2010 Canada Mission - Day 5

Other than being a little chilly in the morning, its been a pretty good day.  Here's the breakdown:

Morning Activities

Morning Devo

Instead of having another boring talk like yesterday's, some of the local teenagers put on a skit for us.  It was funny and had a great message.

VBS Prep

In addition to what I mentioned yesterday, 150 different crafts have to be made each morning.  That's a lot of work everyday.

Kirk Hinnergardt

Kirk HinnergardtKirk is the minister at the Northwest church of Christ. He believes that Northwest is an equiping church. Like many college churches, they have a large turnover rate. Kids come into the school in the fall, stay for 9 months, and then in the summer the church is sparsely attended. Anyone who has tried to work in a college, singles, or military ministry knows how hard it is every year or two when you have to say goodbye to people you were just beginning to be good friends with and having to start over again.

Having such a turnover rate makes it hard to plan and creates anxieties about whether or not the church could survive without its "anchor" members. Rather than succumbing to the stress this would naturally bring anyone, Kirk believes God's church will survive whether or not this instance will or not. There are good reasons why churches grow and natural reasons why they shrink.

Most churches caters to a narrow demographic, i.e., white middle class, black, hispanic, etc. This isn't what God intended, but that's the way it is. Northwest church falls in this category but doesn't represent the only demographic in Regina.

That's where the Steiners and Vances come in. By starting a church planing movement in Regina, they can ensure that God's kingdom will thrive in multiple locations and demographics independent of whether or not the instance that meets at WCC survives. Where as Northwest worship service has a traditional auditorium style worship service, first nation people are reluctant to trust any organization and will feel more comfortable in homes.

Taking the responsibility off our shoulders and putting it on God's is the key to success. We are a part of His work. Its not our work, its His. We will be miserable if we try to force everyone into a single church model. Instead, Northwest wants to create a self replicating Biblically based church that meets people where they are and shows them the blessings of Christian discipleship.

Books

Before we left on the trip, many people constributed money to buy Bibles, Bible stories, and other material for kids. In the end, $1200 was collected! Thanks to your generosity Kevin and Blair will be able to distribute these books to the children in the "party".

Service Projects

From 1 to 3, we split into groups to conduct service projects. Everyone did a different project from yesterday. We'll continue to rotate them everyday.

Painting

I neglected to mention yesterday that we are painting. A few have chosen to paint some of the rooms here on the WCC campus. The campus is larger than what the school needs and big chunks of it are in disrepair. That's one of the reasons the painting and construction crews are so needed.

Thrift Store

The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift Store sells clothes and other items. Proceeds from sales go to benefit Christian charitable efforts around the world. There, we cleaned, put size tags on clothes, and helped organize things.

Community Garden

The community garden was a bit of a bust.  We successfully weeded a half planted garden, but we saw no one from the local community.

Habitat for Humanity

No more wimpy dusting inside.  This time, we worked outside the Restore moving beams around, knocking the mortar out of the wholes in bricks, etc.

Rescue House

Souls Harbour Rescue House is an umbrella for housing, the soup kitchen we went to yesterday, and more.  Today, we worked there.

One of the reasons this place is special is because of who runs it.  She was a former drug addict who did bad things and ultimately had her children taken away from her.  She later sobered up and was able to earn her children back.  Western Christian High School reached out to these children and 3 of them have graduated so far.  These are the first three in her entire family to have ever graduated from high school.  Now she is managing the Rescue House and giving testimonials to others about her life and overcoming the obstacles the community faces.

Addiction Seminar

The seminar is going very well.  We had one new person there today.  So, counting Galon & Kirk, there were 7 total.  This group is remarkable for their openness and honesty.  They seem to be committed to the process - some take taxis their at their own expense and all asked for the sessions to be extended through Thursday (they were going to end today).  We need to pray for these people.  Perhaps they could be the yeast that leavens the bread in this community.

Evening Activities

VBS

The evening VBSs went well.  This is mostly due to the huge amount of work the local churches put into it before we arrived.  The theme tonight was David & Jonathon.

Milky Way

After VBS, 50+ people went to Milky Way again.  It was quite a site to see a sea of sunshine yellow T-shirts surrounding this soft serve ice cream hut.  People noticed us and it gave us an opportunity to talk about why were're here.

Devo

After getting back from Milky Way late, the evening devo was short (we're all getting tired).  We took time to give "shout outs" to each other for things we saw them doing that made an impression on us.  We also met a couple of the kids from the "party" and heard what good examples they are.

Canadian Food

Being a bit of a foodie, let me tell you about some Canadian standards we've eaten:

  • Pierogi - A Ukrainian dish, it is dough stuffed with cheese and mashed potatoes that is either steamed or fried.
  • Poutine - More than cheese fries, a poutine has gravy(?!).  Ours had tater tots.  Yummy!
  • Pizza - Canadian pizza is piled 2 or 3 inches high with meat and "toppings".  Some can weigh up to 10 lbs!
  • Katsup Flavored Potato Chips - These were the "I dare you to try this" food.  It was not to bad - sort of like a salt 'n vinegar chip.