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This letter includes the hard copy we sent out to our supporters, but it includes a lot more also. Right now Karen is farther up north with our daughter, Melany, who recently had a baby! So I am holding down the fort here with whatever help I can get from week to week. The last two weeks I've had to use just local help, but we have been able to carry on with our Sunday services and daily meeting needs of the people here as they come to us. This coming Sunday (22nd) a Three Hills team is coming, and the Korean team is scheduled to come back and help us next month. We have a special violin camp scheduled with a family from the States that does professional music camps all over the country. It is going to be a very special time for us, and a new thing to happen here at the mission. Most of the regular news we are posting with the pictures that follow below.
Most of those reading this can relate to how we have seen great changes throughout the world in our life time. When I was in school, the principal prayed over the speakers before classes started, and terrorism was some far away foreign thing. In spite of all the changes around us, one thing continues the same here, and that is this mission continues to be a light in the darkness for the people here on the Sunchild/O'Chiese Reserves. Last Sunday the Sunday School kids were scared concerning the terrorist attacks in Paris. They were afraid the terrorists would come here to the Reserve, and they asked me very seriously, “If the terrorists come here will you give your life for us?” We never know what is going through their minds, but I believe they have an understanding that indeed, right now, we are giving our lives for them, by being here full time and available for them in their needs at all times. I wish we had resources to do so much more, but if we had unlimited resources nothing could take the place of us committing our life to be with them...nothing would be of greater value than that.
I have always had a special sense that many of you that are in circumstances and a calling where you can't be here, are sharing your lives in a significant way by helping us to reach these people. Your love for them has this avenue to reach out and touch them through us as a channel. It is especially wonderful when some of you have come to work in a VBS or help in other ways, and to see how you love and connect with the people here. Sunday a team of Koreans came and found a large group of young people here. To see them giving hugs to the kids and showing them such special love is a great reward for us. Last summer the teams from Greencastle, PA were here again, and it always amazes me to see the love they show the people here. The wonderful thing for me is that, the people can benefit by so much more than simply what I have to offer them, in that, because I'm here so many others have this place to come to give what they have to offer as well. Believe me, a church full of people that know the Lord and worship Him (such as yours) has an amazing amount of love to pour out and give, and the people here on the Reserve just draw it out of them.
Please remember us over the Christmas holidays here at Sunchild. It is always a very difficult time of suffering for the people. Since there is no school for about three weeks it is also the time when we have a lot of burden and work on us. If anyone can fly in to help us for a few weeks we desperately need your help...just to be here and share the daily load. This is truly an earnest plea.
Update: This is the team that came for last sunday from Three Hills. I can't exress the devotion of these young people to do what they are doing. They had a larger team organized for this day, but several had to cancel out due to other needs. They are college students with a heavy schedule and it is an amazing sacrifice to come. First of all the trip involves 6 hours of travel time alone, and actually more when you consider stops. Please pray for Andrew, Allison, & Ruth, here in this picture, since they are the primary ones working to get the teams organized this school year.
The Rev. & Mrs. Paulsen below, are from Germany and came to spend some time with us this summer. Several years ago their daughter, Gabriele, spent about four months on a missions assignment here with us, and the Paulsens have been wanting to come and see Sunchild ever since. Rev. Paulsen pastors a Lutheran Church in Germany, but also does constant mission work in Gospel needy areas in Europe and especially Russia. To have them here is an experience more like having some of the Apostles from the book of Acts! Their gracious spirit and communication is seasoned with a heavenly atmosphere, and it was a great priviledge to have them here with us. The Paulsens come from the former East Germany and have experienced life there through the incredible saga of communism. Their spiritual development has been fairly untouched by our North American spiritual attitudes and has a special depth and reality. Karen got to go and visit them several years ago in Germany. They had a wonderful excitment in the experience of being here at Sunchild and carry a deep burden and interest in the Native people here.
This is one of the teams from Greencastle, Pennsylvania that I managed to get a picture of. They held our Sunchild VBS in July. I apologize for the barrel distortion of our camera. It takes great pictures at a distance, but up close it has severe distortion. These are very special people to come so far, not to have a holiday, but to serve in an intense VBS ministry out here in the bush. The church, the Greencastle Methodist Church, has a spiritual tone of depth and is very missions minded. When they left, I'll always remember how the men were all bunked down in a room up at Edmonton so they could catch the early morning flight out. After the lights were out, Pastor Stacey quoted from heart several chapters from Ephesians that he has memorized and I was able to add Hebrews ch. 11 there in the dark as we had gone to bed. These folks are from 'back home', on the east side of Sidling Hill...Mike played football in the college at Keyser, W.VA. which is just up the river from where I grew up. We had two teams, back to back, from their church the last two summers.
This is a group of VBS kids in the church.
Rhonda came down from Edmonton to be here for VBS. When she was small her parents were pastors in Saskatchewan and they used to bring all the family and come and spend time with us here at Sunchild.
This is a group doing crafts. We split up into classes in other rooms and out in the gazebo.
The "Kidztown" youth ministry of the Nazarene Church in Rocky came out again and put on a program for the kids. Here they are getting their equipment set up and waitng for the group to assemble.
This is the group of Koreans from Calgary & Red Deer. They stayed at the mission this summer to conduct VBS on the O'Chiese Reserve. These are very special people. Their churches have a spiritual depth reflecting the revival in the church in Korea where they came from to live in Canada. They have a burden for the Native people on the Reserves and can relate to our Native people since the people here on the Reserve are much like the spiritual condition that existed in Korea before the Gospel came to them. We are very priviledged to have them working with us. We are depending on them now to carry much of the burden of this ministry.