Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You would think

When you think about persecution for being a christian, you would probably immediately think of some communist countries. Or of the first century church. But persecution is alive and well in our country, in our cities, in our neighbourhoods.
This goes beyond the politically correct mentality and actions keeping the bias of religions out of our schools. I'm talking about persecution. Direct and forceful.
Please pray. I am trying to act righteously and need wisdom to know what that looks like. The good news of the gospel is invaluable and that story must be told. How do I do that in our changing culture is a question I'm always asking.

Survival kits of hope

My floor was littered with colourful paper, candies, glue sticks, boxes, scissors, and teenagers. We were making survival kits. Many of the teens that I work with self-injure. This comes in many different forms. Cutting themselves, not eating, burning themselves, or more subtle things, like purposefully getting into relationships with dangerous people, or having sex without protection. The list goes on for a while. Why do they do these things? It's not because they are twisted, or weird. It's because they have so much emotion bottled up inside of them, it needs to come out somehow.
So I've been trying to teach them how to release their emotions in a more positive way. But self-injury is an addiction just as powerful as any other. It takes lots of work to over come it. Smokers replace cigarets with nicotine patches or gum. Just like that, we are trying to provide a replacement for self injury.
So we made survival kits. Boxes wrapped in colourful paper, with favourite quotes written on them. Inside the boxes are encouraging notes from friends, lists of things they like about themselves, positive music, candy, lists of things to do,... among other things. The hope is that the next time one of those teens has the urge to do something destructive, they will find encouragement and hope in that little box.
Hope saves lives. You can live 4 weeks without food, 4 days without water, but only 4 minutes without hope.

Monday, October 18, 2010

power of prayer

It was a rough week. I had simply heard too many sad stories in too short of a time. Tuesday, back from the holiday weekend, I had three appointments with three teens. And the day pretty much went like this: BAM! BAM! BAM! Sucker punched. Three times. Ya, then it got worse. The rest of the week consisted of holding teens as they cried. Really, that was the rest of my week. It was too much for me to handle. Usually in these circumstances I take time to journal and rest and read my bible so I can have the strength to keep going. So I still have something to give. But I found myself without the space to rest, with no more to give, and with more being asked of me. It was 8am on Thursday morning and my favourite barista at Starbucks asked me "How are you?" I just looked at him and said. "Yaaa..... How are you?" So I sat down with my tea (cheapest thing on the menu) and prayed. Then I sent out a text message to my closest prayer supporters asking them to pray. I asked God "Can I cash in all those prayers that people have prayed for me over the years now?" After about 15 minutes I received a flood of messages from people saying they were praying. About 10 minutes after that I breathed in and experienced something strange. I noticed immediately that my emotional capacity had expanded. My fuel tank had somehow been filled up to a quarter tank, when before it was beyond running on fumes. The change was so drastic and noticeable that it felt almost physical. I had enough to make it through the rest of the day. And I did. And I doubt it was the tea. God did a lot of good things that day threw me. Amazing things. It was one of those days that may go down in my career as a youth worker as one of the most painful and beautiful days ever.I can't write about what happened here, but I just want to say thank you to those who have prayed for me in the past. I swear those prayers are the reason I'm not sick right now.
May our Lord bless you and keep you, I am honoured to have such wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that I wouldn't be able to do this without all of you.
ps- If you want to stay in closer contact and become apart of my prayer team email me at