By Priscilla Ip, Summer Intern in St. James Town
This summer has been full of fun, laughter, love and lots of dabbing! It has been a blessing to serve the kids in St. James Town – their energy and enthusiasm made me feel so welcome in this community. Of course, there have been challenges and struggles on a daily basis; times where it has been hard to love when I’m frustrated, hard to be patient when I’m tried, and hard to persevere when I’m worn out. But I’ve seen how God is so faithful and has given me the strength to press onwards, and how He’s been using me to share His Good News to these children.
One of my goals for the summer is that I hoped to be a positive role model to the children, where they would be able to see that the love I have for them comes from God. I pray daily that my words and actions would be a reflection of Christ. It’s not easy being a leader – your mistakes and faults are on display for all to see. What if I’m a bad example for the kids?
I know God heard my worries as He clearly displayed His presence at work at camp. Throughout the summer, there have been many times where I saw how the kids would follow our example. For instance, when the pool was closed and we were stuck outside in the heat, the kids were sweaty and complained non-stop. By keeping a positive attitude myself and trying to hype everyone up, the kids slowly followed, and soon we were back to having so much fun playing soccer outside and having a water fight in the park nearby. Also, as we continually encouraged the kids, they followed our example by encouraging each other. We saw older kids teaching the younger kids how to play badminton during free time, and cheering on, “You can do it!!”
Last week, a Bible lesson we taught was about how Jesus set the example for us to follow and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to imitate Jesus. As I reflected on this lesson myself, I really acknowledged the fact that it is with God’s power that I was able to be a loving leader and demonstrate God's character to the children and teens in this community. It is just as He promises in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
My hope is that I have been able to point them towards God in some way, shape or form and that I made an impact on their lives, even if it’s small. But ultimately, I know that their journey is not finished yet, and God will continue to work in their lives even when I’m out of the picture. Jesus is the ultimate role model for all of us and calls us to love others, as His love will be on display through us, imitators of Christ.
This is Priscilla’s first year as a summer intern at St. James Town. She treasures all the hilarious moments and heartwarming memories from camp, and prays that the children will continually experience God’s love in their lives!