Sword Drill Friends
The old school bus was loaded to the max with over 40 children. We had taken it to go swimming at the lake. The trail was grown in and the bush scraped the bus as we went along. I wasn’t sure I would have taken my quad down the trail this bus was on. We crossed a stretch where a creek/swamp crossed the road and the water came up and flooded in the first step of the bus entrance. Our trusty driver just glances back and said, “Glad we are in the Canadian shield and driving on rock. Could never do this down south.” The trusty bus never missed a beat as we crawled through the creek/swamp and soon we came to the lake.
As soon as we got to the beach everyone rushed to the water in their life jackets. I visited with some of the staff on shore having forgotten to pack my swim suit. It was interesting to watch these children make a sport of catching crayfish in hopes of boiling and eating them. All too soon the “get on the bus” cry went out and groans resounded as the hike back to the bus started.
I was late getting on and found myself looking for an empty seat. Walking down the aisle, I saw an open seat next to a shy boy. He was soaking wet having run on the bus straight from the lake without taking time to dry. “Hi, I’m Walter,” I said, trying to start a conversation. He let me know his name was Alex. Soon he was telling me about his home, his family and how excited he was to be at camp.
I asked him what he did at home and all he could talk about was the wait until camp started. I had been in homes where the child’s room was plastered with pictures from camp and posters of camp. Their devotional books and all camp “take homes” were on proud display. For many, camp was the highlight of the year and they would start the countdown to camp next year the minute they got home from camp.
He was excited about archery and canoeing but mostly it was chapel he was wanting to be at. “I really like the singing and the Bible stories and I have been practicing my Bible all year so that this year I can win some for the boys at sword drill,” he said.
The competitive nature of a shy lad caused him to be in his Bible all year. I was thrilled to hear that. Soon the old bus had crossed a creek, gone down the highway and made it safely back to camp. “Are you going to help the boys during the sword drill?” he asked all excited that I could help his cause. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m not able to stay and help,” all the while wishing I could hang out with my new friend and help him win a sword drill. Standing up, I realized his swim suit had flooded the seat and I was glad I was wearing dark pants.
As we left the bus my new friend gave me a little shy wave and joined the others as he ran to the cabin to change. Thank you for allowing us to make new friends and maybe even win a sword drill.
Caylea can be seen wearing a new wardrobe of camouflage and rubber boots! She is settling into the summer routine of Bible Camp and is getting used to seeing black bears on her drive to town. Pray she will find housing for the fall in Big River, SK.
Daniel and Michaela continue to work at their jobs (plumbing and heating/seamstress). Daniel plans to take his first year air conditioning/refrigeration apprenticeship courses in Saskatoon. They are taking great pride in their backyard – and are thankful for the removal of a huge, dying poplar tree that won’t be threatening to blow over in a storm anymore!
Mark and Amy had lots of flooding/moisture in their area of Manitoba. They had to mud-bog to church some Sundays! Mark is grateful for lots of concrete work this season. Amy is relaxing for the summer but also preparing for a music harmony theory exam in Winnipeg in August.
Walter finds time to pursue his “Beetle Build” hobby and post videos on YouTube! His health/diet concerns have improved greatly and the ongoing checkups have been stable.
Cindy enjoys leading worship at their new home church, in chapels or whenever a special number is asked for when visiting supporters. She recently bought a “new” retro aerobics DVD to inspire health and fitness. So far, laughing at herself has left her breathless more than the exercise!