The whole day I was packing and trying to get the kids to help clean the house. I had moved the stuff in my purse from one bag to another and had seen the kids ID cards in my wallet and it still never dawned on me that I needed to go get the other documents out of the safe. Meanwhile, the week prior I had gotten some of the missions trip info put together in a three ring binder to take with. When I told John I had the Canada paperwork all gathered up, he thought that also included the most important documents. So I guess after sixteen years of marriage we must be doing something right because we are still miscommunicating.
Sorry Bob, I didn't have a better picture of you.
Jessica did crafts and was great fun.
We continued on to Sterling so that the kids and I could stay there for the night and John headed back from where he had started our trip. Thankfully we have a wonderful friend who was house sitting for us. She gathered the papers and met John half way between Aurora and Sterling. Thanks so much Sue! Your a life saver. It made the difference of John getting to bed at 10:30 p.m. rather than 1:00 a.m. Since the next day was the longest day of driving it was a huge blessing.
We met the rest of the missions team at 5:00 a.m. on June 21. There were a total of eighteen of us. We had only met one of the other team members, excluding of course the people from our church who were going. After two and a half days of driving we finally pulled into Stanley Mission.
We were immediately greeted by kids and Joe and Mary, who became some of our good friends. Everyone was so helpful getting the trailer unloaded. Then the cleaning began. Then setting up personal spaces. As was to be par for the course, we couldn't get into two of the rooms that we intended to use as a bed room for the girls and one for the boys. So Everyone ended up in two rooms. John and I and our two youngest were in one small room and everyone else was in the only other room we could use. Thankfully it was a large room. Boys on one half, girls on the other.
Okay, okay. I realize that I'm going into way more detail than most of you care to read so I'll try to speed it up. Would it help if I told you that I'm going to post pictures too?
The first three days the kids were still in school until 3:30 so we had kids club at 3:45, per their request. We sent some team members to the school and invited the kids to come with us back to the Learning Center where we were staying and having the kids club. We had eighty kids that first day. It was so awesome to begin friendships that day. And all of the kids heard the gospel. We didn't count the number of kids that accepted Christ, but they all heard the plan of salvation and a number of them accepted Jesus' forgiveness. Praise the LORD!
While kids club was still going on a women's Bible study started at 4:30. Dinner was at 6:00, right after kids club and then we had Bible 101 with the kids at 7:30. This was a one hour session to teach the kids how to look up verses in their Bibles. We would help them find the verse in the Bible that we gave them and then we would highlight it for them. Then at 8:30 we had teens club for seventh grade and up. The guys served men's breakfast on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They got to fellowship with some of the men and share God's word with them.
Hannah taught our memory verse.
We did actions with it.
At the beginning of the trip we had asked God to provide more opportunities to teach the people and He was faithful to grant them. The natives asked for a men's Bible study. This is something that in previous years they had tried to have but didn't have anyone come. It ended up being an adult Bible study which was great! John go to teach and spent a fair amount of the mornings trying to prepare for that nights lesson.
After the first week we continued to do kids club, but at 1:00. The women's and adult Bible studies continued and some of the young mom's asked for their own Bible Study. I got to teach the young mom's at 8:30 at night. You may know that I'm a morning person and my brain shuts down around 7:00 at night. God was faithful to keep my wheels running long enough to teach the study. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the three young ladies that attended the study. It was really awesome to see how God would bring me to the passage I was going to share with them. That of course was in the morning.
Joe and Mary (shown above) were a blessing to us. They made us dinner at least four times while we were there. We got to eat, Northern pike, caught by Matthew and Keith, two of our team members and cooked by Joe. Joe also fixed Walleye for us twice. The second time John, Caedmon and Keith did the fishing. We also enjoyed roast Caribou and fried Caribou and Caribou stew. Mary made us baked bannock and Blueberry Buckle.Yum! My non-fish eating family members even enjoyed the fish. I'm pretty sure that is a first. Aside from cooking Joe scheduled and arranged fun things for our trip as well as all of the details for where we would stay. He also did a good job trying to keep us safe and protected.
We got to swim in the Church hill River with the kids. They kept telling me the water was warm. I beg to differ. But it sure felt nice on the really hot days of our second week.
The trouble for Kammi was just beginning.
Do you see the mischief in their eyes?
They've got her! Matthew described her squeal like this, "She sounded like a mouse on fire."
And in she goes!
Cora came in 2nd
Caedmon, yes he is wearing goggles.
That's me in the dorky hat.
Matthew... well he had quite the adventure!
Marie and John would have held their own, if they had been allowed to run the 1,000 meter distance, but they had to go the full 2,000 meters instead. They still did great. This was Marie's second canoe race of the day!
We all got to go the the historic church and grave yard of Stanley Mission.
You'd better duck and cover. I have a feeling it's a real "fire and brimstone" message.
While we were there, Cora turned thirteen. I still refuse to believe that I have a second teenager! She was blessed by her new friends who made it a very special day. There were gifts and cake.
Pat and Paul along with Dr. Craig were able to come spend three days with us and it was great to have them. They got to say "good-bye" to their longtime friends and shared the gospel with countless new friends.
We had a great time and are missing all of our friends. I heard a few people say they were surprised by how fast they fell in love with the First Nation people that we went to serve. Those kids are really cute, funny, lovable and precious.
Thank you God for a great trip serving You. May You continue to be glorified in the hearts and lives of the people we love so dearly. Continue Your work among them and us. In Jesus name, amen.