Halfway through! …Already? This is my first summer serving Sonshine Day Camp as an intern. I have previously been a TLC, so it’s really great for me to be able to share God’s word to the young people of the St. James Town neighbourhood.
By: Abbey Shin, Summer Intern at Kingston-Galloway
This is my first time interacting with the kids in the Kingston-Galloway community; however, working with kids isn’t a new nor uncomfortable occurrence for me. Although this site location is the furthest from my home in Richmond Hill, I chose KG because it is most out of my comfort zone and I was least experienced with this community.
During our “behaviour management” training sessions, I imagined the worst while hearing stories from past people who had worked in the Kingston-Galloway community. I feared disrespect and rejection from the kids in the community. I started doubting whether or not the Lord did call me to this site.
A key thing the children in this community struggle with is fairness and sense of justice. Common complaints would be, “That’s not fair”, “How come she got to do that?”, and “Well, he did it first!” These stem from lies that no one understands them nor will stand up for them. They look at other people’s lives and choose to believe lies that no one will be their advocate and pursue justice on their behalf.
The weekend before the first day of camp, I still questioned whether I was prepared for seven weeks with these kids. However, that same weekend, God convicted my heart of how I had been comparing my life with others. My common complaints to God were, “How come people like her so much better?”, “Why can’t I just be good at this?”, “When will I be acknowledged?” I realized how bitter my heart had become and it wasn’t pretty.
Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Despite my bitterness, the Lord still waits to be gracious to me. Despite my own efforts to make a name of myself, God has been trying to exalt himself in my life in order to show me mercy. The Lord is a God of justice, therefore, I do not need to pursue justice on my own, but simply wait on Him.
Although I feared I wouldn’t get along with the children in Kingston-Galloway, the Lord graciously showed me that He has been preparing me in the midst of my wretchedness. He humbly reminded me that I can only participate in His good work because I am His good work. Just as Jesus became one with whom He loved, He showed me that I’m not so different from these kids. Realizing this has allowed me to extend much more grace and love onto them, because of the grace and love I was first shown by God.
This is the gospel, that Jesus Christ initiated a relationship with us and chose to reconcile our sins. Therefore, I am only able to love Him and others because of the great love that I experienced from Him. I’m excited and ready for the rest of my summer with Sonshine Day Camp, not because of the work that I’ve done, but because of the work my Heavenly Father is doing in me.
Abbey is serving at Kingston-Galloway for the first time this summer. She is excited to build new relationships with her teammates and the children, while experiencing the Spirit at work in KG!
By: Abby Corcoran, Summer Intern at Flemingdon Park
I’ve had one of the most tiring and enjoyable weeks I’ve ever experienced. It’s not the same as lying on a beach in Cuba… it’s much better. It’s learning how to play basketball in 30-degree weather with 30 other kids and staff running around. It’s watching adults role play and tap into their “inner child.” It’s teaching the creation story to kids who’ve never heard it. It’s leading a group of sweaty kids in the insanity workout at 9 am for the fun of it. It’s having your hair “braided” and “re-braided.” But all the while I honestly can’t stop smiling because the campers are absolutely unreal.
Between all the games and activities, I’ve had the opportunity to share Christ with the campers, including those that have never heard the Good News before. Every morning I look forward to teaching them a new truth from the Bible. Sonshine Day Camp is a really special place that is transforming the kids that walk through the doors.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Sometimes I wonder whether I’ll make it to the end of the week due to the amount of lactic acid running through my calves, the minimal sleep, and the unbearable heat… but every time a camper asks to play soccer, or decides to dump a bucket of water on my head, I’m up and running before I have time to think about how much energy I have, because God has promised to renew our strength.
So lesson learned this week: God has provided and will continue to provide. These past 2 weeks, our site was also blessed with such incredible mission teams and I am gaining a better understanding of how our “success” is completely dependent on God and not our own abilities and strengths.
There’s no other place I’d rather be this summer.
This is Abby's first year interning with TCM, and she hopes it's not her last. She is studying Concurrent Education, and is excited about all of the skills she is using and developing through her internship. These skills will aid her in the future as a teacher in a developing country.
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.