Thursday, July 17, 2014

Toronto - Day 4 (Wednesday)

I would like to start by thanking those of you who have been praying and supporting us, we really appreciate it. Especially on days like today. Wednesdays are usually hard. In some ways they are amazing because we're getting in a rhythm, we know the people we're serving a little better (and the people we're serving with), but it's also day 4 of less sleep and more work and the realization that tomorrow is our last chance to do whatever it is we hoped to accomplish here. Tomorrow is the end of a relationship we worked so hard to build in a way. So, a little extra prayer Thursday would be appreciated.

That being said, God is doing amazing things in the lives of our students here. And I don't want to be the one to explain that. Here are some stories from students themselves about their day and what they are doing for God. Enjoy.

Today was our third day of going to the sites around Toronto. My group, after a much needed stop at Tim Horton’s, went to a factory-type industry place that teaches people with mental handicaps important job skills that will help them in a real workplace environment. Due to many signed forms detailing how much I will not talk about this place and the people that work there, I can’t go into too much detail. Regardless, I met some very interesting people, learned a lot about them, and I think I now have a better understanding of some of the issues that people with mental handicaps deal with on a daily basis.

After dinner, we had our evening activity in Chinatown. My wishes were almost fulfilled when we went to a souvenir shop that sells Rob Ford T-shirts. Much to my dismay, however, the shop didn’t have it in my size. Oh well, that’s what the internet is for, I guess.

Tomorrow is our last full day here at Toronto, and I look forward to spending my last day with some more of the people at the industries; they’ve opened up to us quite a bit, I hope they do so again tomorrow.
-Mattheus Mitchel

This morning started out with stopping for the awesomeness that is Tim Bits, which are basically donut holes. Then we went to our work site, which is a long-term care facility for senior citizens. There we took some of the residents outside to get some air and we blew some bubbles, and we played cards with residents. Our evening activity was to go to China Town, where we could buy things like Canada t-shirts and Bubble Tea, which has tapioca pudding bubbles in it. This was followed by club time, which was really fun because we did some singing, and church group time, where we talked about our day. I am very sad that tomorrow is our last day here. I have met and gotten to know some great people while here, and it has been a great experience.
-Megan Otte

Since the middle of freshmen year, this youth group has always been a place for me to escape the stresses of integrating into a high school with no pre-established friendships. There are many people that I could thank for helping me improve my esteem and confidence, but a simple blog post would not give them the recognition they deserve.

In terms of my experiences on this mission trip thus far, it is safe for me to say that we have spent all three days (and tomorrow) at a factory that provides low demanding jobs to the mentally handicapped. Most of these jobs include assembly line style tasks that are simple and give workers the basic skills and experience they need to succeed in the real world. We were required to fill out a confidentiality agreement that prevents me from mentioning any names, the name of the company, or the specific work that we have done. As each day progresses, I start to realize that the menial tasks we help these people do are not as important as the feeling of value and purpose that it gives to its mentally handicapped workers.

There are countless stories and feelings I would love to add to this post, but time limits me from putting them down. I am so thankful for these opportunities and can’t wait to go into our last day at the Toronto mission site.
-Jacob Stebbe

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