By Abe Curiel, Plymouth County Campus Life
I get the privilege of serving in Campus Life in Plymouth County. Due to Covid, we came up with the theme of replace, not cancel, since we did not have access to the school. The best thing about this year has been the chance to build deeper relationships with our students. As a ministry, we were focusing on Club and reaching more youth. While this was not a bad thing, we weren’t building Authentic Christ Sharing Relationships with many kids, which is the heart of YFC. Covid pushed the team to come up with creative ways to continue reaching out to students for the remaining school year and summer. That included going to parts of town where students were at: the skate park, the pit, and at the teen center just hanging out with them.
When the school year began, we were able to start our weekly gatherings on Mondays (at the teen center) instead of Wednesday mornings (at the middle school.) We went from reaching 50-120 students on campus on Wednesdays to 15-25 students off-campus. This caused us to re-evaluate how we built relationships and gave us an awesome opportunity to help them know Jesus on a deeper level in a smaller setting! Club was more of games and a short lesson with no discussion afterward.
One of these students was Ashton. He is a young leader and lover of Jesus. The other students gravitate towards him. His voice is listened to and respected by many. He is a middle child and he loves coming to Campus Life. One afternoon, I got a notification from the Campus Life Instagram page with a message from Ashton. It read “Today really made me think about my life choices that I made thinking that I’m not gonna get nowhere without Him so why not just follow now because we don’t know whenever we’re gonna be here or how long we’re gonna be here so why not just follow Him while you can. Tonight I decided to give my life to Christ.” Those words brought so much joy and encouragement to me it led me to tears. This young freshman who was a fairly new student to the community, had made some poor decisions in his past, was dealing with family issues, and struggling in school, saw his need for Jesus. EVEN in the mess that we feel and see day in and day out, God doesn’t change. He never changes and moves in the struggle. For Ashton, he knew it was time to have that relationship with the God of the universe! We had the awesome opportunity to go to Winter Camp this past February and saw the students grow in their faith. It deepened the relationships we as leaders have with the kids as well. Ashton was one of those students. He went to Camp already saying yes to Jesus and left having an even firmer foundation in Christ! My motto is roll with the punches. God is always with us. He always provides for us. He always moves.