You can’t see it, but there’s a smiling face behind that mask!
So much of our lives are surrounded by stories. We often settle in at night and put on a favorite show or a new movie that has caught our attention. We go into our cars and play music telling stories of love, life, and hardship. We listen to podcasts highlighting other people’s stories, we follow the story of our favorite sports team as they struggle to the playoffs, and we live in the midst of our story day to day. Each story that we get invited into is a gift; it’s a glimpse into someone’s world and reality. A window into the things they care about or to those small signs that point to a longing for more.
We have had a lot of change happen in our small corner of Youth Unlimited over the last few months. A lot of things to distract us from the stories of our young people. So as things have been unfolding for us this fall and as we’ve been getting settled into our new rhythms and routines, our focus is on stories. They are important enough that we surround ourselves with them everyday. They are important enough that as youth workers, we give ourselves as well as pieces of our stories in order that we may hear that one story from that one teenager who has never been heard. Seeing, hearing, and knowing are some of the most important things we can do for one another; especially for that teenager who sits idly in their class all day unable to make connections.
So as we enter into schools, mentoring conversations and programs to connect with others, our desire is to be invited into teens’ stories. To play a small part investing in them and listening to them. To be the positive adult friend they need and set a space to grow.
So as you see us in passing or over the holidays this year, ask us for stories. Glimpses into people’s lives. And tonight as you put on a song or start watching a show, reflect on a story that you’ve been invited into and let it be a reminder of the lives you get to be a part of.
- Jon Pue
On December 4, some of our staff will be participating in "YUNite Outside" to raise awareness of the challenges vulnerable youth face, specifically focusing in on youth homelessness. Check out youthunlimited.com/yunite for more information or to donate!
In other news, we are welcoming Kari Miedema to the team this month. Kari will be with us over the coming year covering for our beloved Administrative Assistant, Megan Adam. Kari is from Kelowna, but now also calls the Lower Mainland her home. She loves popcorn, learning about different cultures and listening to people’s stories.