Can you write a novel?

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It is National Novel Writing Month, which means in the month of November a bunch of people all over the world sit down at their typewriters and computers and try to write 50,000 words. It’s not a finished novel, but a first draft. Why do they do this? Probably the same reason that people try to climb mountains, or ride a bike across the country.

I bring this up because several people I know are trying to write again this November. Linda, my wife has succeeded in writing at least 50,000 words in each of the last five years. Her mother has attempted this as well with some good success. In fact I found out just a few days ago that one of my co-workers is also a closet writer and will be joining over one-hundred thousand other people this year.

I tried this two years ago, and I failed quite badly while winning at the same time. How did I achieve this? I managed to write 10,000 words which is more than I ever wrote before. I did this in a month where I took off a week for a hunting trip, and I was spending my weekends driving back and forth from Winnipeg to Winkler while dating Linda. Now 10,000 words is nowhere near the goal of 50,000 but is probably 6,000 more words than I ever wrote before in my life.

So, if you are interested in writing, go to and join up. There are forums where you can connect with other participants, and there will be some local write-ins too. We’ll post announcements here and on as well.

Are you hungry?

Do you get tired of cooking? Well fall is a great time of year for you since there are so many churches in our community that host fall suppers. This week is no exception as the Blumenort Mennonite Church in Rosetown is holding their annual fall supper this Thursday. The Blumenort Church was originally in Reinland and the former church building is now the Community Centre.

The Supper starts at 5pm and goes until 7pm with Turkey and Ham as the main dish, with corn and mashed potatoes along side. There will also be pie for dessert, and I’ve been assured that there will be some pumkin pie too!

I seem to recall from previous years that there may also be some salads, but since I was saving room for pie I didn’t have any last time I went.

The proceeds from the fall supper will be going to the Blumenort Church’s missions projects. Hope to see you there.

How things are progressing around here

Wow, when we started this web site I knew that I would be working on a lot of interesting features, and that it would lead to bigger things, but I didn’t realize what that REALLY meant. Originally I thought it would be cool to get Carl’s stuff on this site since it is the type of content tat I think of when I think of Reinland. Plautdietch and Southern MB seem to automatically go together in my head and while I don’t understand as much as I’d like to, I thought it would be fitting to have important locally produced content here.

Well maybe it was God planting an idea in my head at the right time since Carl was open to having his work hosted here, and even said that he was looking for something like this when I asked. God really does put things together like that. Of course that doesn’t mean that it worked perfectly the first time (or third either). There were a few things that didn’t work and I had to find a solution, and there are a few things that broke when I did an upgrade on the site which meant I had to fix them again. This sounds like it would be easy, but if you throw a few weeks in between, it’s not always easy to remember what you did the first time.

This has led to some interesting places. I was talking to the South Central Regional Library about their web site and they were having difficulty posting updates to their site. I suggested a new content management system similar to what I put in place here on and they thought it would be a good idea. So after a bit of work was created and after checking their hosting a decision was made that I would become the web host for their site.

I wasn’t quite finished with getting everything in place for the Library when my father-in-law mentions that a few other people from church were talking about putting together a web site for our church. We had discussed this as an idea last year, but because I had just gotten married and hadn’t joined the church yet, I didn’t push things. Now however, there were others that had the same idea so in a rapid flurry of mouse clicking we set up a domain and started trying to figure out what we wanted there.

“Where,” you ask?

Well you can find us at I must warn you that while I write this it still has the default page up and doesn’t look at all like it will in a couple of weeks.

So here I am, host and admin for multiple domains, admin for a few more for my previous boss (there was a layoff, and I occasionally do some work for him, but that’s another story) How did I manage to get myself into this mess, and why do I have such a huge grin on my face?

I’m still not making any money off this site, but it didn’t cost much to begin with. At last count, about 200 more clicks on the ads on the right will get us to the point where we break even. And that will subsidise the church web site too. The library’s web site paid enough to cover my time while teaching me that I spent way more time on creating the site than I first estimated, but I’m very impressed with how it turned out, and it seems they are too. So for now I can supplement my E.I. income with a bit of work, and I get to spend more time with my wife which is good. I really do have an amazing life even if it doesn’t include a big screen TV or a new house. And the big grin… I don’t think it’s leaving anytime soon.

Why Zachries fetalt?

A Low German radio program connecting Low German speaking people throughout the Americas by informing, inspiring, encouraging and entertaining the listeners.

A key passage of Scripture for me has been, Ephesians 3:16-21 where the apostle Paul speaks about being rooted in doing good, and getting to know the power of God’s love.

My mission is to let people know that they:

  • have worth or value
  • are not alone
  • are loved unconditionally

Galileo has an awesome quote: “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

Why am I doing this? I have a love for the Low German people, which I see as a culmination of years of experience, beginning way back when I was just a kid. My parents were missionaries in Mennonite communities as I was growing up. We lived in Paraguay (3 years) and Belize (4 years). Later, my wife and I also served as missionaries in Belize (2 years) and later with our family in Bolivia (7 years).

