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Thursday, 06 October 2016 23:45

Saddle Lake Cree

Written by Edmund Wu

TCCC Saddle Lake Short-term Mission Trip Reflection – Edmund Wu

From May 7-17, 2016, a 13-member team from TCCC visited the Saddle Lake Cree Reserve through SIM with the goal of participating in a ‘ministry of presence’ among the residents there. Saddle Lake Reserve is located about 180km NE of Edmonton. With an on-reserve population of approximately 6500 Saddle Lakers, this community has faced its fair share of heartache and death over the recent years. It was indeed God’s orchestration that our team was able to be there as a Christian presence on the reserve. Unlike other more structured, more task-oriented STM trips, this ministry of presence trip consisted of (1) living among the people, (2) learning about the Cree culture, (3) listening to their stories and (4) praying together with them for their needs.

(1) Living among the People

Our team was the first group that our missionary host arranged to stay in various homes of Cree Saddle Lake residents on the reserve. Other previous options included staying in a motel about 20km outside the reserve, and the youth centre or the healing centre on the reserve. By far, staying in people’s home was the best option considering the purpose of the trip. Our team was divided among 4 different homes. We were well received by the locals as they appreciated our willingness to be among them. By no means were the living conditions up to hotel style accommodations. My family stayed in the cold basement in a house. But at least there weren’t any pets and animals crawling over us at night – as was experienced by one of the other groups. As guests in their home, we needed to weary of not wasting water and electricity as we so often take for granted in our own homes.

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