Day 6: Jamming with Bryan, May 30

Jamming with Bryan by Peter Vooys

Our “Meant to be Unbroken” at One88 was a great show. Christina and Becky did a great job of filling in for Jen and Katie for their roles in our between songs drama, and a young aboriginal fellow from Forward House named Bryan shared his testimony. Bryan’s testimony was a powerful story that resonated with me. Bryan and his friend were both going to be baptized the weekend after we left Winnipeg. After the show, we went to grab coffee at the back of the room. One88 had quite a fancy little espresso/tea bar, it was quite a congenial atmosphere. Several of us HTH’ers sat down at a table, as I was feeling a little shy, but we saw Bryan and his friend come back inside after going for a walk, we invited them to join us. When I thanked him for sharing his testimony, Bryan complimented me on the show, and my guitar playing on “My Own Little World” specifically. I thanked him. I asked if he played, and he said yes, and he wanted to show me some of his songs, which I was glad to hear.

He played me several instrumental songs he’d written that bore a strong Metallica influence (acoustic arpeggios, a la “One”, etc). This resonated with me, as Metallica is one of the bands I was influenced by in my first few years of guitar. I listened, and gave him some encouragement. I played him a few bits of songs I knew, and then I asked him if he sang, too. He said he’d been thinking about joining the choir at his church. I encouraged him, and shared a few stories about my earlier forays into singing, how I stopped for years after a few bad shows, and how I am glad to be doing it again (and better). And I encouraged him to keep writing music.

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One of my Hopes for the trip was: “Jam with some locals”. This was a pretty loose definition of what I wanted. A jam I had with some of the high school boys at Seed of Hope in July 2011 was a highlight of that trip for me, and I’d hoped to maybe make some music with some locals. Thankfully, my chat and jam with Bryan was an opportunity to fulfill this hope, and I think it was a cool time for both of us, though we had to cut it a little short, as Bryan had to get back home.

I hope Bryan keeps writing! I think that everyone that sings or plays should do it. It helps to clear the mind of clutter. I feel it helps unburden the heart from emotional baggage. Anyhow, I’m hoping and praying that God will help Bryan and his bro in the coming days to grow in their faith and to be challenged and grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. And if Bryan wants to jam and I’m in the ‘Peg, I would be game, definitely.

Day 6: Forward House, May 30

Forward House- by Vicki Ross

There were so many positive learning experiences for me on the Winnipeg leg of the trip, but one of my favourites was our time spent at Forward House. Forward House was basically our last ‘stop’ on what had already been an incredibly busy and, at times, overwhelming week. From the time we arrived in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon, God opened many doors for us to experience amazing things and hear from amazing people. My brain was having a hard time keeping up! Thursday was our last full day in Winnipeg. In the morning we heard from Ovide Mercredi, a prominent Aboriginal chief, and then went to the drop-in at the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard Church where we heard about their School of Justice. I knew that the plan for the afternoon was to head to Forward House, a ministry I knew very little about, and that our awareness concert was planned for that evening. To be perfectly honest, the last thing I wanted was to head to yet another organization. My brain just didn’t feel like it could handle any more information, no matter how great the ministry was. It was a bit of a rainy day, I was tired and verging on cranky. I honestly didn’t think there would be anything new or different that I would learn from this experience- I had seen enough already! I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I have never encountered a ministry quite like Forward House. I used to work at the Mustard Seed in Edmonton, so I had some knowledge of what residential programs are like, but had never visited any of them. As far as I know, one of the main purposes of residential programs is to give people who suffer from addictions or destructive lifestyles the opportunity to make change by first removing them from their environment. Recovering from an addiction requires a lot of work, effort, and motivation on the part of the individual. Usually the person needs to take part in some form of counselling and/or support group in order to look at the root of the addictive behaviour, and learn how to change his or her pattern of thinking. However, it is also recognized that one’s physical and emotional environment plays a huge role in addiction recovery. A person might have the best of intentions when it comes to their recovery, but that resolve can be chipped away when they are surrounded by friends who are still in that lifestyle. The website describes Forward House as a ‘home to men who want to start a new life’. Many of these men are enslaved by addictions, are dealing with legal issues, or struggle with mental illness. They have experienced things like broken homes, jail, detox centres, unhealthy or abusive relationships, lack of education and low self-esteem. They may feel as though they have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn. Some men also choose Forward House as a place to complete their probationary sentences.

