Friday, March 27, 2020

Week 28: Wrapping Up

After our crabbing adventure, we stepped into a bit of a whirlwind of a week. Gearing up for our French Beach camping trip on Wednesday things across the country began to shift very quickly, which meant that things for us were about to look very different.

We went into the weekend given the government making the statement of no gatherings of 250 people or more due to the COVID-19 outbreak we decided not to send students to church on Sunday. Hoping this would soon pass we carried on beginning our week as normal, prepping for our camping trip coming up. 

We quickly saw that things were shifting across Canada faster than we had anticipated. When British Columbia declared no gatherings over 50 people on top of the action that most post-secondary institutes were taking, we knew we had to take some form of action. 

After much thought about the safety of our students and what the government was recommending, we had to make the unfortunate decision to wrap up Kaléo 2020 as we knew it this week. While the Kaléo program has concluded for this year, students are continuing to wrap up their Pauline Epistles and Camp & Youth Ministry classes online with their professors. 

So with the help of the staff here at Qwanoes, we quickly put together a banquet celebration. It was a fast turn around but we had to make things happen quickly because many of our students decided to go home before the weekend came. 

After the banquet, we all hung out together as one big group and shared memories, things we had learned, and ways we saw God move throughout the year. 

Then Friday morning we wrapped up our time together with one last chapel from Korey. He reminded everyone of the theme that we have tried so hard to embrace this year, 'The Way of Jesus'. He encouraged everyone to continue to pursue the way of Jesus even as life unfolds in ways that we never expected. 

This year we saw the students press hard into community. All year long learning what it means to love God and love others while learning about the Way of Jesus. The ways we were able to see our students embody that over the past 7 months has been really amazing to be a part of. We have had so much fun sharing so many different experiences with our students this year, and we are very thankful for the time we had them. We are so proud of them for the way that they pressed into the Kaléo program pursuing growth and discovering the way of Jesus together.

Please Pray For:

- our students as they reintegrate back into their home life and church communities
- our students to continue to discover what the Way of Jesus looks like in their lives outside the Kaléo program
- our students to continue to invite the people they find themselves with into the Way of Jesus with them

Monday, March 23, 2020

Week 27: Crabbing

After a week of class, we had some nice weather for us to be able to do some crabbing off our dock here at Qwanoes anticipating a crab feast at the end of the week. 

With an exam Monday afternoon we took a quick study break in the morning and we all went down to the dock to learn how to set the traps, replenish the bait, identify the crabs that we can keep and the ones to throw back into the water. 

Everyone was separated into teams and the teams were put into time slots to go and check the traps and replenish the bait. This way, everyone had a chance to pull up the traps and handle the crabs over the course of our crabbing days. 

We put the exam behind us and began to focus on crabbing and homework for the upcoming class. 

The first day we only pulled up a couple crabs. and the second morning and afternoon only a few more. We were not quite sure why we were not pulling up more crabs and we began to ask ourselves; do the crabs just not like our bait? are they escaping from the traps? are there just not many active crabs this year? So Tuesday afternoon we added a few things to our bait and sure enough that night when we checked the traps, we pulled up many more. Our total number of crabs doubled and tripled very quickly and with our crab cooking in sight, it began to look less like a snack and more like a feast.

Wednesday, we had another day pulling up crabs having a blast in the nice weather while picking away at some homework.

Thursday was the day of the feast, we pulled up our last trap and had collected enough crabs for everybody to have their own crab and then have some leftover. 

We gathered around a fire at the beach and learned how to break open the crabs to get at the meat. Then we cooked them up, dipped them in butter and had a blast snacking on crab and hanging out around the fire for the afternoon. 

We had an absolute blast crabbing and spending that time together. Since then, we have had a whirlwind of a time with the rising outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada and the world, so stay tuned for a blog post later this week for an update on how we have responded here at Camp Qwanoes with the Kaléo program in the midst of this global pandemic. 

Please pray for:
- Our students to continue to press into what God has for them in their lives. 
- Our students to continue to stay on top of their academics and that they would allow God to speak to them through what they are learning. 
- Our students to be a light to those around them during a fearful time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Week 26: Interdisciplinary Studies

We arrived back from our mission trips and celebrated our teams reuniting once again, everyone quickly reintegrating with each other eager to hear about one another's trips.

For the days following the trips, we went through some debrief with the students to help them process what they had experienced, asking questions like; What was hard? How did you see God move? How does this experience change the way you walk in your life now? The goal was to have intentional time to reflect on and acknowledge what had just happened and allow that experience the shape who they are becoming.

We had a time where the students prepared a presentation of photos and information from their trips that they presented in front of the staff here at Camp Qwanoes. This was an amazing opportunity for the staff who have been praying for and supporting the students to hear in detail some of the things that happened on their trips.

At the end of the week, we quickly transitioned from mission trips into class mode. Monday morning we welcomed back our first prof of the year Cal McFarlane to teach Interdisciplinary Studies.

