Category: Youth (page 1 of 3)

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Would you dance at your bank?

Our ALT: Youth Edition team member Rachel, has written a blog on her experiences from the first few days in Malawi! Check it out-

“Today we had the opportunity to observe the Savings & Loans program that World Vision has implemented in the Mposa community. As I plan to attend university in the fall for Commerce, I was intrigued and very excited to learn about this project. I expected to sit in an informational presentation, but what we saw was so much better. We drove about an hour out, through many fields, to a woman’s house. Out front, there was a group of approximately 40 women and children gathered in a circle, singing. Our translator explained to us that the women were in the middle of their weekly meeting. Their songs translated into phrases such as, “saving is good” and “buying shares is good”. We learned that their meeting was actually the process of the women purchasing shares in the bank. They went around the circle, and as each woman got up to buy a share, the group would continue to sing. As each woman handed over their money, the woman who owned the house, the Money Counter, announced how many shares the woman purchased in the bank. A cheer erupted with each announcement, and as each woman turned to sit down once again, the songs would continue. The immense joy of each individual was so early seen.

When I think about buying shares back home, and even conducting regular banking, it can be a very impersonal act. With the use of online banking and mobile apps, one could complete all their banking without speaking to a single person. Business transactions are simply that, business. Here in Mposa, through the Savings & Loans program, banking becomes a celebration for the whole community. It was beautiful to see each woman partake in the meeting and be celebrated for what they offered, whether it be $5 or $15.

Following the meeting, several of the women shared about how the program has helped them. The implementation of the program has eliminated many of their challenges. Before, purchasing basic household items was a problem. With the program, the women have been able to purchase items such as mattresses for their families, food and clothing for their children. They have also been able to buy bicycles so that their children can attend school and a sewing machine to make their own clothing. They were able to start their own businesses such as selling tomatoes, donuts and fish. We learned that these Savings & Loans groups are present in many of the communities, but often are separated into men and women, because the men tend to dominate mixed meetings. This further empowers the women as they are in control of their financial and business decisions.

The pure joy and transformation that I saw and heard about in these women’s lives was so inspiring. At the end, the Money Counter announced the total amount and the number of shares purchased. Once again, the group broke out in song and dance, and even included us in their celebrations!

As we continue to travel to the many villages in Malawi, and meet so many people, I am continually overwhelmed by the sense of community here. These women have taken something as simple as banking and have strengthened their community both relationally and economically. The contrast between our cultures amazes me, and I hope that when I return to Canada, I can begin to model my interactions in my community like those of the people of Malawi.”

-Rachel

Africa Learning Team: Youth Edition

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The Africa Learning Team: Youth Edition is heading off to Malawi tomorrow morning! Here’s some thoughts from Rachel White- a newly graduated grade 12 student from our Oakville site, as she prepares to head off with our Team! Don’t forget to track with the team through our social hub www.africalearningteam.com

 

“As I pack for our trip to Malawi, I realize that no matter how much hand sanitizer and sunscreen I pack in my suitcase, I don’t think I could fully prepare for what this trip holds. This is my first time travelling internationally, and I could not be more excited!

When I was first approached about the Africa Learning Team opportunity, I was immediately interested in applying. Since I was young, I have always wanted to travel to Africa because of the many stories I have heard from my mom growing up there. When I heard we would be working with World Vision, I was even more excited because my family has sponsored children with World Vision for many years. I knew that this opportunity was a once in a lifetime chance to learn and grow as an individual, and in community with my brothers and sisters in Christ, both from the Meeting House and in Africa.

As I have been preparing for this trip, I have felt joy for being offered a part in this incredible opportunity, anxiousness about all of the things I have never encountered before that I will on this trip, but mostly immense excitement over the chance to learn and be in community with other believers on a global scale. Recently I have begun to see the beauty and importance of faith-based communities, through my personal relationships at church, youth, summer camp, as well as through learning alongside others. I am so happy to be a part of this experience, as I believe it will provide me with the opportunity to grow in my relationships with others in my church, with people in the places we travel to, and in my relationship with God as we learn from and partner with other faith-based communities.”

-Rachel White

Kenya Training

Just over a year ago I visited Kenya in Africa. It was there that God revealed a few important things to me. He taught me that here in North America we have our wants and our needs very confused. He showed me that I don’t fight for my passions as hard as I could. He told me that I need to appreciate and not take for granted the family, things, and opportunities I have.

