Today was the last day for the short term team in Saddle Lake, we woke up groggy (from staying up late!) but also sad to the reality that we had to leave. We went to say our goodbyes, first to A where Priscilla and Janice stayed. We talked to her before but it was only then that she shared about her experience at the residential school and also her testimony on why she believes in Jesus. That was when I realized how little time we had, the next time we come I really hope we will have more time! We next went to M’s Christian school that we had been helping out at to say bye to the students. They were sad to see us go even though we only interacted with them during recess and lunch.
We next attended a funeral service that P was invited to. A few of the elders spoke at the funeral, one of them said "we don’t have a religion but a way of life" and another talked about how he was sad to see his culture go away. This really summarized the challenge to ministering to the Natives, their spirituality is so ingrained into their lives. Part of the funeral was also done by a Christian who sang Amazing Grace and also had a short sermon. We met and shook hands with a lot of people at the funeral even though they didn’t know us or really get to talk to us. One person we met early in the trip talked about how the people at Saddle Lake aren’t that together, it was only during funerals when the community really comes together.
Our last stop was the community centre next door where we also prayed for the long term team. Please continue praying for them as the 3 of them will be working as interns at the reserve for the next month!
It has truly been a blessing to have been sent by you all to Saddle Lake. Though it was short, we got a glimpse of what God is doing among the Cree people in Saddle Lake. I was reminded of how they are also part of His people even though they are for the most part out of sight and out of mind for the rest of Canada and the world. We don’t know what God has in store for each of us but we do hope that we can continue connecting with the people we have made relationships with.
To Him be all the glory.