Written by: Misha Ursula, Summer Intern
“My name is Misha… I’m a realist”. That’s how I introduced myself to all the kids as we sat in a circle on that first morning of camp; I quickly was dubbed “The Realest” by the kids. However, what they didn’t know was that comical, nonchalant introduction was all a bold front; on the inside I was quelling another anxiety attack. The first one I had that day was earlier that morning before we walked to the church.
I am slightly scared of boys.
I hyperventilated, sweated and shook upon watching the older boys congregate around the stairs at the start of the day; and had to get prayer from another intern. I’m sure that this irrational fear derives from a combination of my conservative Caribbean upbringing, not having a brother, bullying, and a past trauma. And it turned out that I was going to lead the older boys' small group all summer.
“Apprehensive” was an understatement; but with encouragement from my outreach workers and a desperate internal cry to God, I faced my fears. But at the beginning, I avoided them my small group for the first 20 minutes of Bible time. And you know what? They turned out to be far less scary than I had first imagined.
I met some energetic young boys, who had a lot of questions about God & morality, and who were full of jokes and had a gratitude for crafts. Even Marvin, the male TLC I found to be mild-mannered, great company, and a thoughtful helping hand. We quickly became “The Realest Crew”, and I thought I was okay for the summer!
But God continues to stir the pot for me, stretch me, and cause me to learn and grow. There are more difficult days, where “minutes of silence” must be dished out, and Bible time is like pulling teeth. In moments like these, I am learning to keep my cool and keep a straight face, be loving and patient but also be firm and disciplinary.
With God’s help He is showing me that boys with their chests puffed out and mouths full of obscenities need love too. Not only do they need love but they also need protection from their bullies. I hope to continue slowly transitioning from their “Realest Faker Teacher” to their “Realest Big-Sister-In-Christ” as God continues to give me the wisdom and strength, that I need to minister to them. I give much praise and honour to our Lord for showing me the light!
This is Misha’s first Summer serving at Toronto City Mission. She has been dubbed “The Realest Queen”, her favourite colour is green, she’s a comedy machine and she loves Jesus!