This week in Toronto brought another group from Michigan. Alan and I were co-hosting since the group was of a larger size and we split the team up to go to different ministry sites. During the week, my half served at the Good Shepherd Centre (which provides shelter, food and other services for those in crisis). It is one of my favourite places to serve and it was really exciting to share the experience with my team. At the beginning of the week they were all very shy and reserved but by the end they had all made relationships with different clients at the drop-in.
My team also proved to be very competitive and loved to challenge each other. Part of our time each morning was spent preparing the 91 beds in the shelter. I had never seen those beds made in such record time! At the end of the week two of the girls challenged one of the workers and they raced against each other. It was two against one and whoever could prepare a pair of bunk beds first would be the winner. Well, the girls beat the full-time worker, but only by nine seconds! He even had prizes for them after they won. I was very impressed by the group this week. I believe they were the hardest workers I’ve seen yet. They never complained about the work that was given to them and they focused equally on quality of work.
One thing which really struck the group this week was the strength of the relationships they had built this week. They were shocked to recognize so many of the people from the drop-in as we visited other places throughout the week. One afternoon we handed out water on a particularly hot day and some of them came across a man from the drop-in. He was able to share part of his life with them by letting them help him feed the birds in the park and later on he showed them his portion in the community garden. He tends a small vegetable garden and grows food for himself and his friends during the summer months. It was very special to be able to see him in his own environment and to see other parts of his life.
After seeing the different gifts of groups that come in, it makes me anxious to meet each new one when they arrive. It’s always sad to say goodbye at the end of the week but I truly love watching as God pulls out a group’s talents and uses them in different ways each week.
-Robin, 2007 CSM City Host