Steve Klassen – Listening to God

On Sunday October 30th the male students woke up from their short sleep at 5:30am to jump into the vans and make the 2 hour drive to reunite with the female students after being separated for guys/girls week. After many hugs, stories and goodbyes the South Africa and Guatemala sites parted ways and made the their seperate treks to their seperate camp destinations near Hope BC. Our site pulled into the beautiful camp Kawkawa at around 8:30pm and got settled in before crashing for the night after the long day on the road.

The next morning everyone piled into the dining hall for breakfast in their Halloween costumes ready for a fun day. After breakfast we were called downstairs by the incredible sound of a trumpet being played extremely well. We walked into our classroom space to find Steve Klassen playing away on his trumpet. We all found our seat and became focused on our instructor for the week as he captivated us with an amazing tune to start off our day, but even though the trumpet was amazing we quickly learned that it wasn’t what we were going to be learning about that week. As the song finished Steve put his trumpet away and got right to the point. He introduced himself and told us this week we were going to be listening for God’s voice. He told us right away that he couldn’t promise we would hear God but he was fairly certain we would at least get some good teachings this week and he wasn’t wrong one bit. Our sessions that Monday morning and afternoon were focused on finding God’s voice through the scriptures and through stories and writing in the book Steve and his wife Evy wrote together. We each got a copy of Steve’s book and were encouraged to go through it as we went through the week to find how the different types of stories related to us finding God’s voice.

When we went to the scriptures we found ourselves in the gospels of Matthew and Mark and for the most part looking at many of the different inspiring verses and stories that were contained within the books. We looked at the many ways that Jesus listens for God and then how he teaches that back to the people. Some of these ways included going and praying in a solitary place or just simply asking God to give him the words to say. As we continued to look further we found that these things related to our lives a little as well in the sense that prayer and silence are extremely important tools for some to hear God’s voice. Another thing we focused on that Monday was a specific poem in Steve’s book called “My Rule For Life” by Doreen Kostynuik. This poem hit home for quite a few people in the room because of the flow of the poem and how it portrayed our relationship with God and with Jesus. The poem started by telling the reader to follow Jesus around the scriptures and watch how he interacts with his surroundings, the people, and with himself and God. Next the poem went on to instruct the reader to let Jesus look at you, touch, hold, and heal you and to be present with you. Then the poem told us to become all of those things we let Jesus do to us. We read over this poem many times in many different ways and by the end everyone had taken at least one thing from the poem that was sent significant to them. Steve then instructed us to take whatever we had found and sit with it in prayer and bring it before God. This activity gave us a taste into what was to come in the next teachings ahead of us.

Tuesday everyone put their costumes from Halloween away and came back ready to go for another day of sessions with Steve. We were told on Monday that today we were going to get some insight on what to do on our silent day which would be happening on Wednesday. The South Africa site had told us a few stories about their silent day experiences and quite a few of us were excitedly anticipating this session to lead us the next day. We got what we were looking for because Tuesday we went through Steve’s book and touched a little bit on each of the ways to listen for God’s voice. The five ways in the book were Listening to God: through scripture, at work around us, through our hearts, in silence and solitude, and in community. We had touched on scripture on Monday so we went on to talk about God at work around us. Steve lead us through a few stories from his book and got us to pick out where God was at work in the people’s lives in the story. After we had had a bit of practice at this he got us to look back into our lives and find a specific moment where we found God had been working in our lives. When we had found one he got us to look more deeply at the experience which helped us to see more ways that God had been working in our lives. After everyone had a good experience in this activity Steve guided us on to trying to listen for God through out hearts and lead us through a few different ways to pray and open ourselves to God and put everything else to the side. We practiced a few meditations that he encouraged us to remember and try in solitude on our silent day that was quickly approaching. This lead us into listening to God through silence and solitude which was perfect because it helped many of us in the silent day the next day. We went over some different ways to look and listen for God in silence and it gave our group a little more confidence going into the next day because most of our group isn’t usually that quiet so we were all looking at a day without talking as being a pretty big challenge. We ended the day here after a bit more instruction on how to go about our silent day and then Steve left us with one last encouragement for the next day.

Everyone got up and came to breakfast the next morning talking as much as they could because at 9:00am the leaders got up and made a few announcements and then told us the silent day had begun. Everyone dispersed to do whatever they either had or hadn’t planned for the day. We all gathered back at the dining hall for lunch and ate in an awkward silence the entire time and then got back up and headed out to do whatever we had or hadn’t planned once again. At 4:30pm everyone gathered back at the dining hall in the couch area to debrief the day. We all went around the circle and shared how we had or hadn’t seen or heard God through the things that we had done throughout the day. These are a few brief accounts from students on what they experienced through their day of silence.

