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Moving Into Northern Canada

two First Nations people

Aileen John’s first day on her new mission station didn’t happen when she’d hoped.

When it eventually took place, it didn’t go as planned.

Like many northern communities, housing in Fort Liard, Northwest Territories (NWT), is sparse. A mobile home was the solution, and one was secured near Edmonton with plans to move it.

That was over a year ago. Then came delay after delay … permits from local and territorial authorities seemed so slow in coming. After the home was moved, there were more delays in power hookup, then more waiting for inspections.

Aileen had been preparing for her move for some time, and admits to being anxious. Leaving her home in Ontario, she had completed NTM’s cross-cultural church planting course. After building up her prayer/financial support team, while waiting for the go ahead for Fort Liard, she’d moved west, serving at Northern Canada Evangelical Mission’s (NCEM) home office in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and assisting in ministry at Ahtahkakoop First Nation.

Finally, on January 7 she would be driving the last leg of her journey, from Fort Nelson, British Colombia, to Fort Liard.

Then the unforeseen. Close to the “Welcome to NWT” sign, Aileen’s car slid off the road. Alone, out in the -20 degrees Celsius cold, for most of an hour she shovelled snow, with no success at getting out.

“Then, on a road where I had seen almost no vehicles, three came by and all stopped!” says Aileen. “All were from Fort Liard. The first people phoned for help. Soon a truck arrived to pull me out.

“I don’t really call this an ‘accident,’” she says. “I misjudged the side of the road, but I believe the Lord allowed it to give me opportunity to meet numerous people from Fort Liard even before I arrived!

“I was wet, cold, and weary by the time I arrived at the Amprakos’ home (my missionary coworkers), but I was once again reminded that I can trust the Lord to take care of me.”

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Aileen John is a member of NCEM.

Posted in Indigenous Ministries