Nothing flashy about this place. But inside this stark edifice the
building transformed and small miracles became possible on Mother’s Day.
Christine: Today we went to the Jubilee Church and we did our thing and we stood up and asked if people want prayer. So this girl came up and she asked me to pray about how she had been abused in her life because an incident came up recently that brought her back to it and she was feeling all kinds of unsafe and uneasy feelings.
So I prayed for her and I particularly prayed God would make safe where she sleeps and where her family sleeps and she was touched by that. This is the whole reason I came to Kenora—to pray with women about abuse. It was a good moment.
Click on the photo of Lura above to view a video that brings her expressive worship alive
Lura: So dancing at the Jubilee Church today was really awesome for me. There were quite a number of First Nations People and most were very open to greet and talk and connect. I feel like my dancing went well and they received it well. I was able to pray for two women at the end of the service.
The first lady, her name was Laura, and she asked for prayer for her family and her spiritual life. We had a good time of prayer. The second lady, K, is a tribal council woman, and she expressed that she wanted prayer for the council and the people on the reserve. She said there is much strife and fighting and backbiting among the people. She is a believer but she mentioned that bringing the gospel to her people was very difficult, due to colonialism and the residential school trauma. They associate Jesus with all the bad things they have been through since the church was involved in those things.
So we prayed that more indigenous ministers would come, and be able to reach the people with the message of Christ. I also prayed that she personally could connect with the other Christians and they could strategize on how to minister to their people. I spent some time encouraging her and letting her know people were praying for her, that she wasn’t alone and should keep going.
The banner says it all
Stephanie: First of all it floored me that a name and description for God was given at Jubilee Church that was also given earlier in Devotions for our team. I was trying to stay awake during the service itself because I was so tired. After the service I prayed for 3 people. First person was a man who is currently separated from his wife, and it was huge thing for him to come up for prayer. One of the leaders in the congregation was also praying in the Spirit for him at the same time he came up for prayer. Basically I prayed he would continue to walk in the light, and to be raised up as a man after God’s own heart and be a warrior and shepherd and shield for his family.
The second person was also a man who asked for prayer that he would be able to reconcile with his family. He is also a prayer warrior for his family. Ammi prayed for him first. I just prayed for a fresh anointing for his ministry of prayer and a heart for people, and I used the armor of God to pray over him—with mind, salvation, etc. And I prayed for protection and that he would recognize distractions from his ministry and would be able to deal with those.
The third person was one of the leaders in the church. The first thing I shared with her was the Levitical blessing in Numbers 6:22-26. And then I shared the story of Ruth and in chapter 3:11 it says that Ruth was a woman of noble character and I said that she is. That every good promise of God will be fulfilled. That God’s words will not come back without being fruitful (Isaiah 55:11-12) And that God’s words created the world (Psalm 33:6, 9). Also her life and words and actions would ripple out like a stone thrown into a pond creates ripples.
Sally shares her testimony as a child examines a rose
Sunny: First I want to say when Sally was singing her first song and sharing her testimony about being bullied and hurt—when she started talking about that many of the people in the back row, you could see a change in their countenance. They looked extremely interested and there were a few subtle nods of heads as if to say we understand that. And then some of them started leaning forward, engaging in her story. And then of course the song following, as they continued nodding and looking at her with focus.
When we assisted with prayer afterward the first person that came up was a Native Woman. I asked what do you want me to pray with you about and she also said all the negative stuff going on at the reserve. She mentioned violence against the people and people being hateful to one another, and also vengeful toward one another. And she was at a loss what to do about this and wanted prayer about what she should do. So we prayed about those things and she was good with the prayers and felt listened to and ministered to.
Then there was a little girl who came up and she wanted prayer for her daddy D, because he was home sick. So we prayed that he would get well and I included mentally, spiritually, physically, however he needed to be healed. And she was good with that.
The last person I prayed for was appeared to be non-native. And his heart’s desire was to work more with the native people. He felt his job got in the way of doing some of that. So I prayed with him that he would not go before God but go with God, that he would have discernment about working with the native people and discernment about working in his job.
Dave: I woke up this morning excited. I actually got up an hour early because I was excited to sing along with Joan. That started off my day well. And then when we went to Jubilee Church I was also struck by the fact that when we ended our trip in Fort Frances we came to Kenora to check it out and after a heavy day we had dinner at the Italian Restaurant right across from Jubilee Church, though we didn’t know it at the time. God had us right there.
