CHIEF AND FAMILY
OF THE THE BELLA COOLA PEOPLE IN CANADA!By Vaeluaga EliSummer of 1998 was very impacting as a handful of Pacific Islanders with a ministry called PACIFIC WAVES - who are now based in Canada - headed out to share the Gospel with the "First Nations" people of Bella Coola in the West Coast of British Columbia.
I have known the chief for a few years and so have some of our staff. I've talked to him about my faith and have built a good healthy relationship with him. It was this 1998 summer that I invited him to be my guest of honour at one of the churches we were doing a youth service for. I wasn't prepared for the outcome of this invitation for I just wanted him
to sit and listen to more of the Gospel. We as a team shared our cultural dances and songs and dramas about how God has changed our lives and how the Gospel came to the south Pacific and has greatly impacted our lives as people of the South Seas.
This group of Canadian natives have a name for the All Powerful or The Almighty, it is " The Creator". During the service we shared that The Creator has a son that will lead us to a relationship with the Creator . His name is Jesus. I told them of how sin has separated us from the Creator and that the Creator wants to forgive us through the blood of his son. At the end of the service I invited anyone up who would want to turn away from his/her sins and come to relationship with the the Creator through his son Jesus.
I didn't think he was ready
To my astonishment the first person in the front was the chief. I guess I was shocked because the few years before I had talked with the chief many times and he had always shared his hurts for all the abuses that he got in the residential schools and how his culture and language has been stripped away from him. So I didn't think at the time of this service that he was ready.
I think there was a few dynamics culturally that took place that helped connect the chief to the Gospel a lot earlier than I thought. One of those is the fact that I used the name already familiar to the Natives "The Creator" for God instead of just using the English name "God".
That and a few other things like that, but mostly the Holy Spirit. To cut a long story short, later on this summer the chief's wife responded to the Lord and so was his two daughters who gave their hearts to Jesus. These daughters are now on their way to a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. I should say that in the spring of 1998 the chief's son recommitted his life to the Lord and has now completed the Discipleship Course with YWAM in New Zealand and is doing very well in his walk with God.
Does God have a purpose for this family - or what?
I believe God wants to change this whole village and he is beginning with the chief and his family. To God be all the glory great things he has done. This village is looking like God is about to release them into his kingdom. So please pray for them as we are looking at having a reconciliation gathering that will break the bondage of unforgiveness and injustice over the people between the Natives and the white churches and missionaries.
God is still bringing people to his Kingdom and yes there are still 3.5 billion people yet to hear the Gospel.from : Vaeluaga Eli
Youth With A Mission / Pacific Waves
P O Box 2462, Abbotsford, BC
Canada, V2T 4X3
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