“I found that God lead me through the entire day. I started with a prayer asking God where I should go and when I started walking around I found whenever I came to a spot where I needed to decide which turn to take God sent a sign like a small bird or a fish jumping out of the water to guide me in the direction I needed to go. I was lead to the top of a tree to pray and into a creek to meditate. God was with me the entire day and I could feel him inside me protecting and guiding me and talking to me the entire day. I learned that God is always with me and that I need to sometimes just stop being so busy with life and let God take control and lead me to a place to just be with him and not be distracted by anything else.”

“Silent day was a very humbling experience for me!  I started my day off with huge plans, and a schedule to keep me preoccupied. I came into the day with high expectations and a real urge to hear from God.. However God didn’t reveal himself to me in the way I wanted, but more so in a way I needed. God spoke to me and said “Be at rest my soul”  and just be still and enjoy me. Through this experience I realized the busyness of life is a huge hindrance in hearing from God, and if I want to hear from God I need to silence myself before him and sit in his presence.”

Through Steve’s week with us our group picked up some valuable lessons about how to better communicate with God and listen to how He is working in our lives. And even though everyone had different experiences throughout the week it’s pretty safe to say the everyone learned something from this week either about themselves or about their relationship with God. We were extremely honoured to have Steve Klassen with us for an amazing week of learning and are very thankful that he was able to grace us with his vast knowledge of scripture and great teachings on listening for God’s voice. This will be a week that is remembered by our site group for many years to come.

Site 1 Guatemala

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Early evening on the shore of Lake Kawkawa

Girls Week!

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All the gals from Site 1!

Hola Amigos! We’re a little late on this one but I’m here to tell you all about our Girls Week. On October 23 we made our way from Redberry Bible Camp in Saskatchewan to Rivers Edge in Alberta! Here we met up with the girls from the second Outtatown site, South Africa. This was a very exciting time for many students from Manitoba and Ontario who had not seen mountains before! Going into this was also a little bit of a culture shock. Our site consists of 17 students, as well as 3 leaders, and when we met up with South Africa, we realized that they have more girls than we have students! This took a little getting used to. However, soon fast friendships were formed as they welcomed us to the camp they had been staying at for the last week.

Our speaker this week was Darlene Enns-Dyck. Our overarching theme for the week was purity in the eyes of Jesus, and what purity really is. We really delved into difficult topics such as purity rings, sex before marriage, and what it really means to be clean. She brought up the idea of cleanliness being deeper than we envision it, and how Jesus is always redefining purity. She was certainly a speaker we won’t forget.

When we weren’t sitting in sessions, our lovely leaders planned some great activities for us! We had wrestling championships, went on a hike at Lake Louise, did some Holy Yoga (instructed by Alison Goerzen), a spa night with some well-deserved pampering, and went into Calgary to tackle some escape rooms! We also put together 25 or so questions for the guys to answer. We asked them about everything from how often they completely zone out, to what they think of girls who’ve had sex before marriage, and what they think of how the Bible describes a Man’s role. In return, the guys also asked us some questions which we answered. This was a challenging time as we dove into how women are oppressed in today’s society, and shared our own stories.

Girls week was one of the most beneficial weeks that we have had as a community, as we took time to connect with each other, and got some time away from the guy’s crazy shenanigans! We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and grew together, and found excellent friends in the South Africa site. We will certainly cherish these times forever.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Site One Guatemala

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The girls from both the Guatemala and South Africa Sites at Lake Louise. 

 

 

Gil Dueck & MCC

After a very long hiatus I am extremely excited to get the ball rolling on filling you all in on what our site has being doing over the last half of the semester.

During the week of October 15-23, we spent our time at Redberry Bible Camp just outside of Rosthern, Saskatchewan. As a site, we were very excited to spend a full week in Saskatchewan as this was the first time in Outtatown history that multiple nights had been spent in the province.

We had the pleasure of living, working, and learning with MB Mission’s Discipleship on Mission (DOM) program. Getting to interact with new people was so much fun and we loved getting to know them as both individuals and as a team. They fit right in with us and saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest moments of the week.

