Christian Youth In Action (CYIA)
What is CYIA?
Christian Youth In Action (CYIA) is a summer missions experience for students ages 14 through college. At CYIA missions training school held on the campus of Columbia International University in Columbia, SC you'll discover, along with others your age, how to tell the Good News of Jesus to children in your own neighborhoods and community.
Can anyone join?
Well, yes and no. Yes, anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior may apply. You should be growing in your faith and have a consistent walk with God. You must also be in agreement with our Statement of Faith which is included in our application. However, if you have not yet gained a relationship with Christ, this program is not for you yet. Speak with a Christian friend or Pastor to find out how you can enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Take about a year to really grow in your faith and then try us again. Oh, yeah - you must be between the ages of 14 thru college age.
Is there any cost?
Yes. The cost for training school is $340. This provides all your lodging, meals, recreation, and instruction for your 7 day, 6 night school experience. We strongly recommend that you talk to your pastor and ask if your church can help you cover the cost of tuition. A sample letter to your church is included in the application.
What is the deadline to apply?
The deadline is. You should download and completely fill out your application and submit it to your local CEF office by this date. There are some reference forms that must be completed as well, so you shouldn't wait until the day before the deadline to download your application.
Can I serve in my hometown?
Although we have opportunities for you to serve in other countries, yes you will begin here at your own hometown. This gives you the experience of missions work with the convenience of home. Also, children in your own hometown need Christ as badly as children from other areas so you'll be doing a great and needed work.
I need a summer job. How can I do both?
Well, you may not be able to do both. You should first carefully pray about this decision and be sure this is God's will for your summer. If you feel sure it is then don't let anything stop you from obeying - even if it seems impossible. But you also can receive a salary for being in this summer missions program. Contact your local CEF office for details on receiving a salary while working in missions this summer.
I'm going on a missions trip with my church. Can I do both?
That depends. You should contact your local CEF and speak with a representative who could assist you. Normally, arrangements can be made but a clearer answer would come from your local CEF.
When does this take place?
Your local CEF sets up a pre-training, usually in the month of May. Then you will go to the Christian Youth In Action state-wide training school in June. After your week of school you will have some refresher courses and practical experience the following week. Then the real fun begins - 5 weeks of ministry reaching boys and girls with the Gospel in your own community along with other students from your area. This is simply awesome. There's nothing like it!
Who is in charge of this program?
Child Evangelism Fellowship is the world largest children's ministry reaching over 14 million children each year with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've been around for over 75 years and boy, has God taught us a thing or two about children's ministry. You can learn more by visiting our state website at www.cef-sc.org or our international website at www.cefonline.com.
What will I be doing in this program?
Learning how to share your faith, the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, with boys and girls ages 5 - 12 in local hometown daycares, apartment complexes, community centers, and homes. Normally you will be assigned with other students to go to three or four locations a day for five consecutive days meeting with the same children. You'll sing songs, play games, teach memory verses and Bible lessons with a gospel emphasis and invitation. You could reach literally hundreds of children with the Gospel this summer and even watch as many accept God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life!
I have taken a class in sharing my faith before. Do I really need to go to the training school?
Yep. It's good that you have some training under your belt but we teach you how to share the Gospel in very simplistic terms we call "childrenese". Plus, for you to really use the materials provided for you this summer, it may be good to know how they work. Not only that, but do you really want to miss out on the great speakers, live music, and new friends you'll gain at the training school? I didn't think so.
What is my first step to become a summer missionary?
Your first step is prayer. Ask God for his wisdom and guidance about this major decision. Don't take this lightly. This is a major commitment - to God. Like God's Word says, you need to count the cost. Then, you should download the application, fill out your part and have your reference fill out their part. Finally, get it turned into your local CEF office before the deadline date of April 1st. You'll have an interview process and may have a few other things that your local CEF office can cover with you but these are your first steps.
I'm not sure about this. Is there someone I could talk to?
Sure. Contact the CEF Columbia-Midlands office at (803) 798-4405. There are representatives there ready to answer your questions, pray with you, and assist you. Hey, don't be afraid - they're pretty nice folks who really care about people just like you!
What about family vacations?
Family vacations may be considered during your missionary service. Speak with your local CEF representative about your request. Just don't spring it on them two weeks before you plan to go. There is a LOT of planning that goes into the summer missions program and missing you suddenly can be a real problem. Be kind and talk with your representative far in advance.
When will I find out if I've been approved to serve this summer?
Application processing can take 2 to 4 weeks so be patient. Your local CEF representative will contact you as soon as a decision has been made.
Why do you have an application process?
Honestly, we are looking for students who are sincere about their faith and desire to make the name of Christ famous. The application process helps us to get to know you. We also take great care to be sure that we are sending students that are ready for the demands of missions service. We don't want to send you out to fail knowing you may not be quite ready for this type of adventure.
Can my friend come with me and be a summer missionary also?
That would be great! Of course, just like you, your friend will need to count the cost of a full summer of service and fill out an application. Then, pray for one another, seeking only that God's will be done for both of your lives.
Training School Details
A Summer Missionary's Perspective
“The training I went through was all worth it when I got to see the joy on the kids’ faces when they really understood that they were now God’s child!”
A 5-Day Club Hostess's Perspective
"The mothers of two teenage girls who accepted Christ in 5-Day Club remarked to me on the noticeable difference in their daughters' behavior. The girls came home talking about how much they love Jesus!"