After years of living a double life – one way at ICI or church and another way with friends – my life took some dramatic turns in my 6th-grade year. I started coming to ICI in kindergarten, but it took years for me to understand what I was learning at ICI. At camp, my counselor, Reegan, finally got through to me. She just wouldn’t stop loving me, encouraging me, and reminding me that Jesus was waiting to embrace me and change my life. That’s when I finally accepted Him and began to believe what Reegan had been telling me all week.
That same year my family was evicted from our house and we moved from shelter to shelter. During that hard time I had to mature quickly, and I began to question if there were truly good people out there at all. Even though the distance made it hard for me and my siblings to attend ICI, our leaders kept coming to pick us up wherever we were. They were amazing examples of selfless love when we needed it most, and they kept my hope in people alive.
In 8th grade, I was baptized and began spending more of my time at ICI. Eventually, we found a home close to ICI and I began helping out by watching younger kids, cleaning, and doing whatever was needed. This past summer I worked as an intern as part of the Leadership Development Program. My leaders pushed me to believe in myself and challenged me by putting me in charge of day camps in Cicero.
I will graduate from high school this year and want to work with ICI. ICI has been there for me through the hardest times and they will be there for me in the future. I want to be that same light to others.
October 5, 2022
It was cool to come to ICI, not only to be part of the ministry but to stay overnight because we are plugged into ICI, and our whole week is ICI. It was cool to see your mission and vision, and I fell in love with it. . .
October 10, 2017
ICI became a place where Brian could be a kid. Then it became so much more.
May 9, 2023
Along my journey, God put humble leaders in my life. Being around those people made me want to imitate them and I realized leadership isn’t about outward strength but about setting an example for others to follow.