Youth for Christ -- Campus Life assembly

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
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Trip End Dec 31, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our school in Doylestown cancelled, but it was replaced by a one-day stay in Scranton to help with a contact there with Youth for Christ (YFC). Jerry Major, the head of the Scranton chapter of YFC, is a good friend of our boss, Andrew, and a big fan of Camfel in general. They've been working together for years. Every year, YFC hosts a Camfel for a week or two to help with assemblies and stuff. Depending on the time of year, the Camfel techs get to go water skiing, snow skiing, and attend other youth events. It's a lot of fun for the Camfel people who have gotten to be a part of it, mostly because it's so out of the ordinary. And there's just something about working with fellow Christians that is refreshing.

Anyway, that wasn't today. That's later in the year.

We were almost slightly disappointed when we found out what we'd be doing today. Last night, we arrived at our hotel (booked by YFC), and went out to a surprisingly wonderful dinner at Friendly's (on YFC). We had hoped that maybe we'd be hosted in someone's house... but.. that's okay. This morning, we drove to Jerry Major's house. It was so good to pull up into a driveway, and be invited in to sit on a couch! (Again, those little things we take for granted)
Our stay at his home was short-lived, however. Our responsibility today was so do an assembly at a nearby high school. Jerry Major (people call him "Maj" (like "mage")) had arranged for us to be there, so he worked with us. In essence, we were doing the same thing that we do at any given school, except we were working under Maj's "Campus Life" program.

Campus Life, from what we understand, is like youth group for public school students. It's an after-school club, really, where Maj and other leaders can freely talk about Christ. By law, they can't evangelize at school, of course, but if it's a club, anything's fair game. So, they develop a core of Christian students at Campus Life, who then go to school during the day, and bring their unsaved friends to Campus Life the next time. The cycle continues, and the program gets quite a following. At this particular high school, I think they have 80 or so kids in the Campus Life program.

So yeah, Maj networks with a bunch of eastern Pennsylvania schools and establishes these programs with their students. He knows hundreds of high school students by name. Pretty cool ministry he's got.

And we were part of it. Our assembly was in the context of drumming up enthusiasm for this week's Campus Life. They've got a video scavenger hunt coming up, among other cool activities.

A veritable army of Campus Life students came to help set up. They were really great to work with. And the auditorium was beautiful. The high school is in its first year of operation, so the entire facility is brand new. The auditorium, though, was especially spacious. With everybody working on separate equipment, the entire set-up went very quickly. With the time that remained before the show, I worked with one of the students to repair one of our speakers--a project that I've been wanting to tackle for some time, but have never had the time nor the know-how. Kelsey, meanwhile, talked with some of the kids about Cedarville. Being Christian high school students in the midwest area, many of them had considered Cedarville an option. It was nice that Kelsey and I were able to plug our college.

The show went very well. In review, it was great to be a part of something bigger. Sure, we were there representing Camfel, doing our Camfel job, but we were also there to help YFC with their Campus Life ministry. It was just too bad that we weren't able to stay longer.

At the end of the day, we were talking to Maj, who said that he would really like it if we could return later in the month for a week-and-a-half-long stay to help out with more YFC ministries. We told him it wasn't up to us alone, but we'd talk to Andrew and see if it was possible. Maj said that there will be a lot more kids to talk to about Cedarville. And Kelsey and I both know how refreshing it would be to spend time working with a Christian ministry. And we wouldn't be in New Jersey :)

All things considered, even though today wasn't too out of the ordinary, we got a taste of something new. And that's always welcome.




After school, we drove to our next hotel, located in downtown York, PA. It's a nice little downtown. Not super bustling, and still quaint. There were a number of places to eat within walking distance of our hotel, and we finally decided on Bistro 19.

Without rambling much further, let's just say that it was an experience. The food was pretty good. Kelsey had a waffle club (yes, a club sandwich with waffles instead of bread), and I had a pretzel Devonshire (a chicken sandwich with dijon mustard, melted cheese, and broccoli, on a pretzel roll). Interesting food. Slow service. Granted, our server had to handle three separate tables that had all come in at the exact same time. But Kelsey and I suspect that maybe we were subject to slight classism. Just think--we ordered two sandwiches off the lunch menu, instead of the expensive dinner entrees. We were young, obviously not wealthy. We ordered one water and one iced tea. We were in our jeans and a T-shirt. Not big spenders, and apparently not worth the utmost attention. Our water glasses sat empty on several occasions, and our soup appetizers alone took ages to come out.
Now, Kelsey and I have gotten into the habit of exchanging our French fries for more healthy sides. In this case, we wanted mashed potatoes. He wasn't sure he could do that, but told us he'd see what he could do.
Come to find out, my hot sandwich (ordinarily with fries) could be accompanied by mashed potatoes. But Kelsey's cold sandwich (ordinarily served with chips) would require a $2.00 upcharge to upgrade to fries (or in this case, mashed potatoes). When he delivered our meals (both with mashed potatoes), he explained the situation, and told us about the upcharge.
We were both a bit floored. When he returned, I told him how I didn't really appreciate being blindsided by an additional charge. He apologetically explained that he wasn't used to people ordering off the lunch menu at dinner time, so he forgot to mention the upcharge. He agreed to take it off. Deal.

As fate would have it, the mashed potatoes were disgusting, and Kelsey and I couldn't eat a bite. Oh well..

That's quite a long entry. But a great day. Signing off,

- Mike
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