Mennonite Heritage Village

History is With Us Now

by Gary Dyck

My reasons for watching sports are atypical. It is not about seeing ‘my team’ win but having a chance to release emotion whether glad or sad. It is about observing human character, community, culture, and history in a super-charged format. To see how trust and believing in the depth of your community help ordinary teams like the Montreal Canadiens make it to the Stanley Cup final. To see how events can play out over years of hard work in the background. There are many lessons for us today, that I believe our ancestors learned centuries past when they needed community to thrive.

The Canadian women’s soccer team Olympic gold win this past week has a lesson for us. History is with us right now. Their long-time captain Christine Sinclair worked for decades to help her community reach a point where it could succeed in a huge way, and it wasn’t just about her goal scoring ability.

As sports-writer Justin Cuthbert wrote after the golden win:
“It was not the dominant tournament we have come to expect from Sinclair. She scored once. She missed a crucial penalty. She drew the most critical foul of the gold-medal match. She handed the opportunity to consolidate it off to Fleming, just as she did in the semi-final. She limped around a lot. She needed substitutions.”

Those indescribable moments Sinclair has had on the Olympic stage — many of which have dragged Canada to results perhaps that weren’t deserved — weren’t there this time around. But the beauty is that they didn’t have to be.
Sinclair helped shape the future with her decades of dominance. And the future just paid her back in full.”

The future paid her past back in full. Or as Scripture puts it, ‘you will reap what you sow’. At the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) we give everyone the opportunity to see the wisdom of those adages in real time. We experience benefit today, because of what others have done for our community in the past. It’s in the village system that they set up, how they made major decisions to move to a freer country as a community, the generous work ethic that still helps us today.

Visitors to MHV are often inspired by what others from the past have endured and accomplished. I hope you can take the time to visit us this summer and find courage to keep going through these major world events of COVID and Climate Change. We may get tired, we may limp, but the future may pay us back yet.

Upcoming Events

  • MHV grounds and galleries are now open seven days a week to all (non-vaccinated and vaccinated alike). ‘Demonstration Days’ are every Saturday. Come see a variety of heritage skills in action, eat our famous waffles with vanilla sauce and have a wagon ride with the kids.
  • Village Books & Gifts is open seven days a week to all!
  • Livery Barn Restaurant open daily starting at 11am for lunch. Dine-in, patio or take-out are all available even for those not yet fully vaccinated.
  • Mennonites at War Speaker Series, August 17, 7:30 p.m. Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen will be presenting “On the Frontlines of the Chaco War (1932-35): Locating Mennonite Settlers Amid Twentieth Century Latin America’s Largest Interstate Conflict” in this online event. Register on our website:
  • Tractor Trek, August 21. Watch classic tractors parade the roads near Steinbach (see website for details to come soon) and show your support. Mental health services are needed now more than ever. All funds raised will be split 50/50 between Eden Health and MHV.