The band known as Jexreel, meaning “God Plants,” is a Christian contemporary music group that preaches the good news of Jesus Christ mostly in British Columbia, Alberta, and the United States.
Leader Norm Vike played in bar bands for 14 years until he gave his life to Christ in 1997, after which he and his family went to Bible school in 2000.
“We feel the urgency to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Vike. “We are now in the process of recording our second CD in Colorado.”
The band recorded its first CD in Nashville in October, 2002.
Vike, a Canadian, is a songwriter who plays guitar, harmonica, and pennywhistle in the band and also does vocals. His wife, Marlynee, is a mother, homemaker, and school teacher who plays percussions.
Daughter Shandell Vike, 17, also is a songwriter and does vocals while son Kolten Vike, 14, is the drummer and son Daiton, 13, is on bass.
Sue Gill, who originally hails from New Zealand, is on keyboards and vocals while Chris Cook, from Denver, Colo., is their sound system technician, giving the group an international flavour.
“As we travel, we play at churches, youth outreaches, music festivals, Bible camps, soup kitchens, community events, and jamborees,” said Norm Vike, adding they feel very blessed to be able to serve the Lord and Saviour through music.
He also speaks at various venues as well.
“We have often done the youth outreaches at music festivals as well as on the main stage,” remarked Vike, who said he loves to challenge youth to serve the Lord.
“The concerts held thus far have been great,” said CSSM’s Mark Mast, noting the bitterly cold weather hindered attendance at Off Lake Evangelical Covenant.
About 50 showed up for the first evening, but it was quite a different story the following evening at the youth rally at the Christian Reformed Church in Emo, where a lively gathering packed the sanctuary.
The group performed at Rainy River Covenant Church on Sunday morning, then were back at the C.R.C. for a second time before heading west to British Columbia.
Norm Vike said faith brought him through many of life’s struggles. Born into a family of 11 children, he never considered he’d have to make any major decisions concerning life or spiritual matters.
But at age 35, God, through His Holy Spirit, compelled him once more to consider a life dedicated to Him. It was through simple faith and obedience in Him that the transformation had taken place.
By this time, he had been married for 14 years to a wonderful Christian woman and had three God-given gifts in their three children, Shantell, Kolten, and Daiton.
“I decided that I had made a mess of my life and fully re-dedicated my life to Christ in 1997,” Vike said, adding he began to live a life of abundance in Christ while in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.
“We have been ministering through music and preaching the Gospel all over North America since my graduation from Bible college,” he noted.
Their mission, Vike said, is to encourage people from all walks of life to look at Jesus as the only author and finisher of their faith and hope, who can transform the despair of this world to a peace that truly surpasses all their understanding.
The group is attired in sweaters inscribed with the following, “Support your local Church in the Wind, Reaching the Lost and Teaching the Found.”
These sweaters were given to the Jezreel group by Christian bikers who have the same message as they.