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Food Bank, Chateauguay, Day 2

Giving the Food Away

overcast 75 °F

What a day! We collected, sorted, and distributed lots of food.

Our day began at 7:00 am. The men took the panel van and went to the farm and bakery to collect food donations. They returned mid-day with the van stuffed full. The bread was freshly baked. The vegetables were just picked. The fruits were fresh and perfectly ripe. When the van was unloaded the basement of the church was full of food. It was all divided into individual baskets for families to pick up. What bounty to share!

The church has plastic crates for each family. Today we spread out 109 crates in the hall and classrooms. Each type of food was divided and packaged into 109 bags. Then workers each took one type of food and placed it in each of the 109 boxes. There were people moving around in tight spaces, filling boxes, counting loaves of bread and desserts, cleaning and packaging vegetables, and counting yogurt. The carrots were checked for bad places and the leeks were cleaned with wilted outer leaves removed. No family received any food item that we would not buy or eat ourselves. These foods were not stale or rotting leftovers from the suppliers. Everything was fresh and good and healthy.

We placed boxes on each table, added salad greens, bread, desserts, and yogurt to the table for each family to pick up. Families pay $12.00 for each food box. The money is used to pay the operating costs of the van. We estimated the cost of the food in the US would be $150.00 or more. Families bring their own bags in which to take the food home. What a joy it was to see them come in a few at a time and leave with more food than they could carry. We all were pleased to help them to their cars with bags of groceries.

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All families spoke French, some spoke English. Each of us used the few French phrases we knew and then resorted to sign language when necessary. Always the families understood us and thanked us and church members for the food they received.

What a sight it was at the end of the day to see the rooms and hallways empty where they had once been filled with food boxes and to know that families would have food for the coming week.

After a long day, we were hosted for a evening meal by Richard and Louise. Richard grilled spare ribs with a special Asian sauce. They were delicious. It was a treat to sit around the table and talk with our Chateauguay friends during and after a lovely meal. Christian fellowship is always a joy.

Posted by travelagain 13:25 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Food Bank, Chateauguay

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

semi-overcast 57 °F

We started mid-morning at the church to prepare for the Food Bank on Thursday. We sorted frozen tortellini into family sized packages, sorted and straightened the canned goods and packaging bags. Sorting_Tortollini.jpgWe were repackaging 50 lbs. of granola that had been donated by a supplier. We were about halfway done when we found bugs and larvae in the second large bag. We just had to throw out about half of the granola. That’s sad.

One of the ladies in the church made lunch for us. It was a delicious stew of chicken and vegetables and rice. The men missed it because they went to the farm to pick up produce for the food boxes.

After lunch, we swept and mopped the floors in the all rooms in the basements. When the men returned with the produce from the farm, we unloaded it into the basement of the church through the window with a roller-slide. There were carrots, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, spinach, parsley, Chinese cabbage, escarole, and 2 kinds of lettuce. We will prepare 108 food boxes for pick up tomorrow. We packed the lettuce in plastic cartons and other greens in a bag. The carrots were checked for rot. Anything that is unusable was put in the compost

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[/float]container to be recycled. Spinach_and_Parsley.jpgCanned_Goo.._Hungry.jpg

Isabelle, the pastor’s daughter, prepared dinner for us. Isabelle manages a group home for mentally handicapped adults. Some of her residents came with her to the church. They also attend services with Isabelle.

In the evening, the church holds a praise and thanksgiving service. After music, there was a time of sharing from the congregations. It was a wonderful time of worship and praise. Afterward, many of the church members said goodbye as they made their way home.

Posted by travelagain 05:11 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Ottawa - Revised

Tuesday - September 17, 2012

rain 65 °F

What a blessing this trip to Ottawa has been. Today we visited a Matthew House satellite. Some of the team did some small jobs around the house. Other visited with C. who will have her first child in two weeks. They shared stories about labor and delivery. How typical of the

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group of mothers sharing with a soon-to-be mother! Towel_Racks.jpgMatthew_Ho..elitte_.jpg

Today it rained and rained and rained. We all tromped around with jackets and umbrellas. Lunch was at a buffet in the center of the city, but it was too wet to wander in the shops. Also, to our disappointment, when we arrived at the capitol building, there were no more English tours for the day. We went to the Museum of Civilization which highlighted the history of Canada. In the late afternoon, we returned to Chateauguay, driving in the rain. Dinner was at St. Hubert’s—a chicken restaurant. Very good!

