Wednesday Words

Hello Everyone,
      Regular readers might have missed both a Sunday Reflection AND Wednesday Words this week! The former lack of content was due to an impossibly busy Sunday followed by equally crazy Monday and Tuesday. Then I thought, “Oh well we will have Wednesday Words this week”, but due to a bit of a mix up with submission dates and a lost reminder email, Wednesday Words for January is coming to you on a Friday. Although late, this is a super post taking us back to the really early days of Day Camps.
    I met Ruth the summer she was on Travelling Team because she was billeted with our family and I was helping at our church Day Camp. The second bit of trivia I cannot resist adding is that she met her future husband (see photo) in our front hall when he was dropped off, upon arrival in Canada, to also be billeted at our house !
  After which rather long intro, please welcome Ruth…

It was 1983. After a false start (1st year Engineering) and a year in the work force (office work) I was nearing the end of my second year of Linguistics and Vina Sweetman started to talk to me about volunteering for Day Camps. I thought I would need a paid job to help pay the next year’s tuition, but Vina was kind of insistent that I at least think about volunteering, so I did.  I had been observing
the Day Camp crowd at Senior Camp and these “kids” seemed to have something special in their lives. I wanted in!
My parents assured me they would help me with rent for the next year, a friend had a cheap apartment I could share, and I was blessed with marks that had earned me free tuition for the following year. Did I mention this was the old days when tuition was relatively cheap? And that I did not know about the scholarship until the summer had started? Still, all these things, and a tugging at my heart, led to an unforgettable summer. I would like to say that I took to leadership like a duck to
water and that I was a natural. In fact, as a team leader I was disorganised, I made mistakes, and I did not always say the right thing. But there was forgiveness and the opportunity to reflect and learn. What I remember knowing, as I spent time in large and small groups of children and with my team mates, was that what we were doing – the most important thing – was teaching young people they could be Christians and have fun, that Jesus loved them all the time, and that God was speaking to them through the Bible about His redemptive love. And there was grace. I learned about grace.

Today as I contemplate the varied and assorted jobs I have had since that year – factory worker, bilingual secretary for a large corporation, chaplain’s assistant at a college, homemaker, missionary, English as a Second Language teacher to adults, elementary school teacher in public, private and Catholic schools, retail worker (twice!) and mission personnel chair for a small missionary society (SAMS Canada), I don’t know which position has required more or less of that all-important grace that I learned about that year.  Just the other day as I surveyed a group of 6-year-olds on the carpet in front of me, I knew they needed to stand up and move and a song I had learned way back in 1983 came to my lips. “Stand up and stretch as we sing together about God’s love,” I said. “The song goes
like this: Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above, deep, deep as the deepest seas is my saviour’s love. I, though so unworthy, still am a child in His care. For his word teaches me that his love reaches me everywhere!”
May the Lord continue to give me the opportunity – and the flexibility – to sing that song!!
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