The month of February is a time to celebrate 25 years that Youth for Christ has been impacting lives for the kingdom of God in St. Pierre.
Dan Drouin is the Director of Youth for Christ in St. Pierre and he's also a father of five.
He was the Program Coordinator up until last year when he got promoted and has been working at the centre for over ten years.
Drouin took over the leadership role in the centre working full time at the beginning of 2020, right around when the pandemic hit.
"Obviously it's had its challenges. It's been a good year regardless. I had an incredible mentor, the previous Director Wilma Arnold-Hebert. She's worked tirelessly to grow the reputation of Youth for Christ in St. Pierre," says Drouin.
The drop-in aspect hasn't been able to be open for almost the whole last year.
"For some of the programs we do we fall under essential services, as in the counselling."
Drouin has found other ways to try and stay connected to the teens in the town.
"We've used social media platforms and we would just call them, which was strange for them as they're not used to getting phone calls," he jokes. "We'd see how they're doing, how school is going as that has been modified as well. It's been a unique situation, to say the least."
Before the pandemic hit, causing the in-person gatherings to end, the centre saw roughly 150 different kids through their doors each week. The age of kids that go there ranges from grade 4 all the way through to young adults.
"Our mission right across the board is to see every young person living fully in Christ. If you don't believe in Christ, we still want to see you live fully. There are a lot of things that fall under that category; how is your mental health, academia, how are your social circles and relationships? When we talk about inclusivity, it's the first part of that mission statement, every young person."
Drouin went to St. Boniface college to become a teacher however by the end of his first year he felt called away to youth ministry.
"I started off part-time and now I work full time as the Director. I don't think that would have been possible without significant influences I received as a young man and some of those influences came directly from this centre."
Drouin sees his role as a calling and doesn't think he'll go into something different anytime soon.
"I was told the town was quite apprehensive about first having a youth centre here. Undoubtedly some of them struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Now we have this amazing relationship with our schools, we have the support of the local community, and the people have nothing but good things to say."
He says that is the first real way he has seen God move in the St. Pierre community through YFC. Driving a school bus for the local division has been a huge help in growing relationships between children in the community and Drouin.
He says YFC will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in St. Pierre throughout the year in various ways.