The first thing that struck me about Forward House was the peace I felt when I entered the building. Despite being disgruntled prior to going in, we were so warmly welcomed and instantly fed that I soon felt my demeanour changing, almost in spite of myself! It’s not something that I can explain, but I honestly felt God’s presence in that house, and it gave me comfort and even anticipation for what was to come. I couldn’t help but notice the various displays of Christian faith on the walls…whether quotes of Scripture or pictures or notices on the bulletin boards. The house itself was very simply furnished, which might be why these stuck out more- it was not at all hard to tell that Christ was fully welcomed into that place. It was also cool to see toys and other evidences of children that had lived there- Forward House has the ability to house men who have custody of their children.

When Peter spoke with us about the ministry at Forward House I could sense that God was with him, from his humble attitude, to the words that he spoke, and the answers that he gave. It was very cool to hear him share about the work that is being done- starting with his own testimony! He himself went through the program, was able to overcome addictions in his own life, and is now serving God by inviting others into the path of freedom. It always gives me shivers of hope and wonder to hear how God has worked in someone’s life. I was also very intrigued to learn about the approach that is used for recovery- Peter went through the house rules that they have in place. It was a long, long list that outlined the expectations for each person living at Forward House (there are actually 5 separate buildings but they are all run the same way). There are rules regarding behaviour (no violence, no inappropriate language, no movies unless they are approved, no pornography, maintaining curfew, coming to meals, expectations for cleaning), and the houses are carefully monitored with security cameras 24 hours a day. I was surprised to hear that they haven’t really had too many issues with people breaking rules!

The men are also encouraged to attend a Bible Study at least once a day and are given the opportunity to attend church on Sundays. Men who choose to live at Forward House are aware that it is a Christian program, so it should not come as a surprise to them that there is such a strong emphasis on the Christian faith. It is exciting for me to think of the work that Christ is able to do when the gospel is being preached as consistently as it is at Forward House. It reminds me of the parable of the seed- when it falls on ready soil, it will take root, and will flourish. Sometimes the most ready soil is the kind that has tried to live life according to the sinful nature, but has begun to feel the devastating effects of those choices. For those who feel like they have hit rock bottom the truth of the gospel can often become words of life, hope, meaning, and joy. Especially when it comes to addiction recovery- without Christ I think that road would be a lot more challenging, if not impossible. It was exciting to hear of some of the stories of these changed lives.

On the Forward House website are these verses: to loose the chains of injustice… set the oppressed free… share your food with the hungry… provide the poor wanderer with shelter. Isaiah 58:6&7. These are familiar verses for Harmony through Harmony as this is what is at the heart of what we seek to do. I was greatly blessed by the opportunity to learn about Forward House, as well as the ability to raise some funds to support their ministry through our concert later that evening. As usual, God knew what I really needed that afternoon- He lifted my spirits with stories of changed lives, and in witnessing the humble spirit of a man who wanted nothing more than to share with others the joy and freedom he had found in Christ.

Day 6: Back at the Drop In, May 30

Meeting Cliff, one cool dude. By Peter Vooys

We’d already seen and learned a lot at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. On Sunday we’d attended their morning service, and I really dug their style of worship (very cool use of guitars. Great soundman. Music levels not too high. Appropriate use of instrumental breaks, that were sometimes long but always fit the song well, etc.) We came back on Tuesday, May 28 for their drop-in program, which was a challenge. I get shy about meeting people sometimes, especially if I’m on their turf. If it’s my turf, and /or I know a lot of people around, I’m quite good at meeting new people, but Tuesday was challenging. On Tuesday, Shaun Paulson and I met a few nice gents, one was from Quebec, we spoke a little bit of French, and I was glad to have made the effort, even though it took a few minutes to get the nerve up after Beth’s nudge to “go introduce yourselves”. After we chatted and sang several songs for the people at Vineyard’s Tuesday drop-in, we went to a meeting room and a few of their pastors talked with us about what they do. One of their pastors, John, pointed to the corner across Main Street (Main and Sutherland) and talked a little about some of the violence that happens on that corner. He pointed out several police cameras covering different angles of that corner.

After his talk, I realized that I wanted a picture on that street corner. It was maybe Canada’s most violent corner? Yep, that would be worth a photo. I mentioned this out loud, and Shaun agreed that he too would like a picture there. We asked Christina if she’d take a picture of us, and we went outside.

