Posts

Showing posts from 2020

March Prayer Requests

- pray for Jon as he steps into the role of Area Director for Langley
- pray for Danny as he transitions into the role of Community Engagement Coordinator
- pray for the students who we have been talking with who are struggling with their mental health; it’s a hard journey to walk

The Other Side

Image
Grade 8/9: lots of games and fun, building trust, meeting parents. Grade 10: life isn’t as simple as they thought, things are harder, friends are hurting Grade 11: mental health, family, life/death, drugs, sex and sexuality Grade 12: next steps, graduation, they’re alive, we celebrate that.
After going through a full high school rotation with some teens, it has been interesting to see where they come out on the other side. Some don’t need me at all anymore, and that is a very good thing. It means that they are starting to experience a healthy life; emotionally, socially, spiritually, intellectually, and physically. Not everyone gets to this point though. There are three young men in particular that I have continued to walk with beyond high school.
One has grown a lot and is exploring faith with us each week, unknowingly becoming the “religious” person he spoke so harshly against 4 years ago. Now he is attending a weekly faith gathering (Spiritual Life), watching sermons, and talking abou…

"I Cry Every Day"

Image
It was 2pm and our team was holding an impromptu staff meeting in ‘The Living Room’, our room at Walnut Grove Secondary School. It was then that the student entered and plunked themselves down on one of the couches. ‘Where have you been?’, they demanded, ‘The board said you were supposed to be in yesterday but you weren’t and I sat in the hallway all lunch hour because you weren’t here!’.

The conversation progressed and this student began to divulge a deep sadness that they were experiencing on a daily basis, summing it up with the words, ‘I basically cry every day’.

The sacred space that these youth allow us to enter into is not lost on me. My frequency at the school is very limited, as most of my hours are spent on admin work. So it felt incredibly honouring to be allowed to experience the depths of this student’s emotion and gave me a greater appreciation for what my coworkers do on a weekly basis – their consistent presence, and the trust that has built, allowed me to get a glimp…

Renewed Vision

Image
One evening after putting my kids to bed and tidying the house I finally got a chance to sit. As I did, my vision suddenly turned into an array of bright shapes and colors, as if I was viewing the world through a kaleidoscope. I was able to make my way to bed and fall asleep. The next day everything seemed fine.Losing vision is a scary thing. I have an elderly neighbor I visit often who faces blindness more and more each day. It affects independence, safety and perception. While this incident only lasted a short time for me, his experience was echoing through my mind and I knew I should get things sorted out.
I checked in with my eye doctor. She told me, after an examination, that I’d experienced an ocular migraine. She informed me that unless I took steps to reduce my stress I’d likely have more frequent and severe reactions. My family doctor confirmed this and showed high concern for my health in this season. Stress is a normal part of life and while I work hard at caring for my phy…

Changes Within Langley YU

Image
As of February 18th, Langley welcomed Jon Pue into the role of Area Director. Danny Ferguson has faithfully served as Langley Area Director for 15 years and is beginning a new role within Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited as the Community Engagement Coordinator. He will continue to work one day per week in Langley as a Youth Worker.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jon. I’ve been working alongside Danny, Megan, Derian, and Amy for the last 5 years as a youth worker here in Langley. I’m a family man, a lover of story, laughter, and fun. I was called into Youth Ministry at 19 and wanted to shape my life after the Man who found the poor and others on the outside and brought them life. I was able to live out this calling to bring hope and potential to young people here in Langley at Youth Unlimited.
This month I’m stepping into the role of Area Director. I have been humbled by the support and
encouragement shown to me from Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited, the Langley team, family,…

January Prayer Requests

pray for Derian as he enters into his Masters program with City Universitypraise God for the support we received, enabling us to fill 13 Christmas hampers for families in need throughout our communitypray for our community and school partnerships

