Missions -

Students can be a huge part of a mission trip … without leaving the country —