Heart to Heart

Walking With One Another Through Life's Journeys


To build long-term relationships with individuals and families,

To inspire faith, hope and love through Jesus Christ &

To encourage and support couples and family relationships.

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Fort Hope 2022

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My name is Norm Wilson and it was my privilege to be a part of the Heart to Heart team that travelled to Fort Hope in June, 2022.  Although there were only five of us on the team, we were able to accomplish much in the week we spent in the community.

The Covid pandemic was certainly a challenge to deal with.  Each of us were required to have a negative PCR test within 3 days of arriving in Fort Hope.  Because I had tested positive for Covid a month previous, my PCR test still showed a positive result.  I prayed that if God really wanted me to be a part of this team, that he would bring about a resolution to this situation.  The health centre in Fort Hope decided that with documentation showing that I had tested positive previously, and with a negative rapid test, that I would be allowed in to the community.  Each member of the team had to take a daily rapid test during our stay, and show negative results.  Even though the community experienced a Covid outbreak while we were there, God provided health and safety to the five of us.

Our main purpose on this trip was to begin construction of a 32 by 12 foot addition to the current church building.  The addition will provide the Revival House of Prayer with two classrooms/dormitories along with a washroom with shower.  With the limited time we had and with the help of Pastor Jimmy Waboose, we were able to construct the foundation, floor, exterior walls, ceiling joists and rafters.  We also opened up one wall in the kitchen and installed a large sliding window which will provide much needed ventilation.

During our stay, we had the opportunity to minister through the community radio station, in song and testimony. As well as welcoming some members of the community for a ladies night and a family night, Jen and Laurie had the privilege of ministering to some individuals during the day while Anthony, Don and I worked on the building addition.  We had so many examples of the hand of God being upon us in providing safety and direction during our trip.  And what a team camaraderie we had, especially around meal time and during our evening debriefs.  One of the most meaningful times for me was the morning devotional time as we took turns sharing personal experiences.

Thank you Jen for asking me to be a part of the team.  An experience not soon forgotten.

Pikangikum 2019

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My name is Tiffany. I was 18 years old when I went to Pikangikum for the first time. I have been to Round Lake three years in a row and decided this year, that I wanted to travel with the Pikangikum team as well. After my week in Round Lake, another woman and I met the team in the airport in Thunder Bay, where we took a small plane to Sioux Lookout and then to Pikangikum. When we landed, many of the members of the community greeted us and helped transport our food and bags to one of the school teacher’s houses where we would be living for the week.  

Pikangikum has a lot of beauty that we don’t hear about. Being in the community was a real eye opener for me. Life there is different than the way I live at home. When we were doing home visits to a family in the community, we took sandwiches cut into quarters, which the hungry kids gobbled up. This showed me that I need to be a lot more grateful for what I have. 

The part I loved most about my trip was going into the school and connecting with kids either through hockey or music. They have many trust issues, but by showing them you are like them, they start to open up. My favourite part about talking to the kids is when I get a smile out of them and I know that for even just that moment I have helped make that kid feel happy.  

While we were in the community, we got to attend a church service, host a couple’s retreat, teach a class in the school, and know the people of the community better. Through home visits we were invited into homes to talk and pray with families. During this time in my life I was confused about God’s plan for my future, but through my experience in Pikangikum I have grown closer with God and know that he will always protect me and love me.  He loves all His children. I could never have  traveled with a better team of people. Through everything we experienced, we supported and watched out for one another.  

Curve Lake 2019

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Hi. My name is Donna. I was raised in a family that went to church every Sunday and served in the church and community – something I have tried to instill in my daughter. I’ve always had a passion to learn about, advocate and connect with indigenous communities. I was introduced to Heart to Heart by Danica from my church and after my first meeting, I instantly knew this was where God wanted me to be.

I decided to go to Curve Lake as it was close and I could return easily. For our weekend mission trip in May 2019, we decided to implement the Groups of Hope. We were not sure how many would attend or what would happen. We were fully relying on the Holy Spirit….and as always the results were fruitful and amazing. We had tears of heartbreak, pain, relief and joy. The wonderful addition to the time at Curve Lake was the relationship building and the fellowship of praying, cooking and eating together. It truly felt like family was altogether .

At the end of the summer we went back up to help with Bible Camp and had an outside church service and pot luck lunch. Again, another day seeing God’s great works and blessings.

I encourage others to pray and ask God if this ministry is where you should be. If so, please answer the calling as God has great plans for you as in Jer.29:11… our ministry Bible verse. You will be blessed abundantly by being a part of Heart to Heart, all the while wanting more of Jesus to pass on to others.

Fort Hope 2019

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My name is Wayne Barton. I grew up going to Sunday school, drifted away as a teenager, and returned to faith through my wife and children. My faith and my confidence to make a difference is strengthened as I get older. What is happening in our First Nations communities is troubling to many of us. My faith, my interest in people and my need for greater understanding led me to Heart 2 Heart, and to Fort Hope. I met a couple (Robert & Wanda) from Fort Hope prior to our trip, and discovered they were both runners. I love to run, and find it connects people, so I hoped it would help me build connections in Fort Hope.

I think men, including me, are too often silent in our society. We met with a local men’s bible study during our stay where we discovered a group of men committed to meeting together, every 8 days, to support each other in their faith. It has inspired me to join a men’s group here in Uxbridge.

