Mid-Atlantic Christian University is host to one of Christ in Youth’s Engage Conferences this week in Elizabeth City (July 10-14). CIY Engage provides faith based domestic and international mission trips for middle and high school age youth. Students from around the country will swarm the Mid-Atlantic campus to prepare to engage our local community by serving a variety of needs.
Christ In Youth’s mission statement for Engage is: “Training students for a life of Kingdom Work through Domestic and International trips.” CIY was established more than 40 years ago and currently organizes more than 100 annual youth events domestically and internationally. They project that in the next decade, more than one million students and leaders will be impacted worldwide through CIY’s programs, curriculum and resources in an effort to turn the Millennial generation into a movement of Kingdom workers, responding in faith and in service to the call of Christ.
“CIY Engage is an opportunity for students to be met exactly where they are and for God to work with them in individual ways. For them to be able to really see the church body at work and use the different gifts that God has given them. They are taken out of their comfort zones and encouraged to serve Him. Those are the experiences that go with them and end up shaping their spiritual lives down the road.”
Throughout the week, students will be challenged to a deeper understanding of Kingdom work as they engage with people and seek to serve various needs. These experiences will challenge students to move beyond their comfort zones and utilize the gifts and skills that God has given them to impact lives and communities. Participants will partner with local community partners to best serve our community. CIY will collaborate with various civic, social and religious agencies in Elizabeth City. Students participating in the conference will be challenged to develop and implement action plans when they return home in order that they can engage and serve their own communities.
MACU’s Interim President, John Maurice, says that “Mid-Atlantic Christian University is excited to host the Engage Conference on our campus. The opportunity to partner with a positive ministry like CIY to impact our community and to impact more than 250 students lives is a win-win. For a solid week these students will be the hands and feet of Jesus – serving, not being served.” Maurice says that he is optimistic that many of these students will have their lives changed by those that they have served and interacted with in Elizabeth City throughout the week. “Many of these young people will arrive with the expectation that they will transform our community. The reality is that by serving our community, God will transform them.”
Approximately 250 teens will be serving in 19 different organizations throughout the week. Some of the organizations being served this week include: The Boys and Girls Club, Hopeline, River City Youth Build, Easter Seals, Habitat for Humanity, Albemarle Food Bank, Benjamin House, SOULS (feeding program), Maritime Ministries, Elizabeth City Downtown Inc., Whipple Boat Building Project, several elementary schools, River Road Middle School, and various churches.