in the affected communities. By the time the week was over there were another 3 suicides and multiple additional attempts. This should not be an option! In the community, we mentioned above, we had sent a large team there only to find out that during the morning there had been a suicide. The host is a leader in the community and church. He is approaching 70 years of age. The burden of hosting was complicated with comforting the community and everything that goes with it. Knowing that we want to support him Cohle mentioned that maybe there was something we could do or get him to help. The answer Morgan gave was, “I already know exactly what he will say. Send us some help, a missionary.“ By the end of the MissionX week another young person had taken their own life and Morgan had asked the host what we could do to help and the answer was as predicted. Please pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out laborers into the harvest. Please pray. Fighting the spiritual darkness requires prayer and commitment.
Before you give up reading, because so far things mentioned have been grim, please stop and pray and then continue! God once again used the MissionX program and everyone involved to do something special. For Christians in the First Nations communities this was a time of encouragement and a special excuse to reconnect with different community members. When the students come into the community humbly and submit themselves to the host people the hosts job is to show them around and introduce them to others in the community. Multiple hosts mentioned that with the students as an excuse they had courage to knock on a door they perhaps avoided not wanting to seem too desperate for company or pushy only to find the door opened warmly and their relationship was rekindled. The time many of the students spent with children and families sharing and hearing testimonies of God’s faithfulness in different lives is always a highlight but in the group debriefing there was something special this year.
How racist are you? This is shocking and unusual question. For most the answer is, “Not at all!” But this is only true for some. When it comes right down to it we are all most comfortable with what and who we know and for all of us this is people of limited cultural backgrounds. This means that we think higher or lower of a person based on, in many cases, no personal knowledge. Stereotypes of this kind or that kind of person color our initial impressions and if we are not careful remain with us. The SBC students are no different. Confronted with the love of God coming from the Native Christian host families or the wonderful children running around God softened their hearts. For a couple there was the shock of realizing they were coming to be ministered to as much, or more, than they were going to minister. Perhaps this is one of the most valuable things about MissionX, Mid-Way Bible Camp, the SALT youth groups and Sunday School programs. When the people from outside the North come here with the attitude of brothers and sisters rather than mothers and fathers there is a great thing that God does. He strengthens the local Christians and siblings from afar in different but equal ways. Yes, there is much darkness, brokenness and hurt but there also is a great light that comes from God. He shines this light through those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and humbly become co-heirs with Him. We need to have God raise up leaders from among the people of the North who do not stop meeting together and spurring one another on to good works in Christ. We need God to send us workers for there is a ripe field of people who want to follow Jesus if someone will play the long game and walk with them day by day. Most of all we need God’s will to be done.
For all these things above please pray. Please pray as you see more official announcements coming out soon of the fact that we are merging with InterAct Ministries of Canada. This will mean that we are moving out of administration in the next year and a bit and seriously considering moving to a more remote Cree community to help with building God’s kingdom there. Please pray for us as parents and our children as we seek to set our family on God each and every day. We praise God for each of you supporting us in various ways. It is our hope that as you read these reports you are encouraged in your walk with Jesus. May we all remain faithful to Him until the end and beyond!
Your brother and sister in Christ Jesus,
Morgan and Krista Serger
with Obadiah, Enoch and Amos