by Walter Selke, NCEM General Director

Standing in a back room with a group of friends, we began to pray. It was the first Sunday of a new church plant that my wife, Cindy, and I were about to begin. We had been NCEM missionaries in Regina, Saskatchewan, for six years already. We had built relationships, led people to the Lord, held Bible studies, contributed to other ministries, and now felt a strong pull on our hearts to plant a church.

I remember the uncertainty of actually beginning Sunday services. Would anyone come out? How would we lead the service? What kind of sound system would we need? Who would help with Sunday school? Could Cindy lead worship music? All these and many more questions were flooding my heart as I reflected on the strong call I had to start a new work.

The call had come with a lot of prayer. Walking through the community and praying, standing on the street corners and praying, laying awake at nights and praying – all cries of, “Oh God, can You come and bring healing and wholeness into this community? Can you let Your light shine in the darkness, and can You use me in this work?”

God answered my cry through His Word! Over and over He led both Cindy and me into a deep conviction that we were to plant a church. Standing in that little room and praying, I had a deeper conviction than ever that God had called me to this special work, and I wanted to be faithful. After our prayer time, one of my friends who had come to be an encouragement at our first service, asked, “What if one day you get up front, and there is no one to listen to your message?”

I pondered that only for a moment. “Well, then I’m going to preach to the empty chairs and to the heavenly host!” I proclaimed with conviction. “Why?” he asked. I answered, “Because my calling is to faithfulness, I will leave the results up to God!”

I love the focus of this Northern Lights issue. Church planting is the heart of NCEM and we are so blessed to have seen God faithfully using His people to plant His Church. Thank you for being a part of God’s work among Canada’s First Peoples!