My name is Joseph Oh and I’ve had a great opportunity to serve in Kingston Galloway summer camp with the Toronto City Mission staff and interns. Very similar to last year, our team developed two craft activities under the theme of the ten plagues. Our focus was to show two things: God can use both the good and the bad things in our lives to shape us, use us, and carry out his plans, and that Jesus‘ blood saved us from our sins, and that He is our Passover Lamb.
Right after the Civic Holiday, Lyka, Dylan, Miga, Erica and I joined Toronto City Mission (TCM) and served at Sonshine Day Camp children’s program in St. Jamestown (SJT), where we ministered to children aged 6 to 12 by leading fun activities such as art crafts, food crafts, and music.
Prior to joining TCM, our church, City on a Hill, had several sermons on missions focusing on Matthew 9:35-38: “The harvest is plentiful but workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”. I learned that Jesus calls every follower to be involved in His mission which is to proclaim Christ as the only savior from sin and only way to eternal life. This led me to pray for God to send more workers into his harvest field and also for God to send me. J.D Greear mentioned in his book, Gaining By Losing that the question is no longer if we are called, only where and how. It means that all believers are called to go into His harvest field, we just need to ask God where and how.
Like Lyshane, I was a part of the summer mission team in Toronto. I served in the Kingston-Galloway community in Scarborough. The goal of the team was to partner with TCM’s summer camp, build relationships, introduce people to Jesus, and introduce people to our church.
I’ve been on the Toronto summer mission team for the past 7 years, 6 of those as the leader. Among the many lessons that the team learns each summer, one is always the same: that although we spend so much time training and preparing, the most important part of the summer is not what a great job we do, but that we get to play a very small but valuable role in God’s master plan of what He was doing in the lives of everyone involved. God always deserves all of the glory. This year was no different. Although I faced 2 very new situations this summer, God still reminded me that the glory was all His.
Through my novice missions experience in KG, I learned the priceless lesson of how God works through our obedience to his calling for missions. I learned that my reason for obedience should not be because I am talented or gifted enough to fulfil God’s commands, but because He is the only one who is able. I always knew this, but this truth became a reality in KG. I wrestled with God based on what I could do, and what I expected to happen in KG. Hence, KG was a great challenge to me. I went there with the thought that I would do well, expecting great things, but I was more incompetent on the field, and I became discouraged to the point that I believed I was more of a baggage to my team rather than a blessing. I was expecting seventeen-year-old teenagers to come and learn English and play basketball on our first week. We got even younger children instead. The children were great, but I feared that they were not physically able enough to play basketball and intentionally learn English.
This year, I had the opportunity to be part of India’s Short-Term Mission team with 6 other brothers and sisters at CoaH, led by Pastor Tim. Our team spent our first week in India serving with Pastor Abi’s India Missions at the city of Bhagalpur, located at the end of the state of Bihar, requiring our team to travel 10 hours by bus from Patna. We also served with Pastor Biju, Pastor Abraham and Pastor Joy in the second week at the TIM center. Over the course of two weeks, our team had the opportunity to share the Gospel with over 1500 children and youth in Bihar.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Pastor Tim had emphasized the importance of being joyful, giving thanks, and viewing prayer as a ministry from the start our training, and throughout our whole time together in India, and God truly allowed our team to experience and live out this verse during our time in India.