page contains reports of trips to
This is a brief report of a weeklong trip to Anchorage, Alaska to attend the 4th Indigenous Ministries of Alaska (IMA) Summit held at Skyline Foursquare Church. In addition, two more days were spent at the church under the ministry of Alan Ross, a gifted prophet from Glasgow Scotland.
I was invited by Pastor James Brenn, Senior Pastor of Skyline Foursquare Church to attend the summit and make contact with the Christian Native leaders in Alaska. I had met Pastor James and his wife Yvonne a year earlier at a 3-week Leaders School put on by the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in January 2007.
At that time I had shared with Pastor James that I had been doing some work with the Inuit of Eastern Canada and had a heart to minister to our Northern brothers. He felt this summit would be an opportunity to meet new leaders and listen to their vision and be part of a significant “happening” in Alaska. His heart is to forge closer ties with the Natives of Alaska and to seek bi-lateral dialogue and ministry in the communities of the interior of Alaska.
The Summit ran from Monday night, February 18 to Thursday night, February 21 at the church and was very well attended both during the daytime meetings and worship sessions each evening. Pastor James and his staff had thoroughly prepared for the summit and were honoured to be able to host this significant event. Their prayer room dubbed the “War Room” was used by the leaders every morning to prepare for the day, discuss issues and to invite God through His Holy Spirit to take charge.
Whenever you drive East in Anchorage, Ian in front of Skyline Foursquare Church
this is the view before your eyes. before the Summit began
Spirit of Togetherness
There was a heavy anointing of the Holy Spirit throughout the four days that fell on not only the leaders but on all who attended. During the mornings, the leaders met for prayer and dialogue. They represented nearly all the 12 nations in Alaska from the far North to the Aleutian chain to the Panhandle regions.
Here is a brief list of those leaders and representatives (my apologies if I have forgotten anyone).
Native & Non-native Alaskan Leaders
Pastor Mike Curtis – Athabascan/Inupiat – New Destiny Church - Anchorage
Barbara Curtis – Inupiat
Leonard John – Tlingit
Guy Peters – Athabascan – pastor/leader/musician
Will Mayo – Athabascan,
Eleanor Roehl – Yupik - dancer
Evangelist Michael Tall from Nome - dancer
Pastor Luke Titus – Minto Worship Center
Evangelist Gary Simple - Athabascan/Dene. Ministry website: Scared Ground Ministries
Pastor Marvin Carroll of Golden Heart Fellowship
Billy Olsen - musician
Other Leaders (Native and Non-native)
Pastor Dan Mosley – Paiute/Assiniboine - Nevada
Rhonda Mosley – Shishone/Lakota Sioux - Nevada
Pastor Jeff Yellow Owl – Blackfeet/Mt Tribe) – District Supervisor First Nations Foursquare Churches– Toppenish, Washington – Hope For Nations Church
Pastors Frank and Mary East – Toppenish Washington - Hope For Nations Church
Pastor Rick Turner – Yukon Bible Chapel – Whitehorse, Yukon
Prophet Alan Ross – Scotland – Ministry website G.O.I.A.M
In this photo – (L-R) Guy Peters, Will Mayo, Leonard John, Marvin Carroll,
and on the right, Barbara Curtis, Mike Curtis
Protocol and Understanding
It is difficult to tell all that happened over the 3-1/2 days but I want to share a few of the highlights. Protocol was first addressed and many of the visitors and non-natives learned a great deal about protocol. This went a long way in establishing the communications and closeness experienced by all.
Several gifts were exchanged including hand-made gifts by Doug Yates to Pastor James & Yvonne of Foursquare. Friendship necklaces were offered to all invited guests and speakers. These were treasured by the recipients and represent a “passport” to Native communities. Pastor James presented IMA a wonderful photograph he took of an eagle during one of his fishing trips. I have included some photos below.
Many prophetic words were spoken by the leaders indicating how God has begun a mighty work among the native and non-native groups in Alaska. This summit was charged with a spirit of new beginnings and a great hope for future relationships.
Evangelist Gary Simple spoke and played guitar but most importantly had us act out a prophetic action whereby the white leaders present formed a circle, facing outwards with arms crossed. The native people then entered the circle. The prophetic significance of this act was that these white Christian leaders were protecting the Christian natives from the rest of those (Christian, Churches, Ministries etc) wanting to come in and take over what is happening in Alaska through IMA and like-minded groups.
