These last eight months been a tough time for most people and it’s not the exception for our youth and children’s workers. They have worked incredibly hard to adapt their ministries, finding new and creative ways to reach out to children and young people. It can feel quite isolating working from home and several of our leaders had times of feeling discouraged.
In our survey over the summer, we discovered that most youth leaders are feeling exhausted and many feeling isolated. Youth work can be such a thankless task at the best of times, but this year has been a significant struggle for many leaders.
We at Thrive wanted to recognise their hard work, encourage them and show our appreciation for all they do. With huge thanks to a community grant from Tesco, we were able to prepare gift bags of goodies to give out. Each bag contained a youth worker mug, a box of Cadbury Heroes chocolates, a picture frame displaying the Bible verse from Isaiah 40:31 and a hand written card of encouragement specifically written for each leader.
Just before half term, Andy and Fiona spent a couple of days going door to door with the deliveries, covering many miles as we visited each leader and handing out the care packages. It was so delightful seeing their reactions as they opened their door, expecting it to be a nuisance or, perhaps at best, an Amazon delivery, to find it was Thrive!
We received many responses from our visits. Here are just a few:
‘So unbelievably touched by your gift. Thank you. Your message has made me cry (in a good way!) Thank you so much.’
‘Thank you so much for the lovely gift yesterday! It is so hugely appreciated. Thank you for all of your constant support!’
‘What a wonderful surprise I got to receive a bag with my name on and all the encouragement inside. Thank you, thank you,’
‘Thank you so much for the gift bag. It was really kind and unexpected. It means so much to have your help and encouragement at this strange time.’
It was lovely to stop by (socially distanced) and encourage our leaders in person. Please pray for Thrive as we continue to support our youth and children’s leaders and volunteers in all they do during these difficult times, and, more importantly, think about how you can be cheering on those who work with the children and young people in your church.