The MacCormack familiy is the pastoral family of the Baptist church in Baddeck.
We didn’t meet them until after the Knechtles had left. To tell the truth, we only met them on the third Sunday we spent in Cape Breton Island. On our second Sunday we still had our hired car and could drive through to the Margaree church.
On our third Sunday we didn’t have a car, so we couldn’t drive over to Margaree again. However, the McNiels, (friends of the Knechtles who attend the Margaree church), told us about a Baptist church in Baddeck.
It is always difficult going to a new church, knowing that you have no idea what you will find. It was a comfort that this one had been recommended to us by people we know, but it’s still not easy.
We (of course) walked to the church. It wasn’t very far and we found it with relative ease. Because of being six people, we tend to stand out when we go to a new church. It is even more noticeable when the gathering is small, as was the case in Baddeck. We weren’t familiar with the songs they sang but the soundness of te words were comforting.
After the service, we learned that it hadn’t actually been Phil MacCormack who had preached, but the yourh pastor from the Margaree church. The MacCormacks invited us to lunch at their house and we accepted.
The MacCormack family is made up of: Uncle Phil (Dad); Aunty Jennipher (Mom); Caleb (18); Naomi (16); Sarah (14) and Elijah (10). So, except for Elijah, who is about two years younger than Sophia, their ages complimented ours pretty well.
From them we got the full account that ‘Winter in Cape Breton means snow’. It was fun to not be the only exotic ones about. 😉 They told us that everything has heaters! All the houses are insulated, cars have mechanisms that heat the seats and the steering wheels – even the plumbing gets special treatment!
Another mind-set foreign to us is the “Summer job”. Coming from South Africa, there is never a minor job that a kid can do that somebody supporting a family doesn’t need more. You get the odd “Entrepreneurs day” and even kids who do a lot of odd jobs to save-up some money. But the complete ‘everybody gets a Summer job’ and that your Summer revolves around that fact, just isn’t there.
We spent quite a lot of the following week with the MacCormacks. We hiked to a waterfall with them and that same night had a sleepover. We took all of our laundry to their house and they just accommodated us with the most gracious of smiles. I have tried out quite a few sentences to try and express just how comfortable and welcome we felt in their home, but I don’t think I’ll be able to express it exactly right. It was an amazing picture to me of how we are truly family if we are grounded in God’s love, part of His church.
We were adopted into the McCormack household as if that were just the natural order of things!
All through the week that we visited with the McCormacks, my Dad was watching the weather closely. We needed a weather window that would last us all the way to New York. (At that stage the plan was to shoot directly to New York.)
That weekend the McCormacks had a family camp they needed to attend, so we arranged to bring our laundry over early on the Friday.
We arrived and did laundry, visiting with them while we were there. Then our Dad came and announced that there was a hurricane on the radar. It never did anything spectacular – fizzled into a tropical storm before reaching New York. But it’s never smart to plan to be somewhere where there might be strong winds. So, since we weren’t sailing anymore, the McCormacks offered us a lift to the camp!
The McNeils had already offered us a ride to the camp, but at the time we had declined, since we were planning to leave Baddeck before the weekend. However, in the end everything worked out perfectly – we got a lift to the camp with the McCormacks and the McNeils said we could use their car to travel between camp and the boat during the weekend. *Sigh* Isn’t God’s timing wonderful?
We had an amazing weekend of camp, with people who really seek the Lord, wanting to know more about Him. We’ve been in some pretty strange churches on our trip so far, but we felt so very at home there. I actually miss the people I met there almost more than the people back in South Africa for two reasons: one, they are fresher in my memory, and two (the important one) I’ll probably not see them again in this life. So remembering makes me both sad and happy at the same time.
Caleb left directly from the camp to drive through to Sidney, because he started University that week. One of the things that stemmed from his moving out, was that we were given some sweaters he was throwing out. ^_^ Being too small for him to wear, they supplemented our “tropically-orientated” wardrobes somewhat. For us, their autumn really feels like our winter! (Imagine me puffing up like a little sparrow, all indignant and fluffy.)
To us the week-and-a-bit that we knew the McCormacks, felt like a lot longer, and they will be sorely missed on our further travels!