Monday, October 15, 2018

Visit to Compassionate Warehouse

by Janet Mitchell

On Friday, October 12, 2018, Barbara, Bin-Sie, Linda, Janet and I went to the Compassionate Warehouse in Esquimalt.  

We learned that the mission venture began in 1999 by a retired RN, Dell Marie Wergeland.  When she returned from a visit to impoverished, Honduras, she decided she must do something to help. Dell attends the Church of the Nazarene and the church supported her efforts. The first container full of needed items went to Honduras that year.  Since then there have been 471 containers sent to various places in the world.  The 472 container is currently in Delta getting loaded on a ship to Moldova. It costs $10,000 to $15,000 to ship one container.
 Sometimes specific requests are made.  Orphanages may need plates or cutlery. Ground sheets and blankets may be needed following a disaster in an impoverished country.  There are also times when many sewing machines are sent to a volunteer teaching sewing in a poor area. Electric sewing machines are okay to donate because they can often convert them to be used with a hand crank.
The containers are full of medical supplies, medical equipment, tools, clothing, school supplies, sports equipment, non-breakable kitchen wares, sewing machines, sewing kits, hospital linen, household linen, towels, toys (non battery), embroidery supplies, wool, crochet supplies, art supplies, kitchen utensils and cutlery, kitchen pots and pans and 5 gallon cleaned buckets with lids. 

The workers use biscuit tins to pack cutlery or tools, etc. Shoe boxes and other durable boxes are packed with various items.  Every tin, bucket, box, etc. is labeled with its contents and by number.  The numbers tell them when the items arrived so that they can ship out the oldest items first.  Shoe stores give them boxes.  However, they would be pleased to receive your biscuit tins or boxes, too.

  Electrical appliances are not accepted as most of the countries where the containers are sent have no electricity.  A retired registered physiotherapist volunteers regularly in Haiti. She cleverly refits wheelchairs to suit those in needs.  She is currently refitting a wheelchair to suit a young boy.  It is wonderful she is so handy at adapting the equipment changing the wheelchairs or walkers.  
One volunteer was in the yarn and material section. 
She does quilting and a group of volunteers take small pieces of material home to make quilts to send overseas.  Our tour guide normally works in the office and school supply section.  In this section the workers sort supplies for students into donated backpacks.  Items useful for teachers are separated as well.  One elderly man takes home pencils to sharpen and discards pens that do not work before they are shipped.
There were men at the warehouse organizing tools. They need to sand off rust from tools or tighten screws, etc. They spend a lot of time sorting screws and nails into the correct sizes. They also carefully wrap long handled tools like shovels so that the sharp ends do not cause harm to anyone when the containers are opened. 
Stuffed animals are used as packing material and also bring joy to young children.
Old sheets are used for bandages so do donate faded and even sheets with holes. They are needed.  The people receiving items are very appreciative. They make good use of everything.  There were numerous pictures of happy people holding or using donated items such as the smiling children in the Ukraine with donated bicycles or the two happy teenage girls in Iran holding sewing machines.  There was also a very happy young woman wearing a donated wedding dress. 

The warehouse is open on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Volunteers are always welcome and can work as little as an hour each month.  The warehouse is located on Devonshire Road in Esquimalt.  For more information phone (250) 381-4483 or email them at Their website is:

Monetary gifts and donations of useful items are very welcome.  At SPPC we have a large box for donated items.  It is located under the coat hangers near our front entrance.  There is a big CW sign on it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thanksgiving Anytime

During our stretch of sunshine at the end of September I got into Thanksgiving mode a little early.  

We picked pumpkins, 

harvested apples,

and gathered seeds for next year's flowers.


We were dazzled by dahlias and 
 enchanted by late blooming roses. 

 I couldn't help but think,
All good gifts around us,
Are sent from Heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all His love.

The harvest table set in the sanctuary on Thanksgiving Sunday, lovely though it is, is a mere representation of the bounty God provides, every day. Let us remember His goodness when the rain falls and the skies are gloomy. That too is a blessing.  