The violent corner

The violent corner

It was raining outside, and on the corner we met a fellow who’d been at the drop-in, and he started chatting with us. He told us he used to do security for rock concerts, and shared a few anecdotes. I was really interested, and I asked if he’d be coming back to the drop-in on Thursday, so he could tell us some more stories about being a security guard and bouncer. We asked him to take a photo of us on the corner, he did. And he said he might be coming on Thursday. I hoped so.

Come Thursday, a much more tired, much more mentally taxed Peter showed up at drop-in. We had just had a great learning session with former Assembly of First Nations chief Ovide Mercredi, and we were late for drop-in. I think my brain was starting to hurt by this point. Not from Mr.Mercredi’s chat, which was really cool, but the previous night I’d had my first “I think we’re pushing too hard” experience of the tour, and cumulatively, I was a little worn out. I didn’t see Cliff, but sat down at a table with a few empty chairs, and showed enough interest in a conversation being had by other drop-in folks and HTH members to be polite (one conversation, specifically, which I can’t remember to save my life), but I was not really an active participant.

Then Cliff came up and sat down, and asked if I was still interested in hearing those stories. Absolutely I was! This was, I think, just what I needed. Someone telling interesting, fun stories. Not sad stories, not stories that would expand my worldview, I’d heard plenty of these already. Just fun stories about brawls and the seedy side of town in days past. For the record, I’ve never been in a bar-room brawl. But I was a rather scrappy lad, and I enjoy stories about fights and punching people.

Cliff had been quite the bouncer, I could tell. He started telling me about a group of bouncers that he was part of, a clean-up patrol of sorts. He said that hotel and bar managers would call them when things were getting out of hand, and they wanted to clear some riff-raff from their establishment. He said that for a while in their career doing this, the police would follow behind them with a paddy wagon, and fill it with the fellows the patrol tossed out of bars. He told a lot of stories of specific instances in his life doing this, and later, doing security jobs, and I was impressed.

Cliff showed me a few ways to handle a drunk person who is out of control. He showed me the power of using pressure points to bring a belligerent where you need them to be. I asked him to demonstrate on me. My upper lip still remembers the effectiveness of his lip-twist manoeuvre. It was deadly! I really enjoyed hearing Cliff’s stories. I was riveted by his tales of the group of bouncers. I feel like this would be an interesting book to write. Winnipeg is not Calgary, and it was really interesting to be around this area, which was like multiple Cecil Hotels mixed with the pawn shops of Seventh Avenue. Sad stories there were aplenty. But also some cool people. Like Cliff.

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After my chat with Cliff, Suhail, an intern on the pastoral team, gave us a rundown on Winnipeg Vineyard Centre’s School of Justice. This is a program that runs starting in October of this year. If you’re interested in this, you can find the link at:
http://winnipegcentrevineyard.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=708:vineyard-school-of-justice&catid=15:news&Itemid=66
All of our experiences at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard Christian Fellowship were valuable, and I highly suggest checking them out if you’re looking for a church in Winnipeg. And I suggest reading up on their website, and praying for their ministry, which has touched a lot of lives.

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Bonding in Vehicles

Bonding in Vehicles by Torri Airhart

During our Winnipeg week there was a lot of driving from point A to point B. I was using my uncle’s CRV for the week and if I remember correctly we put over 900 kms on the vehicle over the course of that week. The necessity of all this time on the road created a lot of time spent together in the vehicles.

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In the HtH schedule we spend many hours together over a year – that time is mostly spent in rehearsing, performing, and discussions. Within that context relationships are developed over time, but they mostly remain professional, with the director-chorister-leader dynamics and boundaries in place. What’s interesting is how quickly those dynamics change within the confines of a vehicle and how much other “learning” takes place. Suddenly the discussions are no longer about vocal technique, dynamics and phrasing but rather about families, childhood memories of schools and pastimes, favourite tv shows, food and endless other topics. It’s these discussions, this bonding, which provides a new context for relationships and friendships. Moving forward we have new relational currency and trust with each other. I was amazed in these travels at how little I actually knew of some of these singers, and how much there was to know. From late night gas stops (and impromptu performances for gas jockeys), to getting lost on reserves, to side of the road bathroom breaks in bogs – it all added to the shared experiences that created new context for doing music and life together.

And all of which goes to prove T S Eliot who mused “The journey not the arrival matters.”

