A morning in the life of a youth worker

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For 27 1/2 years I served with Greater Vancouver Youth for Christ. During that time, I developed a strong admiration for the men and women I worked with who dedicated their lives to helping teens.

David Lister was one of those heroes. He worked for the division of YFC called Youth Guidance. In Dave’s words, here is a slice of a typical day in his ministry.

It is 6:30 a.m. A young boy is awakening. A few miles away I am preparing to leave the house to meet with him. Many more miles away prayer partners start their day in prayer, remembering Wendy and I. Thank you.

It is early as I drive down to the river where there are a few old homes scattered among the struggling businesses near the bridge. The neighbourhood communicates low economic, low rent as I read the environment of bed sheets for curtains and old vehicles parked on what should be a lawn.

It is still dark and very wet from last night’s rain as I detour a few flooded streets.

With the sound of my car’s tires on the gravel beside his home, a thin tiny teen pulls aside the sheet on the window and waves. In a few minutes the lights go off and from around the back comes the young teen I am discipling.

Always with his skateboard close by, he jumps into the car and we drive off to get some breakfast. This time we drive through the flooded streets, laughing about the rain, chatting about school and what is new in his life since last week.

As we eat breakfast together we discuss sex. Not loud enough for others to hear, since this is not the usual topic of discussion over pancakes and syrup. However, it is our topic for the next few weeks.

We talk about pressures, attitudes, and behaviours as seen in society and ourselves. With Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s guidance I share from a father’s heart with a young boy who lives only with his mom. It is the father-son talk that no one else will take time to share with this young Christian.

In Youth Guidance we recognize our society’s sexual pressure on young teens. They are being educated, they are learning. From whom and what are the questions I ask. So, I have discovered I need to be involved.

It is often an uncomfortable, humbling involvement. I do not have all the answers for their questions; but I pray that I communicate an honest, open excitement about God’s creation of sex and His purpose for it in a Christian man’s life.

This is my request of you, my partners. Even though you may be many miles away, please participate with me weekly in discipling the teens. Whether you pray early in the morning or through the day, Wendy and I rely on God to work wonders in answer to your petitions.

Thanks for caring!

David Lister

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