“Be still and know that I am God”
Hello loved ones back home! We had the most amazing week in Alberta and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
We started our week off with another road trip in the vans heading from Saskatchewan to Rivers Edge, a camp near Cremona, Alberta. We drove for about ten and a half hours. We are starting to feel more in the groove of long road trips, filled with scream singing to our favourite jams and falling asleep on our neighbor’s shoulder. This week as we were getting closer and closer to our destination, you could often catch glimpses of the beautiful mountains far off in the distance. For a few people in our group this was the first time they had seen mountains and it was very special to share in their excitement.
The highlight of the week was definitely learning from our instructor, Steve Klassen. He is such an amazing storyteller, full of wisdom and experiences that he was so eager to share with us. On our first day with Steve we dug into what it really means to listen for God and how God spoke to and through people in the Bible. We also spent a lot of time meditating on Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to him, and he will give them rest. We had various techniques while reading through it as a group. Whether it was different voices speaking it out, different words emphasized or different speeds, each technique allowed us to highlight a word or phrase that stuck out to us. Steve taught us the importance of making space to be quiet and listen to what God was trying to teach us. He would often give us moments of quiet time, just to be alone with God and spend time in scripture, prayer, nature, and community. Reflecting as a group at the end of our time with Steve, these moments of quietness and privacy proved to be extremely rewarding and powerful for everyone in different ways.
On Wednesday we had a “silent day”. This meant that after our morning session we were not allowed to talk with anyone in the group until after dinner. It was a silent retreat, as Steve described it. It sounds a lot more difficult than it really was. Steve had provided us with a journal/workbook for us to reflect on if we wanted, but basically it was a day to just be still and try to listen to what God was trying to say to us. It was definitely odd sitting across from everyone at the dinner table and not being able to start conversation with them like you usually would. But it made you more aware of your surroundings, what you were eating and even the taste or sound of your food. Eventually, 6:30 PM rolled around and we all met for worship. It was an amazing experience to have our first words together as a group be praise to God for what God has done and is continuing to do. It was a beautiful evening and exciting to hear about everyone’s experiences. Whether it was through scripture, poetry, thoughts, or even creatures, God spoke to each of us in ways that will stay with us and shape our faith for years to come. Our week with Steve was definitely memorable and impactful for our future endeavours with Outtatown and beyond. We each learned different lessons through God and from Steve, and what better place than at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
We finished off an already amazing week by completing a high ropes course at the camp and then doing a beauty of a hike on Saturday. We split off into two groups. One group hiked up part of “Mount Lady MacDonald,” and the other hiked “Heart Creek Trail.” Both hikes provided us with unbelievable views and reminded us of how AMAZING God’s creation is. We were reflecting on Psalm 23 at the end of our hike and standing surrounded by the beauty all around us.
This week was just as amazing as all the rest have been and we are continuously thinking of you all back home. Thank you so much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, we all appreciate it! We are off to British Columbia for the next few weeks!
We’ll continue to explore this beautiful country and update you one week at a time!
Thanks for reading! Until next time,