Sorry for the poor photo,but we are pleased to show the outside temperature reading as displayed in our vehicle on February 27th!! The time was 2:50 pm as we drove back from Onion Lake Cree Nation. To the right of the time gauge, you will notice the outside temperature reading of O Celcius. We have been waiting 2 months for the mercury to finally change. Most nights the temperature dropped well below -20C and often in the daytime too. Oh yes, we know that Spring is still many weeks/months away, but this respite, although brief, gives us some hope.
Meanwhile, Calgary and southern Alberta battled yet another big drop of snow. Lloydminster only got the tail end of the storm, mostly lots of wind and some snow.
LLOYDMINSTER COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL (LCHS) – SOAR Mentoring Program:
February 1st was our last visit to LCHS to present students with Certificates for their participation in the SOAR MENTORING/FIRST FLIGHT program.
It was a happy and sad occasion. A sad occasion because of changes within the Public School. S&J received an update from the teacher at LCHS who was over the mentoring program which read: “The School Division is moving in a new direction. An Aboriginal Coordinator has been hired; the coordinator will facilitate the SOAR Mentoring Program. First Nation “Elders” will also be used to make the content more cultural.”
Sam and Jeannine feel the changes will allow the Public Schools to show they are implementing the FIRST NATION Truth and Reconciliation Commission program; the school must have applied to the Federal Government/Ottawa for expenses. We do feel that the work of previous FIELDS volunteers (Elder and Sister Rhoton) and our service at LCHS has encouraged the school to at least continue offering a Mentoring Program just for First Nation students which we hope will benefit the integration of these students.
The expression, “When one door closes, the Lord opens a window.” Yes, indeed. The doors of Lakeland College have opened wider for FIELDS volunteers! Read on.
S&J have enjoyed so very much getting to know these First Nation students and spending time with them over the last few months.
Sam with some of the First Nations group from Lloydminster Comprehensive High School. Below are some photos of the students working together.
GROUND HOG DAY – Even if a ground hog did see his/her shadow on February 2nd, there would still be 2 or 3 months of winter ahead of us here in the AB/SK border city. Sam and Jeannine managed to have a Friday Date Night and view the movie, “Ground Hog Day”, an annual tradition they share. Jeannine feels this movie shows the main character learning the process of repentance and improvement. Try watching it from this perspective!
LAKELAND COLLEGE – TIME MANAGEMENT – S&J are thankful for the opportunity to share Time Management with First Nation students at Lakeland College. By the end of February, the total students assisted thus far is FOURTEEN. We also shared TM with Douglas, a non-native friend of Kuna (a First Nation student). We continue to be thankful for the Indigenous Lounge where we can meet and visit with First Nation students.
Elder and Sister Kunkel are serving with Lakeland College students in the OTO (Oil Field Truckers Program) helping them study and prepare to write their Class 1 Leaners DRiver’s License and Air Brake Endorsement.
GRADUATION CEREMONY: Lakeland College Employment Skills Enhancement Class of 2017-2018 – S&J were pleased to be invited to attend this ceremony to honour 18 students, many who were First Nation. The students produced a Power Point showing scenes from their classes and various activities during the 6 months of the course.
VOLUNTEERING – OLCN LOG CABIN FULL GOSPEL CHURCH: True North Aid from Ontario sent a shipping container stuffed full of non-perishable food items, blankets and homemade quilts (from Oakville Quilting Guild), used clothing, hockey skates and equipment, and 420 gift packages filled by Ontario school students with each decorated bag containing 4 items: something for hygiene, warm, fun and a book. There were boxes of new toys that will be stored for Christmas 2018. We sorted and prepared an inventory. In the photos below, Sam was the photographer.
CANADA EDMONTON ZONE CONFERENCE: We were blessed that the Zone Conference in February fell in the same week as the week-long school break following Family Day. We took Elder and Sister Kunkel along with us to Edmonton, arriving in time for the 10am start of meetings.
President Pattison reminded us regarding the Holy Spirit: #1 We must create an environment to receive the Holy Spirit. #2 We must learn to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit. #3 Then have the courage to act on the promptings.
Sister Pattison handed out a “Tweak” sheet of a few items that we may need to improve upon. Have a read….
VISIT to SCHOOL ASSEMBLY at KIHEW WACISTON (Cree Immersion) SCHOOL: preschool to grade 4.
Since drummers could not attend the assembly, the children did not dance for us, but they sang 5 songs in Cree: O Canada, Songs about: Alphabet, Colors, Counting and a Greeting song. As the children left the gym, they each shook hands with us.
MURALS ON GYM WALLS
MURAL ON STAGE – with 13 Virtues/poles of the Tipi
Sister McCollum holds Baby Hazel Swendsen (daughter of our Branch President & his wife Kari) and Cecilia Pescadero holding her new daughter, Esmeralda.More babies are on the way for our little branch.
VISITS to LLOYDMINSTER HOSPITAL – PRAIRIE NORTH HEALTH REGION
On Sunday February 25th, with permission, Elder and Sister McCollum took their Primary Class (7 year olds) on a field trip to the hospital to visit Brother Hudy. They shared a short lesson with a story regarding the gift of prayer which is given to us by our Heavenly Father. The children sang a song for Brother Henry Hudy, “A Child’s Prayer”, a favourite of Sister McCollum, especially verse one:
“Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer? Some say that heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me when I pray. Heavenly Father, I remember now, something that Jesus told disciples long ago: Suffer the children to come to me. Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.”
UNINVITED GUEST and it wasn’t a “church mouse”: Read on….
In our LDS Church Branch, we have six young deacons (12-14 years of age) that pass the Sacrament. Sunday February 18th was the first time for twelve year old Tim Onofrychuk to pass the sacred bread and water. Young Tim will always remember his first experience of passing the emblems of the sacrament. Elder and Sister were sitting two rows behind the young deacons who sat on the front bench near the Sacrament table. As the congregation sang the opening hymn, we could tell that something was holding the boys’ interest since they were intent at gazing at something on the floor near them and had odd quizzical smiles on their faces. Then the McCollums also noticed the three men in the Branch Presidency, who were seated on the rostrum at the front, join in gazing at something on the floor near the deacons feet. Brother Low in the presidency got up, left the chapel and returned with two tennis rackets that he must have found in the sports equipment closet. When he left the chapel he had something black between the two rackets. What’s your guess? Well…it was a small bat that somehow made it’s way into the ventilation system and found a way into the warm chapel! BTW, if that bat had taken to flight, (for those who know Jeannine well), Sister McCollum would have put on her own display of fright! She has an extreme phobia of creatures in flight!
FAMILY: Colorado McCollums come to Utah for High School Robotic Match.
Utah McCollums meet CO McCollums.
JAPAN: Our “daughter” Haruko and her children enjoyed a wonderful winter adventure while visiting in Northern Japan with her father. They discovered a “Japanese-style” Igloo made by community members.