I have been coming to Cedar Lodge for the past seven years – usually twice a year. When I walk into the main area I start to feel my tension drain away. This is a very low key serene place. The staff are wonderful caring people who always take the time to chat and make you feel at home. The meals are absolutely fabulous!! I have been on numerous cruises and the meals here are comparable to the ones on the cruise ships. You can tell that they are cooked with love. I truly appreciate the fact that there are no TV’s or phones in the rooms – that adds to the relaxing calming atmosphere. This is definitely one of my favourite places to visit!! S. Hassler/Aromatherapy
A MIRACLE TRIP TO CEDAR LODGE !! Over the years, so many miracles have happened at Cedar Lodge, stories of recovery, healing, reconciliation and deliverance. Suzanne is in the process of writing her second book which is to contain just some of the encounters with freedom that visitors have had because of their journey to this very special place. The following is a recent accounting by Elaine Cook, whose website is www.kingdomgospel.net. Elaine has been in ministry for decades and is the absolutely one of the most precious of saints to have ever visited Cedar Lodge. You can find this transcript at her website under her October 09 Newsletter. From Elaine Cook’s October 09 Newsletter – See www.kingdomgospel.com It is not uncommon for a person to walk all of her life under the shadow of false messages given to her from a child. After a while, she takes them to be the truth and acts accordingly. I have a dear friend who had such a problem, though I never knew the depth of it until recently. We felt led of the Lord to visit our new-found friend, Suzanne Olaski of Cedar Lodge in Saskatchewan, Canada, a two-day drive from here. Although Bill wanted to go, at the last he didn’t feel he could sit that length of time in a car. When I looked to the Lord as to what to do, He dropped Carol’s name into my heart. She is a faithful friend from Spokane and was delighted to drive me and to spend time together. She also is a terrific driver. On the road there and back and while we were there, she shared deeply from her heart. It took that long to be able to express what she needed to say. It was then that I realized that she walked under the shadow of the false message: “I’m not worthy to be loved.” In truth, she is lovely, kind, and deeply spiritual. The enemy had convinced her that others were thinking she was ignorant. She became so confused and upset that she was unable to express herself clearly when she spoke. She was so lovingly received by all at Cedar Lodge that she began to be able to speak smoothly, which greatly encouraged her. She told me that, for the past two months, her body seemed to be shutting down. It didn’t want to receive food and she struggled to eat at every meal. It wasn’t until we were on our way home after a delightful visit, that the Lord gave me ‘light’ on her problem. She had started giving her body the message: “I’m not worthy to live” and it responded by shutting down! I’m pleased to report that she broke the power of that lie through prayer and took hold of her acceptance in the Beloved. A big part of her deliverance was recognizing that she had believed a lie all those years! The enemy of our soul doesn’t have to come to us in a gargoyle costume—he just needs to insinuate a thought into our minds (as he did with Eve) and if we do not recognize the origin of it, we are caught in his web of deceit! I encourage each one who reads these words, to check your thoughts which can come from any of three sources: our own mind, the mind of Christ, and the enemy’s mind. We should know that neither we nor the Lord are going to say evil things about ourselves nor accuse our friends of doing so. (One saint said: “What other people think of you is none of your […]
It is perhaps little known about OUR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM helping many individuals and families in distress; whether it be drug or alcohol recovery, assistance with codependency issues, food distribution, resources for tired individuals, respite through Mental Health, Fine Option Program through Saskatchewan Justice, using our truck to help move single moms and families with few resources. Our volunteers have proven to be the most faithful and diligent individuals I have ever known. In 2004, when I was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit which recognized the community service provided through Cedar Lodge, I was allowed to bring two guests to the Premier’s banquet. Upon sharing with the Premier that without my right hand people, I would not be receiving this incredible honour and I asked if I might invite them to the banquet also. There was no hesitation on his part and hence 16 members of our team attended also. To rave about our volunteers, let me say this! Kaiser Permanente, which is the largest health care provider in the United States, did a serious study on volunteerism around the world. Not to our surprise Canadians come out on top for numbers of hours per capita donated. But more amazing still was the information that in spite of the great contribution of volunteers worldwide, it was noted that for one individual to take two weeks out of one year was considered a ‘miracle.’ What then could 10 years, 365 days each year, day in and day out, often more than 16 hours a day, WITHOUT PAY and with little recognition, be considered?? I would have to say that it would be nothing short of … OUT OF THIS WORLD !! Many of the volunteers at Cedar Lodge have been with me for the full ten years and some longer going back to when we started our food distribution program and had a soup kitchen on 20th Street in Saskatoon. Over the years we have received hundreds of thank you notes and letters from literally around the globe. We are pleased to share a few with you here.
