Category Archives: Intern Life

Seeking God’s Will.

God, what is your will for my life?

Last week in Intern class our director wrote “What is God’s will for my life?” on the board and then left the room to allow us freedom to discuss. How do we know God’s will for our lives?

Usually when in a group of young adults looking at the idea of God’s will I see nothing but confusion. People waiting for God to give them a revelation that will send them towards their vocation  and hopefully the perfect school to prepare for it at.

The interns this year are great. Really it’s such a godly group, I’m so blessed to be a part of it.

Anyways, I was thinking about how much confusion I see around the topic so I thought I’d share some of the things we talked about that day:

-God’s shown us some of His will already – in His word. If we’re waiting on His will and not following what He’s already said we have a problem.

-God has given us gifts, skills and talents. He’s also given us desires in our hearts. He wants us to use them for His glory. He wants us to be who He made us to be. (So in seeking His will, we’re also seeking to see who He made us.)

-Sometimes God will give us times when we are supposed to wait on Him. Not every time will be like this.

-God doesn’t want us to sit around waiting for His will and doing nothing for His kingdom while we wait. Not many of us felt a specific calling to Urban Promise. We saw that God was working there and we joined in.

-Being at Urban Promise doesn’t mean that we’re already ‘in God’s will’ and don’t have to seek it any longer. We should wake up each morning and ask how we can join in his work THAT DAY.

-We should be prayerful about everything we do and make sure that it lines up with scripture.

-Speaking of which:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:13

So, from that we see that we shouldn’t think that we have solid plans. We should always be open to God changing the plans we have and bringing about His will in that way. (My dad says that we don’t use the phrase: “Lord willing,” as a close to explaining our plans enough anymore.)

By the end of our class we had changed the question all together, the question we as interns want to ask is this:


God, what is your will for my DAY?


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Some of you will know that when I say Florida I’m speaking of a person more often than a place.

His internship started last January, so it’s over – now. I went to see him Saturday morning for the last time before he left. I had a great time hanging out with him and his now former room mates. Great morning, one to be remembered for sure.

When it was time for me to go I asked him to walk me downstairs, he came with me to the bus stop. As we walked down the road we threw some random memories back and forth. I guess we were trying to spend our last moments reminding each other how much our friendship meant.

When we got to the bus stop the bus was already rounding the corner so we wrapped up our memory sharing and as the bus pulled up I gave him a farewell hug.

Not a good bye hug. A farewell hug. You see the good bye hug is the hug you give to say ‘It was nice seeing you, I’ll see you later’. So of course you need a different hug to say a different thing.

That’s the farewell hug. It’s the same until the point that the goodbye hug would end. At that point instead of letting go and walking off you hold on a little tighter, for a little longer. As if to express without words all the feelings that are swelling up inside of you.

The feelings of wishing that they didn’t have to go. That they could just stay a little longer. That it didn’t have to be good bye.

So anyways super dramatic hug whatever, as the bus pulls up. Then the good bye and my friend Jonny walks off as the bus doors open.

As I walk onto the bus the driver says hello and gives me a sympathetic smile. I turn and continue towards the back, the whole bus watching me as tears stream slowly down my face.

I sit near the back crying softly until an amazingly sweet young woman hands me a couple of Pizza Pizza napkins to dry my tears.

Then I smiled. Jonathan Garrell is the kind of fellow that really makes you smile. So I thought about the day I met him and how much he’s changed since then. The day we sat at the corner of Jane and Finch and had a four hour conversation about things that seemed important at the time. The conversations about God – who will be most important for all time. I wondered if I’d ever set foot on the fourth floor again. I thought about the day I locked him out of my apartment and sent him ridiculous notes through the mail slot. And I laughed to myself about all the nights we’d wandered to Tim Horton’s only to realize that neither of us actually wanted anything… And how I’d be the one to buy a pop or hot chocolate to try to make it look less ridiculous.

He was – and will continue to be from afar – an amazing friend.

I’m a better person for having known him.

Love you Jonny.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:5-6



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Oh, What a Day.

BubforBlog“I work in an at-risk community, but I come here and I get shot.”
-Jörg Wacker rather incredulous after getting hit by a golf ball at a private golf course.

The second year interns went to a golf tournament today. It was run by a company that’s friends with Urban Promise and all the proceeds were donated to us. Jörg and I were at the 4th hole and Erin and David at the 14th. We stood there with nifty little pamphlets, ready to talk to anyone who wasn’t engrossed in their game of golf.

It was an adventure as everything here tends to be. Jörg and I were stranded in the back corner of the course without a golf cart while a giant black cloud stood ominously over our heads. We didn’t like that very much… nor did we like the lightning thunder or hail. Luckily those didn’t last long.

Our friend and Director of Development Tim came to save us and left a golf cart with us. We liked that very much.

Standing outside in the cold and wet most of the day wasn’t all that fun, but the bursts of sun and the golf carts were certainly worth it. Coming into our second year internship driving golf carts had been the only goal the four of us could fully agree on. Judging from the fact that that goal was fulfilled far more quickly than we could have imagined I’ll assume that God expects greater goals from us now.

Jörg might not agree that it was all worth it quite yet. He was in fact hit by a golf ball. On the elbow, from incredibly close range. It must have hurt like crazy.

That was the end of our standing outside and soon transitioned into the best meal I’ve had in ages.Being an intern really gave me a great appreciation for free food.  Even at home I find myself giving heartfelt thanks to my Dad for providing me with supper. Food is a wonderful thing.

After school program starts tomorrow and this whole experience was just another reminder of how many people there are involved with Urban Promise that I don’t even know personally.

