Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crabbing at Qwanoes - Cooking Crustaceans

Today I want to share with you from one of our afternoon events last week that is truly only something you can do on the coast!

On friday afternoon we went  down to the Qwanoes beach—literally a 5 minute walk from Pacific Woods Lodge which is where the classroom and students bedrooms are. We had ourselves a crab cooking feast! This is a first for all of the students, catching crabs on the dock, and then cooking them right after on the beach—doesn’t come any fresher than that. It was such a blast and a great break from the current readings and papers the students were working on. It was so much fun to open the crabs ourselves and enjoy the crab meat with some melted butter. Instead of explaining much more, this blog post will be primarily a photo essay, I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out some of our community fun on the coast! The students are currently finishing up Introduction to Christian Worldview with Grant Poettcker, we will definitely have some stories from the classroom coming soon.

Until next time,


Monday, March 24, 2014

French Beach Camping - Lifelong Leadership

 This past week we had an incredible time camping together on the West coast of Vancouver Island! We pitched tent for two nights within 100 meters of the Pacific Ocean at French Beach Provincial Park. It was an incredible time of community, relaxing, reading, and learning about how to be lifelong leader wherever life takes our students after the Kaleo Program. This year is almost over—Can you believe it?! We definitely can’, but it is certainly settling in that it’s less than a month till graduation. 

Sarah H, and Kelsey W, walking up to the campsite covering from the beach.

The camping trip provided the perfect balance of time spent with each other, time to go about and explore the beautiful beach front park, opportunities to reflect and learn about leading in the future, and also plenty of time to read the course material for their next class. 

Chris, Dawson, Jon, and Ian exploring the beach front. 
While camping we were divided into 4 groups that would separately prepare their own meals.
(pictured is Dawson and Jessica)

Lots of time to connect and read

The students each had 3 books with them as they were preparing for the course which just started today, Introduction to Christian Worldview with Grant Poettcker. There was lots of discussion happening all around camp about the contents of the books throughout the trip, the books are some of the more challenging philosophy books they will read this year, and most were enjoying the challenge. There was lots of re-reading pages to try grasp the concepts, but certain enjoying the moment where the idea 'clicks'.

Our three days also had a focus on learning what it meant to be lifelong leaders. This was incorporated through some interesting yet challenging group games and also Devo's during the mornings and evenings that were lead by the leadership team (Andrew, Lyann, Ashley, and Levi).

Trying to communicate without sight and sound proved to be quite a challenge!

We also had one of the most impressive tarp structures I have ever seen.
We dubbed it the coliseum, truly is a piece of art.

For our last leadership game it involved trying to build a structure with your team out of random things from the beach. The creations each team made were great and everyone had fun despite the rain. 

Our time at French Beach was definitely a highlight for a lot of us. So good to just spend time with each other in creation. The weather was pretty cold, and it did rain, but it all added to a comping trip that we are sure to never forget!

Thanks for checking in on what's been happening in the Kaleo Program! We have a lot more to share in the coming month, so keep checking back every thursday! 

Until next time,


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Curling with Kaleo - Fun with Brooms

Before we get into this weeks blogpost, I wanted to let you know that earlier this week I posted about our missions trips that we just came back from. If you want to read that post either scroll down or click the image bellow. 

 Kaleo Missions

Kaléo Missions Trips Blog Post (here)

Well I wanted to share this week about some fun we had together right before our missions trips. This is from a few weeks back, but I thought it would still be fun to share about taking the whole program curling! Most of us were not experienced curlers but still really enjoyed giving it our best shot. This is primarily a post of pictures, I hope you enjoy a glimpse into some of the fun things we do as a community. 

I hoped you enjoyed taking a glimpse into one of our outings! 

Until next time,


Monday, March 3, 2014

Kaléo Program Missions Trips - Cross-cultural Serving

A large part of the vision behind the Kaleo Program is providing opportunities for applying and responding to the academics that the students are working on. It is so important for a leader to get hands on experience and put to practice the things they are learning. One thing our students have been learning is that leaders in Gods kingdom are people who serve. The missions trips that happen during the year here at Qwanoes are an amazing opportunity to do just that.

The students have two options for trips to serve on, one being to Vancouver's East Side and the other to San Quintin, Mexico. Both of these trips partner with organizations that are already doing amazing things on the mission field. Although the Vancouver trip is still within Canada, it is still cross cultural in many aspects as it is a very different culture than most of us are used to. While serving the students get practical opportunities to lead using their skill and also to serve in areas that are outside of their comfort zone.

First Ian Friessen one of the members on the Vancouver team will share a bit about their trip.

For the past two weeks I was privileged to serve alongside my fellow brothers and sisters in a unique and challenging setting in East Vancouver. Our time in East Vancouver was split between two pre-existing ministries, New Beginnings Baptist Church and Potter’s Place Mission. Both of these ministries are churches where God’s family unites together to glorify God. While we were at each place we had the opportunity to practically serve the people who ran the ministries and serve the unbelieving population and also, in return, be served by them. 

