By Grace Jones
To start off the week back at Camp Squeah we participated in various camp work projects including lots of raking, splitting and stacking wood, and random jobs around the camp. It may have been cold, wet, and raining, but we made the most of it by singing songs and doing RWPI’s (random work project interruptions). To end our camp service days off on a high note, we witnessed two of our Squeah’s staff get engaged. It was a very exciting way to end the night!
Wednesday was the day that brought about most mixed feelings. Some were very excited, nervous and/or unsure. We were going caving. I would like to clarify that this is not what you may be thinking of your typical “exploring caves” activity. We were in Talus caves – the small tunnels formed between and underneath the boulders that pile up at the bottom of mountains. We were exploring, but through spaces that, at first glance, you didn’t think your body could fit through. We were surrounded by broken rock with only our headlamps for light. Lets just say that I have never been so happy to see sunlight at the end of it. This was definitely not the easiest activity for everyone, but in my opinion (as someone who HATES small spaces) it was worth it. The way teams worked together to encourage and support one another was incredible. Watching those who overcame fears and claustrophobia was inspiring. Finally, the feeling of exiting the cave, with your team, knowing that you did it together was such an empowering moment. This is one of the best team building activities I have ever done, and I would highly recommend it!
There were also some pretty sweet life lessons that came out of it. Just as in the cave there are many possible paths to get to the final goal, we were reminded that life offers us many different but equally valuable paths. We don’t always know what the right path is, so we have to take the risk to explore. Even though this may bring a time of uncertainty, going through challenging ups and downs makes us stronger as we know that God will be there through it all, cheering us on.
We ended off Wednesday by playing Outtatown’s annual ball hockey game against the Squeah staff. Despite the intense competition on the court and organized cheers from the bench, Squeah staff ultimately came out on top. Nevertheless, it was a great way to end the day.
On Thursday we began to learn about our second semester destination – Guatemala! It is sureal that this semester is quickly coming to an end and that we are already preparing for Guatemala! We were introduced to some of the work we will be doing second semester, including volunteering at a variety of organizations and building a family home. We have been asked to raise $7000 collectivity as a group to pay for supplies and various costs to support the organizations we will be working with. We began to send out letters to start fundraising. We were also introduced to our Guatemala Research Projects which is a way we are learning more and teaching our fellow students about life in South America. Finally, Dave led us in a beginner Spanish lesson. Thursday was a busy day as we also enjoyed celebrating the birthdays of Tana and Elaina!
This past weekend we drove to Abbotsford where we met up with our “guide” for the weekend, Jay Janzen, at his home church Highland Community. Throughout the weekend, we visited a total of 7 churches, experiencing a wide variety of denominations that many of us, coming from Mennonite Brethren backgrounds, had never experienced before. This included a home church, a Catholic Mass, a Multi-campus Mennonite Brethren Church, an Intercultural Mennonite Brethren service, a United Contemplative Church and an Anglican prayer service. Growing a broader understanding of Anabaptist Mennonite, learning the similarities and differences of other denominations has been an eye opening experience of realizing the diversity in how we, as Christians, can worship. Many of us have been empowered to continue to explore and learn about different denominations as well as bring what we have learned from this weekend back to our home churches.