Dear friends and family,

By the time you read this, I will likely be on my way to a camp in Genoa, Nebraska called Christian Youth In Action. CYIA. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. If you have, it’s likely because Brittany told you all about it after she attended it last year. If you haven’t heard of it, Christian Youth in Action helps teenagers to (in their own words) “learn new ministry skills, meet exciting challenges, make new friends, and find joy in serving Jesus Christ.”

I am excited to learn all of these things! But I’m also a little scared too. I will be challenged, convicted, changed — that I know. But how? I’ll admit it…the unknown scares me. Good grief, simply not knowing how many showers there will be on campus makes me feel unprepared!!!

What will the weather be like? What should I wear? What shall I say? How shall I act? What friends will I make?

What will I learn? What children will I reach? What ways will I be stretched out of my comfort zone? Will I respond in a godly way to the hurdles Satan will throw in my path?

Unknowns. So many of them! (The shower one is still at the top of the list.)

I will be taught how to minister to children — whether through telling a story, giving the Wordless Book demonstration, singing songs, or playing games. I will have to practice the things I learn over and over. I will have to keep a cool head even when the kiddos at 5-day Club aren’t cooperating. I will learn to work as a team with other kids my age as we come together for the same purpose:

To reach the next generation with the good news! That, my friends, is more worthy a cause than one can find anywhere else on Planet Earth. (Or any other planet for that matter.) Which is why I’m going to CYIA — to learn skills that will enable me to share the Gospel with children who have never accepted Christ, and to help those who have to draw closer to their Savior.

As I begin my training, I would ask that you lift me up in prayer! How exciting it is that God can use young people my age to reach those in need! If you would, ask Him to help me each day as I train, as I come face-to-face with difficulties and worries and weaknesses. Pray that in everything I do, His glory will be revealed. Ask God to show me how to use the abilities He’s given me to the fullest — that I would not hold back out of embarrassment or fear. Pray that I will be focused! Pray that God will use me as a tool to bless the lives of others around me. Pray that I will be joyful, and that I will inspire others to be so also. And pray that, most of all, God’s will be done. 

Thank you ever so much, not only for lifting me up in prayer, but for being an encouragement and inspiration to me in my walk with Christ. I am confident that God will use the CYIA teens and leaders in mighty ways in these next several weeks! I hope to tell you about some of them when I get home!