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From Our Trapline

Arnold and Nattie Flett live in Garden Hill, a fly-in community of about 5,000 in northeastern Manitoba, and each fall season they spend time on their "trapline," which is about 120 kms from their home.


Last updated 9/10/2018 at 4:23pm

Tribal Trails TV News & Views

Arnold: We come here every fall around this time-end of September, beginning of October-to harvest fish and moose meat, most of which we bring back to Garden Hill to share. We also come here to reflect on God's creation, and it is also a time of prayer.

We came to know Jesus Christ about 35 years ago. Before that we were living a life of sin. Things were not working out right for our family, and for our marriage, but God intervened.

We didn't have anything to do with the church back then, but I remember hearing the gospel through some young people sharing their testimonies on our local TV station. Then one night I heard my wife crying and praying. I didn't say anything to her about it.

The next day I found it strange . . . she was much calmer. The Lord was working on my own heart, and I could only think about God.

I asked Nattie, "How does one become a Christian?"

She said, "Ask Jesus to forgive you."

That was the extent of my prayer, but it led to a complete change in my life.

Nattie: Things were not good in our home before that. We had two children at the time, and they were not secure or happy. It was a time of darkness for me, and I even thought about suicide. But it seemed as if God spoke to me about my dark thoughts and said, "What are your children going to do? If you leave, who's going to look after them?"

I had been in residential schools for many years, and I knew the feeling of loneliness, of not having a mother or father close by, and I didn't want my children to go through that. My parents were Christians, and I knew that they had been praying for us.

Even though I had been hostile to the gospel because of what I'd gone through as a young child, the Lord broke through. I remember crying and crying, and giving my heart to Jesus one night. Such a feeling of peace overcame me. I didn't say anything to my husband right away, but I knew something had changed.

Arnold: I had gained a strong desire to seek God and His Word, and every chance I got I read my Bible. We started to fellowship with the believers in Garden Hill, where Nattie's uncle was the pastor. I had a strong desire to share what had just happened in my own life.

Our church has an hour every Sunday on our local radio station, and that's where I gave my first public testimony. Then each week I began reading the Bible a bit on the air, and eventually started preaching. People listening knew about my former lifestyle, about the drugs and all that stuff. They ridiculed me at first, and kind of expected me to fall back, but I kept going.

We felt called to attend Bible school in Alberta. We both had high-paying jobs, but we made a choice to go by faith. After we returned to Garden Hill our pastor got sick, and they asked me to take over as pastor. Later we also pastored in Weagamow Lake for a few years, but about five years into ministry there I had two heart attacks, and we returned home to Garden Hill to rest.

Besides serving our church, we also felt called to minister more in our community. At that time there had been many suicides, so we counseled many individuals and families. I also formed a Gospel singing band, and we traveled to neighboring communities.

A few years ago people asked me to run for chief, and I was elected to a two-year term. That was a challenge, but I thank God for many opportunities to pray with my fellow Band councillors.

Nattie was very involved with a Christian school in Weagamow and still ministers to children and their families through her day care work in Garden Hill. All these years, and as I continue to pastor, we have been members of Native Evangelical Fellowship (NEFC).

As we spend time out on our trapline, I'm reminded that Jesus called His followers to be fishers of men. One of the things I know about fishing is that you have to know where the fish are. Here's a story from our lives to explain what I mean:

One summer people were walking by our house, drinking and waking us up a lot. So I prayed about it, and one night I took my lawn chair and sat on it beside the road at about two a.m., praying and waiting for these guys to come by. Sure enough, two guys came by and I said, "Hey." I scared them so bad they went off screaming, but then one of them who I recognized came back. I said, "Come here, I just want to pray for you."

Tribal Trails TV News & Views

Years later I heard this same fellow give his testimony. He told about me praying for him that night! I don't remember my exact prayer, but I believe it was that he would eventually get saved. Well, he did and even went to Bible school.

Being a fisher of men comes in many forms. We go out and share the gospel one-on-one. We share with families, with couples, and Nattie has shared one-on-one with ladies. I have shared with men's groups and sometimes in large conferences, and in church meetings.

There's a need out there. People need salvation and they need to hear more about Jesus, about what God can do for them.

Reprinted from Tribal Trails TV News & Views, a publication of Northern Canada Evangelical Mission. Used by permission.


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