Hello there! I’m excited to introduce myself to our Hope Story friends. I’m Andrew Lang the Director at New Hope Youth Centre in Thunder Bay.
I’ve always been involved in youth ministry in some way … and first volunteered at the New Hope Youth Centre in 2008 when I was attending Lakehead University for History, English and Teaching.
My wife and I moved away from Thunder Bay after graduating and getting married and then last year we moved back with 4 kids – and I was eager to get involved again at the youth centre. It was exciting for me to be offered the role of Director at NHYC.
It’s been great to start work here! We’ve gone from being open one day a week to now being open 3 nights a week. As our volunteer capacity grows, we are looking to expand further. Currently we are hosting drop-in volleyball on Thursday nights at the university campus, and on Friday and Saturday nights we have been able to open the centre from 7-11pm. On May 20th we hosted a “Chili Cook-off Kick-off” for our Friday night openings, and it was a blast having the youth and volunteers battle it out to see who could make the best Chili.
Our Saturday nights still draw a decent crowd, and it seems like we are getting one or two new faces every week, so we are now averaging around 14 people a night up from 10 a month ago. With summer approaching we expect those numbers to grow.
We also had a fundraiser on June 4th to raise funds for a retreat some of the staff and volunteers are taking with the youth in July. They will be attending the Warrior Leadership Summit in the US, which is a First Nations focused leadership summit geared to empowering our youth to stand firm for God.
Thank-you for all your love, prayers, and support. I can confidently say that without your support the youth centre wouldn’t be where it is right now. May God richly bless you as you follow him in faith today. Our God is working in amazing ways, and I look forward every day to what he has for us next.