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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CYIA 2013-To Know Him and Make Him Known

From June 19-28th, over 100 teens plus dozens of adults descended on Camp Good News® in Maine for Child Evangelism Fellowships® annual Christian Youth in Action® training school.  All students go through the Wordless Book training practicum to prepare for sharing the Gospel with children (and really people of all ages) during Open Air on Sunday as well as use for other ministries throughout life.  On Sunday’s Open Air, we talked to over 100 people on the streets of several cities in Maine and many professed faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  My small group that I supervised got to talk to 9 individuals and it was neat to see these 13-14 year olds anxious to share the Gospel with people they didn’t know.  Two of the teenage boys they shared with were Muslim but the boys listened and were very respectful answering questions.  At the end of sharing, my girls came back to me to share they were discouraged that the boys did not want to trust Christ as they were Muslim and I shared my joy with them that these boys were even willing to sit and listen.  Many times, those who are Muslim will totally reject hearing the stories and reject us entirely, so I was so pleased that my girls were able to plant seeds of Truth to ears willing to listen.  My boys also got to share with a brother and sister on the streets and really felt they were understood, so praising God for opportunities for my small group to apply what they had learned.

 Jessie and I leading "What Can Wash Away My Sins?" as she
taught the red page of the Wordless Book.
Picture by Ethan Troester

After the first three days, CYIA really starts to shift gears.  There are three main programs going on simultaneously.  One program is the Certified Lifeguard Program, in which 6 participants completed and are now certified Lifeguards.  Some will likely come back to Camp and serve a few weeks in the summer in the pool and others will use it to find work back in their hometowns. 

The second program is the Literature Distribution Program, also sometimes known as the Junior CYIA program.  The program is primarily made up of first time CYIA students and most are 14 years old which is (generally) the youngest age you can be to come to CYIA.  There were somewhere between 30 and 40 students in this program, who went door to door in Augusta, Maine, handing out free “Meet the King” children Bible story books published by CEF.  Over four days, the group passed out over 700 books so praise God for willing recipients.  The students also got to learn how to teach skill activities that will be going on throughout the summer at Camp Good News in case they come out to volunteer in the summer.  They also sat through numerous Bible Studies led by Mr. Matthew Little, the President of New Brunswick Bible Institute (one of my alma maters) where He taught about the importance of the Bible, why we study it, and tips on how to study it through devotions.  Personally, I was a supervisor in this group, with 4 students assigned to me in order to lead them and supervise them as we went out on Open Air and Distribution.  I loved my small group….they are so funny and willing to jump out of their comfort zones. 

Literature Disribution Group 2013
Junior CYIA Program.
Picture by Ethan Troester

The third program is the 4-Day Club program.  There were almost 70 students in this program, ranging from teenagers to adults.  One woman in the program really blessed my heart with her joy in the Lord and her eagerness to share and her excitement about how clubs were going.  The 4-Day Club program exists to equip students to be prepared to teach Bible Lessons, Missionary stories, lead song time and club in general for a ministry CEF puts on through the summer called 5-Day Clubs®.  This last week, with well over 15 clubs going around the state, reached over 100 children through their attendance in the Clubs.  Some of the students of the program will go on to help lead 5-Day Clubs in their local areas this summer, but some will simply take that training into serving their local church or as preparation for teaching Good News Clubs® in the Fall so it’s a sweet ministry.

Besides being a supervisor in the Literature Distribution Program, I also had many other opportunities to serve.  I was a cabin supervisor to the Pennacook cabin, having 7 young women (ages 17-18) and I loved it.  It was such a sweet blessing to wind down at night, doing cabin devotions together, sharing what God has taught us through His Word, what He has been doing through the programs, and sharing prayer requests and heart to hearts.  I also was able to help with the music/worship ministry by working the projector/computer/PowerPoint.  It was funny how I got that job…..Brad (the pianist) asked me to help him with something on the computer, and once he saw that I knew the “F5” command to start the PowerPoint, I got roped in for the next 10 days but it was such a blessing to do that.  I love music, but I am not a great singer so I don’t try out for music ministries.  But to sit in front and hear the whole group of over 100 singing praises every morning and night was just….soul-lifting.  I was blessed to be able to be part of the CYIA ministry this year…it’s always been my favorite 10 days of the summer, and I am thankful to now have been a part of it for 5 years. 

Allison and I.  Once a camper of mine and now a dear friend.
In conclusion, I learned many things, some of which I hope to write about at a later time.  But specific to CYIA, I think the biggest blessing was coming back to see a generation willing and eager to serve the Lord.  And I was especially blessed to see so many familiar faces in that group.  Out of the almost 70 girls in the program, I have had well over 20 in my cabins in the past, either as junior campers, teen campers, or previous CYIA’s.  Some of them are now even supervisors and serving alongside me.  I know it was certainly not me who has gotten them to this point, but as 2 John 4 says “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.”  To see many of the youth I’ve ministered with now growing up and being ministers to others is such a blessing and encouragement.  I was blessed to be able to reconnect with many old friends, see some dear friends, and make many new friends while I was away and I am forever grateful for the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Maine and its impact in my life.  Looking forward to when we meet again! 

Until next time,

In Christ,

Joy Lynn

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