New Season

Click to view the slideshow of photos.

There have been so many different exciting things that have been happening since first day of after school programs, but I will highlight some of the key ones:

1) Most of our returning kids from last year have come back along with some of the newer kids from summer day camps! I'm thankful that we're maintaining our relationships with many of the kids.

2) Felicia came back from her mat leave in October (HURRAH) and she has been oozing with creativity especially through cooking/baking and reward points/displinary actions. I'm very much the traditional type; I like routine and following structure, which I didn't know about myself until recently. Felicia is much more spontaneous than I am and loves trying new things, which is what the kids needed as well. They LOVE participating in baking activities and being spoiled by what she cooks for them! But even though she has a big soft heart, she has a tough heart too.

3) We also have a new reward point system and it involves a big pary jar and lots of marbles. Good behavior leads to more marbles and bad behavior takes away marbles. By the end of the month, they have to fill it up to earn a party. It's amazing how much mercy she shows them, but firm discipline as well. I've really learned a lot and realized that I'm TOO soft. I've been learning that yes, mercy shows love, but discipline shows love too.

A friend of mine messaged me and it was really encouraging, "'For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives' (Hebrews 12:6). If you're without discipline, then you're not even in the family, because all God's kids are getting it. God's love is not a pampering love; it's a perfecting love. God's not saying, 'Here, Susie. Have another cupcake. Take the one with the extra icing on it.' He isn't interested in putting a smile on your face before bedtime. He's interested in making you an awesome light in this dark world over the next decade. Discipline is proof of His love. Using His example, I BELIEVE that when you discipline children for their GOOD, it's something MEANINGFUL and beneficial to them. Yes, it hurts, but it's right. And so I just wanted to say you're doing great as you're doing right now.'"

This week, I was reminded of what my friend told me. The key to disciplning is to let them know that despite their good or bad behavior, they are still loved just the same. It doesn't change how we care for them, but they must change their misbehaviors. It wasn't easy seeing one girl almost cry because she had to miss out on a baking activity today. Thankfully, she knows that we love her, but I hope she learned something and behaves better next time. I'm learning too.

4) Some of our graduated girls and boys (currently Grade 7) are now helping out as youth volunteers! And they even brought their friends so now we have a handful of young volunteers who are stepping up to be great examples for the younger ones. Today, we had a fellowship night with them for the first time filled with pizza, rice krispies and card games like Uno and Spoons. It was so intense, but so fun. One youth mentioned earlier that his birthday was tomorrow and near the end of games, he excitedly mentioned that this night was a gift for his birthday. It was so heart-warming. Next time, we are going to talk more deeply about their faith journeys and get to know them more!

5) Bible time has been really cool. We've covered the themes from The Creation, Noah's Ark, and God's promise to Abram and Sarah. It's exciting to see them ask questions, raise their hands for answers, memorizing verses, and applying what they learned in arts & crafts or other activities.

So please continue to pray for us whenever you think of us! Hope you also enjoy the pictures!

Camp memories in Flemo

Here are a bunch of cute or funny quotes/stories that our kids have said or done. Enjoy! Also, the number represents the camper's age.

Walking back to camp after swimming and we pass by the police* Camper (5): Gasps and ducks his head Shhh it's the police!!! Anthea (intern): What?!! Why are you hiding?! What did you steal? Did you steal a girl's heart?

At the pool* Camper (6): Do you have a boyfriend?! Anthea: No! Tim (mission team member): She has boy friends. Boys who are friends. Camper: Boys who are friends ARE boyfriends!!!!!

After playing prey/predator game* Camper (5): I have so many lices!!!points to stickers (lives) Me: What?! Camper: facepalm Oops I mean lives!!! giggles

Walking a camper to the water fountain* Me: Hey, pull your tanktop strap up, that's inappropriate. Pulls it up Camper (5): Um, this is the FASHION pulls one strap down

Anthea: We are God's children and we are invited to His Kingdom in Heaven. Kids: So we can be together with him! Camper (5): So that I can see Jesus and ask Him what His favorite Pokemon is!

Victoria (intern): What's my name? Camper (5): Victoria! Victoria: No, it's your highness.

In small group bible* Anthea: Guys, what's the word that means putting others first? Camper (5): I don't know...COMPASSION or something....?

In small group bible* Me: Jason*! I mean shadowman!

Camper (5): NO! I'm gangsterman.

Helping that same camper color his handout sheet* (Me talking to Anthea and getting distracted while slowly coloring) Camper (5): CONCENTRATE YOURSELF!!!

An older camper wanting to play with Victoria's phone in the school bus* Camper (11): Can I play with your phone on the highway? Quote for quote. (Victoria told him before that he can use it whenever we go on highways. He meant to say "word for word").

Camper after a very minor injury* Camper (5): Can I get an icepack? Victoria: You don't really need to because there's no bruise/mark. Camper (5): You're over there and I'm over here. Your body is your body. My body is my body. You can't feel what I feel.

Free time* Nadia: Who's your favourite princess?" Camper (5): Cinderella Nadia: Why? Camper (5): Because she's humble!

Miss my kids so much. Excited to see them in our after school program.

Final Updates

Dear friends,

Just a couple of updates:

1) Our last week of camp was on Aug 13th and it was filled with many joyful memories.

It was absolutely hectic, but I could not have done it without the wisdom, discernment, and strength of God AND without the support of my team and friends. Thank you for each and every one of your support and prayers!!

We had an alter call that was led by my one of our elders, Steve Chu, and almost all of our kids went up and prayed with him to accept Jesus Christ. Two of our kids were genuinely thirsting more about the Word and said that they felt "something tingling inside" and felt "happier". Praise God! The Holy Spirit filled one of those campers and drastically changed him inside and out. He was kinder, more gentle, and a great role model for our younger kids.

God worked in so many ways at Flemingdon Park this summer and many kids came to know Jesus.

2) Thank you for supporting me financially!!! It's because of you guys, I have literal support through this journey at TCM. I had to raise $1,830 and so far, I've raised $1617.  I have $213 left to fundraise and it's not too late to support me! Even if it's $5 or $10, I'd be so grateful!

3) I will still be building relationship with this community during the after school programs so please continue to pray for us!

Thank you again! God bless you all!

Third Week of Camp

We had plenty of ups and downs this week with our kids, but I'm so thankful for our mission team, East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church. They were so hard-working, mature, and patient despite the chaos and difficulties.

Even though yesterday was a disaster filled with many lows (it was hard to think of high's for everyone), today was amazing and grace-filled. After feeling very discouraged and negative, I just decided to re-surrender everything to God during my morning subway ride to camp. I wasn't certain of what to expect, but just prayed that God's will be done.

Starting from our worship time, photo scavenger hunt, mission team time, all the way to movie time, it was smooth-sailing and the kids were very cooperative and peaceful. COMPLETE opposite of the day before.

Our 5 year old camper stated in the morning, "I'm going to be a good kid today!"

God definitely moved his heart...along with all the other campers.

I'm so thankful that the last day of camp for the mission team was a memorable day filled with joy and peace.