By Christina Koeppel
Recently, students of all ages heard the final word from Governor Pritzker: social distancing will remain in-place for the remainder of the school year. This means either online or packet work, alone, at home, without friends, without classmates, and with parents filling in the gaps of learning.

The majority of youth I have talked to have mentioned that they miss their friends and miss real interaction with people other than their family. Even the introvert in me understands their desire to be with people. After all, God created us to be in relationship with others.

At the heart of all ministry is the fulfillment of this spiritual need for relationships. Yes, we can still see each other through online means like Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, tiktok, Marco Polo and the like. But, we miss out on a whole range of interaction.

As we look to the coming month, I encourage you to build on the relationships you have. Phone calls and letters in the mail are still great ways to connect. Texts, emails, messages, DMs, and video conferencing are helpful.

I would ask that you pray for our youth. Pray for those who are missing out on cultural milestones like graduations, dances, plays, concerts, sporting events, award days, and birthday parties. Be in prayer for the parents who are now serving as teachers too. Pray for the teachers, coaches, administrators, small group leaders, and youth pastors that are missing their kids.  Pray for our leaders who are making tough decisions regarding camps, retreats, mission trips, restaurants, and large gatherings.

For all of us, especially our youth, lean on the certainty that we have in the Lord.

Christiana is currently doing an instagram series called #CertaintyInUncertainTimes which is focusing on the Lord's prayer.