So—in the service I also had an opportunity to introduce myself and just share a little bit of my background of who I am. And then I was able to share a worship song with them, “Good Good Father.” And I looked up and there were some people who were teary-eyed. Then I took my seat afterward and was happy that God used me to bless people.
Deacon Dave makes a rare appearance and sings Good Good Father
Thirdly, during Sally’s part of the service, she brought up the time where I told God I would go to His people if He would come to mine—and this was right before the Israel trip in 2016. So I shared that with the congregation. During prayer time it seemed as though native women were coming up to me for prayer but I looked away not wanting to be possibly inappropriate.
And so finally, when there were no other prayer people available a non-native woman came up to me. She was crying and I said, “Is there anything specifically I can pray for you about?” And so she said, “I work for a First Nations program that works with “at risk” youth and young people and I would like prayer for breakthrough with them, and how to reach them. And also prayer for breakthrough in my own life” So I began to pray for her about those things and then I felt the Lord move. And I felt the authority to pray and to bless her. It felt new. I don’t know if it was for this trip or more, but it was different.
And then it started to roll. Another woman walked up to me and she was native. She asked for prayer about sobriety because she had been sober and she wanted to continue in her sobriety and for God to set her free. She wants to come to church more but her old man wants to do things the traditional way. So he doesn’t really want to go. And then she said he will want to come also. So I just prayed that with scriptures that came to mind. I prayed the Lord would set her free and strengthen her and keep her sober. And I prayed for him that the scales would fall from his eyes and he would see Jesus is the way.
And then I felt the Lord move there also—like shotgun on me. I got blessed too! I asked the third woman her name and she told me. I said is there anything specifically I can pray for? And she said she had a kidney infection. So I said, ok let me pray for you. And again this anointing rose up in me to pray for her. I said, “Can I ask you a silly question? Do you believe Jesus can heal?” She immediately agreed. And then I asked her, “Do you believe Jesus can heal you?” And there was a pause and she said yes. Then I prayed according to her confession the Lord would heal her. I felt the Spirit of God move and then I opened my eyes and her hands were up and she was a little teary.
So then I felt ready for God to use me to heal. I looked around in the seats and this lady was looking right at me. And as the previous woman walked away she got up and walked right up to me. And I said, “How can I pray for you?” And she said, “I would like healing in my body.” And she wanted healing in both her hips. So then I saw Joan was free and asked her to lay hands on the woman and I prayed initially. So Joan laid hands on her and I prayed for her first and then Joan took over. And again I felt the Lord move.
Jurgen: We went together to the Jubilee Church and Sunny explained to me how to greet First Nation people and showed me you do the handshake with hardly any squeeze. After that I walked around before the service and I greeted and shook hands with people. We had a beautiful, blessed time together.
Sally started sharing and blowing the shofar and singing the Sh’ma, and it was very anointed—very encouraging. And as Sally does many times she shared her story, what happened to her, with the people encountering a dog and being viciously bitten, and how it dramatically changed her life as a girl. She also started sharing about Germany again and the Holocaust, and how she started reaching out at the different death places. It always reminds me of God’s grace and mercy, whenever she shares about how God can redeem.
Later on, at the end, Sally asked the team to come forward to pray for people, and people started coming forward to ask for prayer. Pastor Frank was coming over to me and I walked up to him and knelt down and hugged him and cried. It was a sense of the Presence of God’s love and I also wanted to ask him forgiveness, him being of Polish descent, for what we as Germans had done to his people and his country being totally aware that I have no idea what people went through at that time.
Pastor Frank is deep in prayer
And Frank just prayed for me and extended his forgiveness and blessed me and prayed a very encouraging prayer of release. I also had the privilege of praying for his back. He wanted physical prayer but also became aware his back is carrying too much for too long, too many burdens for too long. We asked God to remove those burdens from his back, which were not from Him, and put them on the cross. And we hugged.
Ammi: I think today was more a step back for me, to observe the way the team loves others. It was nice to see the many ways God uses our different personalities to show His multi-dimensional love. For example, Joan was always really kind and friendly, speaking to anyone she could find in the congregation. Jurgen’s humility made me cry when he fell on his knees before Frank.
