SYFC tribute to Intern
We were first introduced to Kaitlyn Craig just over four years ago when she was attending a small Bible College in Alberta and one of her academic advisors approached us about the possibility of her doing a year long internship with us at YFC. Kaitlyn was born and raised in small town Alberta, and had some hesitation about moving to a new city where she didn’t know anyone to join a ministry she was unfamiliar with. But she was very passionate about hockey, and a chance to work alongside our YFCHL hockey ministry seemed like a great fit so she packed up her Jeep and headed to Saskatoon.
She started her internship with us that fall and quickly earned the nickname of ‘Intern’ amongst the staff. It was a nickname she loved, and stuck with her all these years. She was quiet at first, trying to figure out where she belonged in Saskatoon and at YFC. But it didn’t take long for her to start building real and lasting relationships with the kids at YFCHL, and her presence there truly transformed the program. She was a girl who loved hockey, and her passion allowed her to encourage other girls to join the league. Until she joined our team girls would show up to watch the boys play hockey every week, but with her influence they joined in and there are now many girls fully involved and committed to our hockey league today. A highlight for Kaitlyn every year was the annual YFCHL Boot Camp, which is a weekend retreat filled with intense hockey and amazing memories. The first time Kaitlyn attended Boot Camp she came back to Saskatoon and said to herself “these are my people, this is where I belong”. It was after that first Boot Camp that she truly started feeling like family to the rest of the staff and all the students she worked with. Her mischievous personality and love for pranks came out in full force, and we truly got to know Kaitlyn for the incredible, joyful, upbeat person that she was.
During her year long internship with us she was also involved in several other ministries at YFC, one of which was California Breakaway. She felt blessed by the opportunity to build positive relationships with youth while having a blast in California, and she talked about her two years as a Calbreak staff with such happy memories.
In January of 2017 Kaitlyn started to have some health issues that she couldn’t seem to shake. She once again joined in our annual Boot Camp retreat in early February, and she was a valuable part of the volunteer staff of YFCHL. In late February she received a diagnosis of cancer, but the type was unknown. It was very aggressive, but she was incredibly determined to fight. Her attitude facing this diagnosis was inspiring. She kept a smile on her face, and kept faith in God for guidance and peace through the journey. Her battle was not a long one, and she passed away on April 9th. She left this earth surrounded by her family and with peace in her heart that she would soon be with Jesus.
One message that rang true throughout Kaitlyn’s battle was represented by the tattoo she had on her arm. The symbols represent that “God is greater than the ups and downs”, and that soon became Kaitlyn’s tag line as she fought this fight. She was constantly reminding her friends, family and community that God is good in the good times, and He’s also good in the bad times. It was her message, and one that she wants us all to carry with us now that she’s gone.
A few of our staff showed their support in her fight by getting the same tattoo.
Kaitlyn Craig was a gift to Saskatoon YFC, as she was to all who knew her. She was full of joy, love, faith, compassion, faithfulness, pranks, servanthood, and love. We feel incredibly blessed that God brought her to us, and we were able to share a few years with her. Our lives are forever changed by knowing her, and we rejoice in the fact that we will see her again someday in heaven.