Hope travels to Klemtu, BC
December 20, 2018Mission Trip
Klemtu is a close-knit community comprised of basically 4 family groups. Each family has the symbol of an animal – Wolf, Eagle, Bear, or Orca. The main occupation in the village is fishing and related industries, but employment opportunities are limited. The community hub is the gymnasium where different activities are offered. The community is very isolated, accessed by water only, and all food must be brought in, which makes it extremely expensive. Family ties are very strong, and we observed a great spirit of generosity within the community.
On this trip, we spent five days visiting elders or shut-ins in their homes. We led Kids Camp in the afternoon, hosted a spa night for the women, and participated in the Sunday evening worship service. We also took part in community events, to meet people and to hear their stories.
It was our goal to be very good listeners. The elders and chiefs are highly respected in the community and we were eager to hear their stories and to pray with them for their community. For the Kids Camp, every afternoon we would gather all the children around and sing songs, read a Bible story, play games, and make crafts. Adults hung around too! The children were very shy at the beginning but by the last day, there were some solid friendships made.
We encouraged the local pastor, Andrew, a young man from Portland, Oregon, who has lived in the community for about 3 years. He did an excellent job of helping us understand the local culture and how to best support and minister to the community. Andrew was an invaluable resource to our team. By the time we left after 5 days, we could identify by name 111 people from the community of 400!
Each Sunday many gather for Sunday evening for worship. Our entire team helped with the singing, and two of our team members played instruments. Pastor Andrew, put on a puppet show for the children and had a heartfelt message for the adults. One of the elders also spoke during the worship. Several men sat along the back wall of the gym – too shy to come and sit in the seats we had placed in a semi-circle. However, they were still able to hear the message. At the end of the evening we shared food and one particular treat was popcorn with seaweed – something new for us!
Together we spent 25 volunteer hours planning and preparing for the mission trip, 4 days traveling to and from Klemtu and 5 days total while in Klemtu.
We spent four days traveling to get to Klemtu and another five days ministering to the community. It was a wonderful faith-stretching mission trip for all of us. We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a First Nations community in a cross-cultural ministry setting. We were welcomed warmly in a culture that highly values family, community, and generosity.
Each of us had opportunities to have meaningful spiritual conversations and prayer time with members of the community. Our congregation hopes to commit to returning to Klemtu for the next four years, and we are thankful to God for the opportunity to share His love with the people of Klemtu and we thank FaithLife Financial for providing the Mission Trip member benefit to help us get there! We were blessed by the people of Klemtu and we hope to go back!