Lessons from the Lifeteamers
April marks the last month we have with our Lifeteam interns. We have loved having them come alongside us to assist in the schools and learn what it means to interact with the youth in our community. We asked them both to write up a little summary of their time with us to wind up these past few months, which we’re excited to share with you!
Being a part of Langley Youth Unlimited has been such an amazing experience, and I’m so glad that I was able to do my practicum here for Lifeteams. It has been so cool to get to know the youth at Walnut Grove school and see how much my relationships with them have grown over the past eight months.
I remember the first day of placement and feeling pretty nervous about stepping out and starting conversations with a bunch of youth I’ve never met before. But something that really helped was a conversation I had with Amy at the beginning of the year that really stuck with me. She said: “Just because you aren’t allowed to talk about Jesus in school doesn’t mean you have to leave him at the door!”. This really helped me remember that Jesus is with me wherever I go and he will give me strength and courage in the areas that I feel inadequate and intimidated.
The thought of doing one on ones (hanging out with the youth individually) was something that was intimidating for me but because I held on to this great truth that Jesus is my strength, I have been able to have many one on ones with youth throughout this year and have been able to build great relationships with a few teens!
The opportunity to do placement with the Langley Youth Unlimited staff has been so life-giving. I’ve had so much fun getting to know the team, and I’ve learned so much from all of them. They’ve shared their experiences with life and youth work and I am so grateful for the nuggets of wisdom that they have shared. They definitely helped shape how I see and practice youth work!
Being able to hang out at Walnut Grove Secondary has also been incredible. The connections that I have gotten to make have impacted how I see people, God’s love, and youth work, in such sweet ways. One story comes to mind of a group of students that I met during a lunch break at WGSS. I had only talked to them a few times but I must have made a friendly impression because one of them stood next to me one placement day and said “You know, Dani, you’re part of the group now.”
I tend to wonder if my efforts to connect with people are impactful, so something about that matter-of-fact comment brought the encouraging reminder that I was where I needed to be, and that my presence was noticed. It also reminded me of the value of letting people know that they are seen and known, and that being a consistent, positive presence is more than enough.