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Day 6: An Unexpected Privilege, May 30

Thursday morning with Ovide Mercredi… by Vicki Ross

Thursday was our last full day in Winnipeg, and we already had a full day planned. The plan was to visit the drop-in at the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard Church and hear about their school of justice in the morning, head straight to Forward House for the afternoon, and then get ready for our awareness concert that evening. By this point I honestly thought our trip couldn’t get any fuller and that God had set-up more than enough learning opportunities for our little choir…but I was wrong! Beth got another phone call from Steve Bell on Wednesday afternoon asking us if we wanted to hear from Ovide Mercredi, an Aboriginal Elder with a long list of accomplishments. A simple google search of his name brings up dozens of sites that describe his involvement as a Canadian First Nations leader and politician, and he is described as a Cree, a lawyer, a negotiator, a poet, an author, a lecturer and an activist. He has dedicated his life to advancing social and economic justice for Indigenous peoples, and has made significant contributions to his community. We knew we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to hear from a man like this (I felt a bit like I was going to meet a Canadian celebrity…I guess I was!). So we decided to fit him into our schedule on our last day.

Thursday morning we had to have all of our bags packed into the vehicles before the meeting, so I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit sleep-deprived as we sat there in the conference room, waiting for Ovide to arrive (thankfully coffee was provided!). I must admit, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely felt a certain amount of anticipation to see what he would be like and what he would say.

I think the first thing that I noticed about Ovide was the way that he carried himself. To think of all the things he had been a part of over the course of his life, things he had experienced, and the way that he had fought for his people, you might expect him to be up front, loud, full of outrage at the injustices that have been done, or even bitter that little change has occurred. Yet Ovide was none of these things. He had a quiet, polite demeanour that was somehow a perfect balance between humility and confidence, which made what he had to say that much more powerful. He was clearly well-educated, full of passion and deep conviction, and had a strong sense of what justice could realistically look like for his people. I instantly had huge respect for him, and was very intrigued to hear what he had to say, particularly his vision for the way forward.

I recently completed my Masters in public policy and health inequalities, and during my program I had the opportunity to give a presentation about the Canadian Aboriginal people. The majority of the people in my program were not Canadian (I studied in Scotland), so I had to provide details of our history, including the residential school system, as well as give statistics for the current situation (ie. the number of people living in poverty, addictions, living conditions, etc.). It was incredibly sobering for me to reveal the extent of the injustices that have occurred and continue to occur. During my research I came across a video called ‘Third World Canada’, a documentary that depicts what life on a reserve can look like, and gets to the heart of the reality of what many Aboriginal communities across Canada struggle with. From a health perspective (I am a nurse after all), it is clear that Aboriginal people are at a disadvantage- they have drastically higher rates of suicide, abuse, addiction, chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and a much lower life expectancy than average Canadians. Considering the fact that Canada is widely considered a country that promotes justice and a good standard of living the reality of the situation is, in many ways, embarrassing.

So why do these problems continue? Whose fault is it? What can be done about it? These are the hard questions, and the problem is that there are no easy answers. The underlying causes of these issues are complex and multi-layered, and people have a wide range of opinions. Personally, I think some of the contributing factors include: inter-generational impacts of trauma (ie. the cycle of abuse and addiction), lack of understanding and public education (which leads to racism and distrust), and an unbalance of power (especially in the political realm). I wanted to hear from Ovide’s perspective as I believe the most important place to start is to hear the truth from someone who has lived it (way better then reading it in a textbook that was most likely written by a white person). Ovide spoke to a lot of these issues while he spoke (I believe Beth took notes while he talked, so her blog should provide more details on what he said!)

Sadly, we only had an hour with Ovide- I’m pretty sure we could have spent all day learning from his past experiences and knowledge. But in that hour I felt hope. Hope that someone like Ovide was fighting for the justice of his people, that he had a vision and was living it out. I felt excited to hear of Ovide’s plans to meet with the Queen of England, to demand that the United Kingdom uphold the promises they made over a hundred years ago (because Canada won’t). I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some way the Canadian church could get behind them, to actually support the cause of justice like we are called to. We are called to be courageous; we are called to bring light into dark places. We are not only to speak the truth, but act it out. There have been many times in the past when I have thought about the current situation, and wondered if there ever would be any change, or what the church could do about it. I spent two years working for the Mustard Seed in Edmonton, which serves high numbers of Aboriginal people, and witnessed the seemingly hopeless patterns of abuse and addiction. While I did have the privilege of seeing some lives changed, I couldn’t help but feel an ache in my heart for the hundreds of children still born into broken families across the country. Church programs that are designed to help individuals can only go so far- there needs to be change at a systemic level for any lasting difference to be made. I believe the church has a role to play in that, and it begins with a willingness to learn about what has happened, and to partner with and pray for those that are actively involved- like Ovide Mercredi. Justice is very close to God’s heart- I believe the more the church gets involved in it, the more doors will be opened to bring Jesus to those that need Him most.

