Left in Pieces
Some words I have heard from the youth:
“I don’t really have anywhere else I can be myself but here”
“Why do you guys care about me so much? I’m not worth it.”
“This is the only place I feel safe.”
Having now been working for Youth Unlimited for 8 months, I can honestly say it is the most difficult and yet most rewarding place I have ever been a part of. You are challenged - emotionally, physically, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. You are confided in, questions are posed to you from youth and staff that leave you examining your entire life (thank you Danny), and your whole world can be turned upside down as things that have been hidden for so long inside you finally begin to rise to the surface. Working with youth and hearing their stories can leave you raw. Some months you don’t see any progress and then out of nowhere, youth you have been praying for and seen people pour into finally begin to open up in ways you would have never hoped for or imagined.
The people you work with become like family, the programs become a safe place for the youth that enter, and there truly is this sense of being home. Being in an administrative position also offers a unique perspective on the youth work that my coworkers take part in. I have had the opportunity to work alongside them at programs, I’ve been a part of their struggles as they look to fund their ministry, I’ve seen them battered and bruised when a youth they’ve loved and poured into is taken away from this earth too soon, and I’ve witnessed their joy and wonderment when they realize the work that God has been doing behind the scenes when a youth finally comes to accept Christ as their own. Youth work is not easy, yet there is such a big and obvious need pouring out from our community. And through this team here in Langley, we are meeting that need for some of those who need it most.
Often I remember the verse in Acts 1:8 which says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” People often see missionaries as those who work abroad, yet the staff here at Youth Unlimited are acting as that voice right here in our cities. I personally am so grateful knowing that there are people out there like you who are willing to come alongside us in prayer, financially and in encouragement to continue the work set before this team. The youth workers here have truly become the voice of love, forgiveness and understanding to so many who don’t have such things anywhere else in their lives. There may be challenges and frustrations but in the end, this is home. It’s right where we need to be. Your entire way of life may be shattered and left raw but the path set before us offers a promise in which we don’t have to pick up the pieces by ourselves.
- Kim Solomon