While staying at Redberry we had a speaker named Gil Dueck who taught us all about theology as transformation. Before the week began many of us didn’t have a strong understanding of what theology was, yet alone how it applied to our lives. Gil explained theology as “the study of great convictions.” These convictions are critical to who we are and how we see the world. One of Gil’s main points was speaking on the echoes of God’s voice. The four echoes he told us about were: Our longing for justice, our thirst for spirituality, our desire for relationships, and our love of beauty. Through these echoes, we come to the realization that we live in a sinful world because these echoes have paradoxes. Justice is elusive, spirituality is ambiguous, relationships are messy, and beauty is fleeting. Gil also provided us with an illustration to help us understand human being’s fall into sin. He described sinful choices as bad apples, the condition of sin as the bad barrel, and the spiritual power of sin as the bad barrel makers. Gil finished off his lessons by telling us everything the cross accomplished and the transformative power of death and resurrection.

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Gill Duecks theology class at Redberry Bible Camp

The second half of our week was spent with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) learning about a local story of reconciliation and the international refugee crisis. Thursday morning, we got to hear first hand from some farmers in the area about Stoney Knoll. Stoney Knoll is also known as The Young Chippewayan Indian Reserve. In 1897 this land was taken from the Young Chippewayans by Mennonite and Lutheran Settlers. For a couple of hundred years nothing was done to resolve this injustice; that was until 2006. In 2006 Young Chippewayans, Lutherans, and Mennonites gathered on Stoney Knoll to draft the Memorandum of Understanding. All three parties agreed to peace and justice! Through this Memorandum has come healing and reconciliation. Although the Young Chippewayan Band has never been compensated for the land that was taken peace is being reached. For our site to hear this true story of forgiveness and reconciliation, especially after spending a week at Roseau River Reserve, allowed us to see hope for a future of peaceful and healthy relationships. That afternoon we were able to visit Stoney Knoll which allowed us to fully appreciate the precious land that the Young Chippewayan’s value.

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The snow covered Saskatchewan prairie

Friday we headed into the MCC office in Saskatoon. We got to participate in a refugee simulation activity. We were divided into small groups which represented a family. Each family was provided with some money, food rations, and health rations. Then we had to make decisions that led us to different check points depending on the decisions we made. For example, my family decided that we would risk not getting proper documentation and we would illegally take refuge in another country. This worked for a while but at one of the checkpoints we had to bribe the border security with our food rations because we didn’t have a passport. Another family ended up stranded on the side of the road with two medically fragile family members due to decisions made early in the game. This learning activity really caused each of us to think; although we were just pretending, real refugees make life or death decisions everyday. We were left to contemplate questions such as what would you bring with you if you were forced out of your country? Would you risk not having authentic I.D? What would you consider an illegal immigrant? Overall the day was extremely thought provoking and challenging.

As our week in Saskatchewan ended we looked forward to our time in Alberta. Stay tuned to hear more about our adventures out West!

Learning at Roseau River

Hola! Buenos Dias Amigos. Running a bit behind on updating all of you, but do not fear! Today we are going to let you hear about some of the crazy experiences we had the privilege to partake in while being welcomed on the Roseau River Reserve.

During this week we were staying at Roseau River Bible Camp which was about a 30 minute drive to the reserve. Each morning we loaded up our vans with bag lunches in hand and set out for the reserve to take in all they had to offer. This was quite an exciting time for the community due to the fact that we were joining them in the midst of their Winter Festival! This was just as exciting for us, because there was so many interesting ceremonies and traditions that we got to participate in throughout the week.

The first day of arriving at the reserve we met our liaison Colleen who toured us around the community, showing us the different traditions and allowing us to see different glimpses into the Anishinaabe culture through interactive experiences. We listened to a variety speakers from the community who told personal testimonies as well as what it was like to live in the Roseau River Reserve. Amongst these speakers, we had a young mom come and share with us her personal testimony and the difficulties of living on the reserve. This was hugely eye opening experience for us as she touched on the struggles of drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and getting out of the cycle of poverty. Getting out of the cycle of poverty is quite a difficult task and for her it is something she is still working towards.

One thing this women really stressed to us as a group was to spread a “good rumour” about the her people. Many of us came in undereducated about the culture, however this opportunity of seeing the community first hand broke down barriers we had up before visiting. It has allowed us to diminish stereotypes and see the progress as they work towards ridding the community of various temptations such as alcohol on the reserve. One lady shared her story about how alcohol is so very damaging to people she loved in her life and she stated “Alcohol is not our friend”. This is was encouraging statement to us, because it is frequently found that many are so quick to judge that it is a problem on reserves, and that they’re not working towards fixing it. Through this experience we are able to confirm that the perspective you gain from looking in from the outside is not an adequate representation of how things really may be.

