On top of that, tonight we did a walk through downtown Toronto with a tour guide from the Salvation Army who lived there as a homeless person. It's an interesting perspective and there is a lot of talk about gentrification (the idea of a community pouring a lot of money into an area to improve it while at the same time not solving the poverty, simply moving or hiding it). Lots of opinions, lots of discussion. But for now, I'll leave you with some stories from our students.
Thank you for your prayers and support, we covet them all!
Today was my second day working at Booth Industries. There, we get the opportunity to work with some really special people who suffer from mental illnesses. I got to work with a man from India named Kiswar. He told me everything about him. I could tell he liked to talk. After we were done at our work sites, we went on a street walk with a man named Anthony. I learned a lot of lessons from Anthony’s life experiences. He really exposed me to a new perspective on life.
I had a really life-affirming day. I have to say, I left on the mission trip kind of expecting it to be like the others I’ve been on, you know, all one of them, and I’m glad to say I was very wrong. I went to Booth Industries today for the second time, which was similar to my first day. I got to work with two guys named Leonardo and Cedric. They chatted with Jacob Stebbe for a long time about sports, not my strong suit, but I jumped in when I could and I’m glad I could be part of a better connection with them today. The really great part of my day came when we went on a street walk with a former drug addict named Anthony. He had a really radical message for us, a product of how hard his life has been, but I really liked what he had to say. He told us about how the struggles he went through get ignored by society a lot of the time, which of course I totally agree with and I would love to do what I can to help expose the problem of homelessness and drug addiction to people, but the most important thing he helped show me is that when I do see something, I can’t just be angry or upset that it’s bad, I have to take action or spread the word to those who can do more. He was really inspiring and I really feel like a different, better person after listening to what he said. Also, he quoted Nelson Mandela, which automatically makes me super happy. I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned today and use it on the rest of the trip and the rest of my life.
Today was an awesome day. When I arrived I did not know what to expect. Troy told us to hug one of the youth works people so I hugged a helper named Rachel. She was very nice and hugged me right back. I am helping at a nursing home all this week. The elders really love to sing. We sang take me out to the ball game and firework by Katie Perry and many more songs. The elders love to be fashionable so I painted many of the ladies nails hot pink. I met many people here in Toronto. Some of the people we work with are from Boston and from right here in Toronto. One of the girls I’ve met was adapted from China like me and we even share the love of music. With there help we fed the elders and played Bingo with some of the residents. For the afternoon activity we went to the beach, the water was very cold so we had a contest of who could stay in the water the longest. I won of course. Today we went on a tour of the city with a former homeless drug addict. He told us his life story and we got to sort of walk through this life. The experience was life changing and made me think about how I could help in the world. I hope the rest of our time turns out to be a fun and life changing week.