Zy’Keera’s Story

November 28, 2023


Zy’Keera’s story has been a source of great inspiration to me and highlights why we pursue teens with the gospel.  Through a recent conversation with Zy’Keera’s mom, I learned that the above picture was taken at a City Life event where they, as a family, “had so much fun that day”.  She went on to share City Life was where Zy’Keera was saved and granted us permission to share her story.  It is her hope that Zy’Keera would not be forgotten.  We are honored to share how God used a tragedy to bring life to many!  – Jared Diller, YFC Executive Director

BEAUTY FROM ASHES, Yvonne Jones, Lima City Life (Published May 2021)

I am reminded of God’s redeeming power even in devastating circumstances. Because our heavenly Father is a loving and merciful God, He can use every situation in our lives to show others how good He is.

Last month, we were faced with devastating news that one of our City Life girls, Zy’Keera, was shot and killed by her brother. Both students were part of our City Life family.

Honestly, it was hard for me to understand how God could use this situation and work it out for His good. How can any beauty come from these ashes? 

God reminded me of last February, when three of our high school girls committed their lives to Christ during small group bible study. One of those young ladies was Zy’Keera, the girl who was tragically killed, and another was Kynasia, her sister.

I gained hope and strength, knowing that Zy’Keera said yes to spending eternity with Jesus Christ and her Heavenly Father. 

After the tragedy, we decided to set a time and place for our youth (as well as Kynasia and her mother) to process their loss in a loving and peaceful environment. All of our leaders were there to pray, listen and comfort our youth. We also invited a few pastors that are connected with City Life ministries to attend. We had hoped for an attendance of around twenty youth and ten adults from the community that night. More and more people were coming inside the gym, and we quickly realized that the size of this crowd was growing close to a hundred people. I said a quick prayer to my heavenly Father, asking that His will be done with this crowd.

As God took control it was so beautiful. There were pockets of miracles happening in every corner of that gym. By the end of the night, I heard reports of so many blessings: there were eleven young people and six adults who gave their hearts to Christ, and others who recommitted their lives to Christ. Sweet community lifted Kynasia, her mother, and all who were suffering because of Zy’Keera’s loss, to our Heavenly Father in prayer.

Only God can bring beauty from the ashes of such a tragedy. Your prayers over Zy’Keera’s family and our teens are so needed!