Marco Angelo Javate
Hello, I’m Marco from the Takapuna Methodist Church in Auckland. I attended the INFLUENCE workshop in hopes of growing as a youth leader. I enjoyed getting to know other youth members from across the North Island and Christchurch, as well as learning about the reality of youth suicide and prevention together with them.
Le Va were excellent in teaching about youth suicide in an interactive, informative and safe manner. Although I am not Pasifika myself, it was nice to see from that perspective and the lessons were still very valuable. It was new concept to me, especially in the context of faith.
It has inspired me to bring back an awareness of youth suicide as well as a renewed lens and vigour when guiding my fellow youth. I hope that this training opens the church’s eyes to health problems that are not easily seen amongst our youth and helps them to be accommodating for those people as Jesus was for all of humanity.
Kia ora, Malo e lelei, my name is Siu ki holeva Lavinia Williams-Lemi, I am the central south island youth ministries coordinator and I am a member of Beckenham methodist church
My highlights from the weekend watching our older youth leaders in action with the youth and hearing the feedback from our groups at the end of the day. We are so blessed in our church to have some amazing young leaders, who saw that things needed to be done and just got on with it. The Hamilton youth were the best hosts, looking after us all and looking after our pukus!!! Beautiful food!!! After our session with LeVa we split the youth into smaller groups to debrief on the session and I was so impressed by all their reflections.
I absolutely loved the workshop with LeVa! They were sensitive and respectful especially in terms of the subject of suicide. I have been to a few Suicide prevention workshops/talks/conventions and I found LeVa to be the best I've been to so far. It wasn't too heavy but at the same time was full of information and left you feeling equipped and inspired .
I feel more equipped to deal with situations that I may face when dealing with people who may be having suicidal thoughts. Also I've always believed in being real and honest and this workshop just reinstalled this for me. I think in church we need to be more real with each other and find ways and spaces to be able to talk openly and honestly.
I would love to see ALL ministers/leaders do this workshop. I think it's awesome that our youth leaders are doing it, but they are not the only ones who have to deal with this issue. Suicide needs to be talked about, understood and dealt with. I want to see suicide prevention on the agenda of all our churches. We can't ignore the stats and we can't help the issue unless we start the conversation. Big ups to those who are already doing this within their parishes and in particular groups like Toko collaboration who already are doing amazing work in our church and local community.