Row, Row, Row 

 There’s something dangerously serene about canoeing, and as a group we fell in love with it. We realized this not during those few days spent paddling until our muscles were worn, but after. After was when we saw that four days can quickly begin to feel like one, with the perfect mesh of relaxed and focused mindsets.

The first day had some fleeting discouragement as some of us realized that our canoeing experience may have slipped away through the years. Needless to say, the beginning hours of paddling felt torturous. We truly wondered if we would make it through the full four days. It took all our strength, focus, and vast array of grimaced faces to hold our own.   

Seemingly, a lot of us were out of our element. But by the absolute grace of God, four or five km started to just whisper by. It soon became obvious why Outtatown chose this to be the first activity. It was the perfect place to slow down and to grow as a community. It was a natural conversation piece, and out of it, some nice light hearted talks emerged alongside deeper “get-to-know-you” moments. It was also awesome to just work through the many emotions and thoughts a lot of us wouldn’t normally have time to process.

Vulnerability was a word that we talked about often in our group. It ended up encapsulating the beautiful part of tripping. The lack of showers, mirrors, and any sense of time brought simplicity to our normally complicated lives. Nobody was guarded anymore. When adjusting to any new group, you want to put your best foot forward. We took that mindset to heart as we talked about our theme of barriers, and it triggered deeper conversations with strangers that were quickly becoming friends.

As we broke down our own barriers, we became vulnerable and our respect for each other grew. We saw that persevering and being willing to seal our comforts away in a ziplock bag gave us a gratification like no other. So while it was tough, it was still the perfect palate cleanser to prepare us for all that Outtatown has in store for us. Worship and community can happen wherever your heart is placed, and I think we were better for allowing it to be placed on the open water.

Written by: Kelsey Bonney 

  
  
  

Team Guatemala 2015-2016

  
Travel. Learn. Serve.

Get used to those words. Not only do they underscore the essence of what is about to take place this year on Outtatown, but they are also the very three words that ride alongside us on our precious vans! 

We are so excited for a new group of students to be joining us on a new adventure. There will be lots of travel, plenty of learning, and many opportunities to serve as we journey across Western Canada and around Guatemala. As leaders, we have been working hard to plan and prepare for an incredible year. 

We’ve been quite busy over the past two weeks at CMU engaging in training and planning sessions. There’s been some fun times in there for good measure, but mostly we’ve been working to make sure that students have the best experience possible this year on Outtatown. This blog is a part of that work: be sure to follow along and share it with friends and family so that they too can be a part of the adventure.

A little about us: we’re all from Southern Ontario, we love ice cream, and there’s no stopping us from breaking out in uncontrollable laughter from time to time (or lots of times). We are so excited about discipleship, and we all share a passion for bringing students towards a closer understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. At the same time, we each bring different passions and interests to this team, making it all the more intriguingly exciting for us to see how God shapes our community and our walk together over the coming months.

We’ve said it already, and we’ll say it again… we are so excited and can’t wait to get this show on the road (literally!). Our prayer is that students are ending this present season well as they enter into an entirely new (and crazy!) one in the next few days.  

Adios amigos!

  

Justin, Brian, Renee, and Melodie