EASTER SPECIALLING | A JOURNEY TO B.C.
Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, is to take off our shoes.
For the place we are approaching is Holy.
Else we may find ourselves treading on men’s and women’s dreams.
More seriously still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.
As we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus in Hazelton and the surrounding communities, we realized we were on Holy Ground. Everywhere we went God’s presence was felt; every person we met was a blessing God granted to us.
Events for this Celebration weekend included the Good Friday service where young violinists debuted their offering of praise to God in music. Captain Shari Russell spoke about the Victory of the Cross. On Friday evening the surrounding communities, from Prince Rupert to Smithers, gathered in Hazelton for a Community Music Festival to support the Salvation Army Food Bank. A response from Captain Russell to the community thanking them for their donations was given with a challenge to have the cross as the centre of healing. A united concert band presented various selections including Salvation Army compositions. The Salvation Army singers from Sik-e-dakh Corps, the violin group and a Singing Group from Hazelton also presented musical items. The message of Good Friday was presented in various forms throughout the evening as people sang ‘Majesty’ together. The highlight of Saturday was a Youth gathering followed by a Corps Potluck with traditional foods and a singspiration time together.
Easter Sunday morning began with a march around the community of Sik-e-dakh praying for the people in the community and sharing an invitation for them to join in our celebrations. The Celebration of New Life in the worship service at Hazelton was highlighted by the dedications of three young children to God. A message of the significance of the Third Day resonated within the hearts of our First Nations people. The afternoon service was in Gitsegulka where we began with a march followed by a service. Captain Shari Russell shared her testimony of the healing that can be found in Jesus. Dancing to “The River of Life” by Broken Walls was a prayer of God’s healing for these communities. As we gathered together again in Sik-e-dakh for the evening service Captain Russell spoke on Reconciliation based on Ephesians 2:11-22. Cadet Tina Phanthaamath also shared her testimony of how God brought her from a Buddhist tradition into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Her love and joy for her salvation which shone from her was a blessing to those gathered together. The service was concluded with the elders and local community people praying for their Officers. This was a beautiful spirit of encouragement and intercession.
Captain Shari Russell is a CFOT Field Training Officer and Instructor. She is also the Territorial Aboriginal Liaison. Shari is married to Robert Russell and they have 3 sons (C.J., Gavin and Brannon) and a dog (August).