Leigh Janssen and I visited Kenya to film some of the youth curriculum that we have been watching at theUNDERGROUND. Neither of us had been overseas, and we had no idea what to expect. We visited a running academy in the western highlands of Kenya. Here we met really incredible teenagers who are gifted in running, and hope to attend the school to get an education so that they may take whatever opportunities their future successes may bring. Many of them want to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, and engineers. They dream big, they don’t let their circumstance hold them back from hoping and trying. They know that God can work miracles. We spent a few days there, training alongside them and getting to know them. We got to see their homes, meet their families and see how different their circumstances are from our own.

These kids have no choice but to run. They live in the most rural parts of the highlands, they have to run to school, train before school starts, focus on academics for a few hours, and then train again after school before running home. The endurance, passion and motivation that these kids have is inspiring. They run in hopes of winning races and marathons in order to get money for their families to improve their living situations.

I don’t have to raise up gardens and livestock to eat. I don’t have to run for 30 minutes just to get to a store to buy necessities. I don’t have to wear shoes with holes in them that have been worn by someone else previously just to be able to train for what I want to do to.

These teenagers showed me that they are just as hardworking, responsible, and disciplined as any adult I have ever met. They don’t have iPods or play video games, they work the land and take care of the livestock. They take care of their siblings, and pool any money they get into their families funds. They spend their race winnings on things like trees for shade, vegetables and their siblings school tuitions.

After being home for a year and thinking back on my time spent at this academy, I realize I’ve needed this reminder again to work harder at my passion and my relationship with God, and be more self disciplined.And I will be reminded yet again when I see their faces on TV after winning an important race or marathon, or an olympic gold metal. They deserve it, and I will praying, and cheering them on from over here on my side of the world.

 

– Rachael Bawn

I remember….

11 years. 22 retreats.

I remember each and every one like it was yesterday. I remember the countdown on Fridays as I anxiously waited for the bell to ring at the end of the day to usher me out the front doors and into freedom. I remember tossing my bags in the car and rushing to the bus. I remember the anticipation building as the night grew darker and the bus trekked onwards.

And then I remember it all in a series of flashes – like a blur of pure bliss. Music, laughter, friends. I remember running through camp and feeling like I was free – free to roam and dream and finally free to be. It was liberating and exhilerating and I remember feeling like I was coming home. Coming to a place where I was found, accepted and a place I belonged. I remember feeling like this was family. This was where the memories were made, this was where the laughter was found. This was where my heart grew a thousand times over. This is where I found myself – it was here that I recognized who God was calling me to be.

11 years later and I’m no longer that 11 year old girl waiting for the school bell to ring. 11 years later I am the young woman who is eagerly awaiting the moment when hundreds of kids arrive at the front gate. I am the young woman who knows exactly how they feel. Because I’ve been there. 22 times before. And I know what they are on the brink of. They are on the brink of the beginning of everything. It is here that they will dive deeper than they ever have before. It is here that their heart will awaken for the first time. It is here that the journey begins.

From the girl who has been here a few times before – I hope you join me. I promise you it’s beyond your wildest imaginings.

– Kaitlyn

 

City Camp is almost here!!!

We are only a few days away from welcoming students from across our sites to the Muskoka Woods City Camp Leadership Trip! We have 20 students that will be joining us this Sunday to serve in Oakville for the week. This is a great opportunity for them to have fun serving kids in the Oakville community, while learning who God has made them to be and exploring their own life story.

During the day, our students will be assisting the Muskoka Woods staff and campers in a variety of camp activities such as; trampoline, laser tag, inflatable slides, and even bubble soccer! Yes! BUBBLE SOCCER!!! Our evenings will be spent together doing some of our own activities and team building exercises, as well as helping students discover various leadership qualities. We have some great things planned for this group! We have even created a special leadership track for some of our older students. Our grade 10s and 11s will have some in depth leadership development that they will practically apply each day by leading small groups of students in grades 7-9. This allows them not only to discover and learn, but apply and share the tools we are helping them develop.

Our goal is that all of our students will step into leadership roles for the upcoming year in theUNDERGROUND, no matter what site they attend! We would appreciate your prayers as we bring these kids together for an incredible opportunity!

Jr High Kerr Street Compassion Trip

Gr 7 and 8! Join us for an awesome experience this summer as we serve at Kerr Street Ministries Day Camp!  We have two awesome weeks for you to choose from: July 14-19 or August 5-9.  This is a cross-regional opportunity for our Jr High’s at The Meeting House.  This is an incredible way for you to connect with other students from across our sites as you learn to lead and serve together!

