Hope Has a Name

By Geoff Lee

September 20, 2017 12:16 PM

St. John’s N.L.‘s own Informants will be the headlining act for the Hope Has a Name festival at Lakeland College this weekend. SUPPLIED PHOTO
A faith-based message from the Hope Has a Name festival could be the glue that binds families together. The festival message to be made loud and clear at Lakeland College starting this Friday to Sunday is that hope has a name called God. “We really want to strengthen the family, bring it together back to what our country was founded on, which was a biblical-based country” said Natalie Ackerman, executive director of Hope 4 More Ministry, who organize the event. “That is a truth and with it is great hope.” She said the idea behind the festival is to show the family that there is great hope and a future, and it’s found in the name of Jesus Christ. “We are trying to lead the family back to the foundation of a biblical world view; we want to show a truth message of how you can know what you believe is true,” said Ackerman. “I believe many people are floundering—there is a voice rising up in this world saying there is no God and it is so not true.” The event kicks off Friday night at Vic Juba Community Theatre with faith-based presentations, including the Christian viewpoints of keynote lecturers Mark Mittelberg and Logan Gates. “I saw Mark last year at a conference and it blew me away,” said Ackerman. “There are a million people who commit suicide a year now, and I believe it’s because we don’t know who we are and our purpose and meaning in life.” Saturday’s activities include concerts, more inspirational speakers and a kids’ camp along with games, bouncy castles, prizes and food vendors throughout the college. The Kids’s camp will be led by Donna Boone, who connects with children through black light, life-sized puppetry, ventriloquism, illusions, games, songs and dance. Saturday’s schedule includes a prayer tent, where Barbara Billet will provide optional teachings. Previous Hope 4 More festivals were held at Battle River Ranch, but unpredictable weather in September led organizers to move the venue indoors to Lakeland College. Lakeland is also a more accessible location for people from Lloydminster and surrounding communities to attend. It was also tougher to put a big electric powered production outdoors at Battle River. “Right now, we are going to use the stage at Vic Juba, they are excellent at accommodating us with the full production,” said Ackerman. The whole college will be turned into a Hope 4 More event with free admission to everyone, but donations are also accepted for the ministry. “We believe the message is so important and we didn’t want to limit it to anyone who couldn’t afford a ticket,” said Ackerman. The Hope 4 More Ministry raised about $24,000 for the event that is supported by numerous sponsors. The headline entertainment will be the Informants from St. John’s N.L. They are touted as pioneering a movement of acceptance, art, worship, and mission, in their local communities and churches. They also have a new album Uprising they will be performing. “I believe they are right along with our theme, that our youth should rise up and be all that you were created to be,” said Ackerman. “They speak a message while they play music; they speak to the youth, a great message of hope.” The Informants will be backed by up to six local bands during the Saturday night concert, and the festival will wrap up with a Sunday service including the Informants.

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