This summer has been filled with exciting new opportunities within our Vocational Placement Program and specifically our Summer Intensive. We have been able to go on a number of rafting/camping trips and have spent a lot of time working here locally with St. Vincent de Paul. A major portion of my time has been spent working alongside youth who are participating in the program and out of that time has come great conversations. I have had the privilege of getting to know them by listening to parts of their stories and learning about what makes them unique as individuals. It has been such a cool experience to witness what time away to find rest and reflect on who we are and what God has created us for can do for the human heart. To see how important it has been for the youth to be free from distractions such as phones and have time to think about life and where they want to go or what they want to do and then to be able to come back to Eugene and work towards making those changes happen has been a sweet thing to be a part of.

We are currently entering into week 8 of our summer program and as I reflect on that, it is pretty incredible to think of how far the youth have come in those 8 weeks. They have shown a constant willingness to show up and put in the necessary work needed to be a part of the team at Hosea. They have met every challenge and are continuing to work hard to prepare themselves for the future. Often I forget how much they are working to overcome and how much they endure on a daily basis to show up on time and be ready to go to work and accomplish the day’s tasks.

In Romans, Paul talks about how endurance produces character and character produces hope. For these young adults, this summer is one of endurance and ultimately hope. Hope that there is more to life than just surviving the day but that they were made to thrive and flourish as a part of God’s beautiful design. To toil and strive each day in the form of working and to find rest and peace in the times of play and quiet. Something that we all need to be reminded of each day.

We as a team, youth and staff at Hosea, have been able to see the Lord working in our lives to show us that it’s about more than just ourselves, its much bigger and He is working all things for good. For His glory and our joy.

~Ryan Arel, Vocational Placement Director