Jr. High -

The story of Elijah was just what this student needed —

By Jake Niven

On our way home from MIX in 2019, we stopped for dinner and I noticed one of our students sitting by himself with his head down on the table. This wasn’t like him – he’s usually smiling and cracking jokes.

He started to cry when I asked him some questions – particularly about going home. He shared with me that he had been on three trips this summer and each time he came home his parents had been fighting. He was so worried about their marriage ending in divorce.

 

As we sat there, he kept looking at the “Never Alone” bracelet on his wrist all students received at MIX. That week we had learned about the story of Elijah and the loneliness he experienced. Even in his weakest moments, Elijah remained faithful and God used him to do great things. I reminded him that even when he walks through the door at home, he will never be alone – that Christ will carry him through anything. The way he looked at me in that moment made me believe that he heard the message and it seemed to be a great encouragement. He was able to eat, anyway.

 

MIX brought a clear Biblical truth to middle schoolers this summer – that they’re never alone – and students believe that message, but I’d like to ask you to pray for students as they apply that message to their lives back home.

 

I’m so grateful to able to witness middle schoolers rise to the challenges CIY presents every year. I’ve been fortunate to attend every CIY program, and my heart is full each time I walk away. There’s a sense of family – even among strangers – and the events provide clarity for students and grownups alike. I’ve seen students from across the country come together barely knowing each other and in a week’s time become life-long friends. This is the heart of CIY and it shows that each event starts and ends with Jesus.

 

My prayer for students is that they continue to seek Christ, rely on Him and His promises.

 

09_02_Jake_Niven.jpgJake Niven is a middle school leader with Christ’s Church in Mason, Ohio. His email is jake.niven@ourchristschurch.com.