2010 Canada Mission - Day 2

Today was a day of orientation and getting on our feet.  Here's the breakdown:

Regina

Regina, Saskatchewan is a city of over 200,000 due north and a little west of Dallas.  Just like Texas, Colorado, Kansas, etc., Saskatchewan and Alberta belong to the "wild west" tradition of farming, cowboys, and rugged outdoor adventure.

Weather

The weather is perfect!  While Dallas has been in the high 90's today, our temperature ranges from the 60's to 70's.  Today was quite the scorcher - it probably got up into the 80's.  Its actually chilly in the morning and at night.  Don't be jealous!

Western Christian College

We are staying and working with Western Christian College.  WCC is a high school of around 100 students and Bible college.  Founded in 1931, an extended history of the school can be found at http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/WCC.

We're occupying 3 dorms: teen girls in one, teen boys in another, and a third with adults has couples as well as men and women who came individually.  What makes this tricky is that the adult dorm only has one bathroom. So, we've learned to knock before entering or risk an awkward moment. David Stevens was kind enough to shoot some video of what the boys dorm looks like.

I'll give some profiles and biographies in future posts.

Today's Activities

Morning

Overview

Gerry & Donna Taylor and Harold and Gail Tidwell are the leaders of the mission this summer.  They drove up in the Taylor's 5th wheel though much of God's country.

Gerry gave us an orientation to the city and what we'll be doing over the next week.  There are so many logistics, these people deserve an extra helping of praise for their sacrifice and gifts.

Orientation

Galon led our thoughts in what mission trips are all about.  Initially, people think its about helping other people.  What they find out is that it is also about growing yourself through purpose driven experiences.  Once we break free from our norm, our habits, our comfort zone, we open ourselves to new ideas and new perspectives.  You can't fill a glass that's already full.  Sometimes, you have to empty it a little to let the really good stuff get in.

Mission trips are all about experiences - learning from Christians like you that aren't like you, seeing God's big picture, seeing God's little picture in your life.  Mission trips are also intended to give us the skills we need to be missionaries at home to our family, neighbors, and coworkers.  I've recently been convicted of how lightly we take the Great Commission.  Whenever we break one of God's commandments, we call it "sin".  The Great Commission seems to be the only commandment we can omit or delegate to someone else without really sinning.

Afternoon Activities

Here's a quick summary of the hodge-podge of activities this afternoon.

VBS Prep

Monday through Thursday nights, we'll be hosting VBSs the Glen Elm Church of Christ and Northwest Church of Christ.  Both churches have put a substantial amount of effort into the VBS so far.  In fact, Northwest expects to have over 100 kids.

Our role is to support them and be extra bodies where needed.  So, this afternoon, we broke into 2 groups (one for each church) and passed out fliers in the neighborhoods around the churches.  Along the way, we got to talk to a few people who were standing outside in their yards.

To kick things off in style, the Northwest will be hosting a carnival for the kids Sunday afternoon.  While almost all the prep work is complete, we spent an hour or so tonight blowing up balloons and making cotton candy.

Construction

Throughout the day, several people worked on the upstairs non-functional bathroom.  They put a finish over the floor in preparation for tiling it.  Over the next few days, they'll be using 5 different types of donated tile to put on the floors and walls. 

Mission Alive Training

Tod Vogt is continuing the training he began a few months ago.  Several of the local church members and WCC staff were in attendance.

Kevin Vance

Kevin is one of the people I will profile in later postings.  Kevin recently resigned as the Academic Dean and President of WCC.  Kevin and others have started some house churches in Regina.  A year or so ago, he began having kid activities in homes.  At first 5 or so came.  A few months went buy and he had 25.  Now, he has so many that he feels God is calling him to walk with those that others have forgotten.

Everyone is excited about us being here.  The way Kevin describes it, God has a plan that he thinks he sees and we've been invited to become coworkers in accomplishing His purpose in Regina.

Evening Devo

We had a great devo tonight. Here are a couple of highlights.

God Stories

Several shared experiences they had today and the way they saw God working through them:

  • God brought two people together at Home Depot.  This encounter spurned an invitation to renew a Bible study that seemed to have languished.
  • God brought teenagers together at a mall and gave them the confidence to talk openly about their faith and to make invitations to VBS.
  • God encouraged people at the mall by seeing those of who wear shirts that talk about Jesus.
  • God has given the people in Regina the opportunity to minister to children who need the love of God's disciples

Concert of Prayer

We closed the evening with a "concert of prayer".  I had never heard of this before, but I enjoyed it.  Greg put up posters around the auditorium that focused on ways to pray, e.g,. listening, praise, confession, posture, etc.  Its good to shake up habits that keep us from growing deeper.

Canadianisms

Just to close - I have to through out some unique things I saw and heard:

  • "Aboot" means "About"
  • "Pop" means "Coke" (though not Coca-Cola)
  • People don't say "Eh" as much as you think
  • Regina loves the CFL - their home team are the Roughriders.  Many people around town were wearing jerseys.
  • Regina loves Tim Horton "double/double" coffee - 2 cream, 2 sugar
  • A "bunny hug" is a Saskatchewan term for what we call a "hoodie"

God bless ...

Mark