By Kaley Fehr
Last Saturday, we woke up from our last sleep at transitional housing in Winnipeg to snow on the ground. There were some mixed reactions to the snow, and the early morning, but we had a long cozy ride across the prairies to Redberry Bible Camp. For those of us from Saskatchewan, it felt a lot like coming home. By the time we got to camp it was dark, we enjoyed a hearty lentil soup and crawled into our cabins for the night. The next morning, we traveled to Hepburn, Saskatchewan, where we were welcomed into Tana’s church. Tana was honoured to take us around her hometown and invite us into her home. Even for me, growing up only one town over, it was a meaningful day to bring my new Outtatown family so close to my old home and life. The group really appreciated the comfort of being in a home and an afternoon filled with farm yard adventure.
Monday we began our classes on theology with Rod Schellenberg and Stephanie Christianson. The sessions went through to Wednesday, and we covered a small intro to theology, the nature of sin, the trinity, how we are rescued in Christ and sharers in God’s life, ecclesiology and how we will be heirs with Christ. It was a great opportunity for all of us to dig deeper and reflect on what we believe and why. It was important to recognize how much our beliefs, ideas and opinions are rooted in the family culture we were raised in. Hearing from varying beliefs and opinions was a good reminder to consider other people’s views and backgrounds. Many good questions came up that we were able to discuss with one another.
The camp is in a beautiful location by a lake and some rare Saskatchewan hills. There were many possibilities for our free time, with a skate park, horses to visit, a gym and lots of trails to explore. One night the group was taken on a hayride behind a tractor to a fire pit by the water where we had s’mores and campfire singing. Another evening we had the opportunity to join the Hepburn youth group and play laser tag at Bethany College.
Thursday and Friday we spent with MCC in Saskatoon. We learned a lot about the organization, what they stand for and how they are taking action in the name of Christ to bring relief, development and peace to those in need around the world. MCC is also present within Saskatoon, one of their areas of focus being Appleby neighbourhood where they hope to foster connectedness amongst the inner-city community. We spent some time discussing needs-based and assets-based approaches to relevant issues in “core” neighbourhoods – all within the apartment room where children gather for kids club. Back at MCC we took part in some simulations to help us better understand the lives of immigrants/refugees – both their journey and integration into Canadian society. At the end of one of the simulations we spent time in prayer over some blankets that will soon be delivered to individuals staying in refugee camps. This was a powerful experience as it connected us to those whose lives we were learning about.
This week caused us to think more critically about our faith and how we can apply it. We are ready to face the mountains as we head west into Alberta for our next week.