Showing posts from June, 2015

Langley Youth Unlimited

Hello everyone! Nights alive IS running tonight from 6 to 8pm in the Langley meadows school gym! Anyone in grades 5 to 7 is welcome to come play games with us. Also, Nights Alive will be running all summer in the Langley Meadows playground and field on Friday nights :)

Langley Youth Unlimited

These are some before and after shots of our interactive art piece from our 2nd Annual Art Addicts Youth Art Show last night. Thank you so much to everyone who came!

Langley Youth Unlimited

Our Art Show is tonight! We are so pumped! Still don't have plans? Swing on by to check out some local youth art, and help support our program! Just a reminder that parking is at CLA Church on 56th Ave (beside Langley Secondary School) with shuttle service to the event. The evening runs from 6:30-8:30pm. Silent auctions, raffles, draw prizes, and snacks. Sounds like a great evening to me!

Who Lives At Your House?

This is a question we ask youth as we’re getting to know them. It’s a question free of assumptions about their family, allowing them to answer without shame or being boxed in. This is important because most of the youth we work with do not have a traditional family. Having a "normal" family does not mean it's healthy nor are all non-traditional families broken. Many of the youth we work with have a common theme of brokenness in their homes. When you hear their stories you begin to understand the gravity of their challenges. Often one's first response is to try to fix things and sometime it can be fixed; however, the challenges are often so much bigger than human fixes. Really, at the end of the day, teens, like anyone else, want most of all to be heard and understood; to know that they are not alone. Listen to their some of their voices...

“In order to get away from a bad situation I moved across the country to live with a parent who I’d known for only one day.”
“I don…

The Power of Perseverance

It was ten years ago when April and I moved into Langley.  We didn’t know a single young person.  We were apart from our closest friends and family.  We didn’t know the neighborhoods. We just had a dream to see youth have the means to live a healthy life: Physically, Emotionally, Intellectually, Socially and Spiritually. We wondered if there was a place for us and for Youth Unlimited in this community.
At first things looked bright, but eventually it seemed like the dream was turning into a nightmare.  Our bus broke down, our relationships at the schools changed, the youth turned back to their old ways, our funding tanked, our programs were canceled, our family struggled, and even my health deteriorated.  It was then that we realized that God had not called us to be successful, but to be faithful. I felt a bit like Noah – spending his whole life working on a lifelong project that in the end only saved eight people.  At times it would have been easy to walk away, to admit failure and mo…

Vulnerability on Vashon

This past weekend I spent four days at a men’s retreat at the All-Merciful Savior Monastery in Washington State partly in preparation for the youth trip I have planned for June 6th. Driving down I had no idea what to expect. I had only met Abbot Tryphon twice previously, and although he was a cordial and friendly fellow, I didn’t really know him. 
As I boarded the ferry from Seattle to Vashon Island I thought about the young people who I’d be taking with me in a few short weeks. Would they find it strange? Interesting? Would they encounter God?
As I arrived and drove up the long gravel road through the woods toward the monastery grounds it was as if I had entered another world. The church with its blue onion dome, the vegetable gardens, the chicken coop, the stone fountain, the tall cedars encircling it all. It was beautiful and pristinely quiet. The kind of quiet that gets inside of you.
I was greeted warmly by Abbot Tryphon, who has the other worldliness of Gandalf and the jolliness of…

Langley Youth Unlimited

One of or youth is putting on this event on Saturday. Check it out!

Langley Youth Unlimited

Don't forget about nights alive this Friday night from 6 to 8 in the school gym. Anyone in grades 5 to 7 is welcome to come okay gym games with us :) Also, on June 19 we will be going to Coastal Climbing in Surrey. There is information/permission forms in the Langley meadows school office.

A Day In The Life Of

We were at Alpha. My teens who took 4 weeks to build up the courage to step through those intimidating doors were here....and bored. They liked the Youth Alpha videos we had watched before, but we were watching the adult Alpha video this week and they couldn’t get over the 80’s hair styles and the old man with a British accent preaching. One of them grabbed my bible from the table and started leafing through the worn, scribbled on pages. 
During the discussion time after he said to me “Carmen I was looking through your bible and I was actually just reading your notes in the margins. Some of them were funny. But what I really liked was there was a part about how to treat slaves, and you had circled it, and wrote a note on the side that said “Yuck. What do I do with this?” And I just wanted to say that I really respect that about you. I’m used to Christians who blindly follow and ignore the controversial parts of the bible. It was cool to see you struggle with parts of the bible.” That l…


I love ideas. My teammates joke that you can name any topic and I will probably have read a blog about it. I especially love when I can make a connection between two seemingly unconnected ideas. We have a word for this kind of magic - an epiphany. I had an epiphany recently. We were learning about Physical Literacy - teaching the ABC’s and 123’s of movement before assuming people can play sports or compete. The instructor had us moving around the room doing silly actions and I found myself embarrassed at being paraded around the room in front of everyone. I was so upset I left the room and hid in the office. Later the topic turned to how negative experiences can hinder our physical literacy development. Suddenly I realized my anger and embarrassment was connected to something deeper. Gym class was probably the least safe place for me. As I began to process this layer of hurt I realized how deep it ran. I saw how even now as an adult youth worker, I still avoid school gyms. The smoke pit…


It’s called ‘Heroscape’. It’s a table-top board game that looks like a fantasy videogame. Imagine small figurines of dragons, robots and aliens on a 3D game board, duking it out in a last-man-standing battle. And for the past several weeks I’ve been playing it for 4 to 5 hours a week. Why, you may ask? Because the grade eight boys I work with love it. If you want to know how to connect with kids, find out what excites them.

But, what does this have to do with youth work or Jesus?

I’ll tell you. First, it has the appeal of a video game, but it requires real-life social interaction. We are building who’ve only recently entered the socially complex world of high school and often find it hard to make friends, is critical.

Second, developing relationship is the precursor to trust, which is a must if you’re going to move past ‘surface talk’.

Third, developmentally speaking, their brains are not ready for deep discussions. That will come later. But for now I’m spending time caring for them by en…

Langley Youth Unlimited

Due to our annual Golf Tournament, there will be NO Art Addicts this Wednesday! Have a fabulous week everyone!