Thursday, October 17, 2013

a huge blessing to share

I received a message several weeks ago that said simply "We'd like to give you our van". It is a massive gift and a wonderful blessing to have a new vehicle that is reliable and fuel efficient. With all of the travel that we've been doing the past several months - and will do in the future it is wonderful to have a vehicle this new with as low a mileage as it has.

There really is no way to say thank you for a gift like this - so instead we say Praise the Lord.

A long overdue update!

Hello friends, I must first begin by making apologies for the long delay in this post hitting the interwebs. Since camp has concluded, we have remained exceptionally busy; first with our Eastern Field conference and the grand opening of the Waban-Aki Book Shop. We have spent the past several weeks doing a great deal of travel and ministry updates as we've visited family and friends abroad. But prior to that we hosted our annual ladies retreat here at Arrowhead.

There was a smaller turn out this year than in past years, but a wonderful time of fellowship and teaching of the Fruit of the Spirit was enjoyed by the ladies. Special music was brought by Jane Ness and Theresa Hickman.

 Of course, craft time is always important.

And, the afternoon tea!

After the ladies retreat, we had the pleasure of visiting and opening the Word at Forest Hills Fellowship Baptist Church in Cole Harbour, NS. It is always wonderful to be with the folks there and share with them what has been happening with NCEM at ANBC.

The following week we were given the wonderful opportunity to have a few days of rest in North Conway in New Hampshire. We were able to enjoy some relaxation and time together in a beautiful community, we even visited the Fryeburg Fair - a wonderful agricultural fair in Maine.
Ivy very much loved all of the animals.

Ivy & mommy having some chowder.

Ivy & daddy at Old MacDonald's Farm.

It was such a wonderful blessing to be able to have these few days of vacation together. We are so very thankful for the kindness of friends who made this possible for us.

After our little vacation we were truly blessed to be able to share with our friends at Lisbon Falls Baptist Church in Lisbon Falls, Maine. We will also be looking forward to having a group of folks come from there to join us at the end of this month for a week of ministry in labour at the Center! We treasure our time with them at this time of year!

Upon our return from Maine we enjoyed a one day trip to the Miramichi to be with the missions society of Calvary Baptist Church for the first of their monthly meetings for this fall. They are a committed group of believers who apply themselves to prayerfully and financially supporting missions.

Our last visit this fall was with our friends at The People's Church in Truro, NS to be a part of their missions conference this past weekend. We shared with them the upcoming work weeks and our need for labourers - and the response has been overwhelming. There is a gentleman with a construction company who is planning to bring some of his crew up to help us install the roof steel on our cabins.

Although, as a family, we are feeling a bit weary we are so encouraged and excited about the ministry here at ANBC. We really feel that the Lord is preparing ANBC for some growth in ministry. We will have opportunity for a rest for the month of December as we work in the office and prepare for the new year - and I know that we will look back fondly at all of the wonderful things that the Lord has done this fall. It is a blessing for us to be able to serve here at Arrowhead and we very much love the ministry here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

as the summer closes.

Certainly we have transitioned into the end of summer without even noticing that it was happening. Our schedule is full this season and will have us traveling some as we visit some churches and take part in some missions conferences. Already since camp has concluded we've enjoyed a couple of missions conferences.

At ANBC we hosted our post-summer camp Advisory Team meeting. As a team we decided that it would be beneficial to introduce some new members to the committee. We invited four local individuals and they all agreed to join us for a meeting to see what the advisory team is all about. It was a pleasure to have them join us and once I've heard back from those who wish to commit to the team I will announce them to you here on the blog! It's always encouraging to have people share in our excitement and desire to see ANBC grow and flourish as a ministry center.

We held the Grand Opening of the Waban-Aki Book Shop on Thursday, September 5th and have had several opportunities to have the bookstore serve by being open for events since then. The bookstore will be open on Thursdays from 1 to 5 pm and by appointment. The fact that we live here on the property will make it very simple for us to make the bookstore available to people at their own convenience. You can follow the book shop on Facebook where we will regularly post book reviews, articles, specials and updates.