Throughout the week students learned about philosophy, dealing with terms like modernism and postmodernism in relation to identifying different eras of time that have shaped the world and culture we live in today ultimately affecting the lense in which we view our relationship with Jesus and understanding of who God is.

This class has been one of the more challenging classes academically and is pushing the students to think deeply about the things that they have been learning all year and understand the root of some of the concepts they have been wrestling with.

We are proud of our students as they continue to push hard into their academics even as the end of the year is coming into sight, but we are anticipating God doing and teaching us all so much more as we continue to press into the next month and a half together.

Please Pray For:
Students to continue to be open to seeing the ways in which God wants to use them for the remainder of the year.

Students to press into community with one another as the end of the year approaches quickly.

Students to continue to learn what living in The Way of Jesus means practically for them.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Missions trips:

We have just all arrived back safe and sound from our missions trips to Vancouver and Mexico. We all had an amazing time and learned so much, God has moved in some amazing ways in the lives of our students over the past 2 weeks. 

On the Vancouver trip we were able to serve alongside a variety of established ministries on the downtown eastside of Vancouver. We served at New Beginnings Church doing work projects around the property helping with their church events and working with their after school program for at-risk kids in the indigenous community. 

We volunteered with Union Gospel Mission for a day learning about what is going on in the downtown eastside, and how to be a part of showing compassion to the marginalized. 

We were able to spend a week of our time in Vancouver at a mission downtown called Potters Place located in the hub of the homeless area in Vancouver where we ran two church services every day as well as prepped and served meals after each service. 

While we were at Potters Place each student was given the opportunity to share their testimony and a sermon they all did an amazing job sharing the Gospel from the mic. 

We were able to get out in the afternoons to do some street ministry handing out food to people on the street, chatting with them, hearing stories from them, inviting them to our services at Potters Place, and praying for them. It was amazing to see how bold our students were in these times each afternoon, stepping out to patiently and lovingly pray, or chat with people on the street. 

 After our time at Potters Place we finished the last few days of our trip back at New Beginnings Church working with their after school program as well as helping with their Sunday services.

We had an absolutely amazing time in Vancouver, we experienced God do some absolutely amazing things through the ministries that we were apart of during our time there. We are excited to be back reunited with the Mexico team back at Camp Qwanoes now. 

Continue reading to hear about the Mexico trip. 

The Mexico team partnered with Northernlight Ministries to serve alongside long-term missionaries that were settled in El Papalote.

We arrived in El Papalote after a long couple of flights and a 7 hour drive down the coast of Mexico. The next morning we toured around the area learning about the culture, landscapes, the typical life of a Mexican, and more. In the afternoon we began our construction project.

 As you can see in these pictures we worked on and finished all the metal framing and set up all the trusses for the roofing along with a roof for some of the apartments on Dwight and Sarah's property for incoming missionaries.

This construction project was a medical centre that we helped build throughout the entire time that we were there. We had four students as construction leaders leading our group. By the end, it will be a medical center able to provide jobs and health care for the locals around El Papalote. In less than two weeks we had accomplished a huge portion of this building that will soon be finished by other missionaries coming in after us.

Within the first week we also had a couple students lead a Valentines day ministry that provided a meal, cupcakes, games, and service for married couples around the town. This was a great break for many of the couples as they work very hard for their families.

On the first Sunday, we held a children's event at Nuevaera Church. The day before we walked around the town and invited the kids to the church. We cooked a pancake breakfast and played a few fun games with them along with a kid's church service. This was very impactful as most children start working or taking care of their siblings at even 3-8 years old. It was a time for kids to be kids again.

During the half way mark of our trip, our students ministred at the dump. Those who live there can only find food or water by digging through the empty bottles and trash on the ground. It was an extremely impactful experience for both us and those we met as we prayed for them, got to know them, and provide food and water for them.

We also held a youth night back at the Oasis. A few students shared their testimonies and another lead a short sermon. They cooked hotdogs over a camp fire and played volley ball late into the night.

We also had the opportunity to climb a volcano while we were there and explored a nearby beach.

Our last children's event was held on the last sunday we were there. After church we simply held a campfire event again and ate a mexican hotdog lunch together with the whole church.

This is just scratching the surface of what happened in Mexico. Our team experienced very hard, challenging, and uplifting, exciting moments together. We also grew so close as a team with the Holy Spirit and Mexicans. The type of relationships we built there were longlasting. They had taught us so much that we will never forget. So we say to you, as we learned from them... "Dios le bendiga" (God bless you).

Prayer requests:
- For the students to be able to process and share well what they have experienced
- For the students to take what they have experienced and let that impact their daily lives in the way they follow Jesus.
-  Prayer for one of our students James who tore a ligament in his ankle during the Mexico trip.
care about school.
- Motivation for the students in their classes and studies.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Week 23: Departing on Missions Trips

On Tuesday we had a community lunch with the staff of Camp Qwanoes where they spend some time praying for our missions teams before sending us off early Wednesday morning.