At New Beginnings Baptist Church we did a number of hands on jobs. These included: assisting the ministry of the church itself by primarily doing cleaning and construction projects as well as community outreach programs. At times some of the in-church jobs could feel very impersonal and disconnected compared to serving in the community but God is faithful and used each act of service to bring Himself glory and to encourage His church. 

While at Potter’s Place Mission, located on E. Hastings, we mostly served the homeless. There were two services in a day that featured musical worship for 30 minutes, followed by the gospel being preached alongside testimonies of God’s grace in people’s lives. The service finished off with warm food served to all guests. In the afternoons we found ourselves doing the work of the ministry. Through outreach and evangelism we poured into the street people by sharing spiritual food, alongside physical food, and praying for those we meet. We also supported PPM through various work projects within their building.  The purpose of all activities and acts of service here was to share verbally, in addition to physically, the love of God, the gospel, and to pray for people.

The Vancouver Team leading a service at Potters Place.

Pastor Deborah and Pastor Michael from Potters with the Vancouver Team
Colin and Ashley the leaders of the Vancouver Trip

Helping to paint at Potters Place

More Painting!

The Vancouver team with Pastor Joel from New Beginnings
One way that I saw God working in Vancouver was through the testimony of changed lives. There were a handful of attendees at Potter’s Place that have no material possession, very little worldly hope, and broken relationships here on earth. However, God’s grace alone was evident in that they were so rich in eternal possession, have a hope independent of this world, and have a restored relationship with the creator of this vast universe. In addition, God is also more than capable of transforming our earthly situation. I saw this very clearly through the testimony of a man who had been alcoholic, addicted to drugs, and homeless. Despite his earthly situation that was filled with pain, hopelessness and suffering, God, in His love, changed his heart and additionally blessed him with an earthly situation that is far from his old life. 

- Ian Friessen

Next I would love to share with about the Mexico Trip, I was a Leader on this trip alongside Lyann Ramsay. We partnered with an organization called Northern Light Ministries that is running an amazing ministry in San Quintin Mexico. 

The Mexico team pictured with some of the NLM Missionaries as well as some friends we made from the community.
Dwight giving us the game plan, he is the Missionary we worked the closest with during our time in Mexico
We had the opportunity to take part in some great building projects during our trip, we even got to break ground on a new property that they are building a Church on. This was incredible as our group was able to be involved in the first mission work done in this community called Benito Garcia. Our team also got to lead an event for kids in the community which went really well. It started with only 3 or so kids present, and by the time we had finished it numbered over 30 kids!

Sylvie connecting with one of the amazing people we met during our time in Benito Garcia

The kids were such a joy to play with, full of smiles and laughter.

Running a kids event in Benito Garcia

Our biggest project while in Mexico was building two classrooms for a Church in the community of El Rosario. In a matter of 4 days we got to see this building rise up from just a foundation and into a functioning classroom. Some people on our team had construction experience, but most of us had only ever done a project or two. Despite this it was great to see everyone getting involved and patiently teaching each other how to complete the task at hand. It was awesome to take a moment and step back watching the flurry of activity as everyone was working on their separate tasks.

The finished classrooms!

The Church we helped build the classrooms for were so hospitable and taught us so much about love!
A big theme of what God taught us while in Mexico was how amazing the people we encountered were able to give their love to us. They poured themselves out for us, we had only just meet these people and didn't even speak the same language, yet despite all this they shared with us so much even though they had so little. Although we did come and build a classroom, we definitely felt like we received from the people more than we had given. We were blown away by the relationships we were able to form with the people of Mexico. Every single person on the team felt like they were leaving a friend when it came time for our trip to end. Despite all the external differences we had, they connected with us over the greatest thing we had in common, our faith in Christ.

Some from our team leading worship at the local Church in Papalote. 
During our trip there was a several events that were run entirely off the planning of our students. We led family events, youth events, children events, brought meals to a local school, did a language survey and many other various tasks in and around the bible school were we stayed. No two days were the same in Mexico, each day had entirely new things in store for us. It was so amazing to see God work in and around our team as we did our best to serve in every moment. 


Both teams experienced life changing memories through our time in service. In the days after returning we were able to share Gods work with each other and also the staff here at Qwanoes. 

Ian wrote some words that I think apply so greatly to what both of our teams experienced, "Over the two weeks it was a joy to see how God can unite His church in mighty ways. Speaking primarily about our team I would say that we all felt like God’s body; each member crucial and important, each member serving God through their various roles, and each member encouraging others. It was cool to see God’s children humbly serving each other and in the people we had come to minister too. When our human plans were foiled by God’s more sovereign plan, it was awesome to be a part of a team that would prayerfully submit to God’s will when we did not understand the situation. Looking back at the trip I know that God brought us together to accomplish His divine will in our lives and the lives of those we encountered."

Thank so so much to all of you that made the trips possible. We could not have done what we did without your support and prayer. We are on the home stretch now in the program to graduation and I can't believe how much growth God is doing in this group of leaders. They currently just started their next class called Introduction to Christian Theology, check in later this week for more stories!

Until next time,