St. John's, Newfoundland/Labrador
St. John’s is a very unique, colourful city. We are very impressed with what we have seen. Unfortunately it rained Saturday night through Monday. It made prayer a wee bit more difficult as we needed to pray inside different places.
The first day we prayed at the legislative building and The Rooms, the provincial museum and archives. During a tour of the building we were overwhelmed with oppression to the point of gasping for breath in the assembly hall and the lobby. We stood in the lobby praying for the government. Newfoundland has suffered a number of economic boondoggles since they entered confederation in 1949. A boondoggle is by definition work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value. It also means a public project of questionable merit that typically involves political patronage and graft. Different Premiers of the province have spearheaded projects such as a rubber boot factory, chocolatier, high end knitwear company, hydroponic cucumber plant, Come by Chance oil refinery, Churchill Falls hydroelectric project and Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. We prayed through the lack of wisdom, greed and avarice involved with it all. These projects have caused a growing encumbrance to the economy and the public debt. In many ways the actions of the government seemed to suck the very life out of Newfoundlanders leaving them with very little hope.
We, then, went to The Rooms, a lovely museum and home of the provincial archives. Our focus there was praying for the extinction of the Beothuk first nations people by 1829. They withdrew from their natural coastal homes due to distrust of the European settlers causing suffering due to a lack of food. They also couldn’t cope with tuberculosis and other European diseases. Some of them were enslaved and brought to Europe as curiosities. They originally painted their bodies red using ochre from which the Europeans coined the phrase ‘red skins’. Ironically there are two representations of Beothuk on the crest of arms for N/L.
We prayed repenting of abuse, enslavement, disregard, violence, etc. As we were finishing we felt sorrow and overwhelming grief for these people. It became clear that not only were the Beothuk gone but the land had been only a place used for its natural resources, particularly the fish. The Basque, the Portuguese, the French, the English, even the Vikings had all laid claim to Newfoundland but it was not with the intent of settling but of owning the riches of the sea and land. We then took authority over the orphan spirit, of not belonging, upon the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was very powerful.
On our second day we prayed extensively in our accommodations before going out onto the land. The day before the overwhelming issue was the orphan spirit. I am desperately trying to describe to you how the Holy Spirit guides us in prayer. We began with worship and listening for the Holy Spirit’s direction to each of us. Every person hears differently but it all comes together like a beautiful collage. As we repented for past actions of our forefathers a dream came forth, a prayer of repentance for judging Newfoundland that God is not here, feelings of being trapped and confused and different scriptures led us to the most significant issue, the lack of identity. There was such inner conflict caused by the layers of history and cultural exportation from abroad. There was imperialism, class structure, separation of Catholics and Protestants, greed, mockery, character generalizations, and lack of respect.
When we finished we headed off to Signal Hill, which was totally fogged in. The sun was shining through the fog so intensely at Signal Hill we needed to wear sunglasses even though we couldn’t see the city or even the narrows initially. As we prayed there about issues from World War II we rang a bell over the city. With each chime of the bell the fog lifted so that we could see the city.
When the fog lifted we could see the narrows leading into St. John’s harbour. The rock face there highlighted Caroline’s dream of people on a cliff face. We repented of the class issue and released the people from the bondage of the system to thrive.
We went onto Cape Spear, the furthermost eastern point in North America. We blessed the province as a gateway to Canada. We spoke a releasing of prosperity, blessing, wisdom, and revival over the land.
We finished with Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway in St. John’s, which was amazingly difficult to find. Bonnie and Jim stood in the gap for the churches within the Christian faith. Jim repented for the Protestant ministers and Bonnie repented for the Catholic priests. We released a blessing of unity and hope. We prayed for a release of labourers into the harvest and called for revival in the land.
Mae Clowe from Kelowna but raised in Newfoundland joined the team in St. John’s to pray. Here’s her response to being involved: “During my time in in Newfoundland the Lord spoke a few things to me. First of all He showed me my judgement on the land and people there for which I needed to repent. The second thing and more important is that He really spoke to me about my new identity in the heritage of the Lord. I am no longer bound by the past history of my family and the history of strife and division that has caused an identity crisis in the people of Newfoundland, which I have been carrying for a long time even as a believer.”
Some of the scriptures we used are:
- Ps. 103:11, 12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
- Matt 9:36-38 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
- Matt 16:16 -19 “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.””