Youth Guidance (YG) Ministry reaches troubled youths, either delinquent or those in need, due to complex family situations, with the gospel.
In early 2019, YG conducted IGNITE, a series of eight 1.5 hours program for youth offenders at an institutional girls home. We equipped youths to be aware of their individual potential, gain basic skills in interaction with others and gain know-how to move towards a positive change. Selected sessions were also presented at a drug rehabilitation centre. Some sessions included Choices and Consequences, Regulating Your Feelings, Effective Communication and Moving Forward with Smart Goals.
Instead of didactic teaching, we conducted IGNITE via experiential learning, emphasising reflection through activities. For example, the youths aimed at target boards to score points in the first round. They were then blindfolded in the second round. This was to help them experience the importance of focusing on one’s target in order to score well. We then connected this experiential learning to the importance of focusing and planning so as to achieve one’s life goals.
Since most of the youths are kinaesthetic learners with short attention span, alternating between activities, teachings and discussions allow varied modes of learning. In addition, this approach increases young people’s engagement, understanding and internalisation of concepts.
YOUTH GUIDANCE MINISTRY
Presently, the work is focused in three areas:
Homes Outreach Work
- Ministering to disadvantaged youths in shelter homes and youth offenders in rehabilitation centres
Neighbourhood Outreach Work
- Befriending troubled youths, winning their trust and through time, share the gospel with them
Community Partnership Outreach
- Partnering like-minded Christian groups to reach youths from dysfunctional families or whose parents are incarcerated
Through fun and laughter, the youths opened up and bonded with us. For instance, after a challenge of the “most lasting planker”, the youths became more open to share in small groups about how they tended to lose focus while attempting positive changes, like rebuilding relationships with family. We encouraged them to persevere as people around them needed time to realise they are sincere and serious about changing their ways, given that they might have been hurt by their past choices. Just as they pressed on and broke through during planking, breakthroughs would follow as they persist to change.
“We appreciate your efforts in taking time to engage our youth for the series of Experiential Learning. Some residents have shared they are impacted by the sharing!”Anonymous, Program Head of a Rehabilitation Centre
IGNITE turned out to be very meaningful. For the youths who were being confined, having us there to play and reflect on their lives with them in a personal and sincere manner, conveyed love which seemed to be lacking for many of them. For our team, it was fulfilling to guide these perhaps-more-neglected youths towards wholesome living and find ways to set them free from the prison inside and outside of them.
Besides life skill sessions, during weekly visits to these youths, we often share the gospel and teach them God’s Word. Moreover, our connection with them open up avenues for individual visits and one-to-one meet-ups after their discharge. We point each one to Jesus in a personal manner that is contextualised to his life situation and individual needs. However, not every youth responds well. Some are indifferent and some understandably remain caught up in the bitterness of their situations. We are reminded to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…” (Galatians 6:9-10)
“Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS) is a Christian non-profit organization which supports prisoners, ex-offenders and their families, together with partnering churches, organizations & volunteers in this mission. Since 2014, PFS has been collaborating with SYFC to mentor youths (whose parents are incarcerated) for their various needs, especially in their spiritual nurturing. SYFC has been faithfully sowing seeds of truth into their lives through various experiential learning activities and mentoring programs. The growth of seeds in these young lives is evidently shown over the years, all glory to Christ!”Adeline Wong, Family Care Lead, Prison Fellowship Singapore
Pray for the YG staff and volunteers to press on proclaiming life and hope through Jesus Christ at life skill workshops, visits and one-to-one meet-ups with troubled youths.