  • Scott - During our time in Ottawa we enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the Wyatts, saw first hand the amazing ministry of the Matthew House and experienced one of the most beautiful cities of North America.
  • Clara – I was very impressed Kim and Marc, with Matthew House and with the refugees we met.
  • Joy – I hope the C. and R. each always have a home filled with laughter and joy.
  • Heather – Never forget to seize the opportunity daily to engage in prayer with and for someone.
  • Michel – Not only did we engage in hands-on work, but we also experienced hands-on prayer with those we met throughout the day. We found the face of God over and over, and felt His power.
  • Barbara – I was repeatedly touched over and over by the lives being changed in many different places, by many different volunteers and staff people. The refugees all were happy to be in Canada and seemed to be at peace with their home and their future.
  • Jim – It’s nice to see our annual Global Mission Offering at work. The Matthew House makes good use of our money they receive from Global Mission.

Posted by travelagain 05:05 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Travel Day

Saturday, September 15, 2012

sunny 61 °F

We started early today meeting at the church at 6:00 am. We had good flights with wonderful views of the Chesapeake Bay and the eastern coast of the United States. We arrived in Burlington, VT on time. All our luggage arrived at the same time. Hurray!

We had lunch in a small, local deli across the street from the airport. Great sub sandwiches. We ate outside at a table under a tree in cool, crisp fall air. It was a relaxing way to end our air travel. Lunch_in_B..gton_VT.jpg

We drove through Burlington with quaint, historic houses and by the University of Vermont Burlington. It’s a nice town beside Lake Champlain. The lake is dotted with marinas with sailboats and power boats. The wind was blowing creating small white caps all along the lake. There were sailboats and wind surfers out on the lake.

The immigration check point went smoothly. All the ladies in the back seat were asked to get out of the van so the immigration official could see our faces. She cleared us to proceed as soon as we returned to the van.

Traversing the shores of Lake Champlain…
Sky a mix of silver rising into puffs of white.
Fields of sunflowers faces glancing to the East…
Our Journey Begins
The 45th parallel ~ half way to the North Pole,
Santa driving the sleigh…
Traveling toward our call
What will God ask of us?
Rainbows invited us to meet Your people where they are…
Following Your lead

We arrived at the church during a community outreach. They were having a pig picking. Richard cooked wild pig which was delicious. We also had steamed corn on the cob, pasta salad and baked potatoes. Pig_Picking_Dinner_.jpg Tables and chairs were set out in the parking lot. Everyone was having a great time talking and eating. Dinner on the Grounds in Chateauguay

Dinner on the Grounds in Chateauguay

DSCF0967.jpgRaymond is a community member who helps with the Food Pantry Ministry. He loves to practice his English and sat down to eat supper with us. Then the rain came. Everyone rushed inside to the church fellowship room in the basement. The men of the church carried in chairs and tables were set up to finish the party. After everyone ate, an evangelist sang some songs and shared a testimony. Evening Evangelist

Evening Evangelist

One of the young men of the church summarized the testimony so we understood what was said. There were about 30 people in attendance who were not Christian. What a great time we had!

We went to our homes: Scott, Heather and Michel are staying with Pastor Daniel Cimon; Jim, Barbara and Clara are staying with Mariel; and Joy is staying with Jeanna and Pierre.

Posted by travelagain 16:36 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The Team is Ready

Time to Pack

September is upon us and our team is preparing. We've had a discussion about "Foreign to Familiar" and how it might apply to our trip. We've read about the church there and anything we come across about immigrants and refugees including "The Above Ground Railroad".. We're praying for guidance for us and support for Pastor Cimon and the Christian Church on the Rock and introducing the congregation to a prayer guide for the time before we go and our time there. Lastly, we're gathering hostess gifts and planning on how to pack. We're excited. Things are falling into place.

We're packing and doing last minute preparations. The time is almost here. God has given us a great adventure. We are going where He is working already to reach out to others alongside Canadian Christians. We are looking forward to meeting new friends and serving together.

Posted by travelagain 13:11 Comments (0)

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