Today we enjoyed the de-institutionalizing ministry module with Dan Woodard. Some of the NCEM executive came from Prince Albert to take part, it was a nice surprise to have them here and be able to spend some time with them.
We're back in the swing of things (sort of), yesterday we were all able to return to campus and unpack again. We and Jan checked out of our hotel rooms at about 10am and were on campus shortly after. Doug Nelson let us into the admin building to unload our weekend luggage and those of us on campus went to a local diner for some lunch. When we came back we found that the group using the campus for the weekend had finished and gone. So we were able to move back into our rooms early, which was nice. Doug helped us ferry our bags from the admin building and we got ourselves settled in. By supper time everyone had returned and we all ate together and finished settling in for the evening. Unfortunately the moving in and out has been quite disruptive to all of the various aspects of our training, and although a break from routine, was perhaps less restful than remaining on campus might have been. It is nice to be back together with everyone!
Today will be our first day of classes this week, the new module is "Indigenous Church Principles" with Merle Nisly from Living Hope Ministries. Because we lost a day of class time yesterday we will be doing double duty on Friday with one full day module instead of two half days.
We're looking forward to the new week, and what we will learn in the new module.
A shot from the balcony of our Motel, it's like a peek into a 60 year old postcard.
Sorry folks, no video today, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday and didn't get to putting one together. I'm feeling much better today though. It is our last day of S.Y.I.S. (sharpening your interpersonal skills), we will be having a couple of hours of class this morning and then be finishing up for the day. Traditionally this class would be another full day, but we are missing the last five or six hours today and all day Monday, due to the move.
Today is moving day. No, we're not finished with P.A.T.H. training, but we do have to vacate our training venue and accommodations. Because of some organizational difficulties, P.A.T.H. is to be suspended for four days. We are packing up everything and cleaning the buildings, we will return at the end of the day on Monday. In the interim, the Strouts, Jan Sassmannshausan and ourselves will be staying in Nipawin until we can return and unpack. The other trainees and staff have found accommodation elsewhere. Classes will resume on Tuesday morning.
It will be strange to be away from everyone over the weekend, we've gotten quite used to life in the dorm with the other trainees. I think it may be difficult to settle in again the way we have been to this point. We will be packing up again a couple of weeks from now for the same reason and then some of us will be departing for Regina for Urban Impact, some to the bush for Trails and some will be remaining behind to watch the children. I think the dynamic of living will not return to what it was, as a result of the moves, which is a shame.
It's going to be a busy day, but we're looking forward to a bit of R&R for a day or two over the weekend. NCEM's aviation department is based out of Nipawin, there is a hanger and a couple of aircraft here, we may drop in for a visit.
There is internet access where we're staying, so you'll likely hear from us again before Tuesday.
Well, we've finished up with our third full week of P.A.T.H. training. The modules with Mike Matthews have been amazing; Cross Cultural Communication, Worldview, Narrative Bible Teaching, we covered a lot of ground last week. The classes were enjoyable and highly interactive, chalk full of good information. The thing that struck me most was how Mike pulled everything together from all 6 modules this far. It was certainly a great week of classes!
This past week was our last week of being 'settled' at P.A.T.H. training, each week from here on out will involve either completely packing up or unpacking. Please keep us in prayer as this will put a strain on most here. We will be losing a few days of classes as well. From what I understand these setbacks are a result of the last minute venue change for the training this year.
Today we'll be starting full day classes for this week long module. The program is called SYIS (sharpening your interpersonal skills), I'm curious just what it will entail. Stay tuned.
Today in class we had a high level of interaction. In the study of culture and the importance of recognizing just how challenging it can be, Mike, our instructor scattered the pieces of a puzzle on the floor and had the entire class attempt to put it together in just twenty minutes without the image as a reference. It was a valuable object lesson. We were all involved in some roll play as well as we talked about some of the differences in culture and the challenges in communicating across those lines. It's certainly been a great week in the classroom!
Ben & Nikki Clarke are a couple of the mentors on staff here at P.A.T.H., and they have been going all out to make this a wonderful experience for all of us. They provided us an opporutnity for an afternoon paddle and a few of the fella's threw in a line (to no immediate avail) It was a beautiful day for a canoe outing!
Some more wildlife, we've been hearing these at night as they fly home.
We thought it might be fun, as part of the video blog to introduce you to some of our fellow trainees here at P.A.T.H. So, today's video update includes a chat with Dion and Krista Gingerich, they work with Living Hope Native Ministries in Sudbury, Ontario. But I'll let them tell you for themselves!
Today was day fifteen of our P.A.T.H. adventure. Liz and I went for a short hike on the trail behind the campus and shot our vlog update from there. It's beginning to feel a bit like Spring, and we had a nice afternoon to be outside.
For those of you who may be concerned that we're on vacation for 2 months out here, I can assure you we're not. If you watch the video, perhaps we can explain better in 'person'. Although we are in class for only four hours a day, the trainees are also responsible for 'chapel' time every day as well as Sunday morning and evening services. Chores, such as dishes and cleaning in the dorm are also our responsibility. In some respects, it is very much like college life.
All of the seminars we've been having have brought to mind for all of us the struggles many people have gone through and continue to go through in their lives. This is something I wrote thinking of those who have struggled or suffered.
sunshine (a song from the moonlight)
by Grant Fawcett
In sunshine boils fear, of life and death; a crimson streaming tear.
My life is but a stain, an irk of wreck; a plight of searing pain.
To walk a lonely trail, dare not look back; the sunshine does assail.
A shadow lies in wait, a brightness dark; the silent creaking gate.
Behold the sunshine burns, dark waste made bare; set deep in memory churns.
An ugly missing scar, inside my face; though buried not too far.
To heal in pain of light, a nothing chase; by grace and not by might.
In shades of let it be, a silent fate; and no one weeps for me.
Today we took part in a one day workshop that P.A.T.H. was offering for the very first time. Poverty Worldview was facilitated by Dan Woodard and gave us the opportunity for some interesting conversation and a fresh perspective on Worldview and just how impactful it really is. Our socio-economic, political, religious, ethical, and relational perspectives impact our worldview and can perhaps surprise us with respect to just where our worldview sits. Early in the morning the power blinked and went out, leaving us in the dark for almost three hours of our class. But it wasn't a problem beyond the cold coffee (true trauma indeed). Dan will be departing for a time and returning to teach us through a module on De-institutionalizing Ministry later in May. I'll be looking forward to those sessions!
After lunch I went to the gym with a few of the guys and was mocked heartily by my own lungs. It was a good time though, I've been enjoying the chance to do some running around in the gym. Liz and Marcia were able to borrow the Geeting's van and made a run into Nipawin for some things at the Co-op. My thoughtful wife brought me home an insulated mug that I can fill to the brim with caffine for class!
As I type this it is once again snowing, I may sing some Christmas Carols!
Well, the first week of P.A.T.H. is complete. We've enjoyed a variety of classroom interaction and topic, various different opportunities for service as well as begun to build some new friendships. We're eager to see what this week brings! Watch the blog to see more of the campus where we are living and studying and meet some more of our friends here!
Just mind the gap, is an expression of what we hope the Lord can use us for in this ministry. It has become more and more common to find huge gaps in ministry, places where there is
a need and no-one to fill that need. There is a great need for
labourers, and God calls His people to fill these gaps. It is our hope to minister, in whatever ways we can, to our neighbours, Canada’s First Nations people, that no-one might slip through the gap.