Volunteer Series: Summer Intern

This coming Monday (June 9th) we are excited to welcome 24 interns for a summer day camp ministry. The program consists of 3 weeks of training, and 7 weeks of day camps.

We thought this would be a great time to introduce to you one of our summer interns.

Rebecca Steinecke is a returning summer intern. This fall she will be entering her 4th year of studies at University of Toronto majoring in History/English. Her home church is Dovercourt Baptist, and we are so blessed and thankful to have Rebecca back for another summer.

Recently we took time to ask Rebecca some questions about her ministry with us:

1)      Why did you apply for the summer internship last year?

I applied for the summer internship last year because I was interested in learning more about urban mission work. Having experienced the impact of God in my own life, I had such a desire to share Him with others. I learned about the Toronto City Mission’s Summer Internship, and decided to apply. I thought it would be a fun yet challenging summer. It is funny to remember how I had personally decided to only work with TCM if I could work at any other site besides Jane and Finch because of my apprehensions of the neighbourhood. When I got accepted for the Jane and Finch site, I took the decision to God, and He clearly indicated that I should accept the position. He taught me that I could not have any reservations when declaring that I would follow Him. Looking back now, I am so glad that I followed God to Jane and Finch, because if I had followed my own desires, I would have missed out on an incredible and life-altering summer!

2)      Share about your experience in interning with us at day camp last summer. What were some highlights?

There are so many highlights from last summer! The most memorable are probably the times of bonding with each of the kids individually. To see them grow and learn over the summer was such a blessing. It warmed my heart to see the random acts of kindness that they would show to each other. For example, I remember an older boy slowing down a game of catch with his friends to let a little girl try. I particularly loved the practical jokes that went on between some of the kids and I. One time, a boy tried to put “kick me” signs on my back. It seemed harmless enough, until he had the nerve to write it in permanent marker on my camp shirt! Soon this had turned into a game that many of the other kids were also trying to do to me, and I still have the shirt with countless “kick me’s” to prove it. It was so fun getting them back by putting “kick me” signs on their back (of course, I didn’t write it on their shirts with permanent marker). Another memorable experience was spending almost every lunch hour building forts with some of the kids out of table cloths and chairs. Pool times were also the best, when I would go on the water slide with kids continuously for an hour or more.

3)      What were some important lessons you learned from last summer?

I learned so much from last summer. I learned how weak I am, and how much I need God. I learned how to rely on God for unwavering patience and unconditional love when I could not find it within myself to show the children. I learned how to avoid power struggles with kids and give them choices instead of commands. I learned how to look past what the children said or how they acted, and try to understand the root of their words and actions.

4)      What were some of your motivations to come back for a second summer?

I wanted to come back and continue to learn from God, as it has been a real spiritual training ground for me as I am constantly pushed out of my comfort zone. I wanted to come back and continue the friendships that I have developed with these kids over the past year.

5)      Since you have been hired as our Camp Director at our Jane-Finch site, do you have any anxieties?

I did start off with many anxieties. I still do have some, but they are quickly being replaced with a faith in God to do what I cannot do. I feel very inadequate to do this job, but God has been teaching me that “He does not call the equipped, but equips the called.” During these past few months, I have been experiencing His equipping power in my life, and know that He is preparing me for this summer.

6)      In what areas of ministry would you like to grow?

I want to grow more in every area of ministry. This summer, I feel like God is going to stretch me beyond my abilities in leadership. I am not used to being the “main” leader, the one that is ultimately responsible or makes most of the decisions. I enjoy being more of a supportive leader, but this is an area that God is going to challenge me in this summer. Taking control does not come naturally to me, but I know that it is a skill He will help me to develop.

7)      Where do you sense God leading/guiding/teaching you through your experience at TCM?

I do not know yet where God is leading me, but my experiences at TCM have taught me that I don’t need to know right now. I have seen the way God orchestrated for me to work at TCM in the first place, and understand the reason behind it as I see how it has changed me since I started working here. I know that He is using my experiences at TCM to prepare me for whatever else He has planned for me in the future. Mission work or urban ministry is definitely a possibility.