Showing posts from April, 2017

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

Decorating pottery with students over Spring Break  Over the past three years with Youth Unlimited I have learned about the process of relationship building. Our goal as youth workers is to be a safe adult in their life that won’t leave when things get tough. Trust takes times to build. If you were to eavesdrop on some of the conversations I have with youth, they would sound very surface level. This is an intentional part of relationship building and our hope is to foster relationships that will grow to something deeper.  When I first started meeting with Aaron, our conversations would never go beyond his favourite band or the homework he had due next week. He would display a tough exterior in order to protect himself but over the years I have been able to peel away the layers and dive deeper into his life. He began to share with me his experience with church and I was able to ask questions about religion and faith. From there we entered into conversations that had deeper signi

Goodbyes Are Hard

Momentum students at our Circus Lab  Goodbyes really suck. I have said a lot of goodbyes in my life, but making the decision to say goodbye to Youth Unlimited has been one of the most difficult decisions to make. I care so deeply, and I know that you too care deeply, about the youth of Langley. That’s why you’ve partnered with me so faithfully.  My time at YU has been full of wonderfully happy and hopeful moments juxtaposed by sad and difficult moments. For every discussion about suicide or homelessness there were ten discussions of good days or first steps, or celebratory ice creams. Thank you for helping me make all of those moments happen.  The Langley team of youth workers has been an amazing support for me these last nearly two years. While a part of me wishes I could do youth work forever, through much thought and prayer I have come to realize that my time here is done and it is time for the next chapter in my life story. I have already begun my transition from YU to my

Jon's April Update

Celebrating with a student, who almost gave up on her art piece believing it wasn't good enough.   Meghan has dark hair, bright eyes, and a warm smile. She likes animals, the obscure reptiles especially, and will always look you in the eye and engage in conversation with you. Typically, whenever I see her walking down the hallways these days she’s quick to smile and say hello before continuing on with her day.   Meghan used to attend our programs quite faithfully last year. We have had a lot of good conversations and she has shared some meaningful connections with myself and other staff members. She would sometimes participate in our art projects, but mostly was just happy hanging out on the couches and chatting with other friends, volunteers, or my coworkers. Slowly over the course of the year her social circles started changing, she started getting busier at school, picked up a job as a hostess, and we saw less and less of her around.   Demographics constantly change an

Finding Meaning in the Mundane

Matt and I sold 50/50 tickets at our Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited fundraiser.   A co-worker was recently sharing a story of a student who lost a parent earlier this year. The student has been very closed off, but after a year of openness and patience on the part of my co-worker, the student began to share how hard it has been over these past few months.   At times I can feel as though I am ‘just an admin’ and do not contribute to our outreach in the same way as everyone else. While everyone else is in the field, coming back with success stories of kids making positive steps forward, I am in the office doing email correspondence, running errands, writing up expenses, etc.   I may not have success stories with youth in the same way my coworkers do, but I am beginning to believe that if God had not given me the position of ‘just an admin’, my coworkers would be stuck in the office, doing what I am doing, rather than meeting with youth and sharing Jesus with them.