It Takes a Team

Team Roles by Becky Timmons

In the HtH mission statement, there are four components: build community, expand worldviews, develop leaders and fight for justice. When we travel, we seek growth as individuals and as a community in each of these areas. One of the newer initiatives this trip included the disbursement of leadership roles.

The goal was to give all the travelers a greater sense of ownership in the trip, build community internally, expand the worldviews of what is involved in organizing teams and trips, and give opportunity to exercise leadership skills on peers (not an easy task)!

The very first night in Winnipeg we had a team meeting and among other business, roles were outlined and then each traveler had the opportunity to volunteer for a role. In very few cases did we resort to nominations, for the large majority members were excited and eager to take on a specific challenge! Where necessary we elected one champion and a crew to help with the task, for example Ben was our navigator, but since he could not be in 4 different vehicles at once, he had a navigation crew to direct each driver.

Since our trip was segregated into two legs, we imagined that we would choose roles for the first week and then switch everything around for the second week, however we found that people were excelling in the role they had chosen and so we simply traded out roles between people who were only doing one leg of the trip.

Here is a snap shot of each role and who filled it:

Food coordinator: create a meal plan for each day that includes allowances for allergies and preferences, snacks and hydration. Plan shopping trips and organize a team to facilitate taking and placing orders in restaurants.
Champion: Kelly/Peter (Beth, John)

Equipment Manager: ensure that all tech (ie. music stands, ppt or drums) and promotional material (ie. banners, pamphlets) brought on tour is well maintained and taken care of. Organize a team for the set up of tech and promotional equipment. Be the contact person for any ‘on-site’ technical people, collaborate with them to facilitate the tech needs of HtH for any concert or event.
Champion: Shaun (Becky, Ben, Kate K-promo)

Packing Guru: responsible for the efficient and careful packing of all HtH tech, promo material, individual baggage and personal belongings. Create a team and system of packing that ensures all belongings have been accounted for.
Champion: Winnipeg leg-Torri (Christina, Sebastian), Ontario leg-Mitch D. (Ben, Barron)

Navigator: in collaboration with the drivers, the navigator will plan efficient routes for the day’s activities. This person must prepare by bringing maps that can be accessed without an Internet connection. This person will also ensure the integrity of the van convoy.
Champion: Ben (Peter, David, Kelly, others with smart phones!)

Schedule Keeper: this person must coordinate with Beth on the schedule of events for the day. This person will then communicate that schedule to HtH participants. Note: this person does not create the schedule for the day, but is responsible to know enough to answer questions about it. This person will also be conscious about time required by each event for travel, prep and other time concerns so that they can consult with Beth on the schedule.
Champion: David

First Contact: this person will be the first contact for any HtH event. They will meet with the contact person of the event to determine the details of the event (ie. where are dressing rooms, what time is sound check, etc.) this person will also act as the point person for any HtH members questions. Champion: Alanna (Beth)

Keeper of the Purse: for any monies collected for HtH purposes, this person will keep a detailed accounting of the money received and for whom. This person will also keep track of money and receipts where costs incurred will later be charged to HtH participants. A detailed accounting of all the tour’s financial dealings will be required upon return from the tour.
Champion: Winnipeg leg-Sebastian, Ontario leg-Mitch

Fun Director: this person will work with the schedule keeper to find time to release the tension of the group through fun and uplifting activities (ie. van games, tour secret santa, wide games, etc.) keep in mind that these activities are purposes to bring the community closer together relationally.
Champion: Peter/Kelly (John, Christina)

Billet Coordinator: when billets are required, this person will assign HtH members with host families and coordinate with the host home providers. This person is also responsible to communicate all pertinent information to the host home (ie. what time they need to be back, what they need to fees them, make sure they have contact info, ect). This person must be fair and impartial as they make their billet assignments, making sure there is variety in HtH members who stay together.
Champion: Christina (Jen R)

