The Coming and Going
It is hard to know where to
begin describing the four days in Québec City attending the Watchmen For the Nations, ONE HEART
Gathering. Marg and I have never been in such a diverse gathering of Canadians
– Canadians who confess Jesus as their Lord and Saviour! A group of us from
including some from the Peterborough area, the Golden Horseshoe
and even one from B.C. travelled to Québec City on a coach tour arranged by Canadian
Christian Tours. Doug Campbell was our host and it was
the first time that a CCT tour was arranged for Watchmen gatherings. We
left a day early on Wednesday and came back on the Monday following the
last day of the conference.
Thank you Doug and staff!
After a very eventful start
originating from the Crossroads
Center in Burlington, that included inclement
weather, snarled Toronto traffic, construction
everywhere on the 401, we finally arrived in Québec City after nearly 14 hours! The
following day however, we were treated to a wonderful tour of the city
including the old sections and many famous landmarks such as the Plains of Abraham where we were to have our
march on Sunday.
The ‘One Heart’ Conference
started on Thursday night July 28th with nearly 4000 in
attendance. This included over 150 Inuit from Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut (the newly named Inuit territory
many First Nations and Métis as well as Québecquois and Anglophones from
across Canada. In addition there were
dozens from overseas.
The “One Heart” bus group from
Toronto Some of the Group at
click for full-resolution Image (our “leader" Doug Campbell is front right)
The conference titled “One Heart”
or in French “Un Seul Cœur” was the next step in a progression of over ten
years of bringing healing to Canada through God’s people humbling
themselves, confessing corporate and individual sins and reconciling with
their brothers and sisters from different cultures in this country. It took
place from Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31 at the Québec City Conference Center.
Since 1995, Watchmen for the
Nations, spearheaded by David Damian, has
coordinated a series of Gatherings for the leadership and body of Christ in
Canada. Unlike traditional
conferences with lineups of speakers and prescribed schedules, these
Gatherings centre on a singular guiding principle: believers congregating
to seek the face of the Lord corporately for His purposes for the church.
The French banner for ‘One Heart” The Inuit, First Nations
and Métis celebrating.
Inuit & First Nation
Leaders raise the Canadian flag. The flag of Nunavut is raised for all to see.
Throughout the conference we
were all so proud of our Canadian, Provincial and Territorial flags and the
unity shown between all nations and regions in Canada – French, English, Inuit,
First Nations, Métis and Immigrants.
Praise, Worship, Forgiveness & the ‘Marriages’
One of the most meaningful
aspects of the conference was the magnificent praise and worship. At every
session we were taken through the frontlines of Spiritual warfare.
Denominational and cultural walls came tumbling
down right before our eyes.
Every day of the conference,
more and more healing took place – healing first between the French and
English Canadians – the ‘marriage’ of these two groups was a moving scene
with leaders such as David Maines and others blessing our French brothers
Then healing and
reconciliation between the Inuit, First Nations and Métis with French and
English Canada – leaders and individuals from all these groups confessed wrongs, gave and received forgiveness and reconciled
right before us – we were a part of these marriages between fellow Canadian
Then yet another ‘marriage’
ceremony took place with vows being renewed between all the married couples
Praise and Worship leaders
‘going before’ the Lord. Nearly
every national group in Canada was
brought together before the Lord .
conference, the on-stage dancers brought to life the themes and feelings of
the conference – the ‘marriages’, the history of French Canada and the
founding of Québec City in 1608.
One significant event was the
placing of people’s watches on the first-nation drum shown below. We all
are synchronized now to ‘Indian Time’ an expression coined at the
The “umbrellas of nations”
displayed on stage. The watches of
the cultures brought together
in “Indian Time”. It is God’s time for Canada!
There were so many highlights
of the gathering in Québec City but they were eclipsed by the
march on Sunday, July 31. The march was led by the Inuit followed by the First
Nations and Métis followed by the Provinces and finally the overseas
Nearly 4000 strong marched
through Québec City from the Conference Center, past the Québec Parliament
buildings and on to the Plains of Abraham where Canadian history was
set by the battle of over 200 years ago. It was so fitting to have the
march end there and have public reconciliation displayed on the very
grounds where French and English fought each other so many years ago.
Marching in front of the Parliament buildings. Nearly 4000 marching in downtown Québec City.
Marg and I enjoying the sun and the
parade. Marchers arriving on the Plains of Abraham.
Some of the multitudes
assembling before God Many
first-nation, provincial and territorial flags
on the Plains
in full view of the mighty
dotted the back-drop of the picnic.
St. Lawrence River.
Never has Canada witnessed such an outpouring
of unity and reconciliation – the ‘marriage’ of French and English Canada
and the First Nations and Immigrants. Praise the Lord! May we now take the
torch and continue to nurture this new covenant of marriage within our own
Ian & Marg Ridpath