Frozen lakes, northern lights, beautiful people, touching stories and unforgettable faces. To try and put into words what beauty has come from this year and what blessings God has bestowed upon this team, this ministry and these communities would be next to impossible, but what I can say is that every minute of it is a gift in its own special way, hardships and all! We’ve met some incredible people and encountered Christ in many corners of the beautiful North. If you’re curious as to where the Keewatin Le-Pas NET has been this last month, well…La Ronge, SK, Wollaston Lake, SK, Southend, SK, Thompson, MB, Nelson House, MB, Norway House, MB and Cross Lake, MB! Let’s just say our vehicle has become a very important member of this team!
Our ministry has been a combination of classroom presentations in both high schools and elementary schools, gatherings with children and youth in the communities, playing music during the Holy Mass along with having meals and tea with parishioners while getting to know them on a more personal level. Classroom presentations in particular are always filled with so many emotions. The excitement in sharing the love of God and the story of our creation, is accompanied by the realistic fear that not everyone in a public school setting knows the heart of our Good Father and his abundant love. This month our team was confronted with this sad truth: we entered a new community with hearts that were certainly tired but willing. We began our school ministry here by going from class to class doing presentations that included music, games, our own personal testimonies and time to reflect on the messages shared. We had a great first day and could feel the excitement, with children coming up to us to chat in the hallway and teachers asking if we would be back the following days. The following day our team was planning to go to a second school in the same community, we arrived and were told that our classroom presentations would not be able to happen because of some concerns brought forward in regards to bringing the Catholic faith into a public school. We were conflicted as our first day of ministry had been great! The staff was very kind and apologized for the inconvenience and we knew that it was nothing personal and respected the decision, regardless this was a tough pill to swallow.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”- Isaiah 6:8
Although this was an unfortunate circumstance, our time in this community was not summed up by this moment. We made the best of our time and on our last day, a young man and his friend stopped by the church rectory to say goodbye. They stayed for a few hours and we had a great time sharing stories and getting a chance to know more about each other. He has become someone that will remain in my prayers and someone whose kindness will never be forgotten. In these times it is important to recall that the Lord has called us and we have accepted the call by responding, Lord here I am. Send me even when we are faced with challenges.
-written by Jaqueline Ceron