CYIA 2019: Commencement Banquet

The final day of CYIA ended with every teenager earning a certificate. Their hard work continued up until the hours before the banquet started.

Now they are ready to embark on the adventure that waits for each of them this summer. They have learned all of their lessons, learned all the songs, taught their first club, and now they are ready to put it into practice.

The banquet had some amazing food made by Kathy Howe, Anna Grinder, and Charlene Ball that everyone enjoyed.

The CYIAers then displayed some of what they had been learning by singing some songs, teaching a verse, and teaching about one of the songs.

Everyone seemed to enjoy experiencing what the teens have been learning and getting to know one another.

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Clubs have already started and the teens are using their training to teach kids all over Montana about Jesus and the good news He brings.



CYIA 2019: Working As A Team

This past week, the CYIAers have learned that a 5 Day Club is more than just repeating the lessons they have memorized. They have to be prepared for numerous distractions, kids with short attention spans, and even each other.

Each person has to be prepared, not only to teach but to help out with everything else and adapt to different situations. The team members are relying on each other in order to make the club work.  They are also discovering how different personalities work together within the club.

Together the teens are learning to smooth out the rough spots in their clubs. To find the issues and try various things until they find something that works. Sometimes it’s simply getting the kids more active, or keeping their attention with something exciting while the magpies are being noisy. Other times it might mean studying more or working through personality differences with your teammates.

Yet at the same time, the teens are doing a great job! This is the first 5 Day Club many of them have ever done and the staff has been impressed with each one.

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Thursday afternoon we all learned to do face painting. At the end of the summer, we will have many teens going to the Billings Fair where they will face paint and share the gospel with hundreds of kids. The teens and interns had fun practicing on each other with the paints and the wordless book.

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Later that evening we all went to a rally for one of the clubs. The kids were able to get up front and sing for their parents and some even prayed out loud for the missionary they’ve been praying for all week.

Of course, the highlight of the evening was when two names were drawn to win the water cannons. That also meant two kids were allowed to choose a leader to spray with water.

Jennifer was chosen by both kids and even though it was cold out (there were even snowflakes falling from the sky!!!) she was thoroughly soaked. The kids laughed with glee at the sight and were very excited to keep the water cannons.

When we arrived back on campus the teens went back to work on practicums. There isn’t much time left and they want to be prepared for clubs that start up on Monday.

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CYIA 2019: Teaching Into Practice

Monday morning brought a new experience for most of our CYIAers. They were all broken up into groups and sent off to do four different 5 Day Clubs. Three were right next door at a preschool. For the fourth, we partnered with Fellowship Baptist Church here in Bozeman.

All the clubs did very well, especially for the first one. The kids at the clubs had fun playing games, singing songs, and listening to the stories. The teens quickly discovered that they weren’t as prepared as they thought they were.

No classroom can teach how to handle a group of four-year-olds that only hear every other thing you tell them. No amount of warning can prepare you to handle distractions and quickly moving attention spans. These things, along with others, have to be experienced in order to actually learn them.

The teens have also been finding that no matter how prepared they are, the chaos of the moment can make all their careful study and preparation disappear from their minds. It’s only by trying again and fixing their mistakes that the training will truly stick with them.

Of course, the teens also had fun. Playing with and teaching a group of kids will always have its perks.

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There was also a bit of fun with some packages sent in the mail for EVERYONE. (Thanks Jesse and Beccah Joe) We had fun discovering what was inside and reading the fun notes that went along with them. (Though Megan might have a talk with Jesse about her package)

The rest of the day was filled with preparation for the next day’s club and working on more practicums.





And me? I’m making a special surprise for everyone

CYIA 2019: Putting the Pieces Together

Missionary Stories

Bible Lessons

Memory Verses



Review games

The CYIAers have all the pieces now. The various sections of each Five Day Club. They’re working hard to get them down and make sure each piece is ready for the kids.

But you can’t see the picture in a puzzle unless you put all the pieces together.

Each club has to run smoothly, engage the kids, and make sure everyone is learning about Jesus. The CYIAers have to work as a team to stay organized, keep the schedule, and to be ready to teach.

It’s a lot of information to take in and a lot of hard work for them to do, but Dave and Chris are continuously encouraging the teens and pushing them to do more, even beyond what they think they can do.

Of course, part learning to do 5 Day Clubs includes learning to play games with the kids. This also means that the CYIAers have to play the games in order to understand them and in turn, teach them to the kids.

