Planes, Boats, and Automobiles

As the team serving in the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas, we had been told all throughout training that our ministry would be unlike any other team’s, and that flexibility is key. This being said, we would have never expected the nature of our ministry to be as it has been thus far.

After 5 jam-packed days of travel, our first destination for ministry was Wollaston Lake, a remote Native community in northern Saskatchewan. This community is unique because the only way to get to this community this time of year is by boat! We were told we had to take a 40 minute ferry ride and finally, we’d begin our ministry. When we arrived at the landing, we noticed that the lake was starting to freeze, but we didn’t think too much of it. We figured that we’d be able to cross the lake, stay on Wollaston Lake for a couple of weeks and take the ferry back. Eventually, the ferry arrived and our team set sail on what turned out to be a 2 1⁄2 hour boat ride.

When we landed in Wollaston, the community was incredibly welcoming. Our ministry style was very relational. This means we spent lots of time just hanging out and getting to know the youth. In Wollaston, we spent a large part of our time playing sports in school gyms, doing crafts, and playing games with youth. Our team also got the opportunity to meet all of the students of Wollaston Lake by participating in school masses and retreats. Facilitating retreats was very interesting for us because we found out we had three two hour retreats within two days. Even though it was a lot of hard work to prepare for these retreats, God was extremely present and transformed many people's lives through our dramas, music, and prayers. At one point of our retreat, we were praying with the students individually, and a teacher eagerly asked one of my team members to pray with him. When they finished praying with him, he turned to my teammate with tears in his eyes and thanked them. He told them it was his first time someone had ever prayed with him. This is just one example of the way God worked in Wollaston while we were there. It also shows the nature of our ministry. Although NET typically ministers to youth, when we visit communities, we minister to everyone, from kindergarteners to community elders.

Throughout our ministry in Wollaston, we still didn’t know when or how we were going to leave. We were told that we would leave when God wanted us to. Looking back on the situation, it would be understandable for us to be stressed about our arrangements to leave Wollaston, but we really didn’t think much of it. The whole situation allowed us to fully trust in God and His plan. Turns out we got the opportunity to take an airplane out of Wollaston! Not just any airplane, this plane only sat 8 people! It was a unique and unexpected experience, and although we were only in the air for about 15 minutes, it was amazing to see the beauty of God's creation way up in northern Saskatchewan.

After only a few weeks on the road, we experienced many graces, adventures and blessings from God. Our experience in Wollaston Lake also taught us to be flexible and that God works in many ways. That week was one of the most hectic weeks of my life but it was also one of the most amazing. If our experience in Wollaston was any indication of what we can expect for the rest of the year, I’m am really looking forward to see how the year unfolds and what God will do through us.

Emma Sguigna, Team 4