“It looked like a tornado had torn through it.”
“God has a plan for the Indigenous People,” Deloris assured me. It was a Friday morning and I’d called Deloris Netmaker to chat with her about a miracle regarding a stolen car and a bag full of money.
Marvin and Deloris Netmaker are both professional educators. Before coming to Saskatoon and starting All Nations Church, they had spent 10 years at Big River First Nation teaching and working in the local church. In 2012, God called them back to Saskatoon, and they landed at a large urban church called The Neighbourhood Church (formerly Lawson Heights Pentecostal Assembly). They were still involved in ministry through Saskatchewan Aboriginal Ministries (SAM), visiting the indigenous churches in Saskatchewan, but they were used to being plugged into the life of a local church. Sitting was new territory. But they knew God had called them to Neighbourhood Church, so they stayed. Eventually they started a home prayer group, specifically for the indigenous community. A year and a half later, Pastor John Drisner asked them to officially start a work and they founded All Nations Church, using Neighbourhood Church’s facilities.
Marvin and Deloris know that in the last days God will strategically use the Indigenous Peoples of Canada to advance His kingdom and reach all nations. Their goal is to train, equip and send their people into the nation. Part of their vision is also realized through SAM, which holds family camp meetings in the summer.
This past summer the SAM family camp had its best year yet. At the end of the week, approximately $7,200 had been collected from registrations. Marvin headed to the district office to make sure the money was in a safe place, but by the time he arrived, the office was closed. On his way home, he decided to stop at the gym. He made sure the car was locked so the money would be safe until he could drop it off the next day. When he left the gym to go home, the car was gone.
“He called me right away,” Deloris said. “The first thing I asked him was, ‘Is the money in the car?’ It was devastating. I didn’t care about the car, but I cared that this person stole God’s money.” They phoned the police. Then they phoned their church and asked them to start praying.
“Right away people from the church came and met with us to pray,” Deloris recalled. “We met at the McDonald’s and formed a prayer circle in the parking lot. One person prayed that the car would be found that same night. Someone else prayed that the thief’s eyes would be blind to the money in the car, that the bag would be invisible to them. Afterwards, we went back home to meet with the police and give our report. They promised they would be on the lookout but said we should just say goodbye to the money.”
Marvin’s wallet was also in the car along with a few prepaid credit cards. Marvin looked up the purchase history on the cards and saw that some transactions had just been made at a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart. Off he went with a church member to see if they could find the car, and there it was near the Shoppers Drug Mart.
“It looked like a tornado had torn through it. Papers from the glove compartment were everywhere. It was a mess,” Deloris said. “But sitting on the floor on the passenger side, right by the wheel well, was the bag of money. Completely untouched.”
This miracle was a testimony to the police officer and to those who had prayed. “It showed us how important it is to be specific in our prayers,” Deloris said. “And that God cares about all the details of our lives.”
Marvin and Deloris believe Ephesians 3:20, that God is able to do immeasurably more than they can ask or imagine. All Nations Church meets on Sundays at 2 p.m. in Neighbourhood Church. One of their desires is to have their own building to function in and reach out from. Marvin also works as a band councillor with the chief and council of Big River Nation, and Deloris works full time in the educational field. They would love to be able to do their ministry full time.
Due to budget constraints, Saskatchewan Aboriginal Ministries was not able to do a youth conference last year. So they asked All Nations Church if they could take it on. Deloris said, “I was nervous because we are still only about 60 people. How could our small church put on a whole conference? But it is such a huge need, especially in northern Saskatchewan where the teen suicide rates are so high, and there are many other issues our young people are facing. So I said yes.”
The youth conference, called Project Hope, had over 350 people in attendance. All Nations partnered with Crystal Lavallee, founder of I Am Compelled—an organization that inspires kids and youth to be positive citizens in their country—to help run the event.
“In 2016, God stirred our hearts to respond to the suicide crisis in Canada’s northern regions,” Crystal said, her passion palpable. “We had no idea that saying ‘yes’ to God would accelerate divine connections, favour and finances for Project Hope. God’s eyes are on the First People, and it’s time for the sleeping giant to rise up.”
While the work God has asked them to do is not always easy, Marvin and Deloris are the first to say it is always worth it. They have many stories of God’s provision and abundance. After hanging up the phone, I sat back and marvelled at how great our God is. What an honour it is to be embraced by those who were first to call this land home. Together, as God’s family, we can reach all nations for Him.
Jordan Hageman is a freelance writer from Stoney Creek, Ont., and a regular contributor to testimony magazine.
Image ©istockphoto.com. This article appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of testimony, the bimonthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.