Ministry During a Pandemic?


     COVID-19 has been such a hard reality for so many people and it has been challenging as a ministry to figure out how to minister to children when Good News Clubs had to be canceled, Ignite (annual winter teen retreat) wasn’t going to happen and CYIA seemed like an impossible task. As a team, we prayed, brought ideas together, and made Ignite happen virtually. It was awesome to see some teens get online to be able to hear God’s Word, worship, and fellowship.

For many staff, CYIA is the highlight of the year. CYIA is an 11-day training program in which students learn how to share the Gospel and teach an exciting Bible lesson, songs, missions story, and memory verses. The first week is training and learning how to teach, and the second is hands-on experience teaching 5-Day Clubs in the area while building and making new relationships with other believers. When summer came around we didn’t think CYIA was going to happen in person. Many CEF chapters throughout the United States did a virtual CYIA, but this is something we didn’t want to do. As many of you may know, school and just about everything else was being done online, so we wanted to have it in person!

We took a leap of faith and tried to do CYIA in person but recruitment could not happen like usual, as churches were still closed. Due to this, we assumed we would have 5-10 students. To our surprise, we saw the numbers rise as the day approached. The next thing we knew we had 42 students signed up!!!

CYIA 2020

We divided the teenagers into three tracks and had an incredibly fun and successful two weeks! We had a total of nine 5-day clubs the second week with 66 kids and 4-first time professions of faith! God is so good and faithful, and the CEF team has been so blessed by this year’s CYIA. It looked very different than the years before because we couldn’t sleepover, had to wear masks, had to social distance, and much more, but God still worked in the hearts of those teens. Here is what one of the teens said about CYIA: , “I’m so blessed to be able to come to CYIA because it has been such a big blessing in my life. Especially during quarantine….CYIA not only has taught me to teach kids about the gospel, but CYIA has also brought me closer to God, spending time with God and growing by studying his Word every day.”

Thank you for all of the donations for “Sponsor a Teen,” which helped teenagers to be able to be part of this training. Your gifts made it possible for five teenagers who could not pay to get full scholarships and for nine teenagers to get partial scholarships. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you! You are an instrument of God to help advance the kingdom of God!

Will you join us in prayer for the next weeks to come? Please pray that many people will host 5-day clubs and that children will hear of the hope of Jesus Christ, especially during this pandemic.