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Our crew assisting with the set up of the tents for the celebrations.

The second day of being on the reserve we got to do more hands on things and show our love to the community through acts of service. As a group we assisted in setting up tents and helped prepare different elements for the upcoming winter festivities. That was the day many of us were anticipating, as we got the opportunity to participate in a traditional sweat lodge. Sweat Lodges are a fairly big deal in the Anishinaabe culture as they have high spiritual and purifying elements. A Sweat lodge is a small dome structured hut that is entirely covered in tarp and blankets to hold the heat in, with a small pit in the centre where we placed heated rocks, which are hugely symbolic in the ceremony of the sweat lodge and are referred to as ‘grandfathers’. At times it can reach up to 42 degrees celsius once the door is closed. Once the sweat lodge begins they close the small opening and all participants sit in a circle around the heated rocks. Going around the circle, each person shares a prayer to the Creator or a song, which often ends in loud eruptions in shakers, banging on drums and joyful shouting. This experience was a huge learning opportunity in how the Anishinaabe people worship their creator as well as cleanse and purify their bodies. They stressed to us the importance of this tradition in their culture, and was quite an honour to be accepted into it and even have the privilege of preparing the sweat lodges that we participated in.

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Witnessing the construction of the ceremonial drum called the “little boy”. This drum and other musical instruments were used in the sweat.

On Thursday morning we woke up bright and early to attend a traditional sunrise ceremony that kicked off the winter festival. This was a significant event in the community as the fire would be maintained for the whole duration of the four day festival. Later on our team’s women worked alongside the local women of the reserve to help prepare traditional food for the ceremonies. This experience was such an honour for our women as we were welcomed into local homes without any hesitation. They took us under their wings and showed us the ropes of preparing some traditional indigenous food, and through this we were able to to bond and find similar ground in how we interacted with a new culture, realizing how the indigenous people aren’t so different than we are. Later on we had a few fierce warriors from our group who tackled the task of skinning a deer. The natives showed us how to gut it, sort it, and educated us on the importance of an animal giving its life for their use, which is hugely stressed in the Anishinaabe culture. Afterwards we joined the community for a ceremony celebrating their hunters. This consisted of a variety of traditions including dancing, singing and celebrating life. To end our day we went to the K-8 school on the reserve and participated in different interactive activities, as well as having a various information sessions on the culture and values of the Anishinaabe people.

Friday was day we said goodbye to all our new friends made in the Roseau River community. We started off our day by going on a driving tour of the reserve and different significant sights in the area. We stopped at a place where they would perform a Sun Dance, as well as another sight where more ceremonies happen during the summer months. During this time we explored the grounds of the ceremonies and had free time to climb trees and hang out by the river. Creation is dear to the Anishinaabe people’s hearts, so through this time of reflection we seized the opportunity to take in the beauty around us and spend time in God’s creation. From there we proceeded to the school for the last time, where we had ladies from the community come in and teach us how to do bead work. We gained a new appreciation for their hard work once we began to try and master the art of beading ourselves. Many didn’t have that great of an outcome, however the experience was greater than the art that came out of our efforts. At the end of the school day we had the privilege to sit in on the closing ceremony that happens at the end of each day. This is a time where they end their day in song and send the kids off with a prayer to the Creator. During this time they had 5-7 young boys alongside a teacher playing the music on a large drum in the middle of the gym. It was so encouraging to see the young boys being taught how to the play the drum and sing, displaying the importance of their culture living on in the generation to come. So simple yet beautiful.

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Enjoying the peaceful river next to a ceremony site on our last day with the Reserve.

All in all this was hands down one of the most impacting and eye opening experiences thus far. We learned so much and will take away so much more than just the information we gained. As they made us feel apart of their community for this week, it began to give us a new understanding of Anishinaabe people. This has allowed us to understand what working towards reconciliation looks like and how we can go about building a bridge of understanding for the many generations to come.

Cheers,

Site One Guatemala

The Winnipeg Urban Plunge

A number of weeks late but better late than never!

