In June of 2014, the girls in Ashley Dillon and Linde Thompson’s small group had just graduated from high school and were preparing to spend their first years at Baylor, Texas A&M, and other college campuses. In the three years since then, these young women have made a big impact for God’s Kingdom – from serving at dozens of Christian camps across the country and discipling inner-city kids in their local communities, to sharing the gospel through on-campus ministries and other organizations. Here’s a look at how three of these young women are continuing their journey of following the Lord and serving others for His glory.
Where is your life “bearing fruit” right now, and how are you serving others?
Emily Runnels: “The first time I served at Camp Barnabas, a summer camp for individuals with special needs, I went with Watermark Student Ministries. This past summer was my second on staff at Camp Barnabas – which is to me, the closest place to heaven here on earth. I have met people who will be friends for life. I have been brought to my knees in surrender. I also have seen pure, unconditional love in the form of people who are viewed as less.
“This summer I grew more confident in my understanding of who I am in Christ. I hope that allows me to expand His Kingdom more this year. I volunteer at Baylor University with Vertical, a ministry that encourages college students to focus on God’s throne of grace. I have loved serving there, and I can’t wait to see where it goes this school year!”
Kaylee Kaigler: “I’m grateful for how Student Ministries equipped me to know Jesus, walk with Him, and apply God’s Word to my life. I draw on those foundational messages every day and love passing them on to people I serve.
“I lead a small group of high school kids through Youth Impact, an inner-city ministry in College Station. I also get to disciple two girls named Quay and Taneka. Four years ago, it started off as the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Now it’s my favorite thing I’ve done in college, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for my leaders at Watermark and their patience during our shenanigans when the girls in my small group and I were young.”
Caroline Cash: “Learning how to study Scripture and being a part of biblical community as a high school student has been a huge part of my life since starting college. It has equipped me to see the importance of serving others. Leading Bible studies for younger college students and serving at Sky Ranch the past three summers have been awesome opportunities. I’ve also had the chance to continue relationships with the kiddos from Sky Ranch, and that has been so great.”
How is the Lord working in your life now?
Caroline: “I am most thankful for the Lord giving me a love for Scripture. This year was full of constant change, but I have seen so much victory from the Lord in helping me work through my sin and fight against it. God is teaching me to be satisfied in Him alone and to praise the Lord in all things!”
Kaylee: “I am graduating soon, and so people are constantly asking, ‘What are you going to do with your life?’ I don’t have an answer now, but that question is not scary to me anymore because of who my God is! I’m learning to wake up each morning and take the ‘next step’ of the day with God (John 15), pray about the steps of tomorrow (Proverbs 3), and let Him carry the unknown (Matthew 6). I am thankful for the peace that comes with trusting God.”
If you could give one piece of biblical advice to a kid in high school right now, what would it be?
Kaylee: “Right now, I am reading Isaiah 55:6, ‘Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.’ I am in a season where I have time, space, and mental capacity to spend time with the Lord like I haven’t had since high school. So, to those in high school, I would say jump in with the Lord! You are surrounded with many accessible resources at Watermark, and that won’t always be the case. Initiate with leaders, read books, participate in ministry, and invite others
in to join you. I wish I had taken better advantage of all of that when I was a student!”
Caroline: “I would point anyone to 1 Chronicles, which I am studying right now. In that book, King David sings songs of thanks to the Lord during trial, war, and heartache. Even after losing a close friend, David praises God and is reverent and understanding of the Lord’s power. As believers, we are leaders in our schools, in our homes, and on our teams, and we can LEAD WELL by praising the Lord and telling of what the Lord has done even in the middle of trials.”