It was quite exciting. On New Year’s Eve 2017, God gave my wife Nancy the idea of holding a mini-jamboree for our First Nations friends.
Her idea was first to take the monthly Cowboy Church meeting and move it to a more frequent schedule as people ask for it—and then incorporate a concept that First Nations people are very familiar with, namely, a weekend mini-jamboree.
Traditionally a jamboree goes from 6:00 pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday from morning to either afternoon or evening. On many reserves, these types of jamborees are held once or twice a year. There is lots of Gospel music followed by a life-changing message between 10:00 and 11:00 pm. After every message, there is a call to come forward for prayer. Some of us would call these events a revival.
When we presented the idea to Ivan Chartrand, a Metis musician, he agreed to provide the music and find other singers to join him in worship.
Willie Santiago, the pastor of Bethel Christian Fellowship (BCF), also encouraged us by agreeing to be our sponsoring church and providing prayers for the jamboree. Willie and his wife, Maria, pastored Muskoday Baptist Church at the same time as they were planting a Filipino church in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, until handing over the First Nations pastoral leadership to Jimmy Durocher, a Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary First Nations graduate. Although BCF is primarily Filipino, they will regularly have three to ten First Nations people attend Sunday mornings. The church has good relations with the First Nations in the Prince Albert area.
We held our first mini-jamboree on Sunday, February 25, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The response was beyond anything that any of us expected. Over fifty people showed up. Ivan interspersed the singing with three short personal testimonies. When Cindy Ghostkeeper sang, she too testified to what God has been doing with her recently.
Our next mini-jamboree will be held March 25. Please keep us in prayer as we plan this event. We will minister together until July, when we will assess the results and determine how to improve and adjust these mini-jamborees.
By: Maurice Tenkink Jr. – CPC Manitoba/Saskatchewan
Edited by: Frank Stirk