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They Went with Us

The Friday before leaving for Mish was a flurry of final preparations. I was in a state of low level panic but trying to give the impression that I had a semblance of control as time was running out before leaving.

Lindsay, 17, came to spend the night so that she could leave with us for the airport early the next morning. She and Tippy spent the evening overflowing with giggles and energy as only teenage girls can. :)

There were 6 more young people besides Lindsay on the team:
Lizzie-11
Sarah-12
Eliana-13
Matthew-14
Mikey-16 and
Ethan-16
And 8 adults:
Kevin and Jamie in Kevin's truck that pulled a trailer,
Susan S. in a car also towing a trailer,
Susan B. (Sarah's mom) driving a van generously loaned by Christian Horizons, an agency that several of us have close ties with,
Christy (Eliana and Lizzie's mom)
Paul and I,
Holly (a teacher with boundless energy--that's her on the right in the photo at the airport)

Some of us were meeting for the first time on this trip, but in the days ahead we shared experiences that will remain with us and connect us forever.

We were the team that was privileged to go, and yet we took with us the work and goodwill of a small army of well-wishers and contributors. I want to acknowledge some of them here, because they were as important as we were in bringing the love of the south to the north of Ontario. If I forget anyone, please know it isn't intentional--there were so many:

  • The C.I.A. --not the one you might be thinking of, but Compassion in Action, a small group of women, connected with Valley View Alliance Church in Newmarket, whose mission is to meet monthly and carry out acts of kindness wherever God leads them to do so. They generously donated the funds to purchase pumps and needles for soccer equipment.
  • The Newmarket Soccer Club, which through a member of the C.I.A. contacting them, donated boxes of gently used soccer equipment.
  • St. Andrew's College in Aurora, which donated boxes of snow suits and baby supplies.
  • Hillside Community Church in Tottenham, whose members gathered, sorted and packed boxes of gently used clothing and whose missions committee organized two fundraisers--a lasagne supper and car wash to help fund the trip, both of which were supported by Rick Milne, the mayor of New Tecumseth.
  • Green Valley Alliance Church in Bradford, who supported in prayer.
  • The Gideons, who donated boxes of bibles, some for children, and some in the Ojibway language.
  • Pastors Kent Nielsen and Rick Grundy, who supported us with devotions and encouragement via FaceTime.
  • Norm Clements, a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for his community service and philanthropy. He donated a quantity of brand new clothing and other supplies.
  • MacKenzie Sweet Corn, of Alliston, who donated enough sweet corn for two BBQ's serving 100.
  • Joyce Enever, whose health would not allow her to go, but who baked boxes and boxes of cookies for the children of Mish with vegetables hidden in them. They were delicious.
  • Joyce Marshall, who leads the Hillside Missions team, and is a veteran of many previous trips to Mish. She couldn't go this time but her heart and prayers went with us.
We who went were the face-to-face and heart-to heart-contact that is the epicentre of our relationship with the proud First Nation of Mishkeegogamang, but radiating out from us there were concenctric circles of love and support--the love and support we took with us as we started our journey.


Comments

Debbie Hotson said…
Thanks, Belinda. I have been eagerly awaiting your next Mish post and I will now try to be patient for the next one.
Belinda Burston said…
Oh, Debbie, thank you for your immense patience. I think I was immobilized and intimidated at writing about something so full of impressions and importance. With some encouragement I have begun--and I promise to keep going. :)

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