Our Newly Renovated Book Shop (this building also serves as the Tuck Shop for our summer camps)

It was a blessing to have our fellow missionaries, Kevin & Marcia Strout visit the Book Shop on the day of the grand opening.

On the weekend of September 6 - 8, Cumberland Bay Baptist Church held a missions conference entitled "Missions in the Maritimes" there were several guests who shared various aspects of ministry and evangelism in Atlantic Canada. I was pleased to be able to share some of the need for ministry among the First Nations people of Atlantic Canada. You can visit the Churches website by clicking HERE to listen to the messages of the guest speakers.

The church hosted a round table Q&A on Saturday afternoon that was quite informative and enjoyable. 

On the Monday following the close of the Cumberland Bay missions conference we made our way to Green Hill Lake Bible Camp in Greenhill, NB. GHLBC hosted the NCEM Eastern and Arctic Field conference again this year. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, meetings and time in God's Word. We enjoyed a series of messages from Pastor Russ Worrad of Grace Church, Newmarket, Ontario. It is always a huge encouragement to get together with the NCEM missionaries. This year we were once again joined by the executive, who took the time to come way out East to join us. This year Atlantic Canada hosted the NCEM annual general meeting, and it was a pleasure to be able to take part. As a part of the meetings this year Liz and I received our NCEM Senior missionary membership, this is a qualification that is granted to field missionaries once they have served for two full years as junior missionaries. We continue to feel blessed to be able to serve with NCEM at Arrowhead and everyday marvel at how wonderful it is to be able to do so.

During one of our meetings we had a severe thunderstorm and the lights went out - but that didn't stop us. This is Alan and Esther Giesbrecht sharing with the group by the glow of the emergency lights.

We will very much miss Len and Lorrayne Breen as they transition into a different role with NCEM. It has been a pleasure getting to know them and serve alongside them as our field directors for the past four years!

Pastor Russ walking to the chapel from his cabin, and God showing some of the marvel of His creation behind him.

This past Saturday, the Barton Family annual reunion was held at Arrowhead. Arrowhead is available, during periods of time that are not in conflict with it's regular ministry, for rental - and it's always a great opportunity to meet people and expose them to Arrowhead, our ministries and just what NCEM is doing in Atlantic Canada.

We are looking forward this coming weekend to the Ladies Retreat "The Fruit of the Spirit". As always it promises to be a good time of fellowship. This year some of the missionary ladies are sharing the responsibility of speaking. Liz, Marcia Strout, Cathy Hill and Gracie Welch will each take a session. We'll post an update next week for you complete with pictures. But if you'd like a first hand account, why not join them. You can download the brochure by clicking HERE or read more about it on the Facebook event page HERE.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the Moose.

We would like to give thanks to God for His protection last evening. On Sunday afternoon I drove to Moncton to pick up Ben Bedecki; he is spending the week with us at ANBC to help with some cleaning and maintenance. On the return trip we turned onto highway 10 and commenced what is known as the four mile stretch. It's a very dark and empty piece of road, there are no houses or power lines.

Ben saw the moose first and called out, I had about a second to react. I think I hit the brakes before we hit the moose, but it is difficult to know. We hit it hard never the less. Both Ben and myself walked away unharmed, and for that we are thankful. Several agencies responded to the accident including the paramedics (just to check us out), the Cumberland Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Dept. of forestry and the police. By the time forestry arrived the moose had expired.

It was a frightening experience, and it certainly puts things into perspective. We are very grateful that God in His sovereignty has chosen not to take us. He did, however, take the camp truck. I am working with our insurance company on filing a claim.

