This past week we had our first group of the summer come up. They were from Jacksonville, Florida. It was a challenging, yet amazing experience. We finally were put to the test of learning the streets of Toronto, as well as all of the information about the sites and the city. Thanks goodness for our handy staff manuals!
This week I had 12 people in my group, which was the largest, the other staff had 6. But it was awesome. We went to the Good Shepherd every morning, which is a shelter and drop-in. The kids in the group were able to step out of their comfort zones and talk to some of the men who come to the Good Shepherd. Some even talked to the same people everyday and were able to build relationships. By the end of the week, our group had become extremely close and had some sweet times. During the final challenge on Thursday night we had an encouragement circle. As we moved around the circle, one of the boys shared that he had grown up in a church and Christian family his entire life but had never had any interest in God or a relationship with him. He told us about the things he did with his friends on the weekends and how that was more important to him. Then he said that after this week with the group, he wanted to commit his life to Christ and be baptized when he got home. It was so cool. God does so many amazing things.
-Karleigh Heim, Toronto CSM City Host Summer 2006