Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Week 19: Mt. Washington

Students finished their Introduction to New Testament class on Friday, with the Mt Washington snow trip just around the corner. We packed up and headed out for Mt Washington early Monday morning, starting the trip off with an afternoon of snowshoeing.

We got our snowshoe rentals and headed out on a hike into the bush. We arrived at an open space where we ate our lunch and separated into 3 teams for a quinzee snow shelter building competition. everyone worked hard to build a shelter that could hold the most people with the least outside exposure.

 Everyone had a blast playing in the snow together and then we headed back to return our snowshoes and unload our stuff at the chalet we were staying at.

At the chalet we spent time relaxing, hanging out, playing games, preparing meals together, and even soaking in the hot tubs that they had ready for us. We enjoyed being with each other relaxing, hanging and intentionally taking time to encourage one another each night of the trip.

When we hit the mountain for our ski/ snowboard days our goal was to have maximum fun and stay injury-free, we are glad to report that we can check both of those off our list. The weather on the mountain was so beautiful, we had nice snow and blue skies on our first day which made it so easy to be out on the mountain and learn to ski or snowboard for the first time, or have an amazing time ripping on the hill in the beautiful conditions. 

After our first day skiing, we took a rest day where we hung out together in the chalet, some of the students even went out and built a jump to sled and ski off. The day was spent enjoying each other and preparing for our final day on the mountain. The thing was, we had almost 2 feet of fresh powder dump on us in a 24 hour period, so when we hit the mountain again on Thursday morning, the snow was deep and fresh, the skies were clear, the weather could not have turned out any better for us. 

We skied hard all day before we had to return our rentals and head to the chalet for one last night together before we had to head home on Friday. We made it down the mountain and back to camp safely, ready to sleep well and study hard before the New Testament exam on Monday morning.

Please Pray For:
- Our students to continue to press into community with one another embracing patience and vulnerability in their relationships. 
- That the academics would continue to inspire spiritual growth in our students' lives. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Week 18: Welcome Back

Students have officially arrived back to Qwanoes! We are excited to be all back together and sharing and hearing about what has happened in each other's lives over the past few weeks.

Sharing in the excitement of reuniting with everyone we had to quickly transition our mindsets into, class mode. Monday morning started the first class of 2020, Introduction to the New Testament, with Wes Olmstead. 

We are excited to see how God moves this week as the students continue to reunite with one another and submerse themselves in learning about the New Testament. We were able to see God move in the lives of our students so much last semester, and we are expecting to see God move in amazing ways over the next couple months as well.

 Please join us in prayer over the next few months of the Kaléo program, expecting to see amazing transformation happen.

Please Pray For:

- Our students to continue to press into vulnerability with one another as they learn and grow together.
- Students to allow the Biblical knowledge they are gaining to sink deep into their hearts allowing for transformation to happen.
- Students hearts and minds to remain open to how God wants to work in their lives.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

week 13-14: End of First Semester

There were mixed emotions this past couple of weeks between students finishing their last class of the year: Foundation of Church Ministry with David Lee, and also finishing their last week here at camp before heading home for Christmas!

On Thursday, the whole camp had a Christmas banquet filled with amazing food and times of reflection together. The next day, the students finished their last class of the semester, during which they learned all about what church ministry really entails.

All throughout last week, many students were also preparing in their spare time for our staff & student talent show. It was funny walking around the building because every other room you could hear students singing or laughing behind a closed-door as they prepared for the show.

Monday came along and they blew us away! There were lots of singing and music acts; singles, duos, and even trios with a little bit of choreography. Along with singing, we had a magic show and a skit and parody put on by the Kaléo leaders. Some of the staff here at camp concluded the night with a "creative" Carol of the Bells skit.


The students also battled in a Christmas-themed Family Feud game to decide what students would have to switch rooms for the second half of the school year. The ocean-view side rooms battled against each other to see who would keep their room and who would switch with the forest-view side room for next semester. It was Room 312 for the girls and room 212 for the guys that got to keep their rooms. While the students are home over the break, you may hear some of the them yelling, "Glad tidings!" as a humorous reference to this game.

