YPBC Partnership with Oneida Nation of the Thames


"Shekoli, shekoli, shekoli to you..." These were the first words of a song that the children of Oneida sang to our mission team from Yorkminster Park. The word shekoli means "Hello" or "Welcome" in their native language. The happy strains of this song welcomed us to their community.

In the summer of 2015, Yorkminster Park began an exciting mission partnership with First Oneida Baptist Church. Oneida is located on a First Nations reserve near London, Ontario. A team of thirteen members traveled to Oneida and led a day camp for 58 children and youth. Shirley Gleadall, pastor of First Oneida, was our host. The camp sessions were held at the Standing Stone Elementary School. The children were lively and engaging, and our leaders formed wonderful bonds and connections.

Every year since, we have returned to Oneida. Attendance has grown and so has our mission team! If you would like a new adventure in mission and service, please pray and consider joining our team. Contact Rev. Dale Rose for more information.

To view photos from our mission, click here.  

Below are some stories and anecdotes from our last trip:

• A young girl named Emma, whose mother had never heard the stories about Jesus. She said she asked her daughter to share with her each night everything she had learned about God at the camp.

• A Zumba dance night, where the older girls could learn about fitness and nutrition, followed by healthy snacks.

• Preaching at the First Oneida Baptist Church, and seeing a family attend who came with their children because they knew we were holding the day camp the next day. They hadn't been to church before, but came because the kids remembered us from last summer.

• Singing "Jesus Loves Me" in the Oneida language.

• Seeing our team work together - learning about native culture; seeing the beautiful children; hearing about the needs of the families.

• Hearing about the racism and prejudice toward our First Nations people, and all the barriers they face.

• Delivering baby clothes, knitted goods, and prayer shawls from our Dorcas group and other knitters. These will be given to young moms and seniors in the residence.

• Having some older Oneida youth teach and demonstrate native dance and culture.

• Lots of hugs. 

As a team from our church, we very much felt the presence of God in our midst each day at Oneida. We sensed your prayers and continuing support. We continue to pray for the Oneida people - the People of the Standing Stone.

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