The Grade 12 mission trip began with a two-night stay at the Ethnos missionary training camp in Durham. We heard from a series of speakers who gave us a picture of the wide variety of experiences of the life of a missionary’s career. One of them was a linguist. Grant Trueman says, “We were taught words such as “I!a!a.” The “!” symbolizes a “tongue click” during the word. Later, we had a speaker who stayed in a rural part of the world. He and his wife went into this village with no information on how to speak their language, and after almost a dozen years, they finally understood their language to a point where they could start communicating the word of God. It was very interesting, and he told us stories in the tribal language as his wife translated. It is a very animated language and very fun to listen to.”
The students also had a chance to do some hands-on learning. Louis Matte says, “We worked on a project where we learned some of the skills needed to build a house in a foreign country.” This involved stripping bark off some cedar logs, cutting the logs, digging holes and putting up the posts. This gave the students a glimpse of what the missionary trainees have to do, when they build their own small home to live in at the camp for a month.
During their afternoon free time, some of the students dared to go for a quick dip in the pond. Louis says, “The water was freezing, but it was very refreshing after the hard work we had put in during the afternoon.” Grant was able to put into practice some of the lessons he learned about helping others, wherever you are: “A Frisbee golf player came by and asked me if I could find his Frisbee that he threw in the middle of the pond that winter. I accepted his challenge and took a paddle board in the freezing cold water and began searching after 10 minutes, I eventually saw the bright green disc at the bottom of the water. I dove in the bone-chilling water, swam to the very bottom and retrieved it.”
The students also enjoyed their meals – omelettes, cereal and toast (with amazing homemade jam) for breakfast; rick-chicken soup for lunch, and hot dogs cooked over a campfire for dinner.
Louis sums up the day: “we had an absolute blast.”