By Joy Pedrow, alumna of Miller Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, October 31, 2014
When I went to SYI, I had just graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. I had college on the mind.
I feared college. I worried about making friends, my roommate, and the professors.
These worries were constantly on my mind, until I went to SYI. Attending SYI made me less nervous for college. Living at the seminary gave me a glimpse into college life. We lived in dorms, ate in the dining hall, attended classes, learned about Jesus, and had to make friends. All of which, I had great experiences doing!
I loved living in the dorms, and I had a great roommate. The food was delicious, even better than my college’s cafeteria food. The classes were interesting and the professors were very knowledgeable. I made lifelong friendships with amazing girls and I still keep in contact with them.
All of these lessons were a huge help to learn before college, but the biggest lesson was experiencing God’s presence through community.
Before SYI, I wondered, “How can I experience God more in daily life?”
At SYI, I found an answer through the community. Surrounding myself with other believers and having spiritual conversations each day was life changing. Spending time alone with God is very important, but there is something uniquely special about spending time with God in a group. At SYI, you get to experience this in a group of people your age, who are going through similar life experiences.
After experiencing this community, I knew going into college that I had to get involved with a college ministry. Without SYI, I would not have been involved in Cru, a campus ministry. Joining Cru changed my life. It was in Cru that I discovered that Jesus was enough, that I could know 100% that I was saved, that God would never stop pursuing me, and that I had a passion for discipleship.
Thank you SYI, for embracing youth ministry and helping youth transition to college.
Joy Pedrow is an intern for and alumna of SYI. She is a Christ follower, writer, and hopes to help young women experience Jesus. She also publishes regularly on her blog at http://joypedrow.wordpress.com