Hello Suzanne I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of my dad. He had nothing but good things to say about you and your kindness. You supported him unconditionally and I truly believe that if he were still here, he would continue on his road to recovery with your helping hand. I had faith in him to fight his demons and win, if he had more time on this earth, he would have. Thank You Sandra McLeod Vancouver B.C. Ross McLeod passed from this life on August 28, 2007 in Medicine Hat Alberta He was 42 He will be missed by many
As far as me…I am doing well…I past 6 months and actually I HAVE 7 MONTHS today – wow how time flies hey??? WOO HOO TO ME!!! I feel great and very blessed and happy that I am clean and living life today! I go to meetings and have a support system and use the sites when I can. I would not trade what I have today to go use, NO WAY…I think of where I was and where I was at physically, mentally and emotionally and I NEVER WANT TO RETURN THERE AGAIN!!! I think of how hard I have worked to get where I am today and how hard I worked to get what I have in my life today and the work still yet ahead, I am CLEAN and that is the only way for me to go, the way I choose to go, No scum in my life in any way shape or form, that alone was enough work and still can be on a daily basis…It is not easy changing a life around, it is also not impossible!!! THERE IS HOPE!!! THANKS for letting me share! Thanks for being there – truly! Bless your hearts and souls! Love from J
Dear Suzanne and Staff Our family would like to sincerely send our thanks and words of appreciation for your assistance with our son who is battling substance abuse. If it was not for your loving and welcoming atmosphere that was there to take our son in when no other safe haven existed, I am sure that we would not have the hope that we have today for a recovery. Cedar Lodge provided a loving and caring atmosphere where he could recover his strength and make decisions in regards to his life in the future. This welcoming and accepting atmosphere brings on positive changes in a life that has been without hope for some time. We thank God every day for Cedar Lodge and its staff, who so readily accept those who are down on their luck and provide a place where the seed is planted that a different life is possible. The constant love and attention people feel here is not duplicated anywhere I know. Our family will continue to support Cedar Lodge whole heartedly, knowing that there are many lives you will touch and enrich on a daily basis. Cedar Lodge is a great asset to Saskatchewan and I would encourage those who can to support this most worthy organization in its daily and future endeavours to help those who need it so desperately. Sincerely, Nancy and Amcie Kushnir Saskatoon Nov 16/06
Hello Suzanne, We can not begin to thank you enough for allowing Scott to stay at Cedar Lodge. We really noticed such an improvement in Scott in many ways. He truly ‘grew’ during his stay through the patience, kindness and understanding shown to him by everyone out there. In my opinion the greatest gift you give to the young people you take in is the acceptance into your environment. They get a real sense of belonging and they are just accepted for who they are. It is a very loving environment for them to heal and get well. Without even realizing it at the time, they learn so much!! Scott is settling in very well at Westview. Neil and I went to visit him on Easter Sunday, stayed the night at a motel and spent all day Monday with him as well. He had no programs due to Easter so it worked out great for us. He is doing so good………the best he’s been for a very long time!! This is the very first time Scott has sincerely expressed his desire to get off drugs and have a better life. (more…)
Dear Cedar Lodge Volunteer Staff You are all amazing! You work so hard and I never once heard anyone complaining about the tasks at hand. The food was awesome and everybody chips in to make the place work. It really is something to watch. I want to thank you all for making my stay here so welcoming and comfortable. Thanks for putting up with me when I would forget to ask permission or overlook some other rule. I think I learned the ropes by the time I left at least! Cedar Lodge is such a special place. And the people make it so. I will be back for another visit sometime and not as a client. I look forward to seeing you all again then! Have a great summer!! Jeff Hunter-Smith Victoria, BC May/07
DEAREST CEDAR LODGE I want you ALL to know how important you ALL are in my life, each and every single one of you has an important job. You are in the business of SAVING LIVES and you have helped save a wretch like me. (I have always loved ‘Amazing Grace’) I don’t know what I would have done over the years, if it had not been for the open heart (door) policy that Suzanne has extended to me. This place has been my second home and I have learned to love and accept others as well as myself. What a Gift, thanks! Every time I returned to this sacred place, I have been able to see the beauty in each and every one of YOU! And from this, I am able to witness my own beauty ‘reflecting’ back. YOU have unique loving individual personalities that care deeply for the divine nature of humanity and for doing God’s will and that takes faith. Cedar Lodge HAS unbelievable FAITH! Everyone owns a unique imperfection and that has kept me very entertained !!!! What a boring world it would be if we were all perfect! And it is these imperfections, I believe, we’re here on earth to heal and boy, do I have lots of unique imperfections that need healing! I also know that for the first time, I don’t judge others nor hate myself for having these imperfections. I have come to a place of acceptance and I am able to let go and LET GOD and allow the healing to happen, one beautiful moment at a time. Know that your encouragement and support are forever in my heart, as I go back to Toronto for a short bit and I am looking forward to coming back. Thanks for the stay and keep the FAITH! ‘Paulie’ PS Who loves ya? Paulie does!
Several years ago my oldest child was struggling with many issues. He was 17 years old and addicted to drugs, had been kicked out of several different schools, was in Kilburn Hall many times, he was in court constantly, he spent time in the psych ward at the hospital, he had serious behaviour problems, was very depressed and on different medications for depression which only made his behaviour worse. I was a single mom of five children. I didn’t have any help or support from anyone. Not the kids father and not my own immediate family. I remember calling many of my relatives and my ex-husband and asking for help. No one responded. I felt so very alone that I would lay on my bedroom floor and cry for hours. The hurt of seeing my son become someone I didn’t even recognize anymore coupled with the rejection of my family was unbearable every day. (more…)