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Showing posts from January, 2016

A Message from Jon (On Behalf of Danny)

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I had heard a lot about Danny from my friend Derian before meeting him. It wasn’t until my first interview with Youth Unlimited this past summer that I got to meet him. I had heard all these great things about the work he has done, his leadership with the Langley team, his connections with the high schools and youth agencies in Langley, and stories of transformation.

So needless to say, I had no idea the type of person to expect when first meeting him. Surely this person whose reputation preceded him would be an intense leader, like the ministry leaders I had met before. However, I was immediately disarmed and more comfortable upon meeting him when I realized that he looked exactly like 90% of the people that visit my local comic book store.

After getting hired on at Youth Unlimited, Danny became my immediate supervisor and is the fearless leader for the Langley Youth Unlimited team. In his kind, patient, firm but gentle demeanor Danny works alongside me to help with navigating the c…

Introducing: Amy

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Name: Amy Seiler
Title: Youth Recreation
Program Director
Start Date w/ YU: Began
volunteering in 2006, officially on staff November 2015!!! :)
Favourite Part of Working w/ Langley YU: Seeing young people move from hopelessness to recognizing hope and potential in themselves
What Brought Me to the Team: Momentum student turned volunteer turned staff!

Spouse: Phteven
Date I Was Married: Jan 19/14
Where I Grew Up: Fort Langley
High School: RE Mountain

Favourite:

Spare Time Activities: Playing outside, climbing, hiking, snow/skate boarding
Food: Bacon or tacos
Book of the Bible: James
Movie: It’s Such a Beautiful Day
Author: Robert Munsch will always be my fave

It Takes a Village

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We believe that this work is not ours alone.  Each month we put together these newsletters so that you can share in the joys and struggles of this work.  Many of you support the work we do through your prayers and partnerships, advocating for us in countless unseen ways, volunteering your time in our programs or in preparing meals for our youth or equipping us with the financial support and tools we need to be in the trenches of their lives every day.  So when we received encouragement from an outside source, we thought it only appropriate to share it with you. The following correspondence was from one of the schools we partner with.  In part, it belongs to you.  Thanks for believing and investing in us. After all “it takes a village” to live out these dreams:

“Even though I don’t say it all the time, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and Youth Unlimited in terms of the work you do every day to support and guide our students - not just on the work you do directly with our …

Prayer Requests

- for more opportunities to work together with churches and community agencies in the area

- for several young people struggling with extreme emotions and mental health issues to experience more peace in their lives

- for God to be glorified through all that we do and that we would be willing to allow Him to use us however He desires

Friends and Family

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I want to express my sincere thanks to all of you. It is amazing to see my community come around me in support over these last two months.

This Christmas time was a different one for Kirstie and I as it was our first without my Mom. Although new and difficult territory for us, we are able to venture through it together. We are doing well and still very much adjusting. It is true what they say about holidays being a harder time without a loved one. Your support of myself and my family is still so greatly appreciated - thank you. Over this past while I have been able to be a part of some great things. It usually takes time to build up trust with teenagers, and since September I have been doing just that. As a reward, I am beginning to see openness and vulnerability.

For example, I had one girl open up to me while at the youth care workers room at Walnut Grove Secondary School. Prior to this, she was incredibly reserved and quiet, to the point where I was sure social anxieties contribut…

Lessons from the Servant

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At the end of this month I am going to be presenting a workshop at the Canadian Youth Worker’s Convention on how to volunteer in a public school. You see, there is often this thought that youth pastors should volunteer in their local high school (which I would support) but no one is actually explaining to them how to do it well. The reality is that the public high school is not an easy place to serve. There are a lot of unspoken union rules you have to follow. You cannot talk about God or religion. The staff are skeptical of your reasons for being there and, quite frankly, so are the students. Is it even possible to be in a high school without sneaking in the back door? How do you justify to your church spending time in a place where you can’t share your faith? These are just a few of the challenges we have faced over the 10 years of school partnerships and I am looking forward to helping others learn from our successes and our mistakes.

One of the lessons I’m looking forward to pass…

Why Youth Unlimited?

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When I speak to people that are new to volunteering they are always surprised by how long I have been involved with Youth Unlimited. They often ask why I had stuck around as a volunteer for such a long period of time. There are a few reasons that impacted my decision to stay and invest in local youth.

I began as a volunteer for a new program, called Momentum, when I was 15. It sounded like a great opportunity. I would volunteer with a mobile youth drop-in center every week and connect with different students. I met with a mentor regularly, which helped me learn better goal setting and planning skills. We would talk about life and occasionally discuss deeper things. It was an opportunity to lead, learn and work as a team that I hadn’t found anywhere else. I was on our summer break from this program when something happened that really changed how I looked at my volunteer work.

Over the course of the year I had become friends with someone who suffered from severe depression. We had beco…