Who We Are


The Effect of the Ministry on a Child Lasts a Lifetime

A week ago, I was walking on my street and a 60 year old typical biker went roaring past on his Harley. He was muscular with a headband, ponytail and a black biker sleeveless shirt He glanced in my direction and I gave a wave... He went a few feet past and stopped his Harley.

He called back..”Are you Norma? Norma Norell? I said “Yes” and he said, “I 'm Steve Rahn. I used to be your neighbor...(41 years ago)! I was so happy to see him again.

The first thing he told me was how grateful he was for the input into his life from my “Backyard Bible Club” he attended as a young boy. (Taught by two trained students from Child Evangelism). He said he memorized verses because he received rewards and “it stuck with me”! He said he was always the black sheep of the family...and now he is the one in his family who has changed. His mother told me that he had been under medical care and nothing had changed...”But, whatever you're doing there in your backyard has really changed him!”

This had to be about 50 years ago when Steve was about 10. I lost track of them when they moved. I continued on with having a group for some years but they grew up and for a few years we had a lack of children in our neighborhood. Its different now, another generation has come, so I had my City Hill Church workers come for a few years and now Child Evangelism.

Steve's mother Joan, has died. His father Lyle, is planning to be moved to a care center. Steve has five children and six grandchildren, if I have it right. We didn't visit long as he promised his grandchildren he would come there to watch a special program with them that evening. I was so very blest and grateful to God for that encounter!

Norma Norrell

God's Blessings are Evident Everywhere

God opened the door of CYIA for me, and boy, I had no idea how drastically it would affect me. I went to camp- not expecting anything special. It turned out incredible, I didn’t want to leave. I started teaching clubs, and even though I’ve had my share of stumbling blocks in the road, I love it. I never realized how much a child really thirsts for love. 

I grew up (still growing up, I’m only 14 haha) in an incredible family, where I got all the love a child ever needs. It never really occurred to me how much a child searches for love when they do not receive it. So love became my mission, and Christ has taught me how to share my blessings. Days are long and sometimes hard to get through, but one thing I’ve realized is this: Satan hates me. As my fellow counselors and I teach and we discover a bump in the road, I’ve come to know that it’s because we are such threats to Satan. I am doing something so important and special that Satan pulls out his hair daily trying to find out a way to stop me. That comforts me, in a way. And teaching? It’s not always uncomfortable. There are many days when we laugh until it hurts. Kids bond, counselors bond, and the love of Christ is inevitable. 

Through CYIA I have grown in my relationship with Christ. He has given me eyes to see and ears to hear, I never knew what I was missing out on. Every kid comes with a different back round- some good, some bad. Yet they all gather together to worship the mighty King, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Many come without having even heard Jesus name, and by the end of the week their lives are changed. I’m teaching kids, but these kids are also teaching me. How to have faith like a child, how to not worry so much, how to love freely, how to smile more, and how to trust more. Pure joy is rooted in me when I see this. Throughout the summer, by the grace of God, little hearts will be offered to Him daily. One of them is mine. Talk about a summer well spent- and that’s just the beginning of the story.

Kirsten (14 years old)