Preteen -

What it looks like when HOPE is at the top of the stage —

By Becca Haines

The beauty of peer-to-peer testimony is demonstrated in the most amazing way on this year’s SuperStart tour.

 

In addition to the ear-splitting excitement of having a real American Ninja Warrior on the stage, students get to see a fellow preteen on stage – Ninja Warrior Emily Durham’s daughter, Hope.

"I’m trying to get other kids to love God ... It’s pretty cool that this is something I can do to tell them about Jesus, and I hope they do get to know Him and tell their friends about it. "

At the age of 9, Hope brings a lot of relatable visuals to the stage, including the feeling of closeness to God – played by her dad, Kevin – at the top of a 12-foot-tall warp wall of an obstacle course.

 

With a sweet smile, Hope said she sometimes gets a little nervous as thousands of kids gaze upon that father-daughter relationship, but ultimately the reason she does it is just as beautiful as the imagery.

 

“I’m trying to get other kids to love God,” she said. “It’s pretty cool that this is something I can do to tell them about Jesus, and I hope they do get to know Him and tell their friends about it.”

 

A specific moment during the program touched my heart. Hope climbs down the wall – disconnecting from her Heavenly Father – to help explain to the preteen audience how we as Christians often fall to sin. After a couple of failed attempts to get back up the wall to God, Hope simply sits in sadness on the stage. It’s a heart-wrenching moment and one we all can relate to – when we realize and regret that we’ve chosen sin over a relationship with our Savior …

 

… but then the hero shows up!

 

Representing God’s only Son, Jesus, Emily joins the picture, comforts her daughter, and then uses her amazing athletic ability to lift Hope up to Kevin.

 

And the crowd goes wild!

 

It should make your heart go wild. What a striking visual of the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the everlasting forgiveness and goodness of our mighty God! Whenever we do fall to sin, there’s always hope to be found in the Lord.

 

Hope told me she’s like her parents – yes, competitive – but also passionate about following Christ.

 

CIY is blessed to partner with such inspiring families as the Durhams, and Hope was at the top of the stage (wink, wink)!

 

Becca.jpgBecca Haines is a communications coordinator with Christ In Youth.