New Friends in the North

by Jonathan Beers
Lead Pastor, Northern Cross Community Church, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador

Living in the North, in Goosethe view Susanne in Goose Bay Bay, Labrador, one of the groups our church interacts with on a regular basis is the Aboriginal community. It’s a connection that often begins with someone looking for food and water or transportation. For one middle-aged woman, it eventually led to her accepting invitations to potluck at our church and has merged into an ongoing friendship. Her name is Susanne.

Jonathan: Can you share a little of what your life is like on a daily basis?
Susanne: Life here is some good and some bad. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you are just hungry and need something to eat…sometimes you just try and find a dry place so sometimes I stay with my aunt or cousins and sometimes I don’t know where I am going to stay, but that’s ok, it usually works out.

J: What is some of the grief that you carry with you?
S: I have five children but one of my boys drowned when he was out fishing. I miss him very much. Thinking about him makes me sad and I think about him every day. He was my son you know…sometimes it makes me very sad to think about that. I try to just keep going and not think too much about it.

J: What is a question that you would like to ask God?
S: I wonder sometimes why life can be so hard…I trust God, I do, I know he’s there. But sometimes I wonder. I don’t always feel him as close as I’d like, but when I do, I know he’s there walking with me each day. I know whether it’s a good day or not, he is there and that helps. I try to believe in what God tells me every day, but it’s not always easy.

J: What is one of your biggest challenges that you face day to day?
S: People think they know you. They see you around town, how you dress and assume they know you. The truth is there is more to people than you think…you know, it’s seeing past how someone looks to who they really are…not thinking you know that person all figured out when you don’t, that’s really important to me…sometimes as Innu we need to be reminded that we come from a good history. Traditions and family are important and its important to always remember that every day.

J: What do you think about Northern Cross Community Church?
S: The people at church I call friends. As Innu, we are taught to share with those around us. They practice that and remind me that God loves me, and I need to be reminded of that a lot. I know I can go there and get water or food, but most of all I know they will listen and that is really important to me. When I was very upset one day the Pastor told me that God is with me, that Jesus’ love is deeper than any trouble I might have, that gave me hope. Everybody needs hope, every day to get them through.

This article is found in the Spring 2016 issue of CBM’s mosaic magazine, read it here.