Epicserve

CIY Ones - Summer Conference, Carbondale, IL

July 31, 2007 | 10:03 p.m. CDT
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I recently got back from my first CIY Summer Conference at Carbondale, IL. This was the first one I had attended since I started working for CIY. What an amazing week! When I originally accepted the job at CIY, it was because I had a heart and passion for youth ministry. I've known since college that CIY is a great ministry for youth, and after going to my first SC in five years, I'm even more convinced of it. It's even more amazing to see God working in the hearts and minds of the youth attending CIY's Summer Conference!

CIY Ones - Summer Conference, Carbondale, IL

This year's theme is "ONES - because we were never meant to be alone." The theme is based on the idea that we were originally created for fellowship with God and that we were never meant to be alone. Each day has its own sub-theme that fits with the main theme.

  • Identity - Our identity is in Christ, not in what click we belong to at school
  • Injured - We've all been injured and need to give those injuries to Christ
  • Isolation - We weren't meant to isolate ourselves from others, and when we do, it's harder to resist sin
  • Influence - We need to be an influence and witness to others about our faith in Christ

Probably one of the most memorable and powerful nights was on Wednesday, when the youth were asked to go to one of the plexiglass panels that was in the front, back, or side of the arena. They were asked to write down a sin or pain that was in their life as a symbol that they were giving it to God and so that other Christian brothers and sisters could see the sins and hurts and be in prayer for them.

As the students made their way down to write their sin or pain, I could see the hurt on their faces. I got a choked up feeling in my throat because of the pain and hurt you could feel from the students. It was even more emotional to see what the students wrote: rape, abuse, feeling like no one loves them, bad self-esteem, parents who don't listen, cheating, porn, drugs, etc.

On the last night of the conference, I was almost moved to tears when the students who had accepted Jesus, rededicated their lives, or made decisions to go into full-time ministry were asked to stand. As a Christian I can honestly say that there is no greater joy than to see people making that decision to put Jesus first in their lives.

Since being back from Summer Conference, I created an official CIY Facebook group so that fans and supporters of CIY can keep up to date with CIY news as well as get involved in a CIY community. I also plan to have some contests and give away some CIY T-Shirts/merchandise (if I can get it approved). It is my hope that this group might be a way to help students keep some of the excitement they experienced at CIY.

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