Stories from CEF

I Didn’t Want to But…

I didn’t believe people when they told me Christian Youth In Action® would change my life. Everyone was telling me I wouldn’t regret signing up. I wasn’t convinced. But the past three years have proven me wrong.

It was the summer of 2014 and I already had plans, including taking driver’s education. Then I heard about Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) and Christian Youth In Action (CYIA™). At first I wasn’t interested—I didn’t want to spend two weeks learning how to teach kids and the rest of the summer leading 5-Day Clubs! But God was tugging at my heart. I finally applied and was accepted for CYIA. That summer changed my life!

The training was long and hard. Hours of classes, stress, lack of sleep and homesickness worked to bring me down. I learned to lean on God’s strength rather than my own more than I ever had before. One night after learning how to share the Gospel using the Wordless Book, I realized I had not been making God my priority. I had received Jesus as Savior when I was five but I discovered I hadn’t grown much in my faith. How could I teach children to read their Bibles and pray every day if I wasn’t doing that myself? I knew I needed to change the way I was living my life. I needed to be a Christ honoring model for the children I would be teaching. The next day I rededicated my life to God and asked Him to use me to make a difference.

As I taught 5-Day Clubs that summer, God opened my eyes to the great need children have to know Him. At one club I saw a little girl’s face change as I taught about Jesus dying for us. I could see the Holy Spirit helping her understand everything I had been teaching. After the Bible lesson she responded to the invitation and I had the great privilege of leading her to Christ. After that experience I knew God was calling me to work with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

But when school started in the fall, again I had plans. I had taken ballet for 11 years and planned to return to classes. But again I felt God tugging at my heart. I dropped ballet and began volunteering in a local Good News Club® (GNC™).

The next summer I served with Christian Youth In Action again and also went on a mission trip to CEF International Headquarters. There I learned about the opportunity to serve at headquarters through a one year internship. I knew God wanted me to apply. I was nervous about telling my parents but when I told my mom, she calmly said, “I knew you would end up there—I just didn’t know when.” That was all the confirmation I needed! I applied and was accepted.

Now I can see how God has been working through everything, leading me to this point. At CYIA I had learned to make my faith my own and how to put it into action. I learned how to trust God more and follow His leading in my life. I learned firsthand the truth of Proverbs 3:5 and how to apply it. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (ESV). I have never regretted having followed God’s call to attend Christian Youth In Action.

Learn More about Christian Youth in Action®

Find out what Christian Youth in Action is and how you can get involved.