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Showing posts from February, 2017

Jon's February Update

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Friends and Family,

The other day I was talking to a young friend of mine before his class started. I have gotten to know him over the last year and a half during my time at Walnut Grove Secondary. He has a lot of different things working against him which causes him to not sleep for more than a couple hours every night. He recently got a support dog and has seen a vast improvement in not just his sleep, but in his overall health as well (which was something we got to celebrate). All this to say, while we were chatting he noticed the bags under my eyes from tiredness and, being well versed in lack of sleep, he began to give me tips on how to start sleeping better. It warmed my heart to see him showing care in this way, especially since he is someone who generally doesn’t care about anything. That and the role reversal of him trying to help me - one of the many cool things I get to be a part of by being a daily presence in his life.

This season has been a bit harder for me, not emotio…

Living in the Uncomfortable

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As I reflect on the work that Youth Unlimited does, I am reminded of how uncomfortable much of our job is. My coworkers spend their days approaching those deemed unapproachable by a lot of society. They work to advocate for these youth in community groups, schools, churches and family circles. Every aspect of our jobs is fundraised; salary, benefits, programs, transportation, buildings, etc. We have the uncomfortable task of approaching others regularly, asking for money.

  In September, I made the decision to volunteer my Wednesday afternoons/evenings at our art and spiritual life programs and I have been shocked at how uncomfortable it is for me. Weekly I feel as though I am met face-to-face with insecurities that I thought had left me when I graduated high school. I find myself wondering how to approach youth, wondering what they will think of me, struggling to carry conversations past “hello” and “how are you?”. It can be so awkward and yet I continue to volunteer each week des…

A New Year Brings New Challenges

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This past fall we began a new program called Street Life. Street Life is a Mobile Drop-In Center for youth operated by Youth Unlimited staff and university and high school volunteers from Trinity Western University and our Momentum program. The intent is to create a safe space for middle school youth in Langley to participate in. For more information on the dream and the program as a whole, please refer to the other article in this newsletter.

I was recently given leadership of this program and it has been challenging and a big learning curve taking complete leadership. For so long I have always been under someone else’s leadership and not needing to make the final decisions. I have been learning that the job of a youth worker is not as flashy and exciting as it may seem and I have been learning to accept failure. So far, as program leader, I have had to cancel programs due to weather, disappointing both youth and volunteers. For so long I have been programmed to follow in the shadow…

February Prayer Requests

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- pray for our Street Life program, pray that the community would be receptive and that local youth would engage in our mobile drop-in

- pray for our programs, for energy for our staff, for youth engagement and for youth to desire to go deeper than they did in the fall

- prayer for the staff who are continually fundraising

- pray for wisdom for our team as we look to the future and plan ahead

- pray for our youth who are navigating through some difficult life situations at the moment - pray for our staff, as we walk alongside them