This weekend was a great celebration at the Laotian Corps, now known as New Heights Community Church. I had not been in the building since 1995 and I so enjoyed returning.
In some ways, not much has changed. I remember the cross mounted on the ceiling and of course there is the cement block construction. But that’s what happens to these buildings. They wer built to last and last they do – for a long time. I suspect this one was built in the 1960’s.
I always like to look around the building, not only for how well is it being maintained but what has been placed on the walls that tell you something about the place. From 1984 is that fire notice. Still in it’s frame and still is in force, I assume.
The people of the corps are not entirely from Laos, they come from other southeast Asian countries but they have quite a bit in common. Thus the change of name to reflect their committment to move beyond the Laotian community to engage many cultures.
I was particularily taken by this photo hanging on the wall. It shows the young men – the boys – who were an intergal part of my corps cadet class and the music program. They all came to Camp Selkirk, but not in uniform, and have grown to be the leaders of the corps today. The young man kneeling on the right died a young man and one other lives in another city. But the refugees who came to Canada from Laos, began as labourers and many became very successful business owners.
This couple were teens who I taught all those years ago – here they are doing the advent reading this morning. We had a great chat catching up on all the things which have happened down through the years. The small mercy seat had many people at it during our prayer and reflection time. They will not approach the mercy seat with shoes on – they only come in sock or bare feet. They are enormously respectful.
There were many who wanted a photo after the service – Tina told me I was a celebrity! I don’t think that is true but we do have a long association. And I was humbled to have this wonderful opportunity.
I will be praying for them for a long time.