Lots of my young people were talking in school yesterday, when I saw them, about the Virginia Tech university murders. It is interesting that they are so touched by something that happened on the other side of the world. Youth Specialities has got some great resources helping youth leaders respond to teenagers on this issue.

In particular check out the letter, Marko highlights, by Jim Hancock and Rich Van Pelt (authors of “a youth workers guide to helping teenagers in crisis“) who wrote a awesome letter to youth workers:

It’s not supposed to be like this. Just so we’re crystal clear about that. No one is supposed to walk into a dormitory and classroom building and kill 32 daughters and sons. No one has that right. Someone has to say this clearly and compellingly to the children of God we have agreed to nurture toward wholeness…

Tell them it’s not supposed to be like this. Tell them the God who spoke through the prophets at many times and in various ways—and in these last days has spoken to us by his Son—tell them this God takes no pleasure in the suffering and death of his creatures. Tell them it’s not supposed to be like this, and someday it won’t be. Tell them the hope of the gospel includes a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness—we haven’t seen it, but in faith we see it coming.

In the meantime, tell them, life is grace and bad things happen; people are capable of breathtaking displays of love and staggering acts of oppression … Tell them life is hard and God is good.

BUT FIRST listen to them. Listen to their denial and fear and anger and confusion. And don’t be afraid to admit your own…

The link to the Youth Specialities stuff is here.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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