Monday, May 28, 2012

Memories of Toronto

I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Its a wonderful book and her writing style draws you in to the story to sit, listen and hang on every word.  As we are at a transition point in our lives the book is a great encouragement to see gifts from God all around you in the mundane and everyday.  I'm in chapter 10 when the story she shares catches me off guard.  She shared about how an opportunity presents itself for her to be a chaperone on a youth trip to Toronto with her church, none of her children were in the youth group yet.  Toronto was a bad memory in her past and she sees this trip as way to redeem it for herself.  She is from Canada so a trip to Toronto didn't seem strange or significant until she mentions the ministry they were partnering with, Center for Student Missions (CSM).

As a freshman in High School one of the experiences I was most looking forward to was the tradition in our church of Go & Serve, a annual missions trip for High School Students.  My first Go & Serve experience was to Toronto serving for a week with CSM.  As I read Voskamp's account of her own experience it made me think about my own and how it became a part of me.

Some of things I still remember from that trip was learning how to really see the homeless that we were serving. We learned how important shoes are to the homeless because they are on their feet all time and exposed to the elements. Entertainment is not a luxury but a necessity, a person's walkman was a valued possession and helped them pass the time.  We learned to see the people we were serving in 3-D, the circumstances that led them to living on the streets is more complex than we realize.

As I look back on that experience and the training that was given to us while we were serving I would say it contributed to my world view.  It never seemed like enough to give some money to a mission but to want to serve time as well.  The teaching moments we experienced I have carried with me and remember whenever we have the opportunity to serve our community whether its distributing food at the local food pantry or a service day with drama and food and clothes to give away.

Linking Up with 
Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...