Thank you Cards: this role takes on the responsibility to get the cards signed AHEAD of time. Must be prepared with blank cards at all times as there will often be ‘spur of the moment’ opportunities. This person will also present the cards on behalf of the group. Make sure that the billets get a card as well.
Champion: Winnipeg leg-Vicki, Ontario leg-Jen D

Complaint Director: this person will be the point person for all complaints in the group. They will keep track of complaints that happen through out the day. They will brainstorm 3 possible solutions to the problem with the person presenting the request. At the end of each day, this person will present the concerns and solutions to the lead team for final decisions. Complaints that require immediate response and action will be brought to the lead team at the appropriate time.
Champion: Winnipeg leg-John V, Ontario leg-Jen R `

Chaplain: the Chaplain is responsible for creating appropriate times of spiritual formation. This can take the form of devotional times (led by the Chaplain or others), worship time and prayer time. The Chaplain will also advocate to the lead team for extended times of spiritual connection, quiet times or journaling.
Champion: Reid (Kelly, Alanna, John F, John V)

Chronicler: this role is crutial to our extended network who are following the progress of our trip via facebook, blog, ect. This person is responsible to find people in HtH to journal their experiences for the Blog. This involves having a good idea of who was profoundly affected by an experience and encouraging them in the right way to share that emotion. This person is also responsible to work with the group photographer to collect and post pictures of relevant experiences. The final task is to post the material being sure to collect permissions from the sited organizations and people.
Champion: Winnipeg leg-Vicki (David, Reid, Becky), Ontario leg-Katie P (Jen D, Reid, Barron), Calgary wrap up-Beth, Facebook – Jen D

Last Man Out: generally a solo role, this person makes sure that all people and belongings for HtH are cleared from any given room or building after HtH has entered it. The role is as it sounds, be the last person out of everywhere we go to make sure nothing is left behind.
Champion: Jon F.

As I reflect on this new initiative, I really feel as though it really allowed for developing leaders to exercise those muscles through a task and an in an environment where they would not normally lead. We saw great leadership shine through our team and it is exciting to think of where these skills will take us in the future!

Day 5: CMU, May 29

Canadian Mennonite University by Beth McLean Wiest

There are many Mennonites in Winnipeg and in southern Manitoba (and southern Saskatchewan). Mennonites follow the teachings of Menno Simons, an Anabaptist religious leader in the early 1500s (hence the name Menno-nites). They are a people who fled persecution before ending up in Canada. I don’t know what you know about Mennonites, but (as a gross generalization) they are wonderful people who highly value peacemaking, social justice and living out faith in every moment. They try to live very frugally and simply.

I had the privilege of teaching in a Mennonite school for 5 years and my sons now attend that school. While my husband and I are not Mennonite by heritage or by Christian denomination, we share the same core values. We love that the values our sons are taught at school are the same as those they are taught at church and that we teach at home. When we decided to take Harmony through Harmony to Winnipeg, we spoke with some of our Mennonite friends for suggestions of accommodations… and that led us to choosing Canadian Mennonite University to be our headquarters for our stay in Winnipeg.

CMU is a very bare bones campus. It was an excellent economic decision for us to stay there. We rented out apartment suites giving us the option of making breakfasts and bag lunches instead of eating out all the time. We were able to rent a classroom for our day with Marcel Hadisty and Steve Bell and with Ovide Mercredi. The staff worked to accommodate our every request.

From the start, we viewed the trip across Canada as a “ground tilling” trip to make connections and build relationships. As such, we didn’t book any venue for an HtH concert. Our one big pre-booked performance in Winnipeg (May 30th) was a fundraiser at a venue with an audience that always meets at that venue at that time- a sure audience. We figured God would open doors for us to sing wherever and we would step through those doors whenever they opened.

Once we arrived in Winnipeg, there ended up being friends and family who couldn’t attend the May 30th event but wanted to see our group perform… so we approached CMU to see if it would be possible to rent their chapel facility for a performance.

To our surprise, not only was it available but it was very economical!

With a 48-hour window, we decided to put on a concert. We let our connections know, sent a few notes home to people in Calgary for their connections, Steve Bell posted it on his site and we waited in faith for an audience.

We were thrilled to have a very attentive audience of about 20 people show up. They were family, friends and two Steve Bell fans! Our audience of 20 ended up giving us over $300, covering the cost of the facility rental. Perfect! Next time we are in Winnipeg we will hope to plan a concert at CMU and encourage our new Winnipeg HtH fans to help us fill the house!