Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Week 6: SALTS

After our camp-wide thanksgiving dinner, the students woke up the next day, packed into a bus, and drove down to Victoria to experience four days at sea on the Pacific Swift tall ship with SALTS.

We toured around Victoria for about an hour before moving into the ship. Each of the crew members lined up, shook our hands and introduced themselves so we could get to know who we were living with for the next few days. 

On the first day, we learned the insides and outs of the ship, as well as sailing terms, and safety procedures. After we learned all these things, eventually moved out of the marina and hoisted the sails up. 

This ship is much different from a typical sailboat. The students had to work together and hoist the sails up as two gathered on one line to "haul" and six or more gathered on the end of the line to "tailor". A crew member would yell, "Two, six!" and the students would respond with, "Heave!" as they pulled on the lines. 

Soon we were sailing and experiencing what it was like to be a real crew. It was an exhausting yet exciting first day.  But, there is more to SALTS than just sailing. At the end of the day,  we started "mug up". This was a time where we all gathered on the deck under the stars and played fun games together. We were probably the loudest people on the ocean at night times. 

After we finished, all thirty-three of us would pile into the cabin in the boat, sing songs, share testimonies, pray for each other, and eat delicious homemade treats and hot drinks to end off our day. More than just a time of unique experiences, this was a time of community and vulnerability. 

Night shifts started soon after and two by two students would go up each hour to keep watch of any dangers or dragging of the anchor. This was a great time to get to know people one on one.

The third day was pretty packed. We sailed some more and as the sun broke out, many of the students jumped into the water. There was a rope swing off of the bow of the boat that students got to swing off of. It was a fun-packed break. 

We sailed to a spot that a prawn catcher had been dropped earlier and we pulled up 164 prawns and got to eat them that night. 

(Yes, that's Prawn brains Julia is spitting out... Korey loved watching)

Our next adventure, we all paddled in the dories (Smaller boats) to a nearby island. We went for a short hike and then played some games on the field. There was a second trip to another island for apple picking which later was made into some amazing apple crisp and apple sauce.

On the last day, we had our last chapel and began sailing back to Victoria Harbour. We packed up all our things. Just as we entered the ship, the crew members lined up again, and we said our final goodbyes. It was an incredible weekend of learning, new experiences, and deepening friendships. We have some great sailors in our group.


- We are headed into a heavier academic period for the rest of the semester. Prayer for handling stress well and managing their time for homework/time with friends.

- That the students wouldn't get caught up in going to class and leaving behind what they learned, but letting their studies impact their daily lives.

- continue to intentionally pour into each other and keeping Christ at the centre of those relationships.

- Praise God that he has been working in incredible ways in the hearts of these students and prayer that he would continue to break down those walls and bring them closer to him.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Week 5: Camp and Youth Ministry

This week we were excited to welcome Sid Koop to come and teach on Camp and Youth Ministry. The students learned about why youth ministries exist along with strategies that have been used in creating successful camp and youth ministries.

This class has a slightly different layout than the rest of the classes throughout the year, this class has 2 parts; this week the students went through the first part which was only 3 days opposed to the typical 5. Sid will then come back in the second semester for 2 more days to finish teaching the class.

This layout allows the students to begin engaging in youth ministries through their church's youth groups and Qwanoes' camp retreats with the ideas and strategies from this class fresh in their minds. Then when the second semester comes around they are able to reflect on their camp and youth ministry experience over the past few months and continue to learn from that.

The students were excited about how practical this class was and how they could begin to apply what they learned immediately during Qwanoes retreats.

We finished the week with a staff and student Thanksgiving dinner where the students were able to connect with some of the Qwanoes staff over a beautiful thanksgiving dinner.

We are so excited as we continue to hear about the ministry opportunities the students are getting in their churches, and with the Qwanoes retreat season now underway there is no shortage of ministry opportunities for students to put their skills to the test.

Please Continue to pray for:

- Our students, as they continue to serve in their churches and at camp retreats.

- That the students would stay diligent in staying on top of their homework.

- That the students would let everything that they are learning sink deep into their hearts producing growth in them.

- That the students would continue to grow in relationship with each other and that they would continue to press into the community around them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Week 4: Surfing

At the beginning of the week, students had a couple days to get some homework done before we headed to Tofino for our big surf adventure.

We loaded up the vans bright and early Thursday morning and headed towards Tofino, but we could not travel all that way without making a couple stops.

Our first stop was at a place called Cathedral Grove, a place where some of the largest trees on Vancouver Island live. We spent some time exploring the area in awe of some of the largest trees most of our students have ever seen.

Our next stop was along the highway to Tofino at a place called Walleys Creek, beautiful rocks and waterfalls.

Next stop Tofino.

When we arrived in Tofino we spent some time exploring the town and checking out one of the beaches to get a taste of the waves we would soon be surfing.

We headed to the church that we would be staying at for the next few nights.

The next day we woke up bright and early and headed to a beach to have a few moments of silent reflection before we headed to grab our surfboards and wetsuits.

We arrived at the beach we would be surfing at and met our surf guides who would cover a quick lesson for first-time surfers along with covering safety in the water.

Now we were surfing!

We surfed for the whole afternoon before we headed back to the church for supper, where we hung out for the evening, played games, and watched a surfing movie that got us primed for the following day of surfing.

Once again we got up bright and early Saturday morning to clean the church that we had been staying in the past couple days to get out and get a few hours of surfing in before lunch.

After a few more hours of surfing, we returned our rentals and grabbed lunch at the iconic Tofino taco truck called Tacofino before we had to load up into the vans and make our way back home.

Please continue to pray for:

- Our students to continue to connect with each other forming strong relationships that become open and honest with each other.

- That our Students would continue to press into what God has for them in the coming weeks.

- That our theme "The Way of Jesus" would continue to sink deep into our student's hearts.

If you want to see more from our surf trip, go to our Instagram, @kaleoprogram, and take a look at our "Surf 2019" memories.