Things were going to get busy in a hurry upon arriving back in Sioux Lookout for the summer. I was going to hit the ground running. There were a couple of trips that needed to get done ASAP. While back home, I'd learned of the death of 15 year old Hailey from suicide in the community of Sandy Lake, Ontario. (Hailey has a twin sister Avery). So with a bag of handmade quilts donated to LAMP I flew up to Sandy Lake once the weather cleared. Once again Doreen Fiddler and her sister Lucy met us and took us to visit family and close friends.
|Lucy, Pastor Dennis, Doreen|
We made a quick stop at the band office to follow up with them on the plans for accommodations for the VBS team. Then it was off to a place called "The Site" which is where all the community activities are held. It was the last day of school. So the kids, their families, teachers, and staff were all there which included a feast and games for the kids.
|The kids were enjoying games and food the last day of school.|
One of the next important visits was to Cat Lake, Ontario. The team that had been going was unable to get enough volunteers this year to put a team together. I also wanted to track down Hailey's sister and father who were in Cat Lake for the summer. I went to my friend's house Edith and Charles Wesley. They were a little disappointed a LAMP team wasn't coming, but I told them we would try and get one for next year. We prayed with them before we went looking for Hailey's dad and sister. We were able find her dad and give him a quilt. Avery was visiting a friend in another community, but we left a quilt for her as well.
The next stop was the band office to find out if we could meet with the Chief and council. Fortunately he was in along with a couple of council members. I introduced myself and then talked about past teams and getting a new one to come in. He was very receptive. One of the council members said that he went to a LAMP VBS as a child and would like to see us return. I prayed with those who were present and thanked them for allowing LAMP to come to Cat Lake. One last stop was at one of the permanent missionaries house to talk about LAMP continuing to provide a VBS team. Matt was all for it since they have other areas in which they serve. So the jury is in: Cat Lake wants a VBS team! (If interested, please contact the LAMP office!)
Next on the agenda was the VBS teams starting to come north. First up was the team going to Big Trout Lake, Ontario. This team is a composite team made up of people from Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan! They all work together as one cohesive unit. I hosted them the Friday they arrived in Sioux Lookout. We had a great time of food, fellowship, and worship in song.
|The Big Trout team moved inside the small cabin to avoid bugs and smoke.|
|The smoke reduced visibility to less than a mile at times.|
|The Big Trout Lake team checking in for their flight up north|
|Getting the kids going with the motions for the songs.|
The next two days would be sad ones. The day the team flew out to Big Trout Lake, I received word that the deputy chief of Muskrat Dam and a friend of mine lost his 31 year old son-in-law to suicide. The day after our Big Trout Lake trip, we attended the wake in Sioux Lookout for Brandon. The next day, we flew up to Muskrat Dam to support the Fiddler family and community. Rev. Roy Morris officiated and I was one of the 3 pastors who assisted with the service.
|Family gathered around Brandon's casket before the service|
|Hockey players from Muskrat Dam and Sandy Lake were pallbearers|
I was humbled and honored to be part of the funeral and to bring whatever comfort and hope to the family. This is unfortunately something that happens way too often in northern communities.
|Roy Fiddler (Deputy Chief), Pastor Dennis, Rev. Roy Morris|
|Brandon's hockey team gathered together after the burial.|
Well. I've gotten pretty long-winded...again. There's more to come, but until then, please pray....
* For smooth border crossings coming into Canada.
* For families in the north grieving the loss of loved ones.
* For the Good News of Jesus to be proclaimed.
* For good flying weather so teams and communities can be visited by field staff.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of LAMP. You can't imagine how many lives you are touching through us.
Until the next time...