Posts

Let Your Love Overflow

Image
Being a youth worker means you can hear and run into just about anything you could imagine; sometimes even things you would never think possible. I like to think that I have the whole thick skin/soft heart thing down pretty good given my past experiences. Yet I had a moment last week where my heart just broke in two for a young woman. Turns out my skin wasn’t quite thick enough.

What led to me feeling so deeply for her was the fact that I myself am now a parent. And without going into the details of her story, I just couldn’t even begin to imagine how a parent could not show the care or love to their child that they need- it’s completely foreign to me. It’s a concept that I can’t grasp, especially as it doesn’t speak into my experience with parents, and man does that make me lucky, as it seems like growing up in a loving home goes against the norm.

Not only was this foreign to me in my time growing up with my Mom and Dad, but it goes completely against what I’m experiencing now with …

The Sweet in Bittersweet

Image
This has been a newsletter I have avoided writing. It is a bittersweet moment as I share with you the news that my hours have been cut down to 16 hours - roughly 2 days - a week. Before, I was at four days and hoping to increase from there. However, with the loss of a big donation in January and not being able to raise enough funds, I have instead reduced my hours.

Moving to Abbotsford last summer and driving back and forth has been tough. Working within the community and living further away makes it difficult to feel connected. Next year, my husband and I are planning on moving to a property almost in Chilliwack. With that knowledge, I knew I would reduce my hours and look for part time work close to my new place while continuing with Langley as much as I could. Yet this came a lot quicker than I had expected.

So what does this look like for me? I am not totally sure. This is the first time in a long time where I have had to look into my future and ask God what my next steps should …

The Gift of Presence

Image
As the year goes by and my relationships with youth grow, I always try to convince myself that it will get easier over time to hear their hard stories. Yet the last few weeks have proven once again that this isn’t the case, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

I feel that over time, I’ve started to recognize how normal grief, loss, and toxic situations are for our younger generation. I make a very conscious effort to prevent myself from becoming numb to the hurt in our society, even though I hear new stories of the same old hurt that comes to our young friends.

A youth walked up to me and asked to go for a walk (going for walks seems to be a staple in my work). As we were walking she says to me “ I just needed some space to walk and think” and I replied with the usual      “What have you been thinking about”. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “One of my best friends was murdered a few years ago, and I just found out how she was murdered this week. I can’t stop thinking ab…

The True Outcome

Image
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I drove.  I felt overwhelmed with grief over the news I’d received.  One of my former youth, who had beaten the odds, overcome their trauma, found Jesus and entered into ministry themselves, had suddenly done a major U-turn. They threw it all away in the pursuit of a newly developed passion. I questioned my purpose as one great success turned into a failure.  Pulling myself together, I came to our drop-in center to prepare for the 50-60 teenagers who would soon invade the space.  
As I walked in, one of my interns asked if I could help them with something.  Thinking it was a simple task, I agreed. It would help to get my mind off of things for a few minutes.  Instead, they pulled out a notebook and asked this question:
“What are some outcomes you’ve seen in youth you’ve shared the gospel with?”
I froze.  This intern wanted to hear victories. And there has been many ways in which Jesus has miraculously shown up - in dreams, transformations, softening h…

What We Do

Image
Did you know?
Langley Youth Unlimited serves a community of 5,000 youth with a staff of eight.
It only takes $92 per year per youth to enable us to continue providing ongoing consistent support to our community.

Do you know someone who is passionate about…
…providing vulnerable youth safe spaces and relationships?
Youth Unlimited is a resource that both schools and churches offer young people who might not feel safe in their community.
…offering stability in the midst of the storm of adolescence?
From a smile and a high five, to a crisis intervention and everything in between, our youth workers are walking the halls of our student’s schools every day.
…helping teens find a sense of belonging?
Hangar 17 is about creating a sense of home for youth. Home is more than food and shelter, it’s a community that claims you as their own. It’s a core human need and it’s at the very heart and story of God.
Would you be willing to make an introduction?
If you know someone who is passionate about the…

Beyond the Youth

Image
I don’t know what it’s like to have a child of my own, especially one who is facing struggles I have never personally dealt with. I imagine worry, stress, fear, confusion and potentially desperation are words to describe the emotions that come with it. Only those of you who have your own children may understand. I see the pain of youth, deep and dark. Some of those youth I see or speak to on a daily basis. I am with them in the mess of their lives.

Yes, I love each of the youth I work with but I still can’t understand the feeling of having responsibility for a child who can’t get out of bed; who wont eat; who cries themselves to sleep every night. The things that happen, the choices they make, it just doesn’t always make sense but haven’t we all been there. For some of us, we’re even in it right now.

You may be asking why I’m going on about this idea. It’s because I want you to see a side of youth work that is unexpected and profound. It’s when the parents just need someone to talk t…

A Message From Our Youth

Image
This month we asked one of our youth to write the main page for our newsletters. We asked them to be honest and open about what the hangar means to them. They came back with this amazing piece of writing:

A Message from a Hangar 17 Student...

The hanger is a wonderful home of creativity and friendship. It’s a place one can always feel welcome and at home. In the two and a half years I’ve been going, the space has evolved to be more welcoming, homey, and accepting to all those who come through.

Visiting the hanger is the biggest highlight of my week, there are always welcoming faces and an accepting environment. The hanger brews a wonderful sense of community and connection, it is the place where most of my friendships have been made and it’s our constant hangout place. The community environment that’s been built is a constant support through the stress of school.

On top of their wonderful art program, their “spiritual life” time has made a huge impact on my own view of the world and …