Kezia Winkel and Erin Vandergriendt
[by Kezia Winkel, Providence Canadian Reformed Church, Hamilton, Ontario and Erin Vandergriendt, Rehoboth Canadian Reformed Church, Burlington-Waterdown, Ontario]
Kezia and Erin were members of the team that led Week One of the English for Kids Bible Camp, June 26-30, 2017, sponsored by St-Marc's Reformed Church in Quebec City, where OP Missionary Rev. Ben Westerveld serves as Pastor.
“English for Kids” Bible Camp was an amazing opportunity to share the message of the gospel while also teaching English. On this trip I was a teacher’s aide for the advanced class. While I didn’t actually stand up in front of the class and teach, I would help answer the kids’ questions and make sure they all made it to the next location on schedule (quite a challenge at times! My favourite part of the trip was spending time with the kids, whether during craft or game time, at lunch, between activities, or at the end of the week BBQ!
Although the days were busy, I loved it! I found it was a great opportunity to serve and to be an example of what a life with Jesus looks like. I also enjoyed being part of a team of all different ages and I learned from my team and was greatly encouraged by them as well.
“English for Kids” really showed me the beauty of the communion of saints as I witnessed our team working together and filling in different roles. This trip also helped me see where some of my own personal strengths and weaknesses are and has given me more of an insight on where and how I can serve.
I made several new friends at the camp and continue to pray for them and that the week(s) they spent at “English for Kids” may cause a desire to learn more about Jesus and the gospel.
“English For Kids” was a great way to serve God with the talents He has blessed me with. The camp provided an opportunity to be a shining light to children who often are not able to witness the glory of God in their own daily lives.
As a member of the team, I was designated to lead the indoor games and assist in outdoor recreation. This task introduced exciting challenges because it required working with kids of all ages. I quickly learned that different ages demanded different styles of games and explanations. For example, initially I perceived the older group may prefer and excel in more complicated games. However, it was the intermediate group that enjoyed the difficult games, whereas the older group was content to play duck-duck-goose.
I learned to apply this lesson from a mission perspective as well. God created us all so differently and “English for Kids” taught me the importance of respecting this when sharing His Word with others around us. Some children just need a friend to love and be there for them. This friendship may, through God’s providence, remain with them as they continue to mature and become adults.
Visit www.opcstm.org for more photos and testimonials from those who have served as short-term missionaries in the OPC!