by Albert Martens
POPLAR HILL, ONTARIO —Poplar Hill was our first camp of the summer, and it was the eighth time we were in this community. Team members were Chris Lerm, Muriel LeClerc, Katherine Enns, Don Wiebe, Albert Martens, Taylor Bergen and Jordyn Bergen. Joel Jolly joined us for the last two days of the camp.
Flying out of Steinbach with Wings Over Kississing, we had to leave some boxes behind because the pilot needs to stay within the limits of the payload. Upon arrival in PH, there were three trucks (drivers Bobby Moose, Tom Woodward and James Suggashi) waiting for us at the airport. I usually bring 100 pieces of chicken. Sobeys had given us agreat deal and it was a joy to give the chicken to the Chief Jacob Strang.
Unfortunately, we had to reside in two different location, two rooms in the hotel downtown and two teacher units near the new school. Fortunately, we were able to rent a truck and Don was our chauffeur during the week.
We fetched the keys to the apartments and they were the wrong ones. James had to unscrew the metal grill and plywood sheets in front of the doors. The keys we were given did not fit. Eventually all had rooms and beds; accommodations were very good. I walked to get Chris, Don and Muriel, Jordan and Taylor for supper, taking a shortcut to the hotel and met up with a big grey wolf in the woods. Fortunately, he ran away.
Next we planned our schedule of events and went to a long tent meeting. There were many big black flies and many little “no see-ems.” During the tent meeting I was asked to help with prayer and anointing. The community was again affected by heavy duty forest fire smoke.
We were able to sing and speak a lot on their Band radio. On July 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. we were singing, sharing on the radio. It was very special to share Psalm 23 and Isaiah 40:28-31 in respect to the Donald Moose family who had just experienced a loss of a family member. I prayed for the Donald Moose family. Donald Moose’s father-in-law passed away, and his body could not be transported to Pauingassi for the burial because the people were being evacuated again due to forest fires.
Don and Chris, Catherin, Taylor and Jordyn sang many songs. Several other Poplar Hill ladies came to sing as well. The children’s Bible lessons were well attended. I organized a two-km run for the 35 runners with the help of the police, which is always greatly appreciated.
We had to be careful walking near the teacher units because Joey had seen a big black bear walk through their camp near us. There were at least nine black bears at the dump.
The fireworks were really great. We usually boat across to a rock island where it is 100 percent safe. Gilmour helped us with the boat and Bobby Moose gave us many more fireworks. He wanted us to use them to make it an even nicer show.
During the last day we usually do a barbecue as well. I also hand out several thank you gifts and say farewell
One Poplar Hill person remarked that the children really appreciate us and love the attention they get from us. The Lord provided wonderfully for us and the community really appreciates our coming. We are already thinking how to improve on the work for next year. Relationships are growing deeper and deeper. This year we really connected well with Pastor Moose, praying for him and encouraging him in his difficult time.
Albert Martens (Steinbach EMC) serves with Athletes in Action.