Sonshine Daycamp

Let the Children Come

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By: Kristie Lam, Summer Intern at St. James Town

Jesus valued His children extremely. He blessed them and said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) Early childhood is arguably the most important period of a person’s life. Children are at a time in their lives where they are curious about how the world works. This is when they begin to form an understanding of love and relationships. This is important to consider especially when working with children that are growing up in difficult circumstances. While they still have opportunities, they are at the highest risk. Negative influences on a child’s development can be irreversible.

Teaching children about God’s truth and love can transform their hearts and change the outcome of their lives, and of the community around them! God’s love can provide them with hope, and hope is very powerful. This hope is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to come back to Toronto City Mission. God has truly placed less fortunate children in my heart. Over 50% of St. James Town lives below the poverty line, which leads parents to work countless hours to support their families. Through my experience last year with Sonshine Day Camp, God has opened my eyes to just how important it is for children to grow up in a positive environment. Summer is an especially hard time for working parents because children are out of school with no one to look after them, and no positive activities for them to be a part of. However, Toronto City Mission provides a chance for children to participate in fun activities in the summer, while learning about the powerful, life changing truths of Jesus.

Sometimes, it may not seem like one summer can do very much, but I truly believe that God has the perfect plan and timing for everything. I believe that miracles can, and will happen! I can only hope that 10 or 15 years down the line, when something difficult is thrown at the kids, that they will remember about the truth that was shared with them at Sonshine Day Camp, and they will know that they can find hope in Jesus Christ.

This is Kristie’s second summer interning with TCM, and she is returning to St. James Town with a full force of energy! She is more excited than ever to have dance parties with the kids again!

Lessons Learned on My Placement

By Wilson Wong, Placement Student

Me (top row, second from the right) and the rest of the summer interns. Summer 2014

Me (top row, second from the right) and the rest of the summer interns. Summer 2014

Hi, my name is Wilson Wong and I'm a placement student from Seneca studying social service work. Over the course of the past two years, I've been working and serving with amazing people at TCM for amazing kids and families. My first placement term I worked with Jeff and Eliot at Willowtree. It was my first placement opportunity and I used it to get my feet wet. I was also given the opportunity to be a summer intern for Sonshine Day Camp 2014. I met lots of other interns and learned to work in a team. More importantly I learned to keep God's interests in mind and not my own. There were times when I felt like giving up but the people at TCM helped support me and they also encouraged me when I felt discouraged. My final placement was a full year at St. James Town and Kingston-Galloway. I had the opportunity to work with the staff at TCM, I learned a lot from their strong and loving attitude towards God and the kids. They were so transparent with me and they were vulnerable with their struggles in ministry. Through this experience, I was able to build strong friendships united in God. Although my term for placement is over with TCM, I do not regret one bit because I learned more about God through the servant attitudes that each and every person at TCM has for their ministry and God. I hope and pray for the best for TCM as well as looking forward to witnessing God's great works using TCM.

Sonshine Daycamp Steeles-L’Amoreaux: Camper Interview

Our summer intern and camp director, Stephanie Liew, chatted with camper Selena (10 years old on the right ) about Sonshine Daycamp:

Q. How did you hear about camp?

A. Last, last, year I came to camp and it was very fun and next year I went to another camp and it was not really fun…it was awful, so I came this year again.

Q. What was the best part of Sonshine Day Camp for you?

A. The best part of Sonshine Day Camp is making friends and having the best experience of playing and learning about God, and improving on lots of things, like… drawing, and making stuff, and the staff are very good too, especially when I do something wrong, they… they, forgive me, and I felt very happy about that.

Q. What did you learn about God this summer?

A. Jesus is our Saviour, and He died on the cross for us, we also learned about the bible, and many people don’t believe in Jesus, but afterwards they look at the bible and believe in Him. God is a big thing and He can help us when we have trouble – that is something I learned.

Q. Last thoughts?

A. This camp is very fun, and the staff are really nice too, they gave us a lot of things to take home, and they don’t even care about money, and gave us a lot of things [that we didn’t have to pay for]. They help us improve and forgive us even when we do something wrong, like if I broke Wasabi’s (Wilson – our intern’s) arm, he forgives me, and there are a lot of games to play. I really like this camp…and I really like this camp.

Sonshine Daycamp Willowtree: TLC Interview

Eliot Kim, our Outreach Worker in Willowtree, had the chance to ask TLC (Teens Leading Communities) Elijah about his experience helping out at Sonshine daycamp:

Q. What brought you to camp?

A. I was looking for more experience with children.

Q. How long have you been involved?

A. I’ve been involved for three summers.

Q. What has been the best part of Sonshine daycamp?

A. For me, the best part of camp was building relationships with the campers and discovering their view on the world as they grow.

Q. What have you learned about God?

A. One thing I’ve learned about God is that if you be patient He has your back. Every time I faced a problem and I felt like my job was really being put to the test, I didn’t panic and things always turned out well. I’ve seen God work a lot of times this summer because the campers see each other every day and sometimes they get annoyed of one an other and start to have disagreements and get really angry. But just like the Lord forgives us every day, the campers always forgave each other and continued to enjoy themselves during their camping experience. The other time I saw God work, was when they weren’t disagreeing. The bonds between the campers were so strong and they always listen to everyone’s opinion and worked together so it was as if they were one big family.