where to start.
for those of you who have been asking, my room is pretty sweet. i managed to snag a comfy mattress for my bed, fit all of my clothes on the shelves provided, and make it feel like home by decorating it in true paula style. i won't be spending too much time in there seeing as how my days are packed to the rim, but it's nice to have something to call my own in the midst of the chaos.
training has been intense, but really good. thankfully, my leaders have been sensitive to the fact that i am in no ways an audible learner, and have been extremely supportive and gracious towards me during this long and challenging process. i am loving this journey i am on and all of the great things i get to learn, and be a part of.
take yesterday for example.
my alarm clock went off at 5:10 a.m. at which i went downstairs to help the team [a small team of 11 from a chinese church in the GTA] make egg mcmuffins for the what we call 'breakfast patrol' [handing out hot breakfast to those sleeping on the streets]. when finished, the team and their leaders went downtown toronto to hand out breakfast as the rest of us got ready for our third day of training. later that day, we had the honor of handing out bagged lunches, too.
it's fascinating to me to watch a group of youth come in on friday night all shy and scared about interacting with people they wouldn't normally interact with, and listen to them talk about how nice 'these people' are and how great their experience has been by the time they leave on sunday.
today we got introduced to the 'street walk'. basically, we heard the heart wrenching story of a 13 year old street kid and had to assume their role and act as if this was our own story. we were given a twonie and one bus token and had to walk around the streets of toronto [in a group for safety purposes but we weren't allowed to talk to anyone or pool our money together etc] trying to find the answer to these five questions: what would we eat? where would we sleep? what would we do for money? hygiene? entertainment? the sad reality is, as i have learned this week, a huge percentage [low 80's] of both male and female street youth subject themselves to some form of prostitution just to 'get by' and have their above needs met.
i don't know about you, but i can't wrap my mind around this. i don't know about you, but i can't stand around and pretend like it's not happening right here in my backyard.
“while women weep, as they do now, i'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, i'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, i'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, i'll fight, i'll fight to the very end!” [william booth]