He sends the snow in winter, 
the warmth to swell the grain, 
the breezes and the sunshine, 
and soft, refreshing rain.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Go to the Source

I grew up with the iconic television series, “Perry Mason.” starring Raymond BurrIt came on an hour past our bedtime, but if we got into our pyjamas and stayed very quiet and unobtrusive, we could usually stay up and watch.  I really wanted to be Della.
So, when I saw a classic movie channel showing a 1930’s film of Perry Mason, I tuned in to watch.  I thought it would be fun to see another actor in the role.
I was astounded.  The Perry Mason in the movie was nothing like the one portrayed by Raymond Burr.  This Perry moonlighted as a chef in a fancy restaurant.  He spent his off hours attending swanky parties and was a bit of a womanizer.  Long-suffering Della wasn’t even invited.
I set out to find the real Perry Mason.  It took some time, but I finally found one of the books by Erle Stanley Gardner. I settled down to discover the character as written by the author. 

We do somewhat the same thing in Bible Study.  Often we think we know what the Bible says - Christian teaching has been part of our culture for generations - but mistakes can creep in. Factions of society may over-emphasize parts of the message and ignore others. Well-meaning people may mix popular myths into the scriptures. If you care about what the Bible says and what it means to your life, check your sources.
This session we will study the Book of Isaiah. Wednesdays at 9:30 am or 6:30 pm. See you there.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happiness Lies in Contentment

by Janet Smith

Definition of contentment = satisfied, well pleased.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

If happiness lies in contentment, then that’s what we are, happy and contented. A small group recently enjoyed another summer outing from the church.
We are so richly blessed everyday with our daily bread, our clothing, a roof over our heads and here on Southern Vancouver Island, with great weather!
Yes, last Tuesday, was our fourth "Summer Outing” and once again, after much rain (which was really needed after our long dry summer), we enjoyed a day with warm sunny weather.

We spent the day travelling from the Island to Tsawwassen Mills Shopping Centre and enjoyed ourselves shopping, eating and fellowshipping with one another.
 On our return to the Island, I think we all had that feeling of satisfaction and we were well pleased with the shopping we had done and the fellowship we had enjoyed which in return equals contentment.

The Bible tells us to “Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Sometimes it's difficult to say thanks but after a day like this, it was easy to say "thank-you" for the many blessings we had shared, we were all satisfied and well pleased with our day together and had found contentment as mentioned in 1 Timothy 6: 7-8
May you find contentment in whatever you do today....

And speaking of contentment, the congregation was well-satisfied as we helped Emily celebrate her 95th birthday after service. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Memories of Camp Imodene

by Rebekah Cunningham

Have you ever found a place that just feels like home? Somewhere that no matter the day or people feels comfortable and welcoming? A place that brings joy and excitement when you return? For me, Camp Imadene is that place.

This summer, I had the chance to participate in three separate weeks of camp all of which had their very own outcome and lessons. For many years now, our family has been involved with Intermediate 2, a week for children in grades 5-7. As I have served in other positions at this week in previous years, I went into the summer certain that I would lead a cabin of girls. One week, one cabin, that was it. Unbeknownst to me, God had greater plans.

Because I had already applied for the Intermediate camp, I was receiving emails from Imadene asking for volunteers for other weeks. As I received them, I promptly dismissed them. Except for one. Camp Imadene was desperately scrambling for volunteers for Junior camp during the first week of summer. I decided to apply. I arrived at camp, completely oblivious to the challenge ahead of me. In this first week, I met girls from a large variety of backgrounds. Some filled with the spirit of God and others who had never heard of Him. Throughout the week I was able to share stories from the Bible and spend time in prayer with each of the girls. By the end of the week, despite being completely drained of energy, I felt full with the Holy Spirit and an excitement to continue to share God.