We have so many supporters, and we couldn’t  serve the kids without the funding they provide.

I thank God for each of them, for their prayers and for the way He’s moved their hearts to give to this organization.


“For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them. And we can tell the world that there is life after death, but the world really seems to be wondering if there is life before death.”

— Shane Claiborne


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A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart.


We take so much for granted.

If you look in my bathroom right now you would not understand why the Jane and Finch girls are celebrating. It’s very white. White walls and white ceiling. Freshly painted white.

We’re praising God for our bathroom in all of it’s bright white splendour.

Maybe you read the one blog I wrote last year on October 23rd 2008. It was about the shooting that had taken places down the street a bit before. The last line was an impromptu “Oh dear.  Our bathroom ceiling is leaking.” – You can check if you’d like.

So nearly a year ago, and since then we’ve had paint peeling off of our ceiling, right on top of the shower. Every shower had an added little hassle. It was a pain.

Yesterday morning I was in the bathroom, thankfully just finishing up when I heard Erin telling some man at the door that someone was in the bathroom. I hurried out to find that a painter had come to fix our ceiling. He told us to empty out the bathroom and came back with a red shopping cart filled with his supplies.

He painted everywhere that needed it. It’s so nice.

Now we’re praising Jesus for a shower without peeling paint. Something we never would have realized we should be thankful for, if we hadn’t lived without it.

Also, the Camp Victory Youth supervisor went out and found something that might just get rid of our bug problem. So we’re thanking Jesus for him too!

(Erin says she’s been watching a cockroach for awhile across the room, his name is Krueger, he’s lucky she isn’t holding a bottle of Windex.)

The Urban Promise staff is heading over to Muskoka Woods today. For some more training and a bit of a spiritual retreat before our camps start up next week.

I’ve got some things swimming around in my head that I’d like to write about for you here. I’ve been asking  God to help me sort them out and He’s been doing so, but I’ll be gone for a couple days now. Erin Pipes also says that she might just do a guest appearance on my blog. Let’s hope so!

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

– Romans 5:3-4

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I can’t go on without Your love… and I’ll never have to.

Lord I really need You in my life,
Fall every time that You’re not in sight,
Can’t go on without Your love, I can’t go on…

[Can’t Go On – Group 1 Crew]

The first few days of internship have been great. The new interns are all amazing. Our new roommate, Sarah, is really fun, really nice, and really solid in Christ. The new intern at my camp is great; I can tell already that the kids will love him. I got to see some of my kids yesterday, it was great.

In theory it’s all going great.

Even so, for some reason these past few days have been incredibly hard. I’ve had an awful feeling deep down that I’m having trouble explaining.

I realize now that  I’ve been leaning on too many things that aren’t stable, when my rock should only be my God who’s always faithful.

The first day I felt absolutely dizzy emotionally. I was sure that if one of the boys who had lived down the hall, one of the boys who had become like brothers over the past year, if one of them was there I wouldn’t feel like I was going to fall over.

If it’s not built on God it’s going to topple over. I’m sure I learned that when I was four singing the “the foolish man built his house upon the sand…” Of course Mrs. Madeline always made sure we understood and we would sing “So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ”, four year olds aren’t good with metaphors.

So I can’t build on my friends always being around, or on my kids all coming to program, or even on getting to be at Urban Promise. That’s a blessing that God’s given me for now… but if I just build my life on Him I’ll be able to be thankful for the next thing He has me do. No matter where He leads me… He is going ahead of me and preparing the way.

I think I’m starting to work this all out.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:5

For my Doro.

You give me love, give me strength, and You give me courage
Even though I don’t deserve it
I can’t go on without You
I don’t believe that I’d even want to
All I really wanna see is me becoming more and more like You

[Same song. :)]

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Jane and Finch living.

I’m back in Toronto.


Just about to jump into my second year internship. My room mate Erin Pipes and I have been cleaning like madwomen getting ready for our new room mate who will start her first year tomorrow. Well, for the last little while Pipes has been cleaning and I’ve been setting up a blog.

You may  have heard about the war constantly going on in the Jane and Finch apartment.  Interns vs. Cockroaches. Those bugs are awful, if you’ve never had to live with them you can’t possibly understand, but be thankful.

I’m debating how much to tell you about the little guys… I don’t want to send you running… but I don’t think you’re feeling my pain!

The first few hours after arriving at my apartment were spent sweeping. See when I’m gone and there’s no one for them to steal food from rather than leaving like good little roaches, they sit there, and they die. So I was sweeping, sweeping up dead cockroaches. I swept all of the ones I could find on the floors. Then I emptied out cupboards and swept dead cockroaches out of cupboards. (Killing live ones along the way.) I still have to do the drawers… I hate doing the drawers.

I could go on… but I think you’re getting the picture, maybe feeling a bit of the pain.

I have a feeling that God’s got a plan giving us these little pests… but I’ve yet to find it! Maybe He has lessons for us on spiritual warfare that we will realize while fighting off roaches with our Windex bottles and paper towels.

Urban Promise internship officially starts tomorrow.

I’d like to ask you to pray for this years intern group. There are five interns returning from last year, and I believe six starting off fresh. Pray that we’ll be able to work together and bless each other! Erin and I have one new room mate coming… we’re very excited to meet her. We’re also a bit bummed as our last room mate has returned to Germany (Oh how I love my Dorothia) – this will be a big adjustment so please pray that God will help things go smoothly!

I’ll leave you with a verse that Pipes pointed out to me today:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. -Ephesians 6:18

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