Advent Devotion

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

Psalm 71:5


This year in my work with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia (CBFVA), I have seen hope in students who are catching the vision of God’s Kingdom. We all know how busy schedules are, especially for teenagers. With sports, school activities, homework and a social life, extra time is often hard to find. Yet through my work with CBFVA I see students who prioritize faith and mission and make being a dedicated follower of Christ the center of their identity.


Michelle is a high school student that is very engaged in her church. In the midst of the chaotic schedule that comes with being a teen, Michelle decided that she wanted to go and spend a week in Haiti. So she went with a group of people from different churches and spent a week with CBF Field Personnel Jenny Jenkins doing medical clinics in remote mountain areas and had a life changing experience. Months later, Michelle decided to go back and this time she invited her church to go with her. Nine months later, Michelle has traveled to Haiti three times and has taken fifteen other people with her. Michelle’s church is now supporting Jenny’s work and her high school is collecting medicine for Jenny’s clinic. Michelle had a transformative experience and is sharing that experience with everyone she meets.


We often hear the message that the “church is dying.” For me, I have not seen this to be true. What I do see are students who are living out their faith in culturally relevant ways and adapting the gospel message in a way that their peers can hear it. The church is certainly changing, but I see God in the midst of this change. I have been witness to teenagers who are living out God’s mission. It is through God working amongst these students that church will find its stride once again. It is in these students, these teens, that I see hope.


May it continue to be so.


Mark Snipes

Missions Coordinator, CBFVA