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Far North By Betsey Reznor Mélanie and I looked over the items in the car one more time. Food? Check. Tent and ministry supplies? Check. Toilet? Check. Toilet?!? Yes, we had a toilet in the car. Well, not a real toilet, but a bucket turned toilet. We were heading north to Rapids Seven for a week of VBS in the bush with missionaries Dave and Marsha West, and that meant tent camping. Neither of us had been camping before. I think the closest I ever got was falling asleep once on a trampoline. But we were excited about the prospect of spending a week with the Wests, helping out with their VBS in the bush. We had been told that, along with our other equipment, we would need to take our own toilet. So, into the car it went. Dave and Marsha West are missionaries serving the Lord in Malartic, Quebec. They work mostly with the Cree and Algonquin tribes. In the summer, many of the First Nations people head to their camps in the bush, so the Wests head to the bush, too. They hold a morning VBS for the kids and evening services for the adults. Of course, if a few adults show up for the morning VBS, they are welcomed. Mélanie and I found out quickly that the boys and girls always came back in the evening for the “adult” service. After setting up camp, we all met together in one of the larger tents that 16 would serve as shelters for VBS classes in case of rain. Pastor West went over the daily schedule with us and with a group that had come up from Pennsylvania. They were camping with us that week, too, and we were all there to help the Wests with VBS. As the week passed, we got to know each other better, and we all became one team serving the Lord together. The fellowship was great. The daily schedule was simple. After eating breakfast and spending time with the Lord, we played with the children as they started arriving for VBS. Each person helped out in whatever way was needed (handing out materials for crafts, telling a missionary story, singing at the top of one’s lungs, playing in the sand with the little ones). Then came lunch and maybe a shower (really a swim in the lake) or a nap. Dinner was followed by an evening service. Since most of the kids came back for the evening service, we all took turns sitting with them and helping Mrs. West with the little ones. After everyone went home, it was time for marshmallows, fellowship around the campfire, and bed. One thing I loved about VBS in the bush was how relaxed everything was. Sometimes, a little one would break away from his class and toddle over to where his mom was listening to the evening service. She would pick him up, put him on her lap, and go on listening. No one minded that the little one had wandered