We were introduced to Tribal Trails through our friend Julie Sandberry in Tadoule Lake. For her, TT is her "church," and we watched the 30 min show together with her in her home this past July. Well, this past Friday we got to be on the set of TT, watched how they put a show together, read off the teleprompter, and saw ourselves on screen! As a family we also go to help the ministry and be really short term NCEM missionaries by preparing DVDs for shipment, organizing their DVD collection, and I even transcribed a bit of an interview!
Lorianne loved helping with the DVDs, but for the boys, the print shop is where the action was. We worked on a stapling and trimming machine, and together we boxed up 5000 copies of their latest promotional brochure, and also did a mailing of over 13,000 Muskeg Moccasingraph newsletters! We all took turns bringing the booklets to the machine, stacking them in the stapler, removing them from the trimmer and then putting them in boxes to be shipped off. The joy on Caleb, Joseph's and Stephen's faces was a delight to see, as they were having a ton of fun, while truly blessing the people here and making an eternal difference in God's kingdom.
It was truly a great privilege to be able to serve together as a family with a great group of faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The staff at NCEM let us join them in their many tasks, and we observed their dedicated efforts to reach Canada's unreached peoples. Many of these men and women have served for 10, 15, even 20+ years. That amazed us, and challenged us to remain faithful to the call that God has given us.
We also heard many times over our 5 days at headquarters that NCEM is very short staffed. They could use people in the print shop, staff at the bookstore, people at Tribal Trails, and more. If you have skills of any type, from computers to accounting, trimming lawns to pounding nails, camp work to kid work, recording and audio work, I am sure there is a place God can use you at NCEM. Just check out their website at http://ncem.gospelcom.net/ to learn about service opportunities, or just to see how God is using "The Mission" (as the NCEM'ers like to call it!) to glorify himself and extend his kingdom.
As a family, we enjoyed staying at the Mission guest house (where Lois saw a Tonka jeep that she had had as a kid 20 years!), and at our friends the Bekkatla's. They were missionaries in Tadoule Lake in the early 90's, and while we had actually never met as families, we could share stories of familiar people, encourage each other in our God-journeys and pray together. In God's amazing sense of timing, they were also hosting a native friend from Tadoule who we also knew really well! Please join us in praying for Laura as she works in the NCEM office and Gilbert as he does Dene language translation work and travels as an evangelist to many Dene communities each year, including Tadoule Lake.
Overall, our first serving/missions/working as a team experience was better than we could have asked for. We had fun, we served God in a way that brought joy to others, met great people, and we discovered more about our children's unique abilities. We pray that God will provide more such opportunities as the adventure continues!