The white people present formed a protection ring around the native people keeping
out those wanting to usurp the new initiatives.
So much forgiveness, repentance and healing
As the summit progressed it became obvious that a great and wonderful thing was happening. Past hurts were healed, lives were transformed and a new reconciliation was becoming evident. Some native leaders shared through tears, their struggle and abuse while in residential schools.
Some repented of hostile thoughts, words and deeds toward the white people of Alaska. And equally important, the white Alaska church leaders repented and humbled themselves before the native Alaskans.
Although I don’t know the exact history of the Native and white people in Alaska, I can glean from the conversations I had that the relationship was similar to that in the south – both in the United States and Canada.
Occupation of lands, unbalanced treatment, and disrespect for each other etc had formed deep seated feelings and even resentments. Jesus came that we be united and not divided and this summit went a long way to seeking unilateral reconciliation. I personally felt a heavy anointing and a sweet fragrance of the Lord during the entire summit.
There was not a dry eye in the building when these acts of forgiveness and repentance took place.
Pastor James and Yvonne humbled Prayers continually went up for those
themselves and were emotionally wanting healing and deliverance
overcome during the healing times. from past issues and life experiences.
Another highlight of the summit was the preaching and prophesying of guest Pastor Alan Ross from Scotland. Alan has a wonderful and powerful gift of prophesy and spoke over several at the summit. In addition, he stayed on and spoke four times on the Saturday and Sunday following the summit. Many were blessed at his preaching and insight into God’s moving among the Alaskan natives and churches in general.
Alan also spoke to the church leaders at Skyline and spoke at a luncheon held at the home of Pastor James & Yvonne Brenn. His words were like pieces of gold and fine jewels. Alan hears from God and speaks what he hears. It was a blessing to come under his anointed ministry.
Prophet Alan Ross preaching at the summit and afterwards at Skyline Church.
It is impossible to tell all that took place during the 3 ½ day summit and the following two days with Alan. Suffice to say that I have never witnessed such power and reconciliation between peoples. I had the privilege of attending a huge 5-day conference in Quebec City, Canada a few years ago and witnessed a lot of the same healing and reconciliation between English and French Canadians and Inuit and First Nation peoples. This IMA summit was all as much and more.
May the Lord bless this reconciliation and move in a mighty way in Alaska and beyond its borders into Canada and the world with the Good News that He is in control of the affairs of people from whatever background, race and tribe.
I want to personally thank the leaders of IMA for allowing me to be an observer to this summit. As well, I want to thank Pastor James & Yvonne Brenn of Skyline Foursquare church for hosting this event and allowing me to participate through my music and ministry. Lastly, I want to thank my hosts Pastor Barry & Julie Hildebrand for opening their home to me for the week. May you continue to be used by God.
Here are a few general photographs of the IMA Summit and the activities that I was involved in.
Initial Gathering of visitors and leaders Eleanor Roehl’s first dance of the summit.
Pastor Mike Curtis (IMA) receiving
the gift to IMA from Pastor James Brenn
(The eagle photo was taken by Pastor James)
Evangelist Gary Simple playing and singing Ministry time happened many times and
prophesying and preaching. many came forward to repent
and be healed and be saved.
Music and Dance played a significant role during the summit.
Guy Peters ministering in music Praise Team – led by Jose Rolon.
Eleanor Roehl starts off her dance Ian helping out during the day
© Three Cord Ministries – 2008
December 2-10, 2007: Ministry Trip to Nain, Labrador
This is a brief report of a weeklong ministry trip to Nain, Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) to work with Ray & Juanita Whalen of Shining Light Ministries. Ray & Juanita are now starting their fourth year living permanently in the community after ministering there whenever they could over the past dozen or more years. The main purpose of going there was to see what they are doing and to find out how I can bring awareness to others that ultimately will bring needed resources to their ministry.
The ministry they do in Nain is to bring the Gospel and in the name of Jesus, provide food and clothing to dozens of people living in the most Northerly occupied community on the Labrador Coast.
