SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT ANOTHER WAY TO LIVE
Telegraph Journal, September 8 2005
As a girl growing up in Lesser Slave Lake, Alta. Faytene Kryskow was a bit of a wild child.
"From the age of 14 to 20 I was a textbook hellraise," Ms. Kryskow says.
She got into booze, drugs, serial dating and developed eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia.
But at the age of 20 she experienced what she calls a "faith renewal", a phenominon that Ms. Kryskow says many young people have been undergoing in recent years.
"Once you taste steak, you know you have been eating dirt your whole life," she said of being born again.
Sure, she's heard the stereotypes of vacusous teens who believe in nothing, scrape through school, booze and dope it up on the weekends and hang out in the mall.
But this 30-year-old writer, activist and fire brand calls that baloney. Is is in her world anyway.
She's out to prove it too, gathering young supporters to lobby politicians and community leaders to pay attention to them. Her expanding army of young Christian activists blend in with their peers with their funky headgear, ballcaps and street clothes.
"There is a perception of us, that we are departing from traditional morals," Ms. Kryskow said of her generation. "We want our leaders to know we exist. We hold fast to traditional morality."
By that Ms. Kryskow means the morality of decades ago, a time when most every family had two parents and everyone went to church.
On Wednesday, Ms. Kryskow was in the midst of a week-long stay in Saint John. She took a few minutes in the morning to meet iwth Saint John MP Paul Zed and int he afternoon got togethger with former MP, Elsie Wayne at an uptown Tim Hortons. It was the first meeting between the two women, despite Ms. Kryskow's mention of Mrs. Wayne in her book, Stand on Guard: A Prophetic Call and Research on the Righteous Foundations of Canada.
In the book, Ms. Kryskow wirtes of Canada's "rich depth of Christian heritage and biblical morality."
That's something that she is determined to see return. She believes that the modern notion that people should be able to do what they want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else is hogwash.
"That is one of the most harmful doctrines," she said, adding that no clear moral boundaries leads to a society rife with problems, including family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide.
She also believes strongly in the traditional definition of marriage.
"It is a good thing to have a mom and a dad who are committed to each other for life, whether you come from a faith perspective or not," she said.
Of that commitment between a mand and a woman, she asked, "How do your pro-create without it?"
Last month she and 10 other young missionaries mad many stops between Vancouver and Ottawa meeting politicians and demanding action. According to Ms. Kryskow her group, Fly High Ministries has also shipped her book to every MP in the country, the Parliamentary Library and the Speaker of the House of Commons.
The tour didn't stop on the East Coast but a local church demanded that she make an appearance in Saint John.
"I got e-mails saying, 'How dare you leave the East Coast out of this,'" Ms. Kryskow said good naturedly.
She will be in Fredricton tonight spreading her message at a local residence.
In Saint John, she wanted to meet with Mrs. Wayne because in doing research for her book, she discovered that in 1994 Mrs. Wayne fought to keep the daily prayer int he House of Commons, a tradition that dated back more than a century.
"She got up and took a stand for the traditions of Canada," Ms. Kryskow said as Mrs. Wayne beamed.
Despite their differences in ages and their sytle of dress, they have much in common.
"When we were young, it was a different world," Mrs. Wayne siad.
The young people gathered around the retired MP and the youth activist hung on every word.
"You are like a museum, Elsie. You've got the whole scoop." Ms. Kryskow gently teased.
Katie Trecartin, 15, was one of the young people who vows to help Ms. Kryskow spread the gospel to community leaders. They want politicians to stand up for famlies and traditional values.
"I think it is important for Christian young people to say, 'This is what I want in my country'. It's really important to take a stand on this," said Miss Trecartin, daughter of Pastor Dan Trecartin of Rothesay's Grace Harvest Church.
Kelly Ethridge, one of the adults who met with Ms. Kryskow, said that the Christian message has been lost in the secular media.
"In a very real way, our voice has been squashed," she said.
But that won't be the case, Ms. Kryskow vowed, adding that her message may not be popular in some quarters.
"Every step, we're gaining momentum," she said.