Village News (July 4, 2019)
By Gary Dyck
The Joy of Hospitality
This Canada Day was my first one as Executive Director at the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). Visiting as a child on this day, I remember my fascination as I roamed the grounds and came upon a concert in the schoolhouse and saw an endless line of ‘dinosaur tractors’ in a shed. I remember my parents giving me red and white birthday cake and seeing storytellers in a variety of heritage buildings. It was endless fun.
Helping to make this event happen is also endless fun – just more tiring. There is joy in being part of something that provides others joy.
The staff and volunteers at MHV are a caring bunch and it was wonderful to see how they helped out when people were needing help and doing what they can to make everything run as smooth as possible.
What a privilege to host a great birthday party for Canada in our community! We had live theatre productions, a clown, mini-concerts, and wagon rides. The windmill was sailing, interpreters were sharing old secrets, and a white tent was brimming with kid’s activities. The Livery Barn Restaurant was serving full-fare prairie soul food, and the Short-Order Booth served 100s of waffles. Our total attendance was 4802, up from 4400 last year.
There is a joy in hosting others. Whether it is a family needing rest from the hot sun, a foreign couple that needs more information or a visitor that just needs someone to chat with -these opportunities are a delight.
In her book, The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp writes: “learning the art of living is learning the art of giving.” It is an art that includes knowing how to receive the giving of others. It is better to give than to receive, but it is still good to receive. To be thankful, to be gracious with the care that others show us. May we always have both in our lives.
We are grateful to Canada for the care we receive as a people. For the provision, we have of clean water, fertile soil and many more resources. We pray that whatever freedom, stability and care we have enjoyed the past 152 years will continue and flourish where it is needed.
Thanks for celebrating with us!