By Gary Dyck
Hear our prayer, O LORD!
Listen to our cries for help!
Don’t ignore our tears.
For we are Your guests –
travelers passing through,
as our ancestors were before us.
Last Sunday 50 people gathered near a Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) monument built to remember the suffering and deaths our ancestors endured in that same land a hundred years ago. The reason for the gathering was to pray for Ukraine. We took the verse above and transformed it into a communal prayer. Look at the verse again. Could this be the life verse of the Mennonites?
In our brief 500 years of existence, we have faced a lot of tragedy and relocation. It is hard to imagine that there once were numerous Mennonite villages in Poland and around 300 villages in Russian domains that no longer exist because of intentional persecution and coercive displacement. We have prayed and cried many times and we know what it is to be a pilgrim in this world with no lasting home into that land. More details below and on our website.
It is wonderful how we have rebuilt our lives again in Canada; however, memorials like the Mennonite Victims of Violence monument remind us to hold our possessions lightly. We remember to not build up personal kingdoms for our own gain, but to keep building up society, investing in others and our faith. Life is fleeting and yet so precious. May we keep looking out for one another as we pass through this world as our ancestors did before us.
In the meantime, MHV is preparing for the major snow melt we will be having this spring. I will be clearing some snow off our flat roof. We have over 16,000 artefacts in our collections department and and our new roof protects those treasures. Also, the snow melt on our grounds will also be monitored for build-up or blockages. We certainly don’t want flooding around our heritage buildings. Thankfully, we have a couple of volunteers who are adept at making the needed adjustments with our new Kubota tractor.
Let us know if you would be interested in volunteering at MHV this year. There will be an orientation April 26th. We are excited to be able to open our grounds this year and hope for a full slate of events and activities all summer long! Hear all about it at our upcoming AGM in April and how our 2021 was (see upcoming events below).
MHV’s galleries and Village Books & Gifts are open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm. Our award-winning ‘Mennonites at War‘ exhibit is closing April 1st, so be sure to visit it this week!
The Great Easter Egg Hunt, Apr 16 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Bring the children and join in the fun as we hunt for Easter eggs and kick off Spring at the museum.
Annual General Meeting, April, exact date TBA. Check our website for the latest information. Members and the general public are all invited to MHV’s AGM held in the Auditorium at the Mennonite Heritage Village. Come to hear reports from 2021 and the exciting plans for the upcoming year at the museum.
Garden plots are once again being offered at MHV. There are thirty plots available. See our website for more details.