Hey Ya’ll! A few weeks late, however I’m happy to say we have successfully accomplished urban plunge number 1 in downtown Winnipeg. What exactly is an Urban plunge you ask? So this time around we teamed up with MB mission and their ‘Discipleship on Mission’ team to learn about the poverty in our backyard. So on Tuesday, October 4th we headed to One88 princess with lots of anticipation for what was ahead. Day one started with a session lead by Janelle from MB mission where we talked about what is in store as we headed out to tour the north end of Winnipeg. We were split up into groups of 3 and given a bag with $2 each, bus passes, a map and 8 locations to visit while roaming around the city. Some locations included, rooming houses, soup kitchens, drop in centres for adults and youth and immigration resource centres. Each team had different experiences while learning more about the injustices and how we can build bridges to understanding the people in the circumstances we encountered. Some teams were able to talk to people they met on the street, and were given the opportunity to pray over them. Kari, Steph and Caleb spent their $6 dinner on pizza. After praying that God would provide them with a specific person to give the left over pizza to they looked around them to notice a man waving them down across the street. Walking over with pizza in hand the man was ecstatic to be given the pizza. The group explained that he was overjoyed just from that simple act of kindness. While some groups were able to show Jesus’ love by just being able to learn about the different organizations we were introduced to. The next two days we were given different locations to serve at, whether it was yard work at a rooming house, chatting with people at a drop in centre or serving lunch at a soup kitchen. Each one of us came from that experience in a different way. Heather, Kayla and Cassidy were given the opportunity to paint a mural on the wall of Manitoba house, an after school program house for at risk children in the downtown area of Winnipeg. They also got to hangout with the awesome kids that came for dinner and bible study after school. Steph, Alex, Shelby and Caleb were given the opportunity to visit The Law Courts in Winnipeg. Here they learned more about the justice system, specifically towards gang culture. They were able to sit in on multiple court cases and toured the city to learn more about specific gangs within Winnipeg. Adam, Julia, Max and Cassidy got to go to the Indigenous family centre. There they got to participate in a sharing circle where they heard first hand stories of cultural genocide within our society, the injustices indigenous people face and ways to move forward toward reconciliation. Overall it was a very impactful 3 days in downtown Winnipeg, we can’t wait for Urban Plunge #2 in Downtown Vancouver.

Site One Guatemala!!!

 

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Giving up the Idols

The speaker we had for the second week at Camp Arnes was Nathan Reiger. He spoke to us about three kinds of idols; idols of power, idols of value and idols of pleasure.  This is an overview of the main ideas that he wanted to get across.

Nathan started off by talking to us about idols, religions that use them and their significance in different cultures.  He mainly focused on his travels through India, his experience with Hinduism and the gods that the culture has.  Nathan told us about some of the crazy stuff he experienced there.  One event was when an elderly woman died from cancer and was being taken down to their cemetery.  A couple of East Indians practicing Christianity came out, laid their hands on her, prayed and healed her and instantly she came back to life, perfectly healthy. The primary lesson that Nathan was trying to teach our group was that there is only one God and there can be no other God before Him.  To help get this across, Nathan also told us about how he tried converting an East Indian man to Christianity, he gave the man a symbol of Jesus on the cross, but the man just ended up putting the symbol on his fireplace mantle alongside the other gods he had.

Nathan told us the concept of idols, why we have them, and how they control us.  He told of many other stories about himself and others he has met along his travels who had idols in their lives. Through those stories, he told us how they were able to recognize their idols, why they have them, and how to give them up and crush them so they could finally live a better life knowing God for the first time.  Nathan was able to convey the lessons of having only one God and giving up your idols very well, and we were impacted a lot by it.

The main concepts we took away from his lessons;

  • There is only one true God
  • That everyone has idols
  • There is a way to get rid of them
  • It’s never to late to do it

I also asked my group; “How has your mindset changed since our sessions with Nathan?”.  These are a few of their responses:

  • “Idols don’t always have to be physical”
  • “Idols can be more than objects, they can be internal, and I really value the tools Nathan gave us to work through our idols”

The process of giving up you idols:

  • Recognize – realize your idols and where they come from
  • Reevaluate – think about what the idols says about you with a critical eye
  • Renounce – gather your strength to say no, be aware of it, realize you don’t need it, give it up and know that down the line your better off without it.
  • Reach across – break the rating system
  • Rebel alliance – gather others who have the same issues, help each other out, keep one another accountable in a community

With a new understanding of the concept of idols from his intense stories, and an understanding of the process to give them up, Nathan gave us the opportunity to share our idols. On the last day of class we were moved enough to admit our idols and get them off our chests. We saw that we weren’t judged, but instead loved and supported.  There was an awkward silence before one person started sharing their idol, but after that the ball kept rolling. There was although a feeling of nervousness and guilt in the air. The more sharing there was the more tears there were. After every confession of an idol Nathan prayed for us.  It was a bittersweet time of love, sorrow, guilt, shame and peace.  By the end of it, we all felt more at peace as we recognized the love and support of our group’s community.  Afterwards we all prayed together and shared our two cents of love and support for another.  I can definitely say that I felt a sense of relief after that, and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too.