Our Mexico team left bright and early Wednesday morning at 3:30, While our Vancouver team headed to the ferry just before lunch 

Our teams will be gone for a total of 2 weeks, returning back to camp on February 26th. Both groups have worked hard preparing for these trips, fundraising, organizing, and praying for their time in the places they would be serving.

We have worked hard and the time is finally here, so as we are engaging in these trips, serving different people in a variety of capacities, would you please join us in prayer for our teams.

A quote quote from author and speaker Justin McRoberts says;
"What if I believed that neighbourliness was a fundamental human reality and that variations from it were tragic departures? What if a vision of the world made right was at the centre of my psychology? How would I live differently? How would I love differently? Maybe I'de quit far less often than I do. Maybe I'de give weary travellers the opportunity to live into their better selves."

We ask that as you pray for our students you would pray that the words of Mcroberts would continue to become a reality for our students over the course of the next coupe weeks.

Please pray:
- that our teams would embrace the communities that they serve in as their neighbours, loving them with the joy of the Lord.
- our Students to be engaging in their ministries to the fullest of their capacities.
- that our teams would continue to rely on God for the strength to sustain their mental, physical and spiritual energy over the next 2 weeks.
- that our students would have soft hearts to hearing and learning from God and how He wants to work in them and through them.
- that our students would experience an increase in Christ's love in their lives that overflows into the ways they serve the communities they find themselves in.

Monday, February 3, 2020

20-21 CVYN and Mission's Fest

The past two weeks involved preparing and leading Cowichan Valley youth night (CVYN) and heading over to the mainland for Mission's fest. 

After finishing up their New Testament exam, the next few days were all about CVYN. This was a time where students were given full reigns to run an event. It was only a three hour night, but hours and hours of hard work and preparation went into it.

(These were our two MCs of the night, Jenna H and Seth, who were a fun pair to watch lead the night.)

There were many parts that went into a night like CVYN, so the week before, the students met up with staff all throughout the week and talked through what it looked like to run each of their parts. We had MCs, speakers, a worship team, kitchen team, Coco hut leaders, communication leaders, and many other leadership positions.

Our games coordinators were Abby and Jakob along with support. You can see how creative the night was from these pictures. They set the hype meter pretty high for all the youth.


After finishing the games, the students lead the youth in a time of worship.

Jenna D introduced the topic of the night; identity. She spoke about the lies we tend to embrace as our identity and how we can actually find our true and lasting identity in Christ. She later mentioned with the team that she realized her passion and gift in speaking. Riley then was able to explain what this looked like by sharing his own testimony of his journey in finding his identity through Christ.

It was a proud moment seeing all of this come together. We ended off the night debriefing how everything went. The students learned quite a lot about how to lead together but overall, it was easy to see the love of Jesus in this group as they served and interacted with the youth.  

After some homework and time off, we all headed over on the ferry to Vancouver. Our first day there we spent tandem biking around the Sea Wall. You probably would have laughed watching a bunch of college students try to figure out how to even start biking on a tandem bike. Eventually, we made it all the way around and everybody intact... except for one bike. We all went back to Mountainview Baptist fellowship church where we got to stay overnight. We played a few games (included the long-anticipated Mad Cow tournament) and had the famous homemade "Panookie" as our mug up snack.

The next day we spent some time at Grandville island before we headed off to mission's fest. The students had some free time to explore all around the markets.

When we arrived at missions fest, there were exhibition booths from all different mission organizations. Throughout the day the students could also attend seminars. In the evening we all attended the general session where Aaron White spoke about lament. For an opening session, this was pretty unheard of. Yet it turned out to be a night of opening up, real emotion, and prayer for each other. 

The next day the students attended seminars and exhibition booths again. In their spare time, many students toured around Vancouver. That evening was the youth rally. Along with our Kaleo program, thousands of youth from all over BC came to the event. The group 604 Network lead us all in worship and took away the big lights and sound to refocus our attention on what matters. It was incredible listening to all the voices singing together worshiping God. Kim Moran came up and spoke on the topic of surrender and what that means for the life of a Christ-follower.

The next morning we packed up and headed out to 49th Parallel Coffee before travelling to Village Church. It was actually Village Church's 10th year anniversary while we were there. We all got to experience Mark Clark speak at the service. After church finished, we hopped on the Tsawwassen Ferry and came back to camp.

Overall, the past couple of weeks were a stretching and unique experience for many of the students. The students are back to the grind and starting off their class week today. If you have any questions about what these past few weeks looked like for us, feel free to send us a message on our Instagram page: Kaleoprogram, or comment below.

Prayer requests:
- For the Kaleo program to continue to dive into the ways God had spoken to them during Mission's fest and over the past two weeks. 
- For mental, spiritual, and physical preparation this week as we prepare for our upcoming mission's trip.
- For financial support to finish off our mission's trip fundraising goal.