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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Huntsville G8 and '58

President Obama must be impressed with his accommodations at Huntsville, Ontario. Huntsville, about a two-hour drive north of Toronto is the site of the 2010 G8 Conference. Located in the Muskoka region, Huntsville offers excellent Canadian scenery and abundant wildlife. I know Huntsville because Gloria and I visited there in the fall of 1958, a few months after our June 7th wedding.

A church in the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada had invited me to candidate for the position of pastor and had booked Gloria and me into a local motel. Our accommodations were vastly different from those of the current G8 leaders. They are guests at Huntsville’s luxurious, 800-acre Deerhurst Resort, whereas in 1958 Gloria and I stayed at a small motel about five grades below rustic. A tiny bathroom separated our cramped room from a room occupied by hunters. We entered the bathroom from our room; the hunters entered it from theirs.

Because it was moose-hunting season, all the men of the church, except one elderly fellow, were stalking moose in Muskoka. Consequently, only a largely female congregation heard me preach.

After church, we ate at a home where a rat had fallen into the well, and the hostess served undercooked pork. It was almost as pink as our faces were when we learned we would share a bathroom with hunters.

My memory may dim as my age advances, but I don’t think I will ever forget the Huntsville experience Gloria and I shared 52 years ago. Many older pastors learned a long time ago to say, “Where He leads me I will follow. What He feeds me I will swallow.” I don’t think the G8 leaders at Huntsville will have to swallow anything unsavory, and I hope you and I don’t have to swallow any unsavory policies they cook up there.