Once again, we’ve had another phenomenal week of Outtatown! Our week began with meeting back at CMU after a restful weekend spent at homestays (shoutout to Emma Martens for hosting 9 of us) or flying home to spend the thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. It was a great time to reflect on the past three weeks and count our many blessings. To continue on the theme of thankfulness, Monday night we made a encouragement web to let each other know why we are grateful for them.
Our sessions this week were taught by Janelle Braun on the topic of theology. Janelle began with stressing that theology is more than just words about God. What we believe about God should transform our minds, shape our hearts, inform our will, change our behaviour, and fuel our worship. With theology being the study of convictions we learned how to take our faith one step further than just believing, to something we physically live out. Theology also involves taking the time to discover what you believe and to grapple with tough issues and questions which will then build and strengthen our faith.
For me, personally, this has been one thing I tend to avoid. I’m scared of being overwhelmed with questions and not finding an answer. I was scared that asking questions was wrong because that meant I was doubting what my life stood for. However, Janelle shared that if we don’t spend the time to discover what we believe we actually feel ill-equipped and lost – this is exactly how I felt. After her session I feel encouraged to start to wrestle with these thoughts and to seek God in these answers because as Janelle put it, “it’s God’s desire to reveal Himself to us.” Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”
This week we were also put into our small groups and peer mentoring groups (PMGs) which are opportunities for us to get to know our fellow Outtatowners on a deeper level. Small groups have about 7 people plus a leader. We’ve gotten to know each other through sharing our stories – our hurts, highlights, and hopes. PMGs are same gender groups of 3 or 4 people, the purpose is to give us someone who we can share struggles and praises with, to learn from, to encourage one another, and grow in faith together. We got to know our PMGs better through a game of bigger or better throughout the town of Gimli. Laughs, smiles, and memories were throughout the afternoon, as well as bragging rights for the group who ended up with a bike!
We look forward to spending time at Roseau River this coming week, learning more about the indigenous culture and history, but we are also so excited for our journey to start moving west on Friday!
With prayer and in God’s strength, we move forward together.
Scribed by Sarah Martens