Nain is located about 250 air miles North of Goose Bay Labrador and has a population of approximately 1200. Unemployment is very high and a lot of the jobs are seasonal. Many in the community work for the various local, regional and provincial governments and in schools or other community infrastructures. There is a small group of stores and other commercial enterprises as well as a Health Clinic, and RCMP detachment.
Youth find it particularly frustrating and somewhat hopeless as the availability of work is very limited and all post-secondary education takes place in the south (Newfoundland mainland and elsewhere in Canada). Many families are fractured with the breadwinner being out of town most of the time working at such large-scale projects as the Voisey’s Bay mining located many miles from Nain.
Regardless of the reason, the end result is that on any given day, Ray & Juanita are asked to provide food parcels to several families and even feed individuals in their own home. Periodically they provide warm clothing to the community through large-scale distributions held in the local arena. In addition, they provide bulk food supplies to some of the local resource centers and other social outreaches.
All this is supplied free of charge through the large amount of food and clothing donated to their ministry from individuals and corporations in the south of the country. Most of the goods are stored in their home and around town in various buildings. They must cover the cost of shipping to Nain and have relied on donations from other ministries and individuals.
Twice a week they have services to youth and adults in a beautiful sanctuary created in the basement of their home. They offer corporate worship and individual counseling and Bible studies.
The ultimate dream of Ray & Juanita is to build a Christian Centre that offers not only spiritual food but practical helps such as a youth centre, food and clothing distribution centre and more located on an adjacent lot that they own.
A few weeks before going to Nain, I met with Mr. Norm Cheng of the Bible League in Burlington who provided me with several information kits and some resources to deliver to the Christian leadership in Nain. I was amazed at the interest by lay people though, especially with such material as the Manga Messiah Bible. I left three copies there to serve as examples to show people. The reception especially by young people was overwhelming. Their main comment was “.. is this really a Bible? ... wow, I would show this to any of my friends!” Even youth as young as eight years old read it and thought it was “neat”.
In the end I asked the League to send up a dozen more and Ray said he will use them as a “Bible study” for his Thursday and Sunday night groups, having the youth keep the Bibles and “show them off” to their friends. He also said he will be taking copies to the school and ask to have them displayed there. I personally believe that this Bible will be a major tool and key to reach the youth in the community and by extension, the parents.
A husband and wife team was also staying with Ray & Juanita. Pastor Mike and Flora Mason from Scotland have spent 7 weeks in Nain seeing what is going on and learning first-hand about the Inuit and ministry in the North. They will be returning to Ottawa where they are affiliated with Bill Prankard and his worldwide outreach to aboriginal people in Arctic Canada and Arctic Russia.
Pastor Mike said that he firmly believes that this Manga Messiah Bible will be well received by the ministry in Ottawa and is praying for an expansion of its use in Inuit and First Nation communities. He is personally impressed with the quality and the method of presentation of the Gospel through the Manga Messiah Bible.
Although the general socio-economic situation in the community is low in terms of southern-Canadian standards there are several ‘lights’ of hope shining through community based outreaches and individuals who are able to minister to the spiritual and social needs in the community. The overall wellness of the community is very dependant upon the working, hunting and fishing conditions that can vary from season to season and year to year. In times of lack in these areas, the community can face an increase in social problems that can only be alleviated by outside intervention.
The greatest spiritual need is a renewal of hope only to be found in a relationship with Christ. This will come about as people in the community shed their bindings of religiosity and tradition and individually seek Christ. Practically of course the greatest need is food, clothing and shelter that is presently not provided by government to the degree needed. Secondly, the greatest need is to address the social evils of alcohol, drugs, abuse and abandonment found in the community.
Here are a few photographs of Nain and the ministry activities that I was involved in.
