By Sabrina Blank
Shalom from Site 1 Guatemala! It has been an eventful week for us here as Roseau River Bible Camp. This beautiful camp gave us many opportunities to experience God in creation. We were able to take a hike to a gorgeous swinging bridge, play a wide variety of sports, and interact with some of the farm animals that live here on the grounds. During our time away from the camp we played bigger or better and had the opportunity to visit the church of one of our site leaders, Brette. In the varying degrees of sunshine we were always able to find something to do.
Our instructional time this week consisted of a 4 day lecture series from Ken Esau titled “The Old Testament in 13 Stages”. Ken was very knowledgeable and passionate about the scripture and it was a joy to be taught by him. Something that stuck out for many of us in these sessions was that we were able to look at the word Shalom in depth. We learned that it means so much more than just “peace”. Shalom means the state of complete health, harmony, and wholeness between all things, it is one of the best things you can wish a person.
On Friday we were able to attend a Blanket Exercise along with the South Africa group that took place in Winnipeg. For those who don’t know what a blanket exercise is, it is a step towards reconciliation between First Nations people and the ancestors of the settlers who came in and took their land when Canada was first colonized. The ceremony was lead by Lloyd and Catherine. Catherine is a residential school survivor and was willing to share some of her personal experiences. By reliving the exile, assimilation, and injustices the First Nations people experienced we were all moved. The simulation brought up feelings of anger, sadness, and regret from people in our group, but it also brought the hope that we can one day right these wrongs.
We all look forward to going to a First Nations Reserve here in Manitoba next week and ask that your prayers be with us as we continue our journey towards reconciliation and shalom.