I work in the SERVE Center at Christ In Youth, and as you can imagine, in a call center, strange moments happen. From calls asking if we can help move a couch in Alabama (wrong number) to my favorites when it is just some lovely music we get to listen to. In between these misdialed numbers, I find that I get to hear the stories of students from all around the country, and I am blown away at the work God has done at CIY events. I know that here at Christ’s Church of Oronogo, stories of redemption and healing took root at camps like MIX, MOVE, or SuperStart. 

SuperStart played an impactful role in my faith, but I hadn’t fully seen that until recently when I led a group of 5th-grade girls to the same event. I watched as they became more comfortable in worship and began to hear the heart of God and how deeply he loves them. They learned that their feelings are real and that Jesus wants to be with them in each feeling. As I saw them open up, I realized that while they might not be aware of it, they are forming a foundation in their faith. They are learning the truth of the Gospel while forming friendships that will lead them on as they walk into Jr High and High School. It was this past year at SuperStart that I began to see the impact these events have had on my life.

What I most vividly remember about MIX is the long walks from our dorm to the dining hall, to the session and to the small group area. Yelling and singing songs, we tried to make the mile walk feel shorter. After the last night of the week, I believe that my entire group was in tears. For the first time, I realized the work that God was doing in our lives and in my own. My friend and I got separated from the group, and as we wandered in the dark, we began to speak of what had happened. I heard her story more than I had before, and she was able to share that she had accepted Christ as her Lord. I shared with her that I felt God calling me to something, but at the time, I was not sure what that would be.

It was at MOVE two summers later that I knew what that call was. On the last night, we heard a sermon calling us to ministry. I walked in knowing what the sermon was going to be about but not ready for what God was going to do in my heart. If I had experienced the love of Jesus, what was stopping me from showing that to the rest of this world? A world that is unreached and broken. On the last night, they ask people to stand up who have made a decision for the first time, have rededicated their life, have felt the call to Kingdom Work, and have decided to go into vocational ministry. As they called out for people who were willing to take a risk and step into a life of ministry, I stood up. It was at MOVE that God said, “Sydney, go.” Now, I am a student at Ozark looking to see what God has in store with that call.

And this summer, as I head off to Japan in a new direction with Mustard Seed Network, I know that while I will miss the fun and games of MOVE and MIX, God will stir up thousands of Kingdom Workers all across the nation.

Post written by Sydney French

Christ In Youth

By amplifying the call of Christ on student lives, three generations of servants, workers, missionaries and church leaders have responded to that call. Today, CIY works in partnership with the local church, providing more than 100 annual program events for students and leaders across the United States and in more than ten foreign countries.

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