A Simple Thank You

The Greater Vancouver Youth For Christ Summer Institute students
The nature of youth work is pouring your time and heart into teenagers, often not knowing the true impact you have on their lives. Occasionally, students who we have intentionally loved decide to invite us in on how we have influenced them.

It was a Tuesday afternoon as I walked into the local high school and saw Garrett’s* familiar face, usually so bright and warm, seeming scattered and worried. Before I could even ask how he was, he asked me, “Savannah, what are you doing after this break? I have a spare class and I really need someone to talk too.” We set up a time to meet and I took him out for lunch that afternoon. He was going through some tough times with his family, feeling like no one really cared about him. He was lonely and overworked at home. I assured him that us youth workers care and, most importantly, Jesus cares.

This can be a typical conversation for us youth workers, hearing stories over and over about brokenness and difficult relationships. What happens next during my time with Garrett* was surprising. He started sharing how Youth Unlimited and the youth workers in Langley have changed his life. At times of desperation he knew that he could call on us and that we would be there to the best of our ability. He has been in our programs for a couple of years so we have been around to see him grow and mature into a really friendly and compassionate young man.

Another instance this month was from a young girl named Heather*. We were texting because I knew she was dealing with some mental health situations and feeling stuck in a dark place. As I was ending the conversation for the night she proceeded to tell me how thankful she was for me and the team. She said, “If it wasn’t for you guys, I literally would not be here today.” I told her that we see the potential she has in the world and that times may be hard, but God has a plan for her life.

Something so simple as a thank you makes the work we do so rewarding. It is not often that we get to fully see the fruit of our ministry. It is moments like this that gets us through the tough days; knowing that all of our tears, our prayers and our love never goes unnoticed.

As I am writing this newsletter I am thousands of feet in the air on a plane returning from Ancaster, Ontario. I just spent a week doing some intensive training with Youth Unlimited. I was surrounded by many others who do similar work to me all over Canada and the world. It has been a challenging yet encouraging week. I feel as though I have learned a lot and am coming back into Langley with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. I look forward to seeing how the next few months will play out using the skills I have gained from this trip. Thank you for all of your encouragement and prayers during this time. I am continuously amazed at your generosity that allows me to do the work I do. You guys rock!

- Savannah Deepwell

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