My name is Joseph Oh and I’ve had the privilege of serving with City on a Hill this summer in Kingston-Galloway with Deacon Gill and several other brothers and sisters. By partnering with Toronto City Mission (TCM), and through the theme of Minecraft, the staff and team did a phenomenal job in showing the children that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
The children from Kingston-Galloway mostly came from broken homes, and many of these children lacked a sense of authority. The children grew up in a culture where trust was uncommon. It seemed as if they grew up with bitterness, anger, and possibly verbal abuse as well. I could see that the children had very low self-esteem, and tried to hide any signs of being weak; acts of love were few and far between, and their hearts were closed, especially towards our team.
One TCM staff, named, Gala, ended off each day by giving words of encouragement and blessings to each child. Following this, the team centered our various activities and crafts to teach the children that they are unique in the eyes of God and are equally loved by him. On days when the team didn’t have to lead, we would all look for various opportunities to be with each child, and we talked with them, encouraged them, and tried to show Christ-like love.
Although we spent a short time with them, the children eventually opened their hearts and we established a small but deep bond with them. The team could see the children’s growing curiosity for God love, and some even asked questions regarding their worth in God’s eyes. I hope that the seeds which were planted landed on good soil, and we pray that God will continue to water them and help each child to grow.
Through this experience, God has made me realize that there is a need for local missions just as there is a need for overseas missions. It made me realize that both ministries have equal significance and importance.
Because of the TCM staff stationed in Kingston-Galloway, the kids have changed drastically over the past three years. It was really great to see that their labour has borne much fruit in the children’s lives and during our time there, we also all strived to be a positive influence for these children.