When I returned, three weeks later, for the intermediate camp I was beyond excited about what the week would hold. Every day of the week I felt blessed by the joy that my campers brought me and loved sharing stories and answering questions that arose. As part of the camp, any camper that arrives without a Bible has the opportunity to be gifted one. My co-cabin leader and I handed out six Bibles during that week and sent the girls away excited to learn more. By the end of the week, I was not ready to let the girls go and for camp to be over. These 12 girls had brought me so much joy that I was not prepared to go back to normal life.

The last week I participated in was different because instead of serving I was a camper. As I had started my summer at camp, I felt that ending it at camp would be a suitable way to close it.  It really was. The distraction it provided, the friendships it solidified and the advice that was shared with me by my cabin leaders are all things I will forever be grateful for.

Although this summer has only recently ended and Camp Imadene has only just begun their planning for the 2019 summer, I am already excited to see the opportunities that the Lord places in front of me to serve at this incredible camp.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

Who Is the Holy Spirit? 

By R.C. Sproul

 Reviewed by Linda Cliff

The topic of the Holy Spirit is one I have been thinking about for awhile and most books I looked at seemed to be very deep with much theology.  So when I came upon the Crucial Questions Series by Sproul and his booklet about the Spirit I felt I had hit the jackpot.  This series takes topics and discusses them in a pared down way.  So I felt this would be a beginning way to look at the topic of the Holy Spirit.

Sproul opens the booklet with a story of his fiancĂ©e's conversion and her recognition that the Spirit is a person and not a thing.  He goes on to say that it is important for Christians to know who the Holy Spirit is. Since the Biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit is extensive this booklet provides basic answers to the question of who the Spirit is and then touches briefly on some of the important roles He plays in the lives of believers.

Sproul begins with a discussion of the Trinity; he explains that in the Godhead there is one being with three persons.  Already this sounds confusing but with references to scripture and a measured approached the reader is introduced to the Holy Spirit as a person who empowers the people of God not just an abstract force. 

The next chapters describe the Holy Spirit as:
  • The Life Giver
  • The Advocate
  • The Sanctifier
  • The Anointer
  • The Illuminator

These chapters were not easy reads, but Sproul’s use of personal reflections and stories, and references to scripture help the reader to answer the question of who the Spirit is.  The chapter that I found most interesting was The Anointer. This chapter looked at the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament.  When I think of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost comes to mind.  I have never really thought about His work in the Old Testament, so this chapter opened a whole new meaning of who He is and his role in scripture.

I do recommend reading this booklet on the Holy Spirit.  It is less than a 100 pages and it will expand your understanding of His role in the Trinity.  Also the good news is that the booklet is easily down loaded from the Internet so you do not have to go searching for it! Ed. Note: epub and mobi files available here. 

In his introduction Sproul suggests that if you wish a fuller examination of the subject to see his book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit.

Linda Cliff

Monday, September 3, 2018

Missing Choir

While the choir was on summer break, the congregation had the opportunity to enjoy some visiting musicians as well as some of our stalwart soloists.
Raven Baroque, Larry's costumed musical group, enlivened the service one Sunday in August.
Mary Byrne and her golden flute added a special touch to the service in July.

Our own soloists, Janet Mitchell, Janet Smith, and Alice and Tore Valdal shared their talents on various Sundays.  Larry did double duty as organist and cellist.  It is always a treat to hear him on cello.
Before they went on summer break, the choir, and guests, enjoyed a dinner together at Mary's Bleue Moon Cafe .

If you've been missing the choir, they've been missing you too.  Their numbers are depleted. We need more singers.   There is no audition.  If you love to sing, come talk to Larry.  Join the choir and you, too, can have a beginning-of-summer dinner out next June.
Studies show that choral singing improves mood and decreases  stress, depression and anxiety.
Wait, there's more! As a bonus, choir members get the best seats in the sanctuary. 
Practice is Thursday nights at 7:00 pm, beginning Sept. 6.  Hope to see you there.