From our Schools: Rebel Pride
Published 8:59 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Students catching large numbers of fish with their inspiring faith
By Nichole Mingey
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Two of the most common questions asked of students after a summer break are “how was your summer, and what did you do?” Often, the responses are quite repetitive. However, for two juniors at Boyle, a typical answer could not begin to express the life changing experiences they faced.
This past summer, Caleb Jackson and Will Imfeld along with other members of the youth group from Indian Hills Christian Church attended Christ In Youth (CIY) in Holland, Mich. CIY is a yearly conference that takes place throughout the United States, and is designed to help high school students learn how to live their lives as kingdom workers.
For Jackson, this was his first ever CIY experience, attending without any expectations. Meanwhile, Imfeld had participated in several previous summer conferences and was well aware of the programing. However, neither of them knew how much of an impact this particular CIY event would have on their lives.
From beginning to end, Jackson really enjoyed the daily activities. “At CIY we did a lot of different things, a lot of study groups and a lot of worshiping in the arena. We also got to hear a lot of preaching and good music.”
After a powerful sermon one night, Jackson experienced something like never before. In an amazing way, he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jackson explained his reaction to the message. “One night they just said, ‘if you feel a call in the ministry, stand up’ and for some reason some little voice inside of me said ‘you better stand up’, so I stood up”.
The new call to pursue vocational ministries brought an overwhelming spark of excitement to Jackson’s life. Not long after his trip to CIY, Jackson began his spiritual journey by preaching at his church in Junction City.
Fellow student Kyndall Honaker was in attendance at his first sermon. “Caleb did a very good job at preaching. You would not have thought it was his first time. He preached his sermon in a way that I could really understand it. He made me realize that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can be whatever you want with God in your life. Not only that, but you are a disciple of God, and he will show you the path of life”.
Jackson’s mom Lisa also enjoyed hearing her son preach. “Caleb is gifted with the ability for public speaking and leadership. He loves people, makes things fun, and wants to serve the Lord. I think that it was a fantastic first sermon and I was so proud of him!” Along with Jackson, Imfeld had a life changing CIY experience as well. “Throughout the week at CIY, I could see and feel God calling to take advantage of my personality and differences, the fact that I stand out because I am black, and use them to lead and to be bold.”
After leaving the comfort zone of his homeschool environment, Imfeld entered public school as a sophomore and felt a shift in dynamics. “Going to Boyle last year made me realize that living out your faith in a secular surrounding is much easier said than done.”
“Whenever I had an opportunity to share my faith last year, I would get nervous and timid, worrying way too much about the ‘what ifs’ and say as little about my faith as possible. After going to CIY my perspective on this changed in a major way”. Throughout his junior year, Imfeld has continued to find ways to express his faith. “This year I have made it a point to try and apply my faith at every opportunity as well as to be bold about my faith when asked about it. Instead of dodging the point by just saying ‘I go to church’, but explaining my hope, trust and motivation in Jesus Christ.”
With his new call to be even more courageous, Imfeld organized a prayer group with a mission to connect all believers.
“As Christians we are called to stand together in unity. Last year when I was in school, I saw the lack of unity in Christians. We didn’t talk to each other. We would pass each other in the halls and ignore each other. That is the complete opposite of what we are supposed to be. I hope that this group will help create bridges between Christians in the school, an opportunity for us to intentionally encourage one another and grow in unity.”
As preaching was Jackson’s calling, the prayer group was Imfeld’s. Although their experiences were different, both embraced God’s grace that changed their lives forever. Now, their bold actions are positively impacting the lives of many others in the world around them.
As Imfeld emphasizes, “The best place to catch large numbers of fish is in deep water, and the best way to make the biggest difference is to be bold.”
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