What a beautiful start to the year my team and I have had, filled with joy, challenges, uncertainty, but most importantly with the strength of the Lord. Our first stop was Bouvale in Northern Saskatchewan, where we were warmly welcomed. From Bouvale, we had the wonderful opportunity to reach out to a few of the surrounding communities, where we were able to connect with the adults and children through after-school programs, classroom visits, The Holy Mass, Adoration nights etc.
Our team is focusing on relational ministry, forming and giving leaders the confidence to establish long-lasting ministers in their own communities along with relational ministry with the youth we encounter. One of my personal highlights from our time on the road so far was one of our after-school programs. At this particular program, we had a smaller group of youth that had shown up with their hoods on, quickly responding to questions to avoid further conversation and not willingly wanting to participate in activities. At the start of the night, I found it incredibly difficult to see God working through us and our presence there; however, we continued to intentionally form relationships with the youth, asking them about their interests, hobbies, friends, etc. When it came to being dismissed I noticed that these tough shells that these youth had walked in with were slowly but surely starting to crack. As our days in this particular community came to an end I took a step back and realized that every single participant in this after-school program had not only showed up almost every day but was also so open to talking with the team and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
It’s funny how we can have these great plans in mind and place these expectations on the Lord to move how we see fit, yet his plan is always greater. That first day of the after-school program was challenging in more ways than one and I did have my doubts about how effective our ministry would be moving forward. God proved to me that I need not fear if I leave everything in His hands. It’s His will and it will be done in His perfect timing.
-Written Jaqueline Ceron