by Albert Martens
POPLAR HILL, Ontario—It was with great enthusiasm and excitement that the seven of us boarded the WINGS King Air 100 in St. Andrews, Man. The volunteer staff who came with me were Don and Ev Wiebe, John and Marlene Friesen, Mona Soucy and her daughter McKenzie.
Chris Lerm from Lorette, Man., was not able to come with us this time due to a recent health issue; however, he was there to see us off and pray for the staff.
The pilot had to remove some fuel to make the plane a bit lighter because we came with lots of supplies (about 360 kgs). After a 45-minute flight we landed on the gravel runway located about four kms north of Poplar Hill.
Charlie Moose, administrative director of the band, had reserved four nice suites for us in the hotel. Chief Jacob Strang and council member Bobby Moose came to the airstrip to pick us up.
I had asked Chief Strang what he would like me to bring along for him, and he asked for chicken. So I had brought along a box of 75 pieces of chicken for him. He was happy to serve this at a birthday celebration that afternoon.
Our pre-planned activities for Aug. 14 to 20 all worked out very well, even though we did not know how it would. Our basic activities were daily children’s Bible lessons, crafts, and games.
Baseball was a good part of each afternoon. Because the old school was being demolished, we had access to a community hall only for three to four days.
Some of the children’s activities were held outside under the trees. The men’s breakfast was held outside our hotel in the shade at 10 a.m. Forty-five men came to enjoy the pancakes, ham, and coffee.
The ladies tea was new for us to prepare in Poplar Hill, and 23 ladies came to the community hall for this event. Each lady received a prepared gift bag. Our group also presented two 20 to 30 minute radio broadcasts. The hotdogs and ice cream served at the community hall were a lot of fun as about 100 people came to eat.
Most of our days it was very warm, so we did take the children for some swimming.
We received a tour of the new and beautiful school (grades one to eight) that was going to be finished in two weeks.
A highlight for me was to join Gary Owens for his church service one evening. Our group did some singing, and I shared some personal stories and testimonies about my gift of running. I was enriched and encouraged by the speaking of Albert, Arnold, and Gary from their church.
Albert Martens (Steinbach EMC) serves with Athletes in Action.