15-year-old Mattie was asked what advice she would give to parents and youth workers."Give us clear boundaries, be someone trustworthy we can talk to, and show us real faith in your own life." She volunteered these past two summers at a Youth for Christ / Youth Unlimited day camp in Bobcaygeon & Fenelon Falls, a small town in rural Ontario.
"I'm entering grade 10 and have many kids at school are experimenting with drugs and are involved in dangerous sexual relationships with guys. It's scary to think they would choose this lifestyle without considering the short and long term consequences. One of the girls is dating a guy who is a known drug dealer! I know they're just looking for acceptance and love. They come to me as a person they trust and tell me everything that's happening.
High school is kinda hard. Your actions in grade nine determine what kind of person you'll be labelled as all the way through. It sticks with you!
I've been able to stay strong because I have parents who stand together and set clear expectations for me. My dad sets the bar high and does not budge on anything. I appreciate that. Also, my faith in God keeps me grounded.
My local YFC worker, Melissa, and her husband Adam encourage kids like me to volunteer and serve. This past summer was an incredible experience. They introduced me to a spiritual discipline known as Lectio Divina. It's a slow, contemplative praying of the scriptures.
At first I thought it would be boring stuff, but it's helped me to grow a lot. The exercise forced me to take time and listen to what God was saying to me. I also see the way Adam and Melissa live their lives in faith and obedience to God, and it inspires me."
See Pictures of Mattie and Story in October 2013 Newsletter