The firemen believe the moose may have been texting, which would have distracted it enough to be in our lane. They found a pink cell phone case very near the moose. I heartily concur that the moose would never have hit us if it had been paying attention.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Junior Camps 2013

It was another full summer. We saw good numbers of campers come out to camp from a variety of communities - some new to us at Arrowhead. One of the greatest challenges we often face at ANBC is the need for volunteers to come along side of us and serve during our summer camps. This year we often felt the "crunch" as we planed our weeks activities. It is always a blessing to see who the Lord directs to join us and just how He builds His team for ANBC. We no longer worry about what we will have for volunteer staff, as we know that He will be faithful to provide just the right team - even if wee feel it is too small or too large. This summer it was humbling to see God work in peoples lives and provide for the ministry here. Everyone worked hard, and although there were challenges, he provided us with the wisdom and patience to overcome every hurdle. The gospel was clearly taught each week and relationships were formed.

Something new that we tried this summer was a refocusing of our "chapel" times - which we call "Gathering". I feel that it is a vital part of our camp day, partnered with the "Cabin Talk" time - which is our cabin devotions component to camp. I've felt that both of these elements have been getting a bit lost in our daily routine so we renovated the schedule to make the emphasis be on these events. We completely overhauled the gathering time to be more of a VBS format - encompassing between 90 and 120 minutes twice a day. We were a bit unsure as to just how this would work, but we included a number of elements that kept it moving - it wasn't a stale 2 hours for 2 hours sake - it was a time filled with games, music, teaching, Bible memory, drama, puppets, narrative, prizes & illustration. Each Gathering had a theme and all of the elements pointed to that theme each time. There was a risk that we would lose the campers - but that was not something we encountered at all throughout the summer. The new program seemed to work quite well. Each Gathering time would introduce the campers to a scripture memory verse and a narrative - a story that pointed to the theme for that gathering. When gathering ended each time - the campers would go with their cabin leaders directly to their cabins and have cabin talk time. There, they would answer any questions that may have arisen, look again at the narrative from gathering and work on scripture memory. All of these elements reinforced the teaching and gave the cabin leaders the opportunity to have a good quiet time with the campers and talk about the things that were engaging them.

This summer we were without a lifeguard for our last two weeks of camp. I was afraid the campers would mount a coup when they learned that they wouldn't be able to swim. But they were remarkably content to play water games on dry land. We had lots of fun and tried to keep everyone wet and cool. Filling some of our critical roles can often be a challenge - in conjunction with striving to fill these positions - I will also be actively seeking 4 churches that will commit to sending a ministry team of 12 people for a week in 2014.

Here are a few shots from our junior camps 2013! Thanks so much for your prayers and support - it has been a wonderful summer.

Cape Breton Camp Out 2013

NCEM has some wonderful resources and some fantastic missionaries running programs across the country. It occurred to us that it might be a good idea to partner with some of these missionaries and make some of these programs available here in Atlantic Canada.

With that in mind we invited Marsden Giesbrecht and Tom Cnossen from Higher Challenge to come to Arrowhead this summer. Higher Challenge is a wilderness adventure camp in Western Canada that offers wilderness camps in the Rockies and northern Saskatchewan.

Tom & Marsden graciously agreed to come out to Atlantic Canada for two weeks of their busy summer. The first week we spent scouting out the Cape Breton Highlands. Because we had not run a camp o this nature before it was important for us to get the lay of the land.

Merrill at Cape Clear, Cape Breton Highlands, NS

Tom at Cape Clear, Cape Breton Highlands, NS

We enjoyed some chowder together at Meat Cove.

We camped on a bluff and were lulled to sleep by the droning of the fog horn.

It was a successful scouting trip and we developed a good idea about how best to approach the camp out. We returned to ANBC and began the packing and preparing. Tom & Marsden are experienced masters when it comes preparing for this sort of thing and we learned a great deal about food preparation and planning.

Marsden packing the food barrels!

Tom preparing the hamburger to freeze.

All loaded up and ready to go.

