School shut down because of Covid-19. When that happened, one of the first things that came to my mind was, “What about CIY?”. My name is Micah and this is my second year as a student at Cookson Hills. I and a few other high school students had filled out an application and written an essay about why we should be accepted to go to this event. And now, it wasn’t even going to happen! I had been looking forward to diving into God’s word and getting to know my friends and teachers better.
CIY MOVE is a nation-wide week-long conference for high schoolers to learn to hear the call of Christ on their lives and to become Kingdom Workers. However, the impact of the pandemic was reaching us here in rural Oklahoma. My fellow conference-goers and I were sad that this event that we were looking forward to, was not going to happen.
I had thought CIY MOVE was not going to happen this year. Little did I know that CIY had created a way to do CIY with an online format. Our CIY leaders jumped on the opportunity and we were excited to be having CIY MOVE/AT Cookson Hills. We stayed in the cabins on campus and used the community room for watching the CIY sessions.
Numerous people all over campus pitched in to help make this possibility a reality. These people made us food, led worship and devotionals, and led us in recreational activities. A local church, Ridge Chapel, provided funds to make it all possible for the event to take place on our campus. It was still a unique experience for us. We each received a letter from prayer warriors at Cookson Hills who were praying for us long before we started CIY. They would be praying for our hearts to be moved by the Holy Spirit during this time. The CIY experience was phenomenal and it’s all thanks to these people.
Normally, CIYers would drive for hours on their first day together. We had heard the drive is a fun time of bonding. Abby, Valarie, Jonny, and I started the week with a canoe trip on the Illinois River. We had just as much fun, if not more, racing each other down the Illinois River. We enjoyed this time together. As Valarie said, “It will always be on my mind, how closely our group became in only a couple of hours. My favorite experience had to be canoeing on the first day. It was so fun, but also very relaxing. It was kind of like floating on God’s promise and beauty for hours.” We grew closer as a group which made us more open to sharing during CIY sessions.
During the week we went back to the river to swim, had a water gun fight, and set up a water slide for ourselves and the rest of the Cookson Hills community to enjoy. We also had some creative learning settings. One day, our leaders took us to a nearby cave where we heard a lesson on Elijah. We were able to explore the cave afterward. I loved hiking into the cave and exploring it because I could see the amazing beauty of God’s design in His creation.
Throughout each day we had many times of worship. During our evening sessions, students 6th grade and up joined us and we played fun games, worshiped God, and listened to a CIY MOVE message. With the additional people at these sessions, it set a different atmosphere. That’s why I liked those sessions the most. To end each day, all of us sat around a campfire where we praised God and heard a short devotion. One of the greatest memories for all of us CIYers, was when we had a glow in the dark, midnight, water slip and slide! We put on glow in the dark bracelets, glasses, and necklaces and slid down that slip and slide until we had worn ourselves out!
The main theme for CIY MOVE this year was “Third Person”. In other words, the Holy Spirit and His role within the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the lesser understood of the 3 in the Trinity but is just as important. We heard the verse John 16:7 which says, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (The Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” We learned that it was better for Jesus to leave us and send the Holy Spirit to be with all of us. Each session, we heard of ways that the Holy Spirit works.
What I learned about the Holy Spirit this week is that he can give you direction when you need it most. In hard times when you’re not sure what to do, the Holy Spirit can intervene. Something else I learned is the Holy Spirit has been active and working in my life when I didn’t even know. I had been looking for him to do things but I was looking in the wrong way.
Here’s what my friends took away from lessons on the Holy Spirit:
As people we think we are in control, but news flash, we were never in control – God is in control.Abby -Class of 2022
The Holy Spirit has many roles in our lives such as being a navigator for our spiritual adventures in life. Also, I learned that Jesus had to leave so that someone better would come and that someone was the Holy Spirit.
Jonny -Class of 2022
At CIY, Kingdom Work is emphasized throughout the week. Kingdom Work is doing things for God’s glory, not expecting a reward, and sometimes there might even be some opposition. Some examples of Kingdom Work could be, raising $2,500 to send kids on an Arizona Reservation to CIY, tying the neighbor kid’s shoe because he doesn’t know how, feeding someone that is homeless, or even encouraging someone to do the right thing. Kingdom Work is important. No matter what the Holy Spirit calls your Kingdom Work to be, it is important.
We were able to do Kingdom work as we went through the week. We wrote encouragement notes, shared leftover snacks and food with our teachers preparing for school, and ran a slip and slide for the other students on campus. Multiple times during the week we were called to listen to the Holy Spirit and see where he was calling us in our Kingdom Work after CIY. For me, the Holy Spirit is calling me to do Kingdom Work to the students at school, basketball, and youth group by leading them and being an example in everything I do. My friends, of course, heard their own callings
I see the Holy Spirit leading me to do more for others.Jonny – Class of 2022
The Holy Spirit is leading me to show kindness and hope to people who do not see any. At the moment I have no idea where the Holy Spirit is leading me for my future, but I pray about it every day.Valarie – Class of 2021
We wanted to say thanks to all the amazing people who helped make this a spectacular, unforgettable week! You helped to change the lives of myself and my fellow students. Thanks so much to everyone who helped make CIY an amazing week. It was so much fun and very impactful and I am so thankful to the teachers, staff, and donors who made CIY/AT possible.
CIY/AT was a very fun and enjoyable experience. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Green for being our leaders and thank you to all who helped make it a reality.”Jonny – Class of 2022
Everything about CIY was fun and encouraging. A huge shout out to to those who made this all possible for us CIYers to grow closer to Him. Big thanks!Abby – Class of 2022
Everything and everyone made the week of CIY the best experience of my life. All the people who helped make it possible are the real Kingdom Workers.Valarie – Class of 2021
The generosity of supporters, the efforts of the Cookson Hills staff, and the prayers of all our warriors made this week possible. We will remember this fun and unique experience forever. Through this Kingdom Work, we CIYers learned that Kingdom work never stops . . . no matter where we are AT.