Of Waiting and Remembering in Anticipation

By Sharon Steward


In yet another season like no other, this time of constant revision and reimagining is worth remembering. At the very least it is worth reflecting on all the new things we attempted and learned along the way while growing together as a team and ultimately in our relationship with the Lord.


Our lives and work are very different this year, even compared to last year. We continue to enjoy regular InterVarsity Zoom staff meetings with over 170 colleagues across the country. We are thankful that the months of meeting online with just the 6 of us from MPC are now a thing of the past. During the months that our weekly check-ins were online, we called on friends and supporters to join us with words of wisdom and encouragement. Those times together were truly enriching, and we are so thankful for the impact those devotional times had on our mindset which so often needed calibration.


With a constant list of unknowns this past year, one way to cope was to do things that were going to happen despite our strained situations. While it began with offering online programming from January through June by ways of our Saturday morning cooking classes and our Wednesday evening kids Narnia club, our team was all about being innovative so ministry could continue throughout lockdown.


As spring approached, we continued to plan what we could do, or what we likely could do, while keeping in mind who we needed to reach. We did this with great hope and expectation, knowing that God had control and that His plans were more than what we could have imagined.


While this time was a stretching experience, it does make me wonder what this was in preparation for, and why we are the fortunate ones to go through this historical time. Specifically historical for camp! These were the only two years in the past 80 when Manitoba Pioneer Camp’s site was nearly vacant of campers.


God has led us through two years of worry and concern for the future. We are thankful to be charged with the responsibility of caring for and preparing for what we know will be a bigger need than ever before. Camp will be even more crucial in years to come as a place of healing and growth for young people. We anticipate this with slight trepidation, as we are keenly aware of the time we lost with young leaders. Still, it is easy to pause and see that God is with us, even as we continue to walk in times of unknown.


In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord gives very clear direction to Abram; what to do [GO], and the promise that goes alongside the instruction. It will be great, and you will be blessed, to paraphrase the text. Details are spared entirely, and I’m sure that Abram, as the communicator and executor of God’s plan felt there were than enough unknowns. Yet he went, and anticipated encounters with God.


I think if we look at God’s call in our own lives, perhaps now more than ever, more is unknown than known. Details are spared and yet when we move forward to the promise, journeying on as Abram did, and we can do so because we live by faith.


And that is what we all get to share and encourage each other today and certainly when we live in community as leaders at camp. Like the promises revealed so deeply in Romans chapters 8-10, we hope with great expectation and anticipation. So, as we wait on the Lord, as we hope for what we do not yet have, whether that is certainty about our tomorrows or the steps before us in today, we can live a life of peace because of our faith.


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Neil and Sharon Steward have served with InterVarsity at Pioneer Camp Manitoba since March of 2012. Their boys Nikolai (13), Zachary (10), and Samuel (7) love being camp kids and working alongside their parents. In the off-season, they live on an acreage near Winnipeg. Read more of Sharon’s blogs on the camp cookbook website: www.volumecookbook.com


Email Sharon: [email protected]

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