Back To School

Image
Day 1: “I can’t believe I’m back in school!”
Day 2: “I can’t believe how much homework I have!!”
Day 3: “I can’t believe I’m enjoying the classes as much as I am!!!”
Day 4: “I can’t believe how busy the Skytrain is on a snow day!!!!!!!”
Yes, my Master’s program has FINALLY started. At least that’s the way I feel, given I made this decision almost a year ago. A year is a lot of time to ruminate on a decision. A year is a lot of time to second guess yourself. By the time I was actually sitting in class I was probably on the slightly unhealthy side of over prepared.
Yes, I am also still with Youth Unlimited. I am writing this letter as I sit in our room at Walnut Grove Secondary School. This sacred space is often filled with laughter and joy and almost as equally filled with stories of struggle and pain. Today I might play Uno and debate the latest Stars Wars film. Or I might share my lunch with a youth who did not have one and listen to the very real pain behind their self-deprecating jokes.…

Picture This

Image
You walk through the front doors of a school. The floors have been freshly waxed, the windows are clean, and there is light shining through the window. You walk into the office, greet the office staff, sign the visitors sign in and collect your visitor badge that is needed to wander the school halls or be in the school. The students are all in class so before the stampede of a thousand children fill the halls, you say a quick prayer as you hustle down to the room where a games hub is held.
The bell rings and students stop by to say hello, or come in to the room to play games for the lunch hour. You sit down in an uncomfortable blue school chair to lose at a game of UNO. As you are playing UNO, the youth decide that yellow is the preferred colour today and even though no one has any yellow cards, they continue to change it to yellow. They chant the word “yellow” throughout the entire lunch hour and you join in because it is better to be part of the annoying group than to be annoyed by …

Uno & Hot Chocolate

Image
I thought I was pretty good at handling loud volumes and high pitch until I was surrounded by 8 teens chanting the word ‘yellow’ for half of the lunch hour. Every Thursday, our team along with a local youth pastor, open the doors of a classroom at a local high school for students who want a place to hang out to play games. We have a Wii set up, air hockey, colouring books and the ever-competitive card game of Uno. I often find myself settled at the Uno table and this particular week a student would try to turn the odds in her favour by chanting yellow whenever someone played a ‘change colour’ card. By the end of the lunch hour, the whole table was chanting (screaming, really) the word ‘yellow’ and my ears were ringing for the rest of the day.
Perhaps one of the greatest values that the team at Youth Unlimited shares is consistency. This consistency, of
being present in the school on a regular basis, is what shows youth that we want to be a part of their lives. That we want to show up …

"I Just Tried To Kill Myself"

Image
It was two days before Christmas break and my young friend, Taylor, (who’s had a rough go over the last couple of years) texted me first thing in the morning asking if I was going to be at the school. “Yup,” I replied, “I’ll see you soon.”

He had a small gift for me - a Starbucks card. Because every time we’re together I’m drinking a coffee. I’m always so blown away when teens show their thankfulness. Not long after, a few other teens rolled into our room to get comfortable and spend their flex block there. Taylor began looking uncomfortable at one point and started to cry. I assumed that another person in the room had triggered some memory of an incident so I moved myself across the room and sat on the couch next to him. He looked at me and said;

“I just tried to kill myself 5 minutes ago”.

I calmly responded, saying, ‘Okay, can you tell me how?’ to which he showed me an empty bottle of painkillers.

This young person wrestles heavily with their identity and dysphoria. Over Christmas…

A Shift In Perspective

Image
Our team was recently invited to attend a community forum in which different Langley organizations came together to collaborate on the topic of Youth Health and Wellness. Prior to this meeting, a youth forum had been held in which students were asked where they saw gaps within the community. Gaps that were possibly leading to substance use and disconnected youth. During this community meeting it was shared that one of the questions that had been asked by youth to the greater community was, ‘Why can’t you be more like Youth Unlimited?’.
This question came as a bit of a shock to our team. Many of you know that this past season has been a difficult one. A significant cut to our funding has led to staffing changes, reduced hours and pauses in our programs. Instead of being able to dream and plan, we have found ourselves in a time of maintenance and re-evaluating where we pour our time and energy. As we were in a season of pause and discernment, this question gave us great encouragement and…