Somewhere along the way in the Heart to Heart journey, I discovered that Fort Hope had recently started a farm (about 14 acres). I grew up milking cows, studied agriculture at the University of Guelph and have worked in Agriculture research for about 30 years. The farm in Fort Hope is working closely with a grower/ greenhouse operator in Thunder Bay. Their 3 employees are working to grow potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers and this year will plant high bush blueberries (which will attract even more bears to their fully fenced farm). I spent a day planting tomatoes with them. From the time we settled Canada as farmers, to today, farmers have relied on their neighbours. I’ve met farmers from all across Canada, and every one of them has a neighbor that has helped them, challenged them, inspired them, and competed with them for the best crop. In Fort Hope the nearest farmer is at least 300 km away by plane.

Jesus says in Mathew 22, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. One thing we can do is be good neighbors, to this community and to these farmers in Fort Hope.

Weagamow 2019

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Our plane flew in to Weagamow, a remote indigenous community in the far north, on a beautiful sunny afternoon. After quickly setting up, we spent our first evening around the campfire with the youth, making s’mores and catching up with each other. Most of us on the team have been coming for several years and staying in touch when we are down south through Facebook. It was great to give hugs, words of encouragement and just have fun together.

Over the next several mornings our focus was on the Parenting classes, offered at the request of the Band Council. They were well attended. Then, we divided our time in the afternoon between connecting with participants in New Horizon’s detoxification program and making home visits to sing and pray with individuals that can’t easily get out and about.

Our special dinner to honour the Elders was held in the Lakeside this year. We offered our usual fare of hearty, healthy food. Everyone came with big appetites and following dinner there was lots of time for prayer.

A highlight for us this year was the Together for Good Couples’ Conference held on Friday night and Saturday in partnership with Family Life Canada. Eight couples participated, including the speakers. In addition to Jimmy and Ruth Waboose from Fort Hope, a couple from Weagamow, Fay and Ivan Wapenisk, also shared and led workshops. The conference ended with a candlelight sweetheart banquet.

And there were many other activities. Sunday was a big day. We led Sunday school and spoke on the local radio. And then in the evening we held a prayer night for the whole community. It was a rich time of prayer and connection.

It’s impossible to summarize all of the praying, sharing and connecting that occurred during our time in Weagamow. We have made true friends in this community. The time goes fast and we are always sad to leave.

Big Trout Lake 2018

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My name is Jessica, and I went on the trip up to Big Trout First Nation in April 2018. This was a very new experience for me as I had never travelled to a remote community before. The time spent with the people of Big Trout and Wapekeka (a neighbouring community) was so incredibly memorable. Although it got to be difficult at times, it was very eye opening to me to see how many youth my age are required to live a completely different lifestyle than myself. I would say that my most enjoyable moment on this trip was when Jen and I went into a grade 2 classroom and did a mini music class with them! These kids were so interested and even for being so young it was noticeable that some had a passion for the art, especially when Jen brought the harp out.

As a team, we got to participate in various home visits where we could sing and pray with those in need. Although our main priority for visiting Big Trout was to serve the couples with a marriage retreat, the experience was much more involved than we could have ever planned in that God blessed us with many opportunities to give to their community and people.

I had the privilege of traveling with the team to a nearby community called Wapekeka. Here, we attended a church service Sunday morning! Towards the end of the service, the team went around and prayed for each individual. I was able to spend time with a woman who we found out had grown up in Round Lake First Nation and knew a good friend of one guest speaker. This was just one more way that God revealed himself to the entire team. Since the weather turned bad as we were leaving we were blessed to stay an extra 2 days waiting for flights. This gave us even more opportunities to build relationships with the people of Big Trout. This was a very memorable trip that I am extremely blessed to have experienced.

Ignace 2018

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A mere three hour drive from Thunder Bay along a forested and lake dotted highway took us to the beautiful Lone Pine Motel on Davy Lake. “Our Journey to Oneness” was a couple’s conference, with eleven couples in attendance, who were reminded of the importance of caring for one another. Through a series of short presentations, they were given Scriptural reasons and practical tools for meeting each other’s emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. The session leaders were from a variety of backgrounds, mostly First Nations, and all presented with an honest vulnerability with regards to their own journeys in life and marriage.

As background facilitators, we were privileged to assist in meal and snack preparation as well as setting up the meeting room. It was a treat to have an early morning coffee with participants as they arrived for prayer prior to the first session of the day. A highlight was the intimate arrangement of the room for the final date night dinner, when couples were served their meals restaurant style and encouraged to practice meaningful conversation with each other.

Pikangikum 2017

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Pikangikum is a First Nation’s community of about 3000 people. The Heart To Heart team visits this community every other year. My personal focus during the last visit, as determined by the community, was to teach parenting classes at the school. We offered two sessions each to the Grade 7 class, the Grade 8 class and a mixed-year high school group. Eight life sized newborn dolls accompanied us. Initially the kids were quite hesitant to interact with the ‘babies’ but within a short time got caught up in the spirit of the moment and claimed these babies as their own. Almost every student wanted a turn to cuddle their baby! Our time was spent focusing on caring not only for baby’s physical needs but also the importance of infants feeling both safe and loved as a foundation for developing secure attachments.

The team hosted a number of events including a ladies’ evening where many stations were set up. There was a puzzle table, nail painting, a photo booth, craft tables and chocolate creations. We also hosted a family games night. It was fun seeing so many families attend and enthusiastically participate. As well, we had the privilege of facilitating the hosting of an elders’ dinner. The highlight of my time by far was the opportunity for home visits which were interspersed throughout the week. Spending time building relationships and being given the privilege to encourage and pray for the needs of our brothers and sisters in the Lord was a precious gift. One cannot walk alongside members of this community without a profound sense of God’s love for this precious people.