Monday, July 20, 2009

Toronto Day 2 (Monday)

Sorry yesterday was a little late, my internet has been spotty…

An early day (well, every day seems earlier). Breakfast was great for me, I got to eat Shreddies for the first time in years!

Today was a shock for me. We all went to our worksites today. Groups went to homeless shelters, Salvation Army, some worked with mentally handicapped people and of course Kids Clubs (summer long VBS). I got a little bit of a shock, I ended up (totally by accident) at the same church I was at 5 years ago when we were here last (Taylor, you remember Bob, the crazy old guy? He’s still here!). For us, it was great. Luke, our Youthworks leader, told us it was the best Monday he’d had all summer (Monday’s are hard, the kids test the new leaders). Other than getting a little lost looking for where we showered, today was great!

For our evening activity we went to Lake Ontario and hung out on the beach. We didn’t swim, Lake O’s a wee bit too dirty for that (although some people were, and I felt dirty just watching them). But it was fun, people played the largest game of Ultimate Frisbee they’ve managed to scrounge up this summer. And I think Jeremy won the rock skipping contest.

After that we made our way back to our home base, had milk (in bags) and cookies. That was followed by “Mad Props” and “Yay God’s” (praise for people doing good things and praise to God for doing good things), followed by some time together talking about outside influences on what we think of ourselves/how we act and how that relates to what Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount regarding those who are blessed (The Beatitudes), plus some time with just our church group talking about the day’s events, how we felt, how we perceived people before we worked with them and after.

But that’s enough from me, what did other people think of today?

Andy P. ~ I worked at St. Jude’s Academy today working with mentally and physically challenged adults. And I saw an almost overwhelming amount of God in the adults that I worked with, because they had less worries and less on their minds, their minds seemed an example of purity and holiness. They were laughing and singing, and when Zak and James and I got up to lead worship on our guitars, the adults didn’t know the songs, yet they were laughing, and singing, and dancing as one would thing possible. I never thought Id see as much God in a place like this.

Natalie H. ~ Today I worked at the Moss Park Kid’s Club. My group worked with about 8 to 10 different kids, all from about 7 or 8 to 15 or older. When we arrived at the site, we weren’t sure how things were going to go, because no one had worked at that site before, so we didn’t have a report to have expectations from. We were a little bit separated from the other kids at the beginning, just because of their opinions of church-goers and Christians in general. But, as we played sports and games and just spent time with the kids and their leaders, we began to break the barriers between the two groups. By the end of the day, we were all acting like best friends. I felt like I had been with these kids for a long time, and I was having so much fun with them. It was a true blessing to hear at prayer time later, that the smallest girl there (who barely talked, even when she was confronted) spoke up to say that she was thankful for our group; that we were able to come and get to know them. We were so touched by this group of kids, and I saw God just opening their hearts and minds to why we were there.

Bobby H. ~ Alright, it’s kind of hard to start. Well, you were at the same YouthWorks Kids Club as me, Troy. As you may have noticed, it was a little bit of a slow start to actually get the kids involved. That was quickly remedied as we jumped into games and other activities, however. I believe that God was working His magic today in the fact that none of the kids were problematic in the least, in spite of rumors/facts spread about past occurrences (no fights, the first day was smooth for the first-time group leaders). All of the kids were engaged in the activities going on. If the kids did become disinterested, they quickly rebounded in finding other things to do. The fact that everything went so perfectly was His doing. I feel like I actually became friends with all of the kids I played with; it was as though they appreciated the fact that everyone there to spend time with them. The part of the day that touched me the most dealt with a little boy named Kaleb. He apparently was one of the children who had had problems with family and fighting in past occurrences. It made me so happy that he got along with all of the kids so well, as if he still retained all of the child-like qualities that could be lost in various sorts of strife. His brother dropped him off at Kid’s Club and ran off somewhere, even though he was at an ideal age to be involved with the whole Kid’s Club jazz. When Kaleb’s brother picked him up, Kaleb explained how much fun he had to his older brother. From this, the older brother informed me that he would be attending tomorrow as well! This was the most obvious workings of God for me for the day.
Taegan E. ~ I am working with a group of churches. They have started a program called Refresh they paint the interior of houses in a community of low income families that can’t afford the paint. Pastor Bill is the man in charge when we first got there after a very long car ride he gave us the background behind the program. Two years earlier there were three people having combined birthday parties. It was one of those parties where the music is blasting and attracts more people then was invited. There was an 11 year old boy who was at his cousin’s party. Two rival gangs showed up at the party there were shots fired the little boy was shot and killed. Pastor Bill went to open the church the next day and saw all the police and yellow tape he went over and asked what happen and that is the story he got. At the end of his sermon that day the congregation went out and prayed across the street the neighbor hood came a joined in. this was right in front of our sight. They started this program so that this wouldn’t happen again. We don’t just go in and paint the family is there to help us and they talk with us. It is a lot of fun and is a great program. We were cleaning up the mess that another group made. Like paint on the ceiling and on the light switches we ended up redoing the bathroom because it was done so poorly. But we were happy to be there our morning started off rough. We were being led to our site by a staff member and we got lost we were almost two hours late to our site. We finally got to the church and they told us that we had to go some place else. We got there no one was there after walking around and parking three times we found Pastor Bill. We got our supplies which included a jug of paint that weighed about 25 lbs. Matt and my other leader Randy passed off carrying it Jordan helped too. We went a few blocks until we got to the house we were going to paint. To make a long story short the mother wasn’t home and they didn’t want to let us in. We eventually got permission to enter the house and we started making the house look better. Unfortunately we didn’t finish but we did leave the house looking better than when we got there. But I think that crew #5( Matt S., Randy, Christian, Taegan E. , Kate T., Jordan H., Landon K. and Emily W.) all saw God in what we were doing after we heard Pastor Bills story. We all worked hard because we see God in the idea of the program.

1 comment:

liz simmonds said...

what a happy monday!