WE NEED A REVIVAL IN CANADAHouse of Prayer on Highway #623, Alberta
Max & Donna Solbrekken in wheat field
HOUSE OF PRAYER on 623
10th ANNIVERSITY, 2021
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
It is amazing how our Lord leads and guides by His blessed Holy Spirit and very often we do not see the results until years later. Here is a little of our recent history which shows His care and concern as well as well as provision for all our needs.
In 2007, after successful crusades with veteran Norwegian missionary Jan Ernst Gabrielsen in Norway and Africa (Sudan, including Darfur, and Cairo, Egypt), we were preaching among Canada’s Native people. Pastor Terry Severson at the Sturgis Evangelical Church helped us arrange some Revival meetings in Saskatchewan.
Returning to Edmonton, Donna and I stopped in Saskatoon to have lunch with a local minister and friend and we discussed the need for a revival in that area. I was planning another large crusade in India, but God spoke to me to accept an offer to buy an old Jewish Synagogue in Saskatoon.
There were two lots with another building abutting the synagogue. The cost was $169, 500.00. Almost immediately, we began revival meetings and 'Christ the Healer Gospel Church' was born.
With a lot of help from architect Dan Custer, and the expert workmanship of our son John as foreman of the project, we joined the two buildings together with a spacious new entrance and foyer. The cost was several hundred thousand dollars. One day, I got a call from an old friend from another province.
He said, “Brother Max, I'm in Saskatoon and need to see you.” It was near noon and I mentioned that we could meet at a little restaurant nearby for lunch. I asked my wife Donna to join us but she was working along side John and too busy to stop for lunch. After my friend and I had eaten he said, “We have just relocated and do not have a home church and God told me to give you some tithes.” Pulling out his cheque book, he asked, “How much should I make it out for?”
I answered, “My brother, you said that God had spoken to you. Don't ask me. Ask Him.” He wrote out the cheque and handed it to me. It was for $50,000.00. This young man whose family I had helped many years earlier was so successful in business, that he kept sending us large sums of money. All our debts were paid and there was money for missions as our congregation in Saskatoon grew.
FACED WITH ANOTHER CHALLENGE!
In 2010, we were given the responsibility of salvaging the old Moravian Church on Highway #623, south of New Sarepta, Alberta. It was taken off the list as a church and sold as a real estate venture. Things did not go well for the enterprising preacher and he owed $100,000. They made a way for him, however, to give the property to another Religious Organization, and they would forgive him the debt.
When we were approached, initially I did not want to get involved. My respect, however, for Count Zinzendorf and the early Moravians, and to lift up a fallen standard for Jesus Christ I surrendered my will to tackle the situation. The House of Prayer Gospel Church was born and we have labouring there ever since.
JOHN ANSWERED THE CALL!
Again our many talented son John laboured intensively at minimum wages for many months renewing the building. Donna worked long hours as his helper and 'go for'. Without his knowledge and skills it would not have gotten done!
God called Jay and Nancy Compton to help us, until they moved to B.C. Pastor Jack and Maureen Super held the fort when I was gone and contributed largely for seven years. And for the last number years, the Peterson Gospel Band have been an enormous help, leading in praise and worship. Pastor Herve St. Denis labours with me in this humble work of the Ministry, which is now being live streamed on YouTube across the world.
On January 1, 2018 we gifted (along with $20,000) the property and congregation of Christ that Healer Gospel Church to Torro Ministries and Pastor Terry Severson of Saskatoon. And God's blessings are resting on them! Amen.
WHAT HAPPENED ON HIGHWAY# 623
(From archives in 2011)
Some people are asking, “What has happened to our beloved Moravian Church?” Just like Jesus answered interested persons, I say: ‘COME & SEE’. Here is what I have been writing to some interested people: The Church is exactly the same except everything that was falling apart was replaced!
We put new shingles on the roof, laid a beautiful concrete side walk to the gate, tore out the rotting deck and front steps and replaced it with a sturdy expensive front landing and steps, and at the rear we built a landing and steps. We are shoring up the balcony with two engineered beams across the building under the front of it as it was deemed unsafe. We built a new raised platform, painted the sanctuary, put in new lights.
WE HAULED AWAY TONS OF GARBAGE!
We ripped out the horrible dilapidated basement and put in new wiring, new cement floor, repaired all the cracks in the cement walls of the basement, insulated, dry walled and painted the entire basement and the ceiling and put in a new furnace, new kitchen, two new washrooms, brought in power and natural gas and will put in a 2000 gallon cistern so that we can have water to drink, wash and flush the toilets as the well has gone dry and the water was undrinkable.
People had been living in the sanctuary for about six years! We have hauled away tons of garbage and junk, burned the old toilet and loads of old lumber, cleaned up the area and have brought in a 65-foot house trailer which we are upgrading. We rescued four pews from the Old Church which we have sanded and varnished, two of which we are using at the back of the sanctuary.
A Funeral Home in Estevan, SK gave us thirteen beautiful 12-foot pews which now grace the sanctuary! A good friend, Ken Rosin, rented a large truck in Regina and transported them to the House of Prayer on Highway 623, AB.
The Alberta Heritage is restoring the sign out front with the History of the Moravian Church and will return it to us shortly. Everyone who has visited us is more than pleased! To God be the glory! Amen.
Note: What Happened to the old Moravian Church on Highway #623 is taken from the archives of 2011. - Max Solbrekken