Sometimes, it doesn’t look like anything is happening. Our youth workers love, guide, support; and yet sometimes there is no visible change in the life of a youth who desperately needs it. Sometimes, it even gets much worse. But we know this truth by faith and experience: God is always at work and no loving investment is ever in vain.

One great example is that of Brody. Brody was the crazy class clown; always making people laugh but seemingly never listening. A dynamic duo with his best friend Ben, the pair would constantly detract attention away from anything else and on to them.
           At the time a YU youth worker in Mission, Dave Wiebe tried to help Brody. “Dave had a huge impact on me during my time with Youth Unlimited. He would get pretty fed up with me because I’d just be goofing around with my friend, but he was always patient and persevered. He never thought I was listening, because it sure didn’t look like it, but I was.”




Brody first got involved with YU in the early 2000s, through their partnership with Cedar Valley Church. His Grandma was the church’s collectively adopted “Grandma Donna”, and was a faithful volunteer who consistently brought a full van of excitable youth to the group; including Brody, his sister and their friends.

           “There was one instance where I shared with them about the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia,” says Dave. “I showed video footage of a terrifying and devastating moment, where a group of people were taken out by a 30-foot wave. By the reactions of our double trouble [Brody and Ben] anybody would have thought I’d shown them a comedy.” Yet Dave persevered in trying to guide the boys to become considerate of all life God has created.

When it came to Brody’s high school education however, the jokes slowed down. In Grade 11, he was expelled for never turning up to class, leading to the end of his quarterback position on the Mission Niners team. Brody drifted from God and down a path of alcohol and drugs.

           “Because of the seeds YU and my Grandma had planted, I knew what I was doing was wrong – which is something I can’t say for my peers at the time, who never had those influences,” says Brody. “God was always there in the back of my mind, and I would think of him in the darkest moments.”
           At the age of 17, Brody became a father. It was the wake-up call he needed.
           “I knew it was time to change,” he says. “I became fed up with what I was doing, and I remember crying in my room one night and calling out to God for help”. A week later, Brody met his now wife, Florence.

“We had the same beliefs and values, and we brought each other closer to God. Before we connected, neither of us were attending church or part of the community; yet as our relationship grew, our shared faith within our hearts began to rekindle our relationships with the Lord.” It was then that


Brody was ready to make a faith commitment. The seeds planted over 10 years prior begun to visibly mark his path.
           Now happily married, Brody and Florence continue their journey together with two further additions: a spritely three-year old boy and a brand new baby girl. “I feel that God brought kids into my life to teach me to be more selfless. I am so grateful for how they’ve helped me grow.”

Brody and Florence are actively building into their community and church, extending the lessons learned to their children and planting the seed that Brody says YU sewed in him. “Youth Unlimited’s lessons have impacted my journey so much throughout my life. If it weren’t for the youth group I attended as a kid, I don’t think I would have turned to God like I did in those harder times.”
To supporters and staff Brody says, “Even when you think the help you’re giving isn’t working – it will. It might take 10 years to see visible evidence; but that commitment to love our youth is never wasted.”


On February 22 the Mission Youth House (MY House) will participate in the Coldest Night of the Year, a family-friendly walk to raise $30,000. The Mission Youth house, otherwise known as MY House, is a collaborative initiative to provide a place for homeless youth to eat, shower, do laundry, access counselling, medical and other services and receive relational support from caring adults. To support or walk visit:




Lack of nutrition damages health in young people, and trying to learn on an empty stomach makes focus and retention extremely difficult. Thanks to the Maple Ridge Community Foundation and their generous $3,000 grant, together we are helping change that! This year hot breakfasts are being served to over 600 students weekly in Maple Ridge. “This is the only breakfast I can get in a week,” shares one youth.


Mountain Life is a YU program providing ski/board opportunities to youth who need them. Most Fridays, from January to April, youth get the chance to escape the concrete of the city for the renewal of nature and a winter sport. Purposely on Friday nights, these outings provide healthy alternatives to at-risk youth, who are also being mentored by youth workers committed to investing in their lives.
           To sponsor a youth for a transformative winter experience visit: Twenty dollars provides equipment, clothing and transportation; lift passes courtesy of Mt. Seymour!











“Dad, the back yard looks hideous! We need to do something about that.” – Sylas Koop

The state of our tiny back yard wasn’t lost on me, it was just one of those things around the house I knew would take a chunk of time and money to transform. With two weeks’ vacation on the horizon, I began to make plans to turn my yard around. Step one: Google “how to seed your lawn like a pro.”

Here is what I learned seeding my yard:
1. Operating a tiller is quite fun but it shouldn’t be done in flip flops.
2. I had no idea there were so many rocks and roots below the surface.
3. Water is life.
4. Waiting is hard to do.

Regarding the wait, it was a bit of a struggle, trusting that anything was happening. Would these little seeds ever take root? I would water my lawn for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night for weeks with no evidence of growth. I was trusting in the things I couldn’t control, that below the surface something was happening. What a joy it was the day I saw all this green growth rising up out of the ground. Yes, the investment was worth it!

The parallels are many as I consider our work with vulnerable youth. Much of the transformation and growth is happening below the surface in ways we can’t control and often don’t see for weeks, months, even years. This is why our value of relationships (transformative, authentic and long-term) is so essential. We focus on loving youth the way Jesus loves us, trusting in God’s power to heal the pain and trauma in their lives on a path to a life that is full.

I am reminded what the apostle Paul said to the people he was investing in:
“We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6 (The Message)

We are blown away by all of you who pray and give financially so we can plant seeds in the lives of youth hungry for growth. Thank you for doing your part to love people like Brody whose story is featured in this edition. You are making a huge difference!

With deep gratitude,
Mark Koop




Executive Director