Friday, March 27, 2015

Destination: Big Trout Lake & Wapekeka

With now less than 10% to go to reach my destination of full support, it's time to make our next stop and this time it's a two-for: Big Trout Lake and Wapekeka, Ontario

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug is the official name of a community in the far north-western corner of Ontario.  It's also known as Big Trout Lake, which I find a little easier to pronounce.  Wapekeka is the "sister" community, located just 20 km to the north-east on the shore of Weir Lake.

Big Trout is a mid-sized community of about 900 people and is located about 300 km south of Hudson Bay.  Wapekeka is a smaller community, with a population of about 370.

The LAMP VBS team that goes there hails from Omaha, Nebraska.  The majority of the team goes to Big Trout, but a small contingent is sent to Wapekeka to put on a VBS there.

Big Trout Lake and Wapekeka, like all the communities we go to in Ontario, are completely isolated and are therefore fly-in only as there are no roads going there.  So, the team drives from Omaha to Sioux Lookout, Ontario, then catches a flight to Big Trout, with a group continuing to fly to Wapekeka.

For isolated communities like these, supplies for the year need to be shipped up on winter roads, once the lakes freeze over.  There is typically only a window of a few weeks each winter that these ice roads are suitable for larger trucks.   Warmer winters can make things very challenging as it can decrease the time the roads are suitable and limit the amount of supplies that are able to be shipped in.

The Local Gas Station

Our VBS in these two communities tend to be a bit smaller, with about 60 children coming out at Big Trout Lake and another 20 or so attending Wapekeka. 

This team has faithfully been going to Big Trout Lake since 2002 and expanded to begin teaching VBS in Wapekeka in 2013.  This summer will be their fourteenth year in Big Trout.

Please pray for the communities and children of Big Trout Lake and Wapekeka, as well as for the LAMP VBS team as they return this summer.

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