~ Matthew Dueck

Reimagining the Old Testament

From September 18th to 21, our site had the privilege of having Jodie come and teach us about the Old Testament while at Camp Arnes. Throughout the 4 days she stayed with us, she taught 5 sessions that included interactive lessons and a lot of information! She gave a “crash course” on the many basic themes of the Old Testament, shared her perspective on the scientific and biblical explanations/view points of the bible, and taught us how to dig deep and pull meaningful information and connections from the Old Testament along with how to apply these insights into our own lives.

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To start off our journey in the Old Testament we went over the basic themes, the stages of creation, the Ten Commandments and a couple of prophets found in the old testaments. We were all given a quiz during our first class that included these topics and a lot of names, a quiz that many of us found particularly challenging, but after our four days together we would find that our knowledge of the Old Testament would be vastly improved!
Something that caught our attention from the start was the way Jodie taught and how she always created room for thought. When she began teaching us about creation and the plague, stories that many of us have been listening to since we were young, she involved scientific explanation for each item that rather than clashing with the biblical facts, fit right in. For example, when we read over the plague, she explained that red algae in the water could be a scientific reason for the water to turn into blood, infecting the water causing sickness and flies and so on and so fourth. Hearing the way she could explain the plague in an easier, different format helped us understand what it was like for the people in the bible and allowed us to put ourselves into their shoes. As she talked about creation, she went into depth on how it was possible that Adam and Eve were not the only people God created at the time, but merely a “zoom in” on two particular people that God wanted us to see and learn from. This was an interesting way for us to look at the story of creation and helped us understand that if we look deeply, we can learn new things about the bible and see different perspectives.

As the sessions progressed, we began learning about the Kings during the time of the Old Testament and a couple of prophets. To help us understand how patient God was in the times of these kings, we made a human timeline of the Kings over the years by sitting and standing to represent a godly king or an ungodly King. We found that God waited for hundreds of years for kings who would follow him and lead in his path. Jodie helped us understand that just as God was patient with the Kings over 550 years, he is patient with us in our own lives and he is rooting for us all the way along.

As we dove into the scripture looking for information on some prophets, we found out  what words they had to share and what their lives looked like. We noticed that although the prophets did amazing things for God, their lives looked almost normal to us today. There were prophets like Amos who farmed in a small town and called others back to God, and people like Ezekiel who was called to use his actions instead of words to shine Gods light. Looking at different prophets and doing a bit of research helped us see how *normal* some of these prophets lived while sharing and spreading Gods word. Jodie presented her information in a way that we could relate to, and taught us how to read Into the bible and do a little bit of extra research to find valuable information. We realized as a group that reading the Old Testament becomes a lot more interesting when you’re able to relate the events to your own life.

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At the end of our sessions with Jodie, we retook the test from the begging of the course and tallied up our final scores and compared them to our old tests. Some of our scores improved by 30%! As a finishing ceremony, we all collected rocks and went by the water to build an alter. As each one of us placed our rock at the alter we said something that we had learned in the past week or a prayer we had. The alter represented a way of remembering what the Lord has done for us. As a group we loved having Jodie and her son along with her babysitter at Camp Arnes with us for the couple of days and appreciate her taking time out of her busy schedule to teach us!

What was your favourite part about session with Jodie? (A quote, an activity, a way she explained something exc.)

“I enjoyed the part where we reenacted the kings in the Old Testament because it gave me a better understanding of how each King was part of a genealogical hierarchy.”

“I liked the way she explained the creation story, and how the things created on days 4-6 filled the things created days 1-3.”

“I liked the part where we took the 10 commandments and rephrased them into positive statements.”

“It was really amazing to learn how we serve a God that is never changing. Jodie taught us how God is the exact same unconditionally loving God today, as He was 2,000 years ago.”

“My favourite thing she did was give new insights into stories I had heard before. She had so many new theories that really helped me understand even the most basic events from the Old Testament.”