Culture -

A Gracious Path to CIY —

By Becca Haines, Communications Coordinator

My family’s expression of thanks is a precious tradition.

After the table is set, we gather around the Thanksgiving feast and hold hands for prayer. Our family has grown over the years, and we seem to be always adding more booster seats around the tables we’ve positioned in a line. The smells of the scrumptious holiday cause our tummies to rumble, but we must wait as everyone takes a turn to say what they’re thankful for this year.

Listening to each, heartfelt expression, my mind grows frantic trying to think of something that hasn’t been mentioned. Dang it, everyone is thankful for their family. Oh how cute, little Lottie is thankful for her bucket calf she showed at the fair. Grandma always has a good one. Uncle Matt is thankful for his boat and the priceless stories he’s had with his family …

This year, I won’t have hesitation. I’m thankful for my God-given position at CIY.
In the spring of 2017, a ton of bricks fell on me as I was let go from my hometown newspaper, The Carthage Press. I had spent close to ten years dedicating myself to reporting Carthage news, from police reports to Boy Scouts’ activities – you name it, I wrote about it or took their picture. At the time, I thought “there’s nowhere else I could do this,” because I love my home and the people in it. More often than not, I had turned my weekly column into a ministry – finding ways to shine a positive light through my words and maybe get someone to think about the Christian way.

Upon reflection of my stint with the paper, a middle school counselor once told me “God puts you where you need to be.” Funny how I remembered that statement.
I’m sorry to say, it was only with a mustard seed-size of faith that I told everyone I was fine and that God was going to take care of me.

Guess what. He did.

It seemed like an invitation out the clear blue sky to join CIY. I had attended a CIY event years ago as a kid – more years ago than I care to admit – but I had no idea they were headquartered in Joplin, let alone the opportunity to literally write for God for a living. As everything lined up, every Sunday sermon seemed to be directed at me – especially the concepts: “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called,” and “we must use our skills for Kingdom work.”

I feel humbled - completely speechless and in awe of God’s plan for me. I feel like God prepared my heart for this journey.

" At times when we think we’ve been abandoned, He’s right there – guiding absolutely every detail. "

I didn’t plan to be laid off. I didn’t plan to work at CIY. I’m here only by His amazing grace, and I find myself in incredible gratitude … that’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.



Becca is a communications coordinator for CIY. She has a bachelor’s of associates in mass communications from Missouri Southern State University and was named the Outstanding Graduate for the department in 2007. Prior to joining CIY, Becca worked for her hometown newspaper, The Carthage Press, for several years in many capacities. She and her husband, Chris, have two kids: Nolan and Nora. The family attends Carterville Christian Church.