During our term of service with MCC in Bolivia, we found that in order to reach the Low German speaking people in their colonies, a newspaper would be of great help. I began a newspaper (Menno-Bote) in 1991 which is still being produced today.

Many of my Low German friends are not permitted to have radios, but do anyway. And that’s when the idea of providing them with a wholesome Low German radio program came about. However, in this case that doesn’t mean that the program would be totally evangelistic, or based on preaching the Word of God.

I believe that the spiritual emphasis in the program is important, however, I am striving to talk about things which will interest them. I want to try and incorporate my faith into this program in some way or another.

The half hour program which I produce, consists of approximately 15 minutes of news/interviews, from countries where Low German speaking people live and work. This is followed by approximately 5 – 7 minutes of spiritual reflection or thoughts, and rounding out the half hour, approximately 6 – 8 minutes of stories and humour.

The funding for this program is coming together in several ways: corporate sponsorships and donations. I’m excited to have my local church support, in that they opened a “Low German radio ministry” fund, and will receipt donations for this program. And now the option to donate right here on line, is also a possibility.

My advisory Board has been very helpful in getting this program off the ground and thanks goes to John Janzen (MCC Winnipeg), Cornie Froese (ex-MCC’er) and Dave Thiessen (Kroeker Farms).

The program is being heard on about 30 stations in these countries:

  • Canada
    • BC
    • Alberta
    • Saskatchewan
    • Manitoba
    • Ontario
  • USA
    • Texas
    • Kansas
  • Mexico
    • Cuauhtemoc
    • Nuevo Casas Grandes
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Paraguay
  • Germany

Low-German Night of fun.

What can I say about the Low-German play that would do it justice? Fun, fantastic, an evening of wholesome laughter and a real treat. To be honest I did miss some of the jokes since my Low-German is still very poor, but I’m am practising a bit more now and I’m slowly getting better.

For those of you who missed Friday evenings presentation, I’ve got a little clip of the opening act.

I hope you’ll come out and join us for the next event. We’ll be sure to post the events here.

A “Boot Sale” isn’t just for boots.

Some of you may have seen the little handouts around the village about the new community event: a Boot Sale.

Boot sales are something of a British phenomenon – it’s where a bunch of people go to a predetermined place, park their vehicles in a circle with the boots (that’s “trunks” to us Canadians) facing in. Then they open their boots to show items they have for sale. Sometimes someone will set up their stuff on a table, but often, it’s just arranged in the boot.
All kinds of stuff gets sold at a boot sale. Electronics sales are popular in the U.K., but household items, antiques, crafts, and pretty much anything else can be found at a boot sale.

Now when Marlene, who is one of the organizers, heard about boot sales from her British son-in-law, she thought it was a pretty neat idea, and the Reinland Boot Sale concept was born. Here are the particulars:
Reinland Boot Sale
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Reinland Community Centre

Refreshments will be available, and we’re hoping for all kinds of different items. Remember, you’ll only be able to bring as much as you can fit in your boot, so ideally, you want smaller, more valuable items. I’ve heard that there are people who will be bringing handmade chain maille jewelry and at least one bringing wood turning crafts. I know I’m really looking forward to seeing what people are going to offer for sale.

If you’re interested or need more information, please call Marlene at 325-4495 or Marilyn at 325-5592.

Community breakfast a success!

Were you at the community breakfast? If you were then you already know what amazing food and great coffee was served. And you already know that your friends and neighbours worked very hard to bring you the best quality eggs, omelettes, biscuits and coffee.

There were places set and waiting for you, and as one group left our younger members of the team cleaned up and got ready for the next group.

Some of the young ladies were put to work chopping peppers and onions to fill the omelettes. These are always a favorite and can be made with ham, cheese, peppers, onions, and if you’re daring, some Jalapeño peppers to add a little spice.

As you can see, they certainly do look tasty.

If you want, you can skip the fillings and have your eggs sunny side up, over easy, scrambled, or basted, a combination of sunny side up and poached that doesn’t leave that icky runny white over top of the beautiful warm yolk. (Yes, I’m biased, but you can be too.) Mention what you want when your order is taken, and the skilled staff working the egg cooking station will do their best to please. And remember, the eggs are fresh, and laid by locally raised hens. You can taste the difference

All this is washed down with good rich coffee that is brewed just the right strength. If you prefer you can have tea. Of course cream is served on the tables if you like it that way, although I did notice there were a lot of coffee drinkers that were taking it straight up. In fact there were some professional coffee drinkers in the corner that went through coffee so fast they got their own pot! We here at salute you.

We’re looking forward to the next community breakfast. You can find the info here when it’s announced.

Also, don’t forget about the upcoming Low-German play. Information will be posted here soon.