Sally’s bravery to minister with her stories and songs, despite her resistant heart in the morning, Yara is quiet but kind heart to see people. Dave’s courage to be himself. Lura’s dancing reminded me of the Holy Spirit. And Sunny just has this quiet, but bold presence. And Stephanie and Christine just had so much courage to go up and bless people with their wounded hearts on Mother’s Day. It was a blessing to stand back and watch God work through the team.
Today was the first time I anointed anyone in prayer. It was nice for God to use me in tenderness. I touched the hands of people and it almost felt like I helped carry the load of their pain.
Yara: Today we went to Jubilee Church of God and I was so happy to see and to feel that the Lord was there. The congregation really seemed open to receive what God had for them. During the time of ministry people came up to get prayed for. I really felt an openness of the people to receive what God had for them. A young native lady came up for prayer and she really wanted to receive from the Lord and I believe God met her. And then another lady came up to me and I asked if there was anything I could pray for her about and she said, “I don’t have anything in particular, just pray.” This was difficult for me but I had to remember it’s God who knows her and it’s God who will give me the words to speak to her, even though I had no clue who she was or what she wanted.
But I really felt God really gave me the words to speak to her and I thank God for that. It was awesome. And I was very blessed by Pastor Frank and Lynn. They really have a heart for their people—their congregation. That really blessed me.
Joan: This morning I was greatly excited in spirit to see so many First Nations people, young and old at the Jubilee Church. I’d never seen such a congregating to worship and hear of our Father’s love in one place. It seems usually in our District only a sprinkling of the First Nations are in the churches. I caught myself almost bursting into tears a few times with joy that there had been such a ground work and seed planting done in this city. Such faithfulness!
Pastor Frank and Lynn Kowal have prayed years for missionaries to minister in Kenora
My heart was pouring out love for the Pastor Frank and his wife Lynn who have been here ministering over 30 years. I could hear the passion and love of the Father in Lynn’s song and Frank’s worship and I could see the desire in their eyes for a harvest and to see the fruit of the labour of the ministers in town. She shared how much they were waiting on God to send help from anywhere to minister to the many hurting and how overcome with gratitude they were that God had sent us to them. I was given opportunity to pray and bless Lynn and witness her great faith and gratitude to God. This encouraged me to believe for the miracles and blessings that God has for this whole district.
I feel like I was made to love and share hope of the Father with the broken. It’s like I was made to share how He saves and here we were in a place where freedom to do just this was given. All the people though diverse were so welcoming.
Before the service I greeted many people all of whom were so lovely. One young lady was in such a place of stillness, joy and awe because just that day she had recieved a car and was able to come to church. She had wanted to for years but was unable to get rides. She had seen an ad for this morning concert and visit at Jubillee and had really wanted to come. Her car deal and details were settled just this morning and here she was anticipating God to meet her. I saw during Sally’s singing of ‘Carried to the Table’ she had tears rolling down her face. He was indeed touched her heart.
After Sally’s ministry, during prayer time for the people many came forward for prayer and ministry and found encouragement and were given words of hope.
Joan dances with a boy. Who says you can’t have fun in church?
I was drawn to speak with a certain lady across the room and found she was very much invested in the ministering to the homeless in Kenora. Later Dave called me to pray with him for her. She came seeking prayer for pain but the Lord revealed the roots and areas He saw that would hinder wholeness. We saw a great humility in her to be real and to confess the heaviness in her heart. The calling she walks in has many facets and the struggle has placed her in a crossroads and a place necessitating much discernment and requiring a continual cleansing of her heart to keep in line with the Father’s purposes. We prayed together for the alignment of the Father to be manifested in every area of her life and that her body would follow as she focused on Jesus and His mercy and love. I felt heat burning under both of my hands that were on her as I prayed. We wait to hear what God has done.
As she shared and we prayed we realized there was so more to share and connect about. She spent time with the whole team in the afternoon and was greatly encouraged as were we. I felt like she was receiving us into her town and receiving the blessing we brought. She also invited us all to her home but other lunch plans were already made.
This day I found myself with a feeling if being in a candy shop. I mean that joyful expectation of a child came upon me. God was going to do something and here we were in the midst to taste and see His goodness.
At one time during Sally’s sharing time and after everyone had received their rose there was a draw in me to go outside to a man that I would see there.
