Click on the link to view the downloadable version on the Selke’s 2021 Summer Update.
Val sat across from me at an outreach on a First Nations close to Regina. The Chief and council had asked if a friend of mine would put together an outreach for his home reserve. He invited Cindy to lead a team in music and asked is I would share a few words.
The music was great and everyone at the outreach was enjoying the music. I sat by Val and exchanged introductions. She was from the reserve and had raised many children on the reserve as a foster mom. Her stories fowed as she reminisced about the many different children she had raised and the many families she had helped so they could stay close to their family. It wasn’t long before we had common friends from a neighboring reserve and were laughing as we exchanged common stories of life on the Rez.
Val leaned in and got very serious and asked me if I had heard of the children they had found buried at the Kamloops residential school.
I all of a sudden felt very uncomfortable as my heart was grieving for the families of the lost children. Here I was a white guy, sharing Christianity and this horrible atrocity was done in the name of Christianity. I didn’t know whether to cry, apologize, leave or just remain silent.
Val, seeing my sudden discomfort, looked up at the singers and the program that was happening in the background and said, “This is good. What happened over there was very bad; but this is good.” I agreed with her and was so thankful with her ability to differentiate between what was done in the name of Christianity and with our desire to share the love of God. One totally destroyed and the other is meant to build up.
I sat there and thanked Val for sharing her stories with me and allowing us to come and share Jesus with them. She smiled and reached out to shake my hand. In that moment, all Covid protocol had been lost as the First Nations sign of acceptance and fellowship was exchanged in a soft but meaningful hand shake. In that moment, I experienced grace beyond what I could ever have expected.
We had both acknowledged yesterday’s atrocity but had chosen a new path for tomorrow.
Walter is eager to resume working on his VW Beetle. The paint job is complete and the inside is reassembled. Follow his YouTube channel (Beetle Build) for entertainment and a bit of drama! Walter has been feeling fairly well as he continues with the low-carb diet. He will have a check up with the urologist in June as part of the active monitoring protocol.
Cindy is excited to see life emerging in the back yard! Recent rains have greened up the grass and perennials. The kids replaced the firepit for a joint Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gift to us so we are looking forward to family fun soon!
Mark and Amy are happy to have steady employment and life in rural Manitoba is quiet for them. Mark continues to preach occasionally at their church; both he and Amy are youth sponsors with a heart for discipleship.
Daniel has settled into his new apprenticeship in refrigeration mechanics. Although he has not been able to curl since November, he continues to keep up with curling and any sports on TV!
Caylea is thrilled to have her bunny, Theo, roam free in her new basement suite. She continues to lead youth group at Healing hearts, as well as lead worship and develop her social media interviews and posts for NCEM.
Prayer and Praise
- Praise for the 3 weeks of candidate training for 12 new missionaries.
- Praise for Dale and Patti Bergren as they give transitional leadership for Healing Hearts.
- Prayer for First Nations Bible camp directors to creatively reach children and youth with the restrictions in place this summer.
- Prayer for our ongoing needs as cost of living has increased – please consider joining our support team as partners in the Gospel to Canada’s First Nations.
- Prayer for God’s direction as we make plans/set course while Canada opens up through this pandemic.