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The Breakfast that Kicked Off the London Christian Day of Prayer
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On My 19 Christians from London and area came together for the annual London Christian Prayer breakfast held at the Lamplighter Inn and Conference Center, launching the London day of prayer. No empty seats were to be found as the event began with an excellent breakfast and good fellowship.

Mayor Matt Brown brought greetings from the many elected officials who were in attendance including two deputy mayors and other councillors. The mayor gave a clarion call for London area churches to serve the poor here, in keeping with his strategy to end poverty in London within the next twenty years.


The keynote speaker was Juno award winning recording artist Steve Bell. The crowd was of course treated to several excellent selections of Bell’s music, but it was his description of becoming an “overnight activist” that had the crowd enthralled an inspired to take action locally.


While not considering himself to be much of a political guy Bell became involved when he heard of the plight of the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, in western Ontario and eastern Manitoba. The First Nation was displaced from their ancestral lands to Shoal Lake when their lands were appropriated for other use. For 17 years the First Nation has not had access to clean water, and is only accessible by ice road in the winter or a balky ferry in summer. They have been campaigning for years for a “Freedom Road” to be built, a road that would give them year round access to Highway 1 and necessities the rest of us take for granted, such as clean water.

It was when Bell saw the picture of a Shoal 40 First Nation elder crying on the front page of the local paper following the federal government’s most recent refusal to pay for the road that he was moved to action. Steve started the “Churches For Freedom Road” in Winnipeg and entreated local churches to voice their support via their signs and to lobby local government to support the Freedom Road. This year the federal, provincial, and local governments all agreed to begin to right a longstanding injustice and build the road.

Bell left us with two main thoughts. One was the concept of “co-belligerents,” in which groups of people that differ on many issues can still come together to accomplish good things, which the Freedom Road was an example of. The other is a statement he got from a sermon his pastor gave: “Love what God loves, and all will be well.”


The event was concluded with powerful prayers by Steve Gaunt who prayed for those that govern us, Bob Black who prayed for those that serve us, and Tendayi Gwaradzimba who prayed for the vulnerable and at risk in our community.

While the breakfast was a powerful time it was simply one day. There are 364 more days before the next one with virtually unlimited opportunity to affect our community through prayer, seeking justice, and sharing the love of Christ with people in our city.