The Rugged Hands Men’s Ministry fall retreat at Camp Kintail was, as always, a wonderful success. 12 guys made the trek up Hwy 21 to the shores of Lake Huron. There, we worked, we played, we worshipped, we ate like kings, and we built strong friendships.

Friday night, everyone gathered in the hall. Adolph had built a roaring fire in the fireplace and we gathered around, to talk, to play cards and to nibble at the snacks that Scott and Ed had brought up.

Saturday morning, we woke up to a wonderful breakfast, prepared by Ed & Steven. After breakfast, George lead us in our morning devotional from the Book of John 14:6; before meeting with the staff from Kintail to go over the projects for the day.

Scott, and his team, went off into the bush to chop down dead and leaning trees, split logs and haul the brush and wood out to the laneways. Adolph painted doors, windows and his pants (an inside joke), all while keeping that fire roaring. Ed, Rod and Alexander built 5 picnic tables. The picnic tables have become something of a tradition at our Kintail weekends. Over the past 5 years, we’ve built more than 70 picnic tables. Jeremy and his team assembled rocking chairs and light standards. Steven organized the shed and cleaned the roof of Harmony House.

With our work done, we kicked back for an hour or so, swapping stories from the day. No trip to Kintail would be complete without a walk along the beach. Kintail occupies a beautiful stretch of Lake Huron shoreline. Even in late fall, the raw beauty of Lake Huron is still magnificent.

Our dinner, ribs done to perfection with the meat falling off the bones, baked potatoes and vegetables, was fabulous as Saturday evening dinner always is.

After dinner, Adolph shared his story with us. The story of his family’s survival through the hell that was Poland, Russia and Germany through the Second World War was a fascinating glimpse into this period in our history.

Sunday morning, after another wonderful breakfast, we gathered in front of the fire for our Sunday morning service. Alexander led us in worship and Alejandro shared the message.

Starting with Psalm 22 and Job 6, Alejandro spoke of the challenges that we face throughout life. He spoke about how God can seem so distant at times. But, he brought us back to the reality that God is always with us, even in those dark times. He spoke about finding joy even in those dark moments, using Acts 16:22-25. He spoke of the joy that comes with doing God’s will.

After a few minutes of prayer and reflection, in small groups, we gathered back together to sing one last song, before departing and heading home.

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