Jodie Smith: Old Testament

During our first week at Camp Arnes, Jodie Smith came to teach us about the Old Testament. Before digging in we learned about the misconceptions of the Old Testament and how that shapes our perception of God. As a group we discussed how the Old Testament is primarily God’s laws and rules, whereas the New Testament is only about God’s grace. Jodie taught us that God’s characteristics and desires are unchanging making God the same throughout scripture. IMG_2978

Jodie Smith 2

We learned about different perspectives on some of the familiar stories we’ve heard since we were children. For instance, the story of the seven plagues on Egypt. God afflicted the Egyptians so that Pharaoh would let His people go, yet at the same time God was making it clear that He and He alone is God and there are none before Him. He began dethroning the Egyptian gods one by one. When the Nile was turned to blood God dethroned the god Hapi. To the Egyptians, Hapi personified the Nile and was suppose to keep it fertile. Jodie helped me further understand why God sent the seven plagues and that these acts were on purpose to demonstrate his glory. Jodie Smith

We learned about the prophets and their lifestyles. We learned about Isaiah, Zephaniah, and Amos to name a few, and I was surprised at how ordinary these men were. Some were married and had children, others were farmers who had no religious “training”. These insights created a connection between the present and the past, making the prophets more realistic.

Jodie taught us about Hebrew poetry and the different styles that are present in the Old Testament. Such styles included: synonymous parallelism, Chiastic and Enclusio. We searched for examples in the bible and even tried creating our own flowing pieces of poetry that follow these Hebrew traditions. I felt like a Shakespearean poet trying to piece styles and words together.

At the end of the four days we said goodbye to Jodie and thanked her for her time with us. I now have a greater understanding and interest for the Old Testament and cannot wait to see who we will hear from next.

-Emily Ann-

Urban Plunge: Winnipeg Edition

On Monday September 29 we started our Winnipeg Urban Plunge in partnership with MB Mission. For many of us the idea of living in the inner city, learning about it and volunteering at different organizations was a new and exciting experience for us. For the majority of us, our experience with the inner city generally involved going there, volunteering for a few hours and then going back home. However, we were given the opportunity to stay overnight in the inner city after volunteer hours! For three days we slept at the Winnipeg City Vineyard church located in the heart of the inner city.

On Monday we were split up into small groups to travel around and visit different sites for a learning tour. In our groups we were given the freedom and encouragement to take our time and make conversations with people we met along the way. We had a chance to meet a variety of people filled with a passion to serve one another, and through them we were able to see God at work in the inner city. We were able to see such an array of different organizations such as: Salvation Army, Neechi Commons, transitional housing for refugees and the Indigenous Family Centre. God is present in the inner city through the people who dedicate their lives to the less fortunate by moving in, working with communities and sharing their stories of how God helped them build their life in a healthier way. The last part of the learning tour we were to buy our dinner with only three dollars each. Some people got 99 cent pizza, others got a few things from the local store, and some people pooled their money together and got something together.

The last two days we had the opportunity to volunteer at the places that were a part of our tour. In doing so we learned more in depth of what is happening in the inner city and how organizations are meeting the needs of their patrons.
Overall, we learned that getting to know people, listening to them and restoring their dignity is just as important as volunteering time in soup kitchens and giving donations.