The whole week has been a lot of work and a lot of fun. Saturday will be half a day of practicums and half a day of relaxing. A day of rest to take a break from all of the hard work and be ready for another week of training

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CYIA 2019: Learning To Teach

The week is already halfway over, but a lot has already been accomplished. Most of the teens have said the wordless book and received a “Well done!”. Some have even started on the Bible lesson. They are all working hard to learn what they need.

The days are full of learning. Wednesday was full of learning to do the Bible lesson and Thursday is was full of learning to do the Missionary Story, memory verses, and to introduce songs.

The teens aren’t just learning the material they are going to teach, they are also learning how to teach effectively. How to add excitement to the stories, how to involve the kids, and how to hold their visuals. The Bible lesson has the extra challenge of including applications to teach the kids.

In the evenings we get the privilege to hear from Adam Burt during chapel as well as for some devotions in the morning. He’s been challenging the teens in their view of God and their relationship with Him.

Of course, there are also plenty of breaks with games and singing songs for the clubs. Everyone is learning to get out of their comfort zone and join in the fun, and we are all getting to know each other in the process.

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CYIA Training 2019

Each day Dave has reminded all of the CYIAers, “This is going to be a challenge”. These teens know that what they are learning to do won’t be easy. Yet they press ahead, adding excitement to their nervousness and anticipation.


The first day of training was all about the wordless book. Each color of the page has specific points they need to learn, memorize, and present. Everyone struggles with the wordless book, even those who have done it before. It’s the first big hurdle the teens need to leap over in order to continue with training. It’s also one of the hardest.

After teaching all about the wordless book, we give the teens plenty of study time. Study time that is guided. First, they get to read through and learn the wordless book. Then each teen gets to pick an object, whether it’s the wall, or a pole, or the bleachers, to say the wordless book to. After that, they get to another teen.

From then on we leave it up to them, but we also get them to try a practicum before them might be ready so they know what to work on.



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Of course, the days aren’t all study and learning. There are several break times as well as an exciting recreation time at the end of the day including an obstacle course and blindfolds. Together they are still learning the things we taught them on the first day. To strive together, work as a team, trust their leaders, and above all, to listen for God’s voice above any others.



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CYIA 2019 Has Begun!

12 CYIA Students! 3 Interns! 2 Kitchen Volunteers! 5 Staff Members! 1 CEF Director from Belize!

The week has kicked off with a lot of excitement and nervousness from everyone involved. Yet each person that is here has come as a result of a desire to share the gospel with children all around Montana.

Monday morning Dave tested the teens’ determination to be here by waking everyone up at 6:00 to immediately come to the gym area. No changing clothes (except to get decent), no brushing hair, not even any deodorant. They came as they are. same as how they come before God.

They were then woken up by some quick exercises and a game of lighting.

Things calmed down again as we prayed through the prayer lessons for the 5 Day CLubs this summer. Sometimes we prayed in groups. Other times we all prayed out loud at the same time. We learned to pray for each other and various ways of how we can pray for each other.

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We were all allowed to get dressed and ready for breakfast, then the lessons for the day started.

The purpose of this first day is to challenge the teens in their faith and ensure that their trust is in God as they start training.

Each session involved going through several verses multiple times, each time from a different perspective. Dave, Chris, and the interns came up with something to help with this called the 5 Ps.


Pray. Prepare. Practice. Present. Persevere.

These were created to help the process of learning the lessons for 5 Day Clubs. Yet they also apply to trusting God and standing firm.

Along with each lesson the teens had fun doing various activities that illustrated the point being made in each session. These activities included blindfolds, rope, parachutes, bubble balls, and tying up staff members.

Sometimes they were learning leadership skills, sometimes the teens were learning to work as a team. The bubble balls became a fun illustration of the armor of God.

The last activity encouraged the teens to serve each other as we all washed each other’s feet using baby wiped. This was also a time to encourage one another and pray for each other. It was amazing to see everyone working to encourage each other and build each other up.

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The day ended with each person sharing how they had been challenged that day around a campfire. I don’t think I can put into words what it was like to be with them around that fire. Everyone had something personal to share and open up about. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and each personal challenge was prayed for.

The entire experience has left the group ready to move forward, striving together, to begin training. We all know that it is going to be hard, and many are still nervous, but the teens are no longer trying to do it with their own strength. Instead, they are moving forward with God’s strength.