A fascinating story from Russia

Angie (Neilson) Boxma arrived home at the end of July having spent nearly 3 weeks as a volunteer

Angie (Neilson) Boxma arrived home at the end of July having spent nearly 3 weeks as a volunteer with the Agape Medical Mission in Russia. The Evangelical-Missionary Church of Canada partners with Agape and Angie learned about this mission through her church in Castor. She took a couple of days to acclimatize at an Agape farm near Moscow, then travelled by train to Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, and then South to the Republic of Kalmyk. In Kalmykia she worked with underprivileged children, teaching English, playing sports and games ( trampoline, parachute games, ping pong, volleyball, Uno etc.) and doing crafts.

Angie stayed with a Baptist preacher and his family. The Church ladies cooked and served amazing food.

The people of Kalmykia are descendants from Ghengis Khan and are similar in looks to our Inuit people. These people are warm, friendly, great cooks, very hospitable and grateful to those who teach their children. Other Russian people live in the community too and there are no signs of racism. Her favourite memories of this time were playing volleyball every night with the youngsters and of riding a Kalymykian horse bareback and not falling off.

Before returning home, Angie had the opportunity to visit and tour Saint Petersburg, formerly named Leningrad and referred to as the Vienna of the North.

Her favourite place was Peterhof, a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg with plans laid out on the orders of Peter the great. There were acres and acres of gardens, not unlike the Butchart gardens in Victoria. There were flowers, fountains and statues painted gold. She was thrilled to watch as the kids jumped in the fountains to swim and play in the spray park in their underwear.

Angie saw lots of similarities between our countries including the familiar McDonalds and KFC written in Russian.

Angie will be recalling her experiences at the Church in Castor in the future.

Sympathy to the family of Dick Neilson, who recently passed away. Dick and his wife Joan lived in Parksville, B.C.

Visiting with Anne Neilson, Bert and Cindy Neilson and family was Mike Neilson and his friend Anna from Burnaby, B.C.

Congratulations to Amber Creasey and Chris Hansel, who were married Aug. 2 in the Rotary Park in Stettler with the reception and dance to follow in the Hall. The newlyweds will make their home near Bonnyville.

Congratulations to Lucas Howe and Sharlaine Burris on the arrival of their second child, a 7 lb. 1 oz. baby girl, Zoe Catherine Grace, born on July 17 in Stettler. Zoe has an older brother Zander who is 17 months old. Proud grandparents are Darrell and Joanne Howe and Don and Alanna Parsons.

Congratulations to Bob and Della Jones who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 31. when all the family gathered for dinner out in Red Deer last week. This week they are camped at Lac des Isles, a lake in Northern Saskatchewan with daughter Lila and Keith McLaughlin. They have had a get together with Della’s relatives in the area.

Congratulations to Randi (Howe) Campbell who completed her Masters of Social work from the U of C in June. She will be working in the school system as a family/school resource worker in Strathmore staring in September.

Coming up: Elks annual Bull-a-rama on August 23.