Here a quick note (and pictures) that I received from the Driedigers this week.
How are things in Mirror? Yeah, we’ve been a bit overdue for a newsletter for what seems like forever… oops. Life has been pretty much crazy here for the past months. In the end of May we welcomed our fourth child. Isolde Katharina was born on the 29th, 5 weeks early. Between that and finally moving out of a moldy house this past weekend, and having the busiest flying season yet, we’ve been running to catch up with our feet. I don’t think that’s too much different than anyone else though (although I don’t expect that most people just had babies, but everyone has things in their life that seem to make it busy). Like I said, we’ve had the most flying to date in the past three months. It’s been a season of firsts for us in some ways. We started the summer off with delivering 300 4-day-old chicks to four of the communities in northern Manitoba in support of a program that teaches people to raise and care for chickens in order to provide some of their own food. This is done by what’s known as the Island Lake Tribal Council. We’ve been working a little bit with them and have built some interesting relationships through that.
Another highlight of the summer was transporting 26 people from a local church here in Steinbach to a reserve called Pauingassi. The Church has been working with the community for a couple years now and this is the second time that they staffed a family camp just across the water from the town (every reserve in Manitoba is on a lake pretty much) where families could come across and be free from the pressures of life in the community and work through issues. They also had regular prayer and worship times each day as well. It was a super crazy week for us that week!
For sure the most exciting thing for me this summer was a trip to God’s River (615Km north of us). My boss and I went to visit and discuss further ministry plans with a local pastor there. As soon as we heard that they were having “God Talk” in the church that evening, we knew that we’d be called on to say something, but until the time came we really had no idea what to say. Just to paint a little background for this I should fill in some more details. Last year we had facilitated a group from a church in southern Ontario to come up to God’s River to run a VBS for a week. The group came back again this year and had a great week up there. The week after the team was there, there were more meetings in the community, and about 30 youth gave their lives to Christ! When we got to the church that evening there were a bunch of teen aged boys there all behaving themselves and acting very well. It was amazing, I didn’t even hear one swear word. During the evening, one of the guys shared that he felt that God wanted them to start a youth group in God’s River. He and his brother had been in Thompson for some time and were a part of a youth group there. When we asked what kinds of things they did with the youth group in Thompson he said, “memory verses, singing, and bible stories”. I was very impressed that those were the things that stuck out in their minds and that was what they wanted to do at home now. The church leaders also want to be able to take the youth to other communities to share with other youth the difference that Christ is making in their lives!
A couple weeks after we were there, I flew in a couple from Winnipeg to go work with the youth for a weekend. They had meetings in the church each evening, and on the Saturday evening the wife of this couple noticed a teenage girl who slipped into the church and sat on her own in the corner. She noticed that the young girl “didn’t look right in her spirit”. After some time and talking she was able to share the gospel with her and she gave her life to Christ that night. As it turns out, this young girl was on her way to end her life that evening, but ended up in the church instead. The couple said they saw her again the next day and she was completely changed and joyful.
It is truly a privilege to be able to assist people who are sharing the Good News in these isolated places. It reminds me of Christ’s words when he said, “the fields are white for harvest”. I heard it explained that this actually meant that the fields are actually over-ripe and crops are being spoiled. We are praying that God will put a burden on people’s hearts to reach our First Nation’s people with the Hope and Joy of the Gospel. One of the the things we’ve noticed since coming out here is that many people don’t really care/know about the reality of the lives of our northern people.
So if you could pray that God would send workers to the field in Northern Canada, as well as around the world, that would be much appreciated. Also pray for us as we sell off airplanes that have been donated, first of all that we will be able to find buyers, and that we will have the funds to purchase the right airplane when we see it. We currently have two airplanes for sale and are using a third one that only carries three passengers (plus a pilot). We’re pretty sure that we need an airplane that we can carry at least four passengers and baggage to be more efficient and better meet the needs of our members. Also, you can pray for us as we settle into another house knowing that we will likely have to move again in 9 months as our lease will be up and for a number of reasons likely will not be able to stay here longer than that. Pray that we will be able to find another place and be able to stay there for a good period of time (hopefully more like 4-5 years). Pray that God will direct us to more people who have a heart to work in the north, and a good ministry vision that is God-honouring. Lastly, next week, my boss and I are going to be heading up to Yellowknife and beyond to do some mission survey work with SEND North. They have been in Alaska for many years now and are looking at expanding eastward into the Territories. They have asked MAF if they would be willing to entertain the idea of a base in the Yellowknife area to support this work. If it is deemed that a year-round base is necessary, then likely our family will relocate there. Please pray for wisdom in this decision, both on SEND’s and MAF’s part.
Wow, it looks like I’ve likely rambled on for long enough now. I’ll see if I can find a picture of us all.
Thanks for remembering us out here. We think often of the people we met in Alberta and fondly remember our time in Mirror.
Nathan (for Annie and the rest)
Looks like I was able to find a picture of the kids, but the only picture of Annie and I in the recent past was after the girls from church took her out for her birthday last month. Hopefully that will explain the great getup she’s got on.