Monday, June 21, 2010

laboring in the vineyard

The one area about which I have said the least is the sole purpose for which we came: our ministry to the youth. While that may seem to be a terrible oversight, in reality, it is a simple fear of indiscretion. In the end, it however, is the reason we are here - it is the reason that such a bewilderingly large group of benefactors, well-wishers, prayer warriors and supporters have gathered around us - and as such, it should and will receive ample attention in the blog!
So, what prudence may widely publish is that truly, the harvest is abundant and the laborers few. There are many, many young people here who are able to respond generously to the Lord but need help to hear His still, small voice in the inner chamber of their hearts. Richard and I have done nothing remarkable, nothing extraordinary, and yet we are already seeing fruit after only a month's time. We are nothing in ourselves and virtually anyone could be here instead of us, but it is obvious to us already why someone, anyone is needed here. There is so much more that we could take on, if there were but world enough and time.... For example, several young adults who have aged out of the senior youth group scene have approached us to request that we help set up something for them too.
 (pajama party for the girls' group)

The preteen and teens have welcomed us with open arms. They absolutely loved the girls who preceded us and their hearts have plenty more space for us too! Our hearts too are expanding to make room for them. These kids are a lot of FUN! We're having a great time getting to really know them. In the previous blog, for example, I published a photo we took after I transformed myself into an elderly woman and was pushed into youth group in a wheelchair at the end of Richard's talk on being ready for The End (aka death) at all times. It's amazing how many people you can make laugh just by dumping a half bottle of baby powder in your hair.....
"But what specifically do you do there?" you may wonder (and you would not be alone). On Friday nights we run the junior youth group; the senior youth group meets on Sunday nights. On Wednesday nights Richard meets with the boys only and I with the girls. During the week we are available to teens who request one-on-one mentoring. And we plan. These events need much planning - topics, games, activities, logistics, AV supplements, etc... There are 2 retreats per year for each youth group and a monthly youth Mass. There is one annual nation-wide youth conference Set Free- it was born last year of Fr. Michael's vision and was a fantastic success - the planning for #2 is already underway. The planning of all these events takes up much of the rest of the work week.
Henceforth, I will be making a greater effort to more regularly mention our work and share some of what we are doing. It is difficult to be specific or thorough since we wish to stay away as far as possible from breaking any confidence or publically "parading" any of the youth or their experiences (we do seem to have mysteriously gathered a readership here in New Zealand!) - basically, we want to be sure to reverence the dignity of the youth and of their spiritual growth.  I'm afraid of seeming too vague or superficial or general in describing our work here as I intend to err on the side of being overly discreet. But I'm sure that our wise and understanding readership takes that as simply a matter of course!   :)

                LOVING the sand........

                                  HATING the sand.....

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