Not Just Our Love for God

Peter & Charlene Constant tell about motivation for ministry (from Issue #534)

Motivation for Ministry

What motivates a young First Nations man towards ministry?
Peter Constant and his wife, Charlene, are Bible college students in the middle of a one-year internship, gaining firsthand experience in full-time pastoral/church work.

Peter & Charlene Constant

Peter & Charlene Constant

It wouldn’t be unrealistic to think that Peter’s motivation has something to do with the major role a certain local church has had in his own life.

“Riverside Bible Church (near Opaskwayak Cree Nation, The Pas, Manitoba) was where my parents, Eric & Ethel Constant, attended,” says Peter.

“My mother became a believer first when missionaries, Dennis & Amanda Anderson, led her to the Lord. My mom, who has since passed away, led me to the Lord. My dad became a believer later on.”

Charlene grew up on a farm near Gladstone, MB and moved to Moose Factory, ON to begin her nursing career. Her family and church all had a part in her following Christ. In 2007 she moved to The Pas for work and that’s where she met Peter and was introduced to Riverside Bible Church.

Their internship is in a setting they are very familiar with, and that’s quite alright with them. They appreciate Riverside’s solid base, God’s Word, and the people are dear to their hearts.

The arrangement is part of their “fourth year” college training. “It was shortly after Charlene and I got married that we decided that we should attend Bible school,” says Peter. With a hunger to know more of God’s Word and how to communicate it, they moved to Lac La Biche (AB) to attend NCEM’s Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute. “It was a wonderful time being immersed in God’s Word,” they remember.

However, the School closed its doors after their first year (due to staff shortage) and they wondered if and where they should continue. They investigated several Bible colleges and eventually sensed that God was leading them to Millar College of the Bible in Pambrun, Saskatchewan. They’ve appreciated Millar’s emphasis on Bible and personal discipleship.

Recognizing Opportunities

This year they are serving under the supervision of NCEMers, Dennis & Amanda Anderson, along with modular classes on the Millar campus. Their assignment began in the summer with a week at Steeprock Bay Bible Camp. Peter was the speaker, and they were encouraged right from the start seeing how the Lord could use them. Through Peter’s chapel talks, many kids indicated they wanted to receive the Lord!

Peter at a men's fellowship cook-out.

Peter at a men’s fellowship cook-out.

After camp some of the teens at The Pas expressed their desire to have a regular youth group. The Constants saw this as a great opportunity to disciple those who had been to Bible camp.

A surprise for Charlene was how much she really enjoys and appreciates youth ministry. “I did not feel qualified for it at all,” she says. Charlene also teaches Sunday school two or three times each month.

Peter has been preaching at Riverside twice a month on Sundays, and also is leading a mid-week Bible study twice each month. But ministry is more than just scheduled activities, they’re learning. “God can also use ordinary and surprising situations to accomplish ‘ministry,’ ” they say. “Ephesians 2:10 has been part of our prayers often, that we would recognize the works that God has already prepared for us to do, and that we would do them to the best of the ability that God has given us.”

Ministry Challenges

Ministry is not always easy, they are finding. “Some of the challenge we face is the busyness. We have to try and set aside time for one another as a married couple or else we start to feel ‘far away’ from each other.

“Also, sometimes we sense that the community does not welcome our church because they view us as different,” they add. “Some of the community’s religious practices and beliefs do not ‘mesh’ with the Word of God.

“It can be challenging at times, but we know the Lord faced these challenges, as well, when He came face to face with religious leaders.”

The Constants say they’re learning the necessity of Hebrews 12:2: “We fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. If we take our eyes off Him, we sink like Peter the disciple did (Matt. 14). He is our anchor!”

True Motivation

“Ministry, we’re finding, is a daily surrender from the heart to the lordship of Christ,” conclude Peter & Charlene. “You really have to believe that the reason you serve the Lord is because you love Him. But it’s not just our love for Him that drives us – it’s because He first loved us!”

Note: Peter & Charlene graduated from college and returned to The Pas for employment and to assist at Riverside Bible Church. They have been our Tribal Trails TV guests and you can receive their program on DVD at no charge by contacting NCEM.

(from Northern Lights issue #534)