What I Learned From Day 4 of a Middle School Work Camp

Today is Hershey Park and I’m running late to get to the buses so this post will be short but I promise all of you I will sum up the entire week this Sunday.  Yesterday we split the students up into five group and each attended a different assisted living facility (Broadmead, Gallagher Services, Arden Court, Blakehurst and Mercy Ridge).  Each place offered it’s challenges whether the client was old, disabled, or both, the students were definitely in another world.
When the students returned we gave them the time to prepare testimonies, which some of the students embraced, while others treated like a chore.  I’m not sure as to why some of the students were reluctant to share but then again I thought about why sometimes I have a difficult time sharing certain things.  I’m afraid of coming off silly with my emotions.  We are taught to be strong, stoic, fun loving people and any sign of discomfort, weakness, or sappiness makes us seem inferior.  I feel as if some of the students were feeling vulnerable and were reluctant to express their feelings.  So here’s my question, “Who then do they get to share that with?”  I believe as youth workers we need to empower parents to continuously reach in to their teens lives and we need to ask questions and encourage them to tell their story.  We need students to tell their story, how else will they continue to grow and lead others in Christ?