Tonight I sat in a room full of teenagers and listened as they reflected on the idea of suffering and death. There were times when the conversation was awkward as these youth hesitated to share their thoughts on a topic that isn’t much fun to reflect on. Yet it is discussions like this that are vital to

them figuring out their will to live and their motivation to continue on. It didn’t take long until they asked me my opinions. It was a time of being able to share our hopes as well as our fears together. There are few places in the life of the average teenager where they are able to share their convictions in a safe place. At school they are often taught to reflect back the opinions of their teachers. In the home, most youth say they have little interaction with their parents about issues of significance. If they express anything other than the family held beliefs, they are met with laughter, anger, or indifference.
Part of our strategy is to provide spaces for youth to participate in deep and meaningful conversations. We call this process "incubating" because we recognize that just like when you put an egg in an incubator, you cannot force it to grow but you know you have given it the best environment possible to develop life. Our team is motivated by our commitment to following the example of Jesus. We work with youth that come from all sorts of backgrounds, lifestyles, ethnicities, and religions. We treat them like friends, we accept their opinions, we challenge assumptions, we invite them to learn with us, but mostly we’re just willing to sit and chat even if it is awkward. And we pray that they will develop a healthy life: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

- Danny Ferguson


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