Baking, Blogging & Bottling!

     With the composing of the Annual Report for Day Camps, comes just about the last piece in the 2016-Day Camps “puzzle”. All 1000 invisible pieces slotted together and after a short while in which to appreciate the finished picture it all gets swept away into a neat (file) box and the whole process begins again 😊.
     In order to give readers of this blog a final overview of just what happened this summer I’m going to include the Annual Report in this post and hope it is of some interest.
     And just to show you that we are already on the way to 2017, the folowing photos are sneak peeks into the preparation of the “On Fire!” slideshow, don’t you love the chariot!
And now for the…
       Annual Report
       On this Labour Day Monday, summer 2016 is truly coming to an end but the memories and stories are still very fresh, so today is most certainly a good time to write the Day Camps Annual Report!
          Let’s start with the statistics (boring to me but of interest to others 😊) The Theme for 2016 was “Signposts”, signs (miracles) from the Gospel of John, culminating in the Day 5 story of the Resurrection.
      17 Team Members (plus 3 Training Leaders and a “pick-up Team of 2”) formed 6 Teams. 28-Day Camps, took place in 5 provinces from central Alberta to the Atlantic coast, including Camps on 9 First Nations Reserves and 3 Canadian Forces Bases. Over 800 children participated along with well over 200 local helpers, coordinators, clergy, billets, snack makers, drivers etc. plus all the volunteers who assisted during the Team Training Retreat in roles as speakers, workshop leaders and on site staff. All in all we can confidently conclude that well over 1000 people were touched in some way by the ministry of Day Camps 2016 and that is a pretty exciting statistic!
    The Lord’s hand was so evident throughout the summer. He sent us an amazing set of Team Members, each one of whom brought special gifts and talents to the mix, and selfless hearts for volunteering over the six-week mission.
   We were especially blessed with two Team Leaders in their mid-twenties, who were examples of God’s perfect provision as they each lead a Team called to serve in extraordinarily challenging locations; one of those Teams even agreeing to do their own cooking and live in empty “teacherages” on two Reserves in northern Saskatchewan. Without the extra maturity and life skills of these young adults who gave up six-weeks of their summer for short term mission ministry, it would not have been possible to send Teams to these special communities where children so need to experience the love of Jesus in their difficult lives.
     Day Camps could never come together so amazingly each summer without the dedication of our planning committee. Throughout the year we meet monthly and these people work tirelessly behind the scenes building the Program and acting as an invaluable sounding board. I am personally so thankful for each and every one of them. As summer ends we are saying good-bye (hopefully only au revoir!) to two faithful members in the persons of Janice and Jillian Agustin. Janice, as she heads to Regina to spend an academic year as an IVCF Intern and Jillian as she focuses on her studies and directs our sister ministry- Crossroads. We are very sad to lose all of their energy and enthusiasm but look forward to welcoming several new members this autumn.
     As always I feel overwhelmed by God’s provision for this ministry and so grateful for the privilege of serving as Director. We all earnestly hope and pray that the seeds sown and the lives changed this past summer are bringing much rejoicing in Heaven!
Other work in the CTM world this week has included preparation of content for our Fall Newsletter, several meetings relative to different
Ministries, and some very pleasant visits with Day Camp “groupies”.
 When Jessica came to visit, she brought along a sack of 20 pears picked on the farm of her fiancé’s grandparents and so today has turned into
Baking, Blogging and Bottling as I made five jars of sweet pickled pears, along
with baking a Pear Crostada and some hazelnut & cacao nib granola.
     The pickled pears come from an old preserving cookbook sent to my Mum many years ago by friends in England. They make an exciting addition to a cheese board and can also be enjoyed alongside a ham sandwich!
Sweet Pickled Pears
  • 7lbs tiny (Seckel) Pears or larger firm pears
  • 3lbs. sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into short pieces.
Wash and peel the pears, if using larger pears they will need to be cored and cut into thick slices, the Seckel pears are left whole.
In a large preserving pot combine the sugar and vinegar. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves, tied in a small piece of cheesecloth. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.Add the pears and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for approx. 30mins. or until the pears are softened the flesh is almost clear. With a slotted spoon remove the pears and place in pre-sterilised sealer jars. Return the syrup to the stovetop and boil for another 30 minutes until thickened. Pour the syrup over the pears, wipe the rims of the jars and screw the lids on tightly. Invert the jars for several minutes then stand upright and leave to cool. Make sure the lids have all sealed properly before storing in a cool, dark place. Makes 6-8 pints.

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