Hello friends and family! We are reporting live from Camp Arnes, Manitoba. The last time you saw us was the day before we embarked on our four day, three night canoe trip on Shoal Lake, Ontario. The whole trip was great but from the first day of paddling we encountered strong winds and waves. The first six kilometre paddle was crucial in determining how our community would work together as a whole. Thankfully we all came together from the very beginning and helped encourage one another.
This natural team work became extremely important for our third, and longest day, of paddling. Waking up to the cold misty air and looking over the big waves crashing into shore we knew that the day’s paddle was not going to be the easiest. We all got into our canoes with a sense of determination for the 14 kilometre trip ahead. Once we had left land the winds became even stronger and the waves even larger. Each and every person had to find the strength they needed, both mentally and physically, to battle the water. There were definitely moments of doubt and frustration but they were always met with helpful words from trip leaders and community members alike. After hours of difficult paddling we reached our next campsite feeling proud and accomplished of everything we had done that day. Nothing brings people together like facing a challenge head on and coming out stronger because of it.
Another aspect of the trip that could have been looked at as a disappointment but came out being a positive thing was the temperature. Each night we went to bed cold and woke up feeling just as chilled. The girls on the trip made it their personal challenge to see how many layers could be worn at one time. Around the fire we counted and found out that between the eleven of us we had on forty-two shirts and twenty-four pairs of pants. Friends who freeze together stay together right?
Despite the weather our group still managed to stay positive and find fun things to do. An intense game of lawn darts was played resulting in two very enthusiastic teams who would stop at nothing to win. Group hikes of the islands also happened quite frequently. Living in creation and marvelling at it’s beauty was a major theme throughout the trip. Some brave people even went for a swim in the cold water, mostly just to say they swam in northern Ontario in the fall weather.
After four days out on the water and three cold nights sleeping in tents we are adjusting back to life in society. We are all enjoying life together and getting to know our community on an individual basis, as well as a whole group. We are all excited to experience new things together and we can’t wait to see what God will do through us over the next few months.
Thank you for all of your prayer and support!
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