When I woke this morning the first thing I
thought of was that the Team Members are now out in three different
communities, preparing for Day 1 of Training Week. I thought of those staying
for the first time in the homes of complete strangers- are they lonely, even a
bit frightened? or excited and ready for adventure- most likely a mixture of
all those emotions.
  For me it was church as usual, albeit with a
few extra text messages as I got ready and waited, in the rain, for a bus.
  Today was the last Sunday the Toumi family
was with us at St. Stephen’s House and it was sad to say good-bye to them,
especially George who has been such a regular and lively participant in our
children’s group. They are returning to the UK after a year in Montreal.
  This morning’s story was the healing of
Jairus’ daughter. The Gospel reading was from Mark but since the story also
appears in Luke I was able to bring along the “Luke Street” slideshow DVD and
after snack, all the children stayed together to watch it. I had puzzled over a
good activity for my group but settled on personalizing plain pillowcases using
fabric markers.
  They all enjoyed the project so much that we
had to hurry with clear up in order to get downstairs in time for the final
song and notices, which included prayers for the Toumis.
  Then it was a quick lunch and the long wet
walk home. Later this afternoon there is a “think tank” meeting happening here
regarding future plans for CTM’s monthly Youth Service-Crossroads so very soon
Wil and I need to take our afternoon walk in order to get back in time.
   This dark and gloomy day is not the most
propitious start for the Training Day Camps. Earlier I consulted the weather
network and tomorrow is just forecast as Cloudy so hopefully it will be dry
enough for some outdoor play.
  This week will be a blur of final
preparations for the Training Retreat as well as final recruiting of those last
important Team Members and hopefully the filling of the last two gaps on our
itinerary chart.

   It can be hard to stay upbeat when the
sunshine is missing but today’s Gospel story is one of a healing miracle so I
shall hold onto the promise of God’s perfect provision in time of need!