 

You can download the application form by clicking the link below!  All of the information you might need for the week (and also about Kerr Street Ministries) is listed here as well!  Check it out!

http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1011022338578-1965/2013+Kerr+Street+Application+Jr+High.pdf

KNOWN – Parent update week 4

 

This month has been an incredible journey as we’ve discovered that we are sons and daughters of the most high God.  Our retreat was a powerful community experience as hundreds of our youth gathered at Muskoka Woods for a weekend where we encountered the truth of our existence; that we are known by God and created for a purpose worth living for.   

Week 4 of our midweek curriculum this month centered around the fact that we as children of God have been given a purpose and a mission.   Here is a short snapshot of what was taught with some questions to engage your kids with.

 

BIG IDEA: As children of the Most High God, we are called to be a part of his mission. 

–       Whether you know it or not, because of our identities as children of the Most High God, we have been created to be people with a mission. We are on a mission from God.

–       Matthew 28:18-20 (NIrV) “Then Jesus came to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.’”

–       Over the night we look at people in the bible who God calls to be on Mission and they give excuses why they shouldn’t participate.  Moses, Jeremiah and Jonah.   We then look at a few characters who risk it all for what God calls them to do; Noah, Esther and the disciples.

–       Esther 4:13-16  Esther doesn’t let an excuse stop her. She says: “If I must die, I must!” That’s living out your mission! That’s being all in and being willing to get it done.

–       You know other people in the Bible who were flawed and messy, but all in at the same time—the disciples. Their mission—and ours!—is to “…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…”

–       This is our mission. Let’s not make excuses—especially bad ones. Let’s be ALL IN. Let’s step up and make disciples. Let’s share the hope of Jesus with people. Let’s learn and grow and commit together to our mission.

 

Questions around the dinner table:

  1. Have you ever had an important challenging mission, task or purpose that someone gave you that you had to complete? What was it? How did you do?
  2. Why do you think we often make excuses to get out of having to engage in doing something important?  Consider characters in the bible who made excuses to get out of what God was calling them to do. Moses, Jeremiah, Jonah.
  3. What would it look like to be like Esther who said “if I die, I die”?  What would make you think this way?
  4. What is the mission that God is calling you on?  How do you feel about it?
  5. What does it mean to be on mission at your school?  Do you have a hard time doing what you know God’s calling you to do?  Why?

At the spring retreat share your story

Students – Check it out! 

We want you to participate in our services at the retreat in April where you share what God is doing in your life in 3 minutes or less. 

Send in your story to youth@themeetinghouse.com

Compassion Team | Silent Auction & Coffee House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Sr High Compassion Teams, on Saturday February 9th at the Oakville Site (2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville), for their silent auction and coffee house.  It will be a night of talented musicians, meeting the compassion teams, great baked goods/desserts, and an incredible silent auction.  The event is from 7-9:30pm. You don’t want to miss this incredible time to support our team!

Some top silent auction items include:

2 Lower Level Maple Leafs tickets

2 Raptors Tickets

Gift Card to The Keg

Epson Multimedia Projector (perfect for your home theatre)

Team Canada Hockey jersey

Women’s Casio Watch

Canon Inkjet Photo Printer

Gourmet Gift Baskets (from Flower Creations)

Lemondrop Frozen Yogurt Gift Cards

Artwork, by Kendra Heil

…and so much more!

 

We would love to have your support! If you would like to donate to this event, please email lisa.hanselman@themeetinghouse.com. See you February 9th!

November teaching at theUNDERGROUND

November midweek Jr. and Sr. High teaching Series

When Jesus talks about having a walk with God, he compares it to walking on a narrow road. This narrow road is tough to find and tougher still to stay on but the call to keep on that path is so key. This series stares down the challenges of following Jesus and repeats the call to commit to the path that he has laid out for us.   

 

 

 

November Jr. High Sunday teaching Series
Jesus lived with the awareness that God is doing something, right here, right now, and anybody can be a part of it. He encouraged his listeners to search, to question, to wrestle with the implications of what he was saying and doing. He inspired, challenged, provoked, comforted, and invited people to be open to God’s work in this world. Wherever he went, whatever he did, Jesus started discussions about what matters most, because for Jesus, God is always inviting us to open our eyes and join in. 

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