We had our last chapel and small group of the semester this Tuesday, which prepared us for going home. Students spent time reflecting on the ways they have grown so far this year, what they are most excited and nervous about as they go home, and their goals for second semester. This was a great time of sharing and praying for one another.

Then on Wednesday we had our Christmas gift exchange. All of us bought a mug that represented us in some way, wrapped it up, and then played a gift-game with the wrapped mugs. In the end, the mug that each person received was a reminder to pray for the person that it represents every time they use it. 

During this last day together before the break, we also joined together in an encouragement circle. We passed a ball of string around the circle as we encouraged one another- as one person caught the line, they were encouraged, and then that person passed the string on to someone else and encouraged them. Soon the students witnessed how interconnected we are, and how meaningful encouragement unifies and builds up the body of Christ.

Lastly, students swapped rooms and then spent the rest of the day hanging out together before they all dispersed for the next few weeks. After many airports runs, the Pacific Woods Lodge now feels terribly quiet and empty...

We are excited to hear of all the stories from Christmas break when everyone returns! The students have transformed so much over these last few months. It has been a beautiful privilege watching them embrace challenges, grow in their understanding of God and His kingdom, and draw together in Christ-centered community. 

Prayer requests:
  • We ask prayer of protection over all the students flying and travelling during the holidays.
  • Many are excited to see friends and family but some are also nervous about the challenges they may face at home. Pray that during the break the Spirit would continue to guide and enable them to live out of their comfort zones.
  • Please pray that during the break students would find time to rest, reflect on the work God is doing in their lives, and connect with friends and family.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the new year. Glad Tidings!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Week 12: Christmas and Rock climbing

 This week was packed full with lots of different activities. Ice skating, rock climbing, Christmas parties, guys and girls day; the students had a blast.

We started off the week sending out all of our mission's trip support letters. After praying over the letters, a bunch of students went indoor skating in Duncan.

 The next day, we headed out to Victoria. Students got to tour around for a few hours before meeting at Craig X. They loved climbing together and were encouraging each other the whole time. We soon discovered we have a lot of great climbers in the group.

 We also had a Christmas festivities day. We started off with a run to Starbucks and then headed to the Christmas tree farm.

The students were split off into teams and prepared some sort of way to convince us leaders that their tree was the best one to pick. After songs, commercials, and jokes, it was the rap and dance moves that won us over.

 Here is the tree we decided to get. Jamin did the honours of cutting it down and bringing it back to the van.

When we came back to camp, we had our Christmas party. There was a cookie decorating competition, and time to create our own decorations for the Christmas tree.

We were fortunate to have one of the Camp families bake all the cookies and bring all the toppings for us.

These are what some of the decorations looked like.

But wait... just when you thought that was it, there was even more Christmas fun. After all this, the whole camp watched the Ladysmith Light up. There were over 30,000 people who came to watch the town light up with Christmas lights and fireworks.

We ended off the week with guys and girls day. The guys went to a trampoline park in Nanaimo, hiked up mount Benson, and had a Mario Kart tournament back at camp.

The girls had brunch at Dianna Derksen's house (the family that made the cookies), did Zumba in Victoria, went to a Christmas market, and came back for pizza and Macrome. 

It was a fun-filled week, and the students are now in the middle of the Foundations of Church Ministry. We'll keep you updated on this week.

Prayer requests:
  • Prayer for determination in finishing off well as students are in the middle of their last class before the semester ends.
  • One of our students Abby McQuarrie has run into numerous problems trying to pay for her second semester at Kaleo. She and all of us here at Kaleo are praying for finances to come in. Follow the link below if you are interested in financially supporting Abby.
  • To push through the tiredness and for students to continue to have soft hearts for what God wants to teach them in the coming months.