This year, on a brisk day in mid-November, all the Cookson Hills students got out of school early. The staff packed up, and all headed to downtown Oklahoma City to the International Conference on Missions (ICOM). There, one could find hundreds of booths for all kinds of missions and ministries. Among them was one for Cookson Hills Christian School. On the first night, a reception was held for Cookson Hills students and staff, as well as supporters from all over America.
The conference offered many events and activities for all ages, including a fun time for kids, speakers and workshops for teens, and big sessions for adults. Our campus members stayed in several hotels within walking distance of the conference center. Overall, most said they had an amazing time, learned something new about mission work worldwide, and grew in their relationship with Christ and one another.
In my own experience, while roaming and looking around at all the booths, I found a couple of people who spoke my native language, Russian, and I talked to them a bit. It was heartwarming to know that there are still so many good things like ministry that are happening in Eastern Europe amidst the war.
Additionally, I came across a man who was a missionary in India. My house-brothers and I stood and talked with him for what felt like hours. His story was so incredibly captivating. He had also written a book of his life’s story and the struggles he endured. I was able to read it. It is a very inspiring account.
Among these, I cannot even begin to mention how awesome the big evening session on Friday was. I was honored to hear Jayson French, the president of CIY, speak. His message was specifically directed toward young people. It was very moving. He used something as seemingly insignificant as duct tape to create an analogy for the lives of ministry we are about to face as young people -if we are committed. The duct tape was a symbol of that very commitment. That we are to carry on the work that God has given us, our mission here on earth.
We were soon given rolls of duct tape and were told to go throughout the auditorium. Next, we had to exchange a piece of it for wise words and prayer from individuals older than us who have been in ministry. The experience was incredible. The connections I made and the interactions I had I will remember for the rest of my life.