On Monday, October 3rd, Team Burkina hopped on a train in Quebec City and hopped off in Montreal. From Montreal, we drove two hours north to Camp Peniel, which was our home for the week. We stayed in a large cabin with a spacious deck and a stream just below. There was even a perfect place on the deck for Alex’s hammock! Throughout the week at camp we played Gaga Ball, did service work, enjoyed nature, and went bungee jumping at Great Canadian Bungee!!! I even spent a couple nights sleeping outside in the hammock! On one of our last days at the camp, Cam (the super cool director of Outtatown!) led us in a silent day, which had a purpose of being present and experiencing God. It rained, or drizzled, or poured for most of the day – from the deck we had our own little nature show. Each of us (the students) spent our day a little differently – some read in the hammock, one person paddled in a torrential downpour, a few went for walks, and a couple tried their hands at photographing the beautiful weather (there may also have been a couple naps taken). During my morning, I took pictures, adjusting settings for every photo in hopes of duplicating the exact colours my eyes saw; autumn in Quebec has some of the most beautiful and vibrant seasonal colours I have ever seen.
When Cam was explaining our day he mentioned to us how important it was to still reply/talk to the camp staff even though we as a group were silent. Now the camp’s cook is named Denise, and at lunch Denise realized that our ‘mum’ (Alanna) was not present at camp. So Denise went around our table serving us vegetables while saying something like, “Just because your mum is not here does not mean you can go without vegetables. I will make sure you eat your vegetables”. And Denise just kept giving me more food (did I mention that desert was served with both lunch and dinner). It was a very entertaining and fun lunch, yet the student communication was successfully minimal and verbal communication was non-existent.
After lunch while I was standing on the deck there was a moment of great serendipity. I was folding laundry and listening to Ben Howard’s album ‘Every Kingdom’. My view looking out from the cabin was multicoloured leaves and a peaceful stream. When I had started folding laundry there was no rain and the sun was out, and it was was beautiful. Some time later, the song Promise started to play through my headphones. If you have ever listened to this song, you might be familiar with the soft sounds of rain introducing Ben Howard’s singing. If you have not heard Ben Howard’s song Promise and like chill music, go into nature, listen the song, and appreciate God’s amazing world. The moment of serendipity occurred when the sounds of rainfall started to fill my headphones and the drizzle off of the deck became rain again. They were perfectly in time with one another. And as the song continued, the rain turned into a pour and sound filled the air, and it was beautiful.
Okay, I hope this mostly stuck to one subject and provided a glance into our time at Camp Peniel.
— Sarah Isaak