Team 2 Ministry Update - "Friendships for Christ"

Hello! My name is Libby and I am on Team 2, serving in the Prince George Diocese in British Columbia.  I am so happy to be doing the ministry we have! 

Right now we are spending two weeks in each of the eight schools across northern BC.  The first week is focused on building friendships with the youth, through games, spending recess with them, and participating in schoolwork or other school activities.  Then we do a retreat with these youth, and invite them to deepen their relationship with Christ.  For the last week we continue to meet in our small groups from the retreat.  After we visit all the schools, we will return to them for a week each for another retreat and follow-up.

It is so wonderful to get to know the students through the time we spend with them.  It is the simple good fun, such as playing games in their classrooms, joining in on their recess time for four square and dodgeball, or sitting and talking with a youth, that breaks down barriers.  This fun builds friendships.  Through our friendship the youth are naturally drawn to Christ.

When our time at a school is finished, it is so hard to say goodbye, both for us and the youth.  The students of a grade 5 and 6 class at our first school prepared a surprise goodbye party for us on our last day.  We walked into their classroom to find the whiteboards filled with thank-yous and drawings for us.  They led us in a final game of dodgeball, presented us with cards and gifts and treats, then they asked us to sit in a circle in the middle of the room.  The youth opened in a prayer and then each said a specific blessing for us.  One girl said, "I hope you can also help others feel like at least one person in the world truly loves them."  Another said, “I hope you all continue to make so many kids happy like you made us happy.”  What makes this all even more beautiful is that the students asked their teacher if they could do this for us.  It was by their own initiative.

A little while after we said our goodbyes to the first school we visited, we got an email from the grade 5 and 6 teacher.  The students had answered a question in their novel study asking, “Think about a situation in your life that changed you.  What was the situation and how did it change you?”  One youth wrote, “I never understood who or what God is, but when NET came over I understood a lot more about God.”

This ministry we do is powerful.  What a privilege it is to be able to form friendships with the youth and journey with them in their faith, and to see more reclusive or isolated students come out of their shell.  We are so blessed by this work, and excited to see what the rest of the year will bring!