“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)

 

 

Hey! Kyla here. There’s no better way to start a week off than with a twelve-hour drive across the prairies. It was my first drive into Saskatoon, and surprisingly the sights of endless fields didn’t get old. Settling in at Redberry Bible Camp was relaxing. They welcomed us with warm smiles and delicious meals. The first two days of our stay we heard from our second speaker, Janelle Braun who shared an introduction to theology. Normally, that sounds an impossible topic to cover in only two days, but she managed to keep us engaged.

Janelle challenged us on how to think and feel about our faith. Which was a good balance to consider after diving into more active parts of faith in the previous weeks. Not many of us had considered theology before; so the majority of the information was new and a little overwhelming. Of course, we don’t have to understand everything about God right now, or ever. But Janelle gave us many nuggets of truth to consider over the coming months of Outtatown. For example, learning to identify what stage we are at in our faith and understanding how that applies to our current worldviews. Janelle also shared the verse above with us as a way we can view God: as someone who loves us deeply. “We love because He first loved us.”

The last two days of the week were filled with learning about Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an organization that is doing amazing works of love all around the world. It opened up my own horizons to what my life of faith can look like. We had the opportunity to visit the town of Laird where MCC has been helping out with reconciliation between some farmers and Indigenous people about the land they both have some rights to. Hearing firsthand stories of how two groups can come together out of love and create relationships to solve shared problems was inspiring. Both groups recognized a sense of spirituality in the beginnings of their reconciling. It goes to show how God can be at work in all situations. We have all been challenged to think about how this relationship-based approach to reconciliation can be applied to our communities back home.

Through this past month I’ve found that I learn most from firsthand accounts of living through love. Whether that means ministry in the North End of Winnipeg, reconciling relationship between Mennonites and Indigenous people, or building up communities around the world, these personal stories have shown me how it is possible to make a difference in the world while living out your life with God. When the end of Outtatown comes, I’m sure this whole site will have inspiring stories that can influence others in how they see God and the world He created.

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