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Tag Archive | "Esther Couturier"

Smokin’ hot wedding causes 911 call

The bridal party of Esther Couturier poses with the Cedar Springs Fire Department, who came and saved the day for Esther and her groom. Photo by M. Ellick.

The bridal party of Esther Couturier poses with the Cedar Springs Fire Department, who came and saved the day for Esther and her groom. Photo by M. Ellick.

Some unexpected, but not unwelcome, guests turned up at the wedding of a local graduate last weekend.

Esther Couturier, a native of Cedar Springs and a former Red Flannel court member, was marrying her fiancée from Zimbabwe at Pine Lake Campground last weekend, January 16. She had met him on a mission trip to Zimbabwe and many of his family had traveled here for the ceremony.

Just before the ceremony was to begin, the Master of Ceremonies lit the fire in the fireplace, but the vent was not completely open, and smoke filled the room, necessitating a visit from the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, it first came across dispatch as a fire alarm, then that there was smoke in the building. He said they took two engines, and ventilated the building with fans.

The bridal party joked around with the firefighters and had the photo above taken to commemorate the unusual event.

The wedding then went on as planned.

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The Post travels to Zimbabwe

Esther Couturier at the orphanage in Zimbabwe.

Esther Couturier at the orphanage in Zimbabwe.

By Esther Couturier

This summer a life long dream recently turned into reality for me when I was able to travel to Zimbabwe, Africa. Since I was 12, God has been cultivating a desire in me to someday live in Zimbabwe. I have continued to believe that despite my circumstances, and of not knowing how it would happen, that one day God would provide a way for me to travel to Zimbabwe.

God orchestrated this through my meeting a young man, in my church, who was visiting from Zimbabwe last summer. He invited me to stay with his family. I was able to travel to Zimbabwe on May 31 and stayed for eight weeks! It was the best eight weeks of my life, so far.

While I was there, I took the Post on many adventures, from reading to children in an orphanage, decorating cupcakes with foster children, helping feed the elderly and visiting a Government Hospital. We also visited Gonarezhou National Park, where we saw hippos and rhinos. At a game reserve we rode elephants and petted a lion. We also experienced Jackal hunting, hiking Victoria Falls, and white water rafting on the Zambezi. We also toured a butchery and shopped at the flea markets.

My favorite part of the trip was staying on a farm. Besides enjoying the absolute beauty of the place, I also enjoyed vaccinating mombes (the word for cows in Shona—Zimbabwe’s native language), riding motorbikes, and teaching at the school. I helped teach math to eight-year-old children and English to 14-year olds. I also climbed gomos (mountainous terrain), and I talked with many of the employees, who helped teach me Shona.

Everyone I met along the way was exceptionally nice. The families I stayed with are very relational and enjoy talking over tea and rusks. I really loved just listening to everyone’s stories. Some tell of just the hardships in the past, others tell of hope for restoration, while most tell of both. There are so many different aspects and cultures in Zimbabwe. Life is different there. Even though there are power outages daily, lack of variety in food and supplies, potholes galore along with insane driving, and a corrupt government, I loved every bit of it!

God answers prayers and He fulfills His promises. He is a God who has a plan for everyone’s life, because He formed us and loves us. I know without a doubt I will return to Zimbabwe. The vision God has placed in my heart is not yet fully fulfilled.

Thank you to everyone who supported me, prayed for me and encouraged me. I hope to continue to share this journey.

I was not able to, or had forgotten take photos with the Post everywhere I went, but it was in my back pack everywhere I traveled.

Thanks, Esther, for taking us with you on your adventure!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!



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Red Flannel royalty crowned

This year’s 2011 Red Flannel Queen Tranaya Verstrat with court members Kaitlyn Caron and Esther Couturier.

The 2011 Red Flannel Pageant, held last Saturday night at Cedar Springs High School, was a royal affair, complete with a king, knights, and of course, a new Red Flannel Queen!
This year’s 2011 Red Flannel Queen is Tranaya Verstrat, daughter of James and Tasha Verstrat. Court members are Kaitlyn Caron, daughter of Tim and Lisa Caron, and Esther Couturier, daughter of Michael and Debra Couturier.
This year’s theme was “Believe in Red Flannel Knights.” Local resident and teacher, John Willette was the emcee, and dressed as a King. The set decorations included a castle and moat, throne, and the Red Flannel Festival’s 7-foot Knight in shining armor.
Susan Reason performed an excellent rendition of the National Anthem while the Cedar Springs American Legion Glen Hill post presented the flags.
Entertainment was a beautiful dance, performed by 2010 Red Flannel Queen Tinsley Nulph, and in keeping with the theme, local musician Sam Peterson played several songs on his bagpipe, dressed in a traditional kilt.
The contestants selected Red Flannel Festival history questions from the “King” in a beautiful gold goblet, delighting the crowd.
The Knight theme carried through the Pageant with their opening number, and the contestant fathers escorting their daughter in the evening gown portion.
“Justin Harnden and the CSHS Drama Club did a tremendous job of technical support for the Pageant, and a special thanks to Superintendent Ron McDermed and the CSPS School Board for use of the beautiful auditorium,” said Red Flannel Festival President Michele Andres. “Cindy Patin directed the Pageant for the 14th year, and the entire team of volunteers did an outstanding job!”
There is still time to donate to the Queen Scholarship Fund. 100 percent of all donations are used for their college scholarships and are tax deductible. Please send a check to: Queen Scholarship Fund, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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