From July 8 to 10, nearly 200 seniors from the GTA, Durham region, Western Ontario and Southern Ontario had a ball visiting a full-sized replica of Noah’s Ark with biblical dimensions and the Creation Museum, both in Kentucky. By the end of the trip, they were already asking, “When’s the next trip? And where?”
Noah's Ark is one of several outings for seniors coordinated by the Ontario Conference – Seniors’ Ministry Department. Notably, more ethnicities were represented among the seniors than before; moreover, more seniors participated than in the past, which demonstrates the growth of seniors’ clubs across the Conference.
Pastor Mansfield Edwards, Conference president and Seniors’ Ministry director, was pleased to have a few individuals over 90 on board. One was Sister Viola Beswick, who turned 94 on Tuesday, the 10th. Upon learning of her birthday, Edwards presented her with a gift, and all seniors sang for her. Another senior, Sister Alma Smart-Wheeler, 93, was there with her senior daughter and senior nieces.
Edwards was moved—nearly to tears—by several individuals who indicated they don’t go anywhere apart from church, haven’t been out in years and the subsidized trip was a God-send. He encouraged them to exchange contact information so they could keep in touch by phone, pray with and encourage one another. Edwards stated, “It was such a blessing for them to be out and forging new friendships for life.”
The seniors’ trip was also an occasion for seniors to feel included and gain enthusiasm for the Conference’s Earth Day summit, scheduled for April 21, 2019.
During breakfast on the last day of the trip, the seniors surprised Edwards by spontaneously singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Edwards was deeply touched and humbled by the overwhelming appreciation seniors expressed to him daily for his passion and love for them, and the difference he and the Seniors’ Ministry are making in their lives.