by Albert Martens
NORTHERN CANADA—“How happy are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labour. How happy you will be! How rich your life!” (Psalm 128:1-2).
Our Athletes in Action Baseball “camps” in the three First Nation communities of Tadoule Lake (July 1-8), Pauingassi (July 29-Aug. 4), both in Man., and Poplar Hill, Ont. (Aug. 14-20), were such a joy and “win” for everyone involved.
We did experience some very encouraging, happy and sad moments in our ministry in these communities. We enjoyed several moments of “fruit of your labour.”
A few fantastic highlights were:
To be called upon to do a double baby dedication for a young couple.
To hear the youth and children call upon us: “When are we playing baseball again?”
For the children to listen so attentively to Bible lessons and learn new songs from our workers.
To speak to several men individually at the men’s breakfast.
To pray with a young mother who had just lost her son in a traffic accident. She looked for us, and asked, “Where is Albert?” She wanted prayer and comfort in a very sad time of sorrow and loss.
To be able to encourage young runners in the community of Tadoule Lake to train for the upcoming Polar Bear Marathon. To connect Tadoule Lake Dene runners to Churchill using the avenue of the sport of running. The Tadoule Lake/Dene has experienced a sad history with Churchill. Just this summer an apology came from the Manitoba government in respect to the forced relocation of the community.
To continue to encourage men and women in these communities, building more personal and deeper relationships each year.
To be invited into private homes to discuss difficult questions about the gospel, about Christianity, and about the personal faith in Jesus.
To help out and assist in their community church services.
To give them some gifts, love and care for them, listen to their questions and try to help.
During the past 12 years of ministry, there have been tremendous changes in lives. More and deeper relationships have developed. Continual communications throughout the year having an impact on the many lives of these communities. As well, volunteer lives have changed and grown in deeper relationships in the Lord Jesus.
Albert Martens (Steinbach EMC) serves with Athletes in Action.