If you’ve been around Citylight for any length of time you’ve probably seen or have met an intern serving and working diligently. The internship program at Citylight has been designed for those who desire to explore a possible calling to vocational ministry but lack full-time ministry experience. It’s a two-year commitment and all internships are funded by support raising. Recently, the Midtown Student Ministry team welcomed two new interns, CJ and Sara Curry. Although CJ and Sara have unique stories leading up to applying for the internship program, they both are now united as one team on mission in ministry and in marriage.
CJ grew up in the church but after the loss of his father when he was in middle school, CJ turned away and filled the void with all the world offered to him.
“I was angry at God for taking my best friend, my dad,” CJ exclaimed gently. “My identity up to college was taking care of everyone else and filling the void of my dad with drinking, sex, and debt. I accepted Jesus after being invited to Salt Co at Citylight a few years ago. I realized all these things in the world might feel good or seem good in the moment, but they do not ultimately satisfy me like Jesus.”
Sara also was raised in the church by a family who loved Christ. In sixth grade Sara wanted to give her life to Christ and got baptized. Through some difficult relationships and hard friendships through middle and high school, Sara fell into depression and loss hope.
“I drew away from my faith,” Sara shared. “I remember asking ‘how could God want me to go through these things if He loved me?’ It wasn’t until end of high school where I started to realize nothing can take depression and hurt away from me but Christ. I started to enjoy life again and after high school, I asked God to be Lord of my life. I got connected with Salt Co at Citylight and there learned how to walk with Christ.”
Last year, CJ and Sara met while preparing for a summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic. They were on the same team and a friendship began.
“I knew of Sara prior to the trip but she didn’t know about me,” CJ shared with a grin.
“I remember one specific moment we were at a training session for the mission trip and CJ was talking about having a passion for working with students and kids and I was thinking ‘he would make an amazing father and husband someday’ not even realizing I would be his wife. I got to see his heart right at the beginning and that was a gift.”
CJ and Sara started dating when they got back from the mission trip. They dated for four months, engaged for six months, and were married this past May.
During their whirlwind courtship, they both were aware of their individual burden to serve in ministry. They just didn’t know the how and what yet.
“I originally applied for the internship over a year ago and decided that I didn’t want to take it after applying because I didn’t want to support raise,” CJ declared with a little hesitation. “I was afraid if people didn’t give or would drop off from giving. I was insecure. And after serving in students for a year, I fell in love with the ministry and students. The Lord put ministry on my heart, and I applied again six months ago and was offered the position. I finished my teaching job in May and today I am fully supported.”
Right before the mission trip, Sara began praying, listening, and researching on what could be next for her. She knew she loved worship as it has always been a part of her life and remembered that in high school, it was worship that helped her connect to God. It was the one moment in the week where she felt God during so much difficulty and darkness.
“I was meeting with Kedra (Citylight Midtown Student Director) and told her what was on my heart,” Sara spoke with excitement. “I told her students need worship and a lot of them don’t have it consistently nor are they connected to a church on Sundays. Wednesdays are their only option and I asked her ‘how can we make this happen?’ Kedra asked me what I thought of student ministry and it was in that moment the direction God was calling me into was confirmed.”
Sara will start officially in August with a focus on worship, developing a student worship team and teaching. CJ started in May and is focusing on administration and teaching. For the next two years, both are excited to grow and learn what ministry is all about and in their marriage and as ministry partners. They now ask for prayer.
“We want to grow together and develop the Curry’s,” CJ revealed. “Sara and I are open handed to the Lord. Church planting is on both of our hearts but are focused on students right now. We ask for prayer to have open hands and that the Lord uses me and to be a loving husband and intern. Prayers to serve others well both in marriage and ministry.”
Sara asks for prayer with
“following the Lord with what He has called me into and with my best friend. Prayers that we encourage and build each other up and prayers as I raise support team and that God would provide for us.”
CJ and Sara are thankful for the church and how the Body is always loving God and serving. They both know none of it would be possible without financial, spiritual, and physical support of the church.
“Without the support of the church none of this would be possible,” they both agreed cheerfully. “Those who support us is a blessing and we wouldn’t be here without them and their generosity. We are so thankful to walk alongside this church and grow together.”