Celebrating Small Milestones Towards Deeper Relationships
Story shared by Nicole Cho, Light Patrol Outreach Worker and Admin
The last time our Light Patrol team was able to host any group event was back in December 2020. Since then, we have been patiently waiting for everything to safely open up, so that our team and our youth could gather again. After seven long months, our team was very excited to finally re-launch our hotel program in July!
Since then, we have been running various programs for the youth, such as sports days, making arts and crafts, playing board games, hosting a movie night, and running a video game tournament. The video game tournament and sports days seem to be the most popular activity among the youth at the hotel, so we have been including them every month. It's been about eight weeks and we now have a number of people who has been consistently joining us for the last few weeks (we call them the "core members"), on top of new youth that visit our program out of curiosity (see photo).
It has been a huge blessing and joy to deepen our relationships with the youth and also to witness growing friendships among them, especially in the core members. For example, "H", is a very shy young woman who has been consistently coming out to our program for the last few weeks. She always wears a large pair of headphones to keep her distance from everyone around her. The first time she came to the program, she kept her headphones on for the entire time and barely talked to anyone. The following week, she seemed to warm up to us a little and was a bit more talkative. In fact, at one point, she took off her headphones to chat with us and the other youth! When she joined us last week for sports, she was fully engaged in several conversations with the staff. She definitely seemed to be more comfortable, as she played basketball with another youth member!
These moments may seem like something trivial, but we want to pause and celebrate these times. We are so thankful for each person with whom we have been connecting through the hotel program, and consider it a privilege and joy to be able to be a part of the lives of these young people. As we spend more time with them, we want to be open to hearing their stories, invite them for 1:1 meetings, and support them in the areas they need help with.
Please continue to pray for us especially on Thursdays, as we plan and lead our hotel ministry!