By Arnold J. (Summer Intern at Kingston-Galloway)
Working with the children at Kingston-Galloway is such a blessing because of how much it inspires me to think about life in general.
To start, I cannot deny that the thought of “how would I raise my own children” (when I do have them) comes to mind from time to time while working with the kids. My own (potential) parenting style is constantly updated from the feedback I get from the children concerning the mysterious balance of discipline and mercy.
I am also daily reminded of what it is like to be a kid again. In a sense, in working with kids, I am able to relive my childhood. Singing worship, relaxing during circletime, and playing dodgeball, I am reminded of how much fun it is just to belt out my voice, hear a good story, and throw a dodgeball perfectly (on target).
Sometimes, I even find myself too immersed with playing with the kids that I actually don’t hear the stern voice of a fellow co-leader trying to get all of our attention – “If you hear me, clap your hands once!” Even in these moments, I am reminded that most of the time, children are just so focused on having fun. They aren’t actually trying to actively give others a hard time.
Lastly, the biggest blessing when working with kids is from moments where I feel like I am facing incredible opposition. At Kingston-Galloway, arguments between kids are dispelled on a daily basis, tears are a common sight, and no one is a stranger to disrespect. Sometimes, I feel like the efforts I put into a particular kid were all for waste when they disrespect me. My requests may be ignored; my lesson plans, belittled; or perhaps a kid could have just said the rudest thing straight up to my face…
In these moments when I feel disrespected, I count it as the biggest blessing because I get to essentially experience firsthand how God feels when we ignore and disrespect him.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.“ Romans 5:8
Knowing this and trusting in God in these moments, I am able to get an extra boost of strength to be just a little more patient, a little more understanding, and a little more loving with these children.
Through the most difficult moments while serving at Sonshine Daycamp, I see myself not only being blessed, but also now being a blessing to others. And because these difficult moments essentially occur on a daily basis at Kingston-Galloway, God blesses me and nurtures me every single day.