A Tribute

     As is sometimes my habit, this post is actually being started on Friday, in order to ensure it will get posted tomorrow, let me hasten to explain… 
     Unlike my usual snapshot of a week in the world of Day Camps, today I need to write a short tribute and thank the Lord for the life of a very special person, Vina Sweetman.
      Vina was one of the early Directors of Crosstalk Ministries Day Camps and it was through her connection with the Ministry that my family first became involved. Latterly Vina was the Director of the Isaiah 40 Foundation and thus is widely known across Canada and beyond for her work under that umbrella.
     Readers of this blog will know that, when St. Matthew’s Church closed, CTM was given space at Isaiah 40 for our Supply Room, and of course we also use the building for the Day Camp Team Retreat, the SYC Staff PreCamp and for many gatherings and events. But for me, Vina, and her family go back way way further to the time when my parents first joined St. Matthew’s Church over 40 years ago. Vina knew me as a little girl and I grew up knowing all the Sweetmans as fellow parishioners, involved in every aspect of our church life.

When Day Camps started it was natural that Vina would ask my Mum to billet some of the Team Members who came from the UK and beyond and soon my family was hooked!
    Vina was like that. She led by example, throwing herself wholeheartedly into each new endeavour.  If not for this amazing lady, it is highly improbable that I would be the current Day Camp Director. She was a mentor, role model, surrogate “auntie”, friend and confidant.
     She touched many many lives and tomorrow upwards of 1000 people are expected to attend her funeral. When her daughter, Stella, phoned me on Wednesday and asked if I would organise the Funeral reception I did not hesitate to reply “yes”. Stella totally knows my character and where else would I rather be than in the kitchen? I do not deal well with large crowds but I’m pretty familiar with working coffee urns!!
    The food has been ordered, the Huyers, who will be staying with me to attend the funeral, will help me transport it to the church early tomorrow morning and when I stop typing now I need to head to a grocery store to by a LOT of coffee, tea, milk and sugar.
  It has been a sad week but all of us who are affected by Vina’s death have the huge consolation of knowing, unshakeably, that she is now with the Lord.
   She will be sorely missed, but there so many great memories and I thank God for giving me the privilege of knowing such a lovely lady.

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