View of part of the community of Nain Overlooking the Bay – still not frozen over
Pastor Ray Whalen of Shining Light Ministries The Moravian Church in Nain
Ian & some of the kids outside the Arena Unloading Supplies for the Resource Centre
Sunday night Worship gathering at Ray’s Praise & Worship with Ian & Mike
© Three Cord Ministries – 2007
October 16-25, 2005: Taivititut Gospel Music Festival in Salluit, Nunavik
2003 – Arctic Bible Conference –
The Northern Lights over
For the first time, a large-scale
Arctic Bible conference was held in the community of
Baker Lake, Nunavut. Nearly 500
people flew by scheduled air services and charters from all around the
Planning started many months ago
and was spearheaded by Pastors Joan and Bill Kashla
Panoramic View of the 500-plus attendees in the Baker Lake Arena
Many Inuit Pastors such as James
Arreak from Iqaluit,
Billy Arnaquq from Qikiqtarjuaq, Leoni
The weather in
God’s Hand Over Baker Lake
Homes were opened for billeting
conference goers as the population of
The messages given were focussed
on many Christian topics including Spiritual gifts, walking the walk in
silence, submission to His will among others. Each evening several came for
prayer and gave themselves to the Lord. One significant event took place on
the Sunday night service. Those from Nunavik who had lost loved ones to
suicide were matched up with those from
Praise and worship times were to say the least ‘lively’ – the Praise Team from Arviat and from Salluit were the major teams and brought the attendees into the presence of God with their music. They ministered during offering time and before ministry time – the Inuit know how to worship and dance and be ‘undignified’ before the Lord – Praise the Lord.
I returned before the end of the conference because of
flight schedules but the time in
Here are some more of the 150 pictures that I took.
Sandy Kakayuk of Salluit Pastor Georges Kakayuk of Salluit
Setting Up the Arena with 500+
chairs The flag of
Flags from various Arctic Communities Pastor Joan and Bill Kashla
Janet Mills preaching Some of the 500 plus attendees
Many families picnic-ed in snow Caribou and all the ‘fixings’
© Three Cord Ministries – 2003
Ian spent nearly a week
attending the Eastern Arctic Bible Conference in the small community of
PUVIRNITUQ on the East coast of
En route to and from
Puvirnituq, Ian stayed overnight with Paul and Eva Lapage
in Kuujjuaq. They have a small house-church
ministering to several local people as well as to any saints passing through Kuujjuaq. Paul & Eva, two friends and Ed Tetrault from
Here are a few photos from that trip.
Paul, Ian & Eva at
The one STAR Hotel NOVA LINGA One morning we when we ran out of water, we
had to melt snow!
Ministry Time was Wonderful ……………..…. as was the Praise and Worship
Josh & Janet Mills, Joan & Dave Ellyatt Paul Lapage, Tom Mesher, Eva, Ian and
Ed Tetrault from
© Three Cord Ministries – 2003
October 2002 – Taivititut Gospel Music Festival in Salluit, Nunavik
Ian’s first trip to
Canada’s arctic region took place between October 18 and 29 2002 when he
attended the Taivitatut [David-a-toot] Gospel Music
Festival held in the most northerly community in Quebec in the region called
Nunavik. Taivitatut translates as “Praising like
David”. Earlier that year he attended the 30th Anniversary of the Bill
Prankard Evangelistic Association ministry in
Getting to Salluit from
Paul and his wife Elaisa and their four children made Ian most welcome, let him have a whole bedroom (in their two bedroom house) to himself and provided wonderful hospitality. The music festival started several days later, so in the meanwhile, he help wherever there was a need. Others from the South such as Josh Mills of New Wine International and David Ellyatt of Arctic Missions Outreach both from London, Ontario were there along with many Inuit from across the Eastern Arctic.
The festival was five days (nights) of non-stop Praise and Worship bands and groups playing from 7pm to sometimes as late as 3am. Those scheduled to play at were on at 1 or … night after night as the Lord was praised … but nobody cared about the time! On the last day Sunday, a community lunch was provided for the nearly 300 people in attendance.
What a joy it was to be part of this celebration. The Lord gave Ian his first song “I’m Gonna Dance, Gonna Sing” while staying at Paul’s home. On the way back, Ian stayed again at Paul & Eva Lapage’s and took part in their home-church service.
Here are some pictures of the nearly two week trip.
Arriving in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik Twin Otter ready to leave for Salluit
Paulusie Saviadjuk in his home office The crowds were the best part of the festival
Overlooking the community of Salluit Time for Bible Study – Ian, James Arreak, Dave
Ellyatt, Billy Arnaquq and Bobby Deer
All set to leave – WOW, what an
experience Arctic tundra and
© Three Cord Ministries – 2002