Beautiful things.

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Last week, I spent two days and a night in Pikangikum helping my friend Wendy run an art workshop for children and teens at the local school. It was a lot of fun and a good experience to reconnect with the many children I taught the two years I was there. The exuberant warm welcome I received from the elementary school children blew me away, I was not prepared for it at all!

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the workshop.

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Hopefully, Wendy will return again!

Days gone by

A few of my favourite shots from the past two months.

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I am watching the opening night of the Olympics as I edit pictures. Made me think of Paul, one of the Bibles writers and something that he wrote:

ย Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.ย  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Watching the show has got me thinking, do I have goals or am I just living? What dreams must I keep holding on to? How am I embracing discipline in my life? and am I really running my race in such in a way that says, ” Yes, I am running to win this ?!”

Good night friend.

 

This and that

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Last Sunday I helped decorate for a local wedding. I took pictures of it too.

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Kindergarten was having a family thing going on ( I forget what they called it) My friend asked if I could come with her and her daughter as part of their family.

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My friends took this pic of me and I didn’t know it was on my camera till later. I like it.

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A big part of what I do is visiting families. An average visit will last at least 2 hours. There is no agenda, I am getting to know people at an easy pace. When I am asked how I go about getting invited into peoples homes, my response is: ” Of all the families I regularly visit now, I did not wait for an invitation( I still don’t), I just rocked up and didn’t stop randomly visiting them, now they ask when I will be coming by.” I guess if I think about it, it takes some courage to do this … Iย  never did think much about it, when I started, I thought it was the most logical way to make friends.

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The view from my trailer.

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An aunt with her nephews.This family is full of laughs.

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The lake has become a busy highway these days. Did you know this area has the longest ice road in North America? The kids are busy clearing snow to make an ice rink. I live in the trailer that is close to that orange building. Its obscured by the trees.

Come and play

I realized the other day that I have been in Pikangikum for over a year and I have not posted any pictures of some of the children that I teach at school and at Sunday School. So here they are… I did not ask them to pose this is what they looked like when they saw the camera pointing at them.IMG_0995-2

IMG_0998 IMG_0994 IMG_1002 IMG_1001 IMG_1039 IMG_1025 IMG_1037 IMG_1005 IMG_1007 IMG_1019 IMG_1008 IMG_1024 IMG_1035 IMG_1036 IMG_1031It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, all children are the same, they desire two things; to know they are loved and to know they are safe, in my opinion, everything else is pocket change.

Rebel

Thanks to a very good friend, I have finally joined the Canon world ๐Ÿ™‚ I am now the very proud owner of a Canon T5 Rebel. As I really wasn’t interested in breaking the 10th commandment (the short of it: Don’t envy what others have) I kept away from researching DSLR cameras until I was sure I was going to get one so for the past month I have been reading all about Nikons and Canons. I chose the T5 cause it was in my price range and its a great one if you are a beginner at using DSLR cameras (at least thats what the numerous blogs I read said). The camera came with an extra lens: 75-300 mm. So its with great pleasure I present to you some of the first shots I took with my new baby ๐Ÿ˜€ IMG_0390 (2)Last week, three friends and I took 34 youth to Missouri USA to attend a First Nation (or Native American as they are called in the USA) 5 day youth summit. It was interesting for me to observe 700 youth from North America representing 110 tribes intentionally meeting together for the purpose of knowing Jesus more. Friend to be honest I didn’t even think there where so many tribes in North America. As the history between Christianity and First Nations is terrible, it was a learning experience, a privilege to observe how First Nations youth have embraced the Faith in their own way without the extra stuff that has made their past and present a difficult and often bitter reality. IMG_0372 IMG_0375 One of the highlights of the week for me was listening to a hip-hop Christian artist called Trip Lee perform. I am not much into main stream hip hop and rap music because of how they portray women but if you are looking for soul searching, uplifting, God honouring hip- hop, I would definitely recommend him. He is unashamedly honest about his faith and struggles, proud that he is a father and fearlessly teaches on the importance of living a life of purity in a time when the concept is out of style. Is he perfect? I highly doubt it but he is a man that is showing a different side to hip-hop and for that I am grateful! IMG_0387Do I even have to state the obvious? The youth thoroughly enjoyed him!

Hope notes: Musik

The end of April threatened to be another terrible month for Pikangikum but mercifully what most people feared( I included) was going to happen was averted. There is no other way to describe the salvation that came on the eleventh hour other than, a miracle. So, with suicide emphatically denied what it had wanted to rob from the community, I decided now was a good time to write about hope. Today hope comes in the form of a local band called Musik. I often hear these guys practicing and have wanted for awhile to spend a few minutes with them to hear their story and hopefully get their permission to share it.

Nick 23years. Michael 22 years. Rick 19 years.

Nick 23years. Michael 22 years. Rick 19 years.

When was Musik formed and who are its members?

Michael: Musik started in 2009 when my friends and I decided we wanted to start a band. The band is made up of Nick the base player, Me, the guitarist, Robinson the drummer and Nick the lead singer who is singing and playing the drums today cause Robinson is not in.

What do you play, who taught you to play and what is your favorite band and song?

Michael: I play guitar, my older brother Gregory taught me how to play. My favourite band is Muse and my favorite musician is the lead guitarist for Muse, Matthew.

Rick: I am self taught and started to play instruments when I was 15 years old. I play the drums, guitar and enjoy singing. I enjoy alternative rock and my favorite band is called Pierced the veil and my ultimate favorite song is by the same band is, King for a day. I have been playing with these guys for two years now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANick: I have been playing for 6-7 years, I owe my skills to two High School music teachers, Jennifer Morgan and Mike Lafayette. My favorite musician is Adele and favorite song is Rolling in the deep. I like that song because of the way the drums are played in it.

Do you guys just play for the fun of it or you have plans for your band?

Rick: Right now we are actually practicing for a local competition called Battle of the Bands that will be happening sometime soon. Micheal and I traveled to Thunder Bay in 2011 and 2012 to take part in a music festival. We played a couple of Green Day songs to a crowd of about 100 people. It was pretty fun. We would really like to tour other Northern reserves to inspire and encourage other youth with our Punk Rock style of playing. Currently we are waiting to hear if we are invited to play atย  a reserve called Sandy Lake. They have a music festival called Muddy Water Festival that we would like to participate in.

Apart from music what are you passionate about?

Rick: my cat Jasper … I like cats … A LOT!

Michael: My dream is to be a dad one day ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you like about Pikangikum?

Nick: I like how peaceful it can be by the lake especially at sunset, I would miss that if I ever left Pikangikum for good.

If you live in Pik and know these young men, take time to encourage them with what they are doing, who knows your words could be just what they need to keep going ๐Ÿ™‚

(I have been trying the whole day to upload a video of the band during a practice session but to no avail, I will keep trying)

You’re my honey bunch,

Sugar plum,

Richard in his tikinagan

Richard in his tikinagan

You’re are my cuppycake gumdrop,

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You are my sweety pie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe apple of my eye!

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And I love you so!

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And I want you to know, that I will always be here.

Have you heard of the Cuppycake song? thats were I got the words from hahaha!

(The camera is working again!! took these pictures to test it out. Lets hope it continues to behave itself!)