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Showing posts from October, 2017

A Month of First's

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This last month has been a season of firsts for me in the world of youth work.

Several weeks ago I had the privilege, so to speak, of entering into a student’s home to mediate a conversation between them and their parents. This was my first experience as mediator. There are times when teenagers are not sure how to communicate the deep emotions they are encountering and it can come out in the form of misbehaviour or not caring, which can often create frustration in the home. I was able to spend an hour with the family as they unraveled their emotions and thoughts and the parents listened. I was used as a bridge between them and their family, reiterating what they were saying in different words so both parties could clearly understand each other. The family was thankful for the open conversation and the student was able to move a little bit closer to a healthier state.

Another first for me was to have the privilege of attending and speaking at a Community Partner meet and greet at the …

In This Together

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After a recent night of programs, my coworkers and I sat around a camp fire to debrief. With it being October now, the cooler weather gives us an excuse to pull out the propane heater after all the dust has settled on the busyness and craziness of the evening.

It had been a full night to say the least:
-A group art project
-A yelling, cursing, chasing match between two teenage girls
-My car getting toilet papered by my kids from Grove
-A talk about grace for teens who have experienced none
-A bad anxiety/panic attack
-Tons of laughter and fun
-3+ hours of bus driving around Langley getting teens home

Like I said, a full night. However, not entirely unusual.

Often our program nights can leave me asking ‘what just happened?’, as if a wind storm just swept me up. Over the course of the night it feels like my role adapts depending on who I’m talking to. With Brendan, I’m a big brother. With Alex, a safe caring male in her life while all the others aren’t. To Lanna, a voice of experience …

Love Casts Out Fear

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For the last nine years I have had the opportunity to speak in Planning 10 classes. This week I spoke to approximately 250 grade ten students at Mountain Secondary School. It took me 3 days to get through all of them with each presentation taking about an hour. It is some of the hardest but most rewarding work I do.

I always tell the students I’m not interested in telling them what choices to make but rather in helping them understand why they might be making choices that don’t fit with their own convictions. A significant part of my presentation is making it safe enough for students to anonymously share their struggles with the rest of the class. It usually boils down to fear and insecurity:

“I’m afraid my boyfriend will break up with me if I don’t…”
“I’m afraid of disappointing my parents so I…”
“I’m afraid my friends won’t like me if…”

Because fear’s greatest weapon is secrecy and isolation, it can be incredibly powerful to speak your fear out loud for others to hear and even more…

Small Victories

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With school starting in the last month and programs beginning, it has been a whirlwind of craziness. I am involved in a few programs while being at the local middle school. It has been hard to find balance in my schedule, learning what things need more time and which people need more attention.

This last week was like any other week at our weekly program. We had a few games and activities running for the students that had shown up. Some weeks I wonder, in between all the craziness, like toilet paper dodge ball and push up competitions, do these young people realize the presence of love in this place? Do they know they are cared for and that there is hope for their future? This week I was reassured of this while speaking with a few students. Nearing the end of the night, during Spiritual Life, a student began to have a panic attack. She sent her friend to come get me from our small group time and we sat outside and had a long conversation about life. I was happy that they had chosen m…

October Prayer Requests

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- pray for our new program, Student Life
- pray for staff health as we enter into cold and flu season - pray for our bodies to be healthy and refreshed
- pray for Rachel, who will be coaching basketball at Langley Secondary School. She will also be assisting the team in fundraising for tournaments
- pray for Philippa, who will be apprenticing with us this year. Pray for her to feel encouraged and renewed as she continues to fundraise. Please pray that her funding would come in quickly

What Is Student Life?

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It is our dream that the youth of Langley would have the means to live healthy lives: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We desire to provide youth with the opportunity to live a holistic lifestyle and give them the tools to develop themselves as a person. We are always looking for ways we can take our relationships with youth to the next level. While sitting on a couch playing Mario Kart is beneficial to the overall growth of a friendship, it is easy as youth workers to get stuck. This is why when our team came across the program Ambassadors of Compassion, we knew we wanted to incorporate it into our work.

Ambassadors of Compassion (AOC) is a leadership project that helps youth discover new and exciting aspects of their life that will equip them with the skills to navigate and succeed through life’s critical challenges. It is a weekly program that is designed to help youth become self-sufficient and compassionate individuals who take responsibility fo…