August 7, 2021, Lake Superior Estates, Sault Sainte Marie, MI
From its extreme depths to its variety of orchids, from its enormous volume of fresh water to its great snowfalls, this is an amazing place to live. Imagine living at the crossroads of America, and it’s not in Kansas but in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where 90% of all the iron ore used in the US passes through the Soo Locks every year. This is also a place with a great history and an ever expanding vision.
A foreign exchange student, only arriving three days ago from Spain, and living with a couple of volunteers who came to help said, “I am going to love America if this is what it is like!” We would wholeheartedly agree! Not only was this ‘America’ in a microcosm but it was the Lake Superior Estates and Impact Cares in a nutshell. People helping people who need a helping hand. The couple who this student is staying with actually installed a ‘handrail’ on a deck to continue to be a ‘help’ to those who will use it in the future.
A pastor from Uganda, a country near to my heart as I have taught there, was also amazed by what he experienced. He was not aware ‘communities like this existed in the US.’ What a great testimony for him to bring home to his country someday. He and team member David were able to bless, encourage and speak into the lives of several folks during the day.
Camp Impact was a great success. We had a local youth pastor who came, helped out and connected with many of the kids. This community, like the lake close by, is deep and wide in terms of caring for one another. One child who had an ‘accident’ was surrounded by other kids who helped him get back home to change with the least embarrassment possible. This was so cool to see which is in contrast to much of the ‘shallowness’ we often see in our culture of making fun of those who struggle or have challenges in life.
Amy, one of Impact Cares team members reported that the pastor from one of the churches that came out to help bless this community said, “I met a whole group of people in this city I didn’t even know were here. We will be back!” Those sorts of comments make it all worthwhile – connecting people with people, building relationships, pointing people toward the Lord.
While building a deck for one resident, the next door neighbor came over with lunch. Why? As the Impact Cares team member reported, this neighbor after looking out his window, “He said to himself, “Who are these people that would work in the rain to build a deck for someone they don’t even know?” Not only was this a compliment to Impact Cares, but it was a greater compliment to this community as that is what they do, help one another and put those words into action by making lunch, volunteering, bringing snacks and just being there for one another.
That’s the story of a grandmother and Special Olympian grandson! She came up to Dee, on of Impact Cares team member, gave her a big hug and just said, “Thank you, thank you!” When asked, “What for?” the grandma said, “for being so nice to her grandson!” Both of these precious people were a great help all day, worked long and hard and were so appreciative not only of what together we had accomplished but also of how the team and the community accepted her grandson with the challenges he has in life. Again, thank you Impact Cares for what you do, not only in blessing communities but also for bringing people together to bless one another!
Russ Ooms on behalf of Impact Cares