Hope In A Difficult Season

My home office and co-worker

There’s been a lot of hard things lately, for everyone. All of us were forced to adapt and change our way of living, working and being together overnight. My last newsletter I was typing out in our Youth Unlimited room at the high school before Spring Break and things look very different now. I will say, I got busier over the first few weeks of spring break than I had ever originally planned to.

As soon as I heard about the plans from the government to self-quarantine I began to worry, a lot, for our young people here in Langley. For some, getting out into school or spending time with me outside of home is a very good thing for them because it gives them some sense of consistency, love, and support when they can’t find it at home. So now being forced to stay home, I know, is a worst case scenario. It’s going to tax their mental health because they are constantly going to be surrounded by what they would normally get escape from.

Since this all started 52 days ago, I’ve talked to teens who have:
-started cutting again
-not left their bed
-relapsed on heroin after a year of clean time
-disconnected from friends and support
-returned to their lives in their bedroom away from people
-disconnected again from their emotions after working so hard to find them after trauma

It can feel frustrating because they’ve worked so hard to take steps forward in their lives, only to take 8 steps backwards largely brought on by an external factor.

But I’ve been encouraged as well. For one young man, time at home away from the pressure of others is exactly what he needed. I’m encouraged getting to connect teens to counsellors who need it right now. I’m encouraged to hear from old youth (3 or 4 years ago) who remembered me and just need to talk because things are hard right now.

I know this hasn’t been easy on a number of you, or for our young people we get to serve, but I do see this time of quarantine as a great act of love for one another. As Jesus undertook the biggest act of love for us, so can we take on a much smaller act of love for our neighbours and the people we care about right now.

Writer Justin McRoberts shared a thought that resonated with me which I’ll leave you with; “Even when tired, feeling detached, and uninspired, still showing up is faith too.”

Thanks for helping me still show up with our teens, however it may look these days.

- Jon Pue


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