SN SERVE is dependent on youth who are willing to give of their time, energy, enthusiasm to support peers who live with disabilities throughout the SERVE week.
We are so thankful for these youth/young adults and begin our time at SERVE with a day dedicated to building relationships with them. This is code for FUN DAY. Really, it is important for community building to develop shared stories– things that we can recall together and just laugh and talk about. It’s also important to have these youth begin to problem solve and work together as throughout the week they will need to support, encourage and build one another up.
This year we decided to take the mentors on a self-guided tour of Winnipeg. We provided them with an iPhone App that was loaded with a photo scavenger hunt. They were divided into teams and “released” into downtown Winnipeg. So much fun… so many inside jokes… and only a couple of tense (to laugh at later) moments. This is an amazing group of giving and gifted young people. I am already so proud of them! Enjoy the pictures that document their journey…. and see the day through their “eyes”. These are some of the submissions we received for the Mentor Mania challenge.
Meet Team #1: Shawn, Leah and Mike… It was so much fun to see the photos come in from this group. Knowing a bit of their personalities it was amazing to see photos that document proof of going outside of their comfort zone in different ways. We spent a long time laughing at the stories that they returned with as their adventures definitely had some unexpected twists and turns.
Mike H. is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church. This is his third year attending SN SERVE. We are thankful for his ability to connect with participants and build relationships as well as his athletic gifts. This week you may find him leaping over couches, playing basketball in the gym or leading quietly the participants that he is partnered with. Although he doesn’t enjoy stepping into the limelight, his commitment to mentoring is most evident when it puts him in a position that requires him to SERVE outside of his comfort zone. Thank you for being such a positive mentor and for being so willing to connect with others!
Leah D. comes to SN SERVE from Bethlehem CRC in Thunder Bay. This is her second year attending SN SERVE. Leah is very outgoing and VERY competitive. We are thankful for her ability to laugh and find humour in so many different situations. This week you will find Leah “hanging out with friends”, earning points for her team by participating in any intense game she can as well as quietly reflecting and listening with her participant. Thank you Leah for your willingness to learn selflessness this week.
Shawn D. comes to SN SERVE from Edson AB. This is his second year attending SN SERVE. Shawn is quiet and sensitive to the needs of others around him. He enjoys having fun and is a great support to his participant. This week you will find Shawn working hard and having fun alongside his participant. We are thankful for Shawn’s willingness to be a mentor and for the gifts that are growing in him as he SERVEs.
Team #2: Kerstin, Jaydon, Katie and Brent. This team demonstrated a commitment to working together right from the beginning. Ensuring that they kept everyone involved and having fun, it was amazing to see their team in action. In reviewing their photos it is wonderful to see how many included everyone…. way to go!
Kerstin D. comes to SN SERVE from Edson, AB. This is her second year participating as a mentor. We are thankful for her leadership skills and her ability to adapt to so many different situations. This week you may find Kerstin playing basketball in the gym or quietly supporting a friend. She also LOVES group games and challenges and has assured us that although she may be up to willy-nilly, there will definitely not be hocus-pocus. Ask her sometime, but beware— discovering what that means may induce a head ache!
Jaydon L. comes to SN SERVE from Covenant Christian Reformed Church. This is his third year participating as a mentor. We are thankful for Jaydon’s love of community and his willingness to jump in. This week you may find Jaydon laughing with his groupmates or running to catch up with his participant. Thank you Jaydon, for growing your gifts of leadership and committing to this week.
Katie VB comes to SN SERVE from Covenant Christian Reformed Church. This is her first year participating as a mentor. We are thankful for Katie’s sensitive heart and her ability to notice so many things about the people that she is surrounded by. This week you will find Katie laughing with friends, worshiping with peers and (because of who she is partnered with) probably plotting some pranks.
Brent P. comes to SN SERVE from Bronx Park Church. This is his first year participating in SERVE. He has a desire to follow God’s leading and further develop his gifts and love of ministry. We are thankful for Brent’s commitment to challenge himself and his willingness to go beyond his comfort zone and give things a try.
This team was fun to “follow” through their photos. They worked together and it was evident that they were getting to know one another, having fun together and making sure that everyone was part of this journey.
Lucas D. comes to SN SERVE from Surrey BC. This is his second year participating as a mentor and we are so glad that he is part of our team. Lucas is quiet, watchful and sensitive and enjoys the social aspects of SERVE. This week you will find Lucas capturing many moments of SERVE through his camera, quietly leading and quite possibly staying up late into the night (it has been noted that he finds other ways to catch up on his sleep!). I am so thankful for his willingness to give his all– even when it is hard.
Emma B. comes to SN SERVE from Hope Centre Ministries. This is her first year participating as a mentor. Emma has a very cheerful nature and loves laughing and being around lots of people. This week you will find Emma smiling and encouraging others around her as she further develops her gifts of leadership. We are thankful for her kind heart and the gentleness that she has and brings to so many of the unique challenges of SERVE.
Allyson D. comes to SN SERVE from Edson, AB. This is her second year participating in SERVE as a mentor. Allyson is very conscientious and supportive of others around her. This week you will find Allyson learning to communicate in new ways, laughing with friends and working hard to do her job well. We are thankful for her attention to detail and her quiet servant heart.
After the scavenger hunt, it was time to return to church for a BBQ and some hang out time. We were deep but not profound and confused by some black magic (a game of frustrating proportions… until you discover the trick). There was visiting and basketball. Loved the relax feel of the evening and the community that was very quickly developing. We took time to enjoy a shower and then met for some photo judging and many laughs. We closed the day with some devotions on mentoring and a prayer for God to prepare us, calm us and use us in the upcoming week.
The girls decided to move into the sanctuary for a group sleepover…. can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!