Postcards from Week 1

   Here we are at the end of Week 1 of Day Camps, which means that ALREADY we are half way through the Team Members’ 6-week short-term mission. WHOOSH!! Gone in a flash…
     Yes this week has gone by really quickly but, oh my, what a lot of stories to tell! So I’ve decided to offer a little “postcard” highlighting what each Team has been doing this past week and featuring some super photos ALL of which were provided by Team 6.
    Team1– This Team has been leading a “classic” Day Camp in a suburb north of Montreal- a really well organised Coordinator, (he even plays guitar!), a bunch of 30 or so enthusiastic Campers, pretty good weather This has been a perfect first week experience for a young 2-person Team; they were pooped come Friday evening but also prepared for a Sunday Closing Service tomorrow morning.
    Team 2– Team 2 is in Orillia Ontario at a church hosting our program for the second time. Everyone is super keen; there is another well-organised coordinator and a Pastor who is also actively
involved and supportive. The 3-person Team (all girls) were billeted together in a home with two giant Newfoundland dogs. They apparently have posted a video on Facebook of themselves trying to push the sleeping dog out of the bedroom so they could close the door and go to bed! The Team Leader weighs 98lb, the dog-145!
  Team 3- had quite a tough week. They are doing Camps in 3 First Nations communities, north of Regina. Upon arrival they were met at the airport by Rev. Vicki, who pastors all these Reserves, and taken to a home where she was making a pastoral visit. They met several children who would be coming to Day Camp and then were told that the reason for the visit was that the baby had just died. Life on Reserve can be so hard and the soft heart of the Team 3 leader was broken as he related this story to me over the phone and asked for guidance as to how he could find ways to respond to these
children. We prayed together and I hope the suggestions I made helped him to deal with this sad sad situation.
   Team 4 -also met with the reality of life on Reserve, this time a Cree community in Northern Saskatchewan; a church in Edmonton partners with our Team and the Reserve to bring Day Camp to the children. Last year the Camp ended up happening in Cold Lake Alberta after the Reserve was evacuated during the terrible forest fires. This year, after a very rocky first day when fights broke out amongst the older boy Campers causing  the Edmonton chaperones to cut short the program, and a second day in which the Team had really connected with the children and get things up and running, they were unable to drive to the Reserve on the third day as the road had been washed out
during a mammoth storm. They were due to hold their Closing Service on the Thursday afternoon and begin the long drive back to Edmonton when word came that the Reserve was to be evacuated because of flooding.
  Team 5– This Team is in New Brunswick and enjoyed their first week in a community near Bathurst. These people were so keen to host a Day Camp that they had applied last October. It is hoped that the experience lived up to their expectations. I know the Team had a super week, with some extra evening activities like a little-league baseball game and a community bonfire!
  Team 6– Team 6 is our third Team on Reserve. They have spent the week farthest north at La Ronge where the whole community welcomed them and helpers came forward from more than one denomination to work together at the Day Camp. This Team was not billeted but have lived in an empty Rectory, doing their own cooking. I’m really proud of the way they tried to eat healthy foods and share together. This Team sent all these wonderful photos, which say so much more about the experience than all my words!
So that’s the roundup of Week 1 postcards.
Back here at home base last Tuesday we held the Retreat Staff wrap-up meeting over Brunch and on Thursday evening Steven (from IVCF) came over to repair the front brakes on my bike and we had fajita bowls for dinner from this recipe. I also managed to harvest a small bunch of my own rhubarb and made some tasty sauce to serve over homemade yoghurt. Throughout the week I’ve been finding creative ways to process the abundance of farm share vegetables that is beginning to fill my fridge. There was a HUGE head of bokchoy so I made…

 Chinese Vegetable Soup

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 4 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, torn into pieces
  • 1 large head bokchoy coarsely diced
  • 2 Tbsps. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • ¼ cup Tamari
  • 2 tsps. minced gingerroot
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 16 cups chicken broth
In a large soup pot brown the ground pork, breaking up into small pieces. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the sesame oil and olive oil to the pot and sauté the garlic, onion, red pepper, ginger and bokchoy for a few minutes. Add the broth, Tamari and reserved pork. Simmer
gently for 15 minutes.
Add the spinach and season with hot sauce. Serve over plain boiled rice or udon noodles.
Makes about 10 servings and freezes well.
       Although my phone has been in constant use with texts and calls coming in at all times of the day and night it has been a special week.  I’ve prayed with the Teams, laughed with them, cried with them and worried about them. But most of all I am proud of each member. Their courage and determination is admirable and their Faith is keeping them grounded and strong. Please pray with us for continued energy, wisdom and safety so that they may work out their mission, this summer, to the glory of God!

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