I went outside and the streets were bare except for one First Nations man who was lingering around the entrance door out of sight from the inside. I greeted him with a rose and invited him inside. He was very moved by the music he heard coming from the inside but could not come in though he wanted to. He had to go and give a statement to the police for a Breaking and Entering . He was visibly moved to hear the congregation worshiping inside and said he would cone back . I was occupied with others and did not see if he came back but I ask you to pray for this dear man.
I am amazed and humbled by the moving of the Spirit through me today to minister to His children. I feel like such a child myself. It just confirms to me that Father will move through anyone who will avail themselves to Him even in their weakness, personal struggles and imperfections.
Sally shares the painful testimony of her early life. Spoiler alert: The story has a happy ending!
Sally: I was especially touched during Devotions this morning. I felt the Lord impress on me that I was to let people pray for me. As I sat down and Lura anointed me I felt the Lord show me how I was unwilling to let my heart be pierced by the brokenness of the people we were encountering. Their brokenness was overwhelming and I found myself trying to shield myself a bit. I was grateful for the prayers of the team that really helped me be more present and softer. As it turned out I misunderstood what time church started this morning and I didn’t have a chance to do what I felt I needed to get ready, which made me somewhat anxious, but thankfully, I was able to let go more after Lynn prayed for me and God used it all for His glory. I think we were all so encouraged that people felt safe enough to come up for prayer, and that God used us all to minister to the people there.
Please remember to leave and encouraging word or thought in the comments below if you have the time. God bless you!
All of your comments were so beautiful! I understand your wanting to step back a little bit Ammi and watch your team respond for awhile, but I can see your love if the Father and you are a great addition to “Team Kenora”! Gods rich blessings on all of you for your dedication, commitment and wisdom. Well done, good and faithful servants!
Gary Peyrot says
This morning I felt like Sally was a general leading an army into battle. Then I thought of her small team and how that was more like a platoon. Then I realized that there is a battle in the heavenlies and that the Lord must be sending an army of angels to do battle for the town of Kenora. How faithful is He to do great things when we move in accord with His Spirit!
Janice Flinn says
Thank you all for processing with us all your understanding of the outworking of these profound and deeply personal times of ministry.
Thank you to all on the team for keeping your “vessels” clean and allowing the Lord to use you to minister to the sheep of Pastor Frank’s wee flock. I am very, very impressed because I know there is a toll that has to be pain both personally and as a team for this to happen.
Praying that there will be time for you all to get adequate rest and also refuel as this new week of ministry unfolds. The reports are our prayerful lifeline. They make captivating reading and the visuals are also very inspiring.
With great love as always,
Oops – pain is paid!
Nancy Moline says
Thank you for the ‘windows’ to your world as these photos and videos allow us to see what you are experiencing in Kenora. They truly bring us into the work and enable us to feel like co-laborers together for the Kingdom! It also helps us to pray in a timely fashion and address your current needs, intercessions and praises.
May the JOY of the LORD be your strength! May He cause you to lie down and rest in His shalom at night…as He gives to His beloved rest and counsels them in the night. May you also wait on the LORD to have your strength renewed, so you may mount up with wings like eagles. That you may run and not grow tired and walk and not become weary. His mercies are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness to all generations and peoples!
To my sister Lura, may the Ruach HaKodesh truly be the ‘wind beneath, above and all around your wings’ (arms!) as you flag and stir up His moving among the people in each service and every time you dance. To my sister, Sunny, may you be given Yeshua’s peace to sleep uninterrupted during the night. May He assure you that He is taking care of everything, everyone, everywhere, especially those close to you.
To the entire team: May Father’s face to shine upon you that all in Kenora are drawn to Him through you!
In Yeshua’s name,
Brian and Julie Quelvog says
We pray for all of you and consider your ministry in this place and time the essence of what God has told us to do in all nations. Your approach to the gospel story is so simple and basic; no big production but so effective. It blesses our hearts to hear your stories.
Brian and Julie
Doreen Strohm says
All very amazing! Following these testimonies makes us feel like we are there with you!
Lis Trouten says
This is heartwarming. Basking in the flow even from hundreds of miles away.
Only hundreds, Liz? Think of us poor fools stuck here in California wanting our shot at the northern border . . . . Kenora here we come!