The following week we had 6 campers join us for our first Cape Breton Camp Out. It was a learning experience for all of us as we selected campsites and events for the week. It was a great week and became quickly clear that we can host some wonderful camp outs in the future in Cape Breton.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Teen Camp 2013

It was a remarkable week at ANBC this week! It was one of those week when God reveals Himself to us in such abundantly humbling and amazing ways. It is so clear after a week like this that the work is God's work and we are simply His servants, and as long as we remain submitted to His will we need not fear, worry or have concern.

A friend of mine sent me the following verse tonight, and I think there is a poignant truth that is very applicable to the ministry we are engaged in at summer camp.
"Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." ~ Zechariah 4:6
This week we had a relatively small complement of volunteers. It is not something that I allow myself to be overly stressed out about; our key positions are filled and we rely on the Lord to work in the lives of those He would have join us. And that is exactly what happened. A couple of days before the camp was to begin, I received an eMail from a young man from Ontario who has served with us in the past, and has already gone through our training program. He had thought his job would prevent him from serving at ANBC this summer, but it just so happened that there would be a down week during our teen camp. So, he wanted to know if we could use the help. I simply replied to him; "come"! Another gentleman that is planning to serve with us this week as our medic, felt compelled to join our ranks for the teen camp as well. And a friend of mine from Nova Scotia, felt led by the Holy Spirit to contact us and come to join us for a couple of weeks!

We were expecting about 12 teens for our teen camp. By Monday evening we had 33. What a blessing! The vast majority of the campers were girls, and we simply did not have enough female staff to serve as cabin leaders. I did a reshuffle of the job roster for the week and we had some very humble and servant hearted folks willing to be cabin leaders (including Liz, who did an amazing job of being a cabin leader and keeping the kitchen stocked and caring for Ivy). I called up a good friend who is the director of a Bible camp about an hour away, and he just so happened to have an extra cabin leader who was willing to come and serve with us. She had been through his training program and has had a heart to reach out to First Nations people.

It was absolutely amazing to see God put the week together. I have never seen the teens at our teen camp as attentive to the teaching; or as interactive with questions and comments in the cabins, as they were this week. There was a real sense of the work of the Holy Spirit as we laboured together for the sake of the Gospel.

We were without a camp speaker until the last minute, one had been scheduled, but due to some overbookings was unable to join us. Thankfully Todd Nielsen was prepared to serve for us in that capacity and brought the Gospel chronologically and clearly throughout the week!

Chicken Burger Day! Always a favourite.

Teens enjoying the new tuck shop!

On these HOT July days, the waterfront has been a HUGE favourite!

Our First Year of Day Camps!

This year we piloted a new program of day camps on reserve. I made arrangements ahead of time with the leadership of the various communities and we were granted permission to come to each community and operate a 3 hour day camp at each location. Our team remained at ANBC foloowing our training weekend and on Monday we met to plan, practice and prepare for the week. Each volunteer was given a task and had to prepare to do that task when we got to the community.

The afternoon program included, games & activities, puppets & music, drama, snacks,  bouncy castle and a Bible Lesson. Each group on our team did an excellent job of doing their part and connecting with the children and teens as well as parents. I really feel that it was a wonderful and beneficial week and that the Lord was honoured by the ministry that we all shared in together.

Our ministry team on our last day at Oromocto.

Music, drama and puppets in Eel Ground.

Todd Sharing a gospel illustration

Pastor Josh Cameron sharing a Gospel lesson.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Second Annual Charity Golf Classic

We held our second annual Golf Tournament this past Saturday. To spite some last minute cancellations, we had a good turn out and a great day of fun and fundraising. Thanks to all of our sponsors and the many golfers who came out to support Arrowhead we raised over $3,200 to help with our general expenses this summer as we operate our summer camp ministries!

We are privileged to be able to hold the tournament at the Petitcodiac Golf & Country Club. They are exceptionally hospitable of our little tournament, accommodate our every need and feast us with a wonderful steak dinner!It's a beautiful place to host a charity golf tournament.

The "Most Honest" team.

The new tournament champions.

The Moncton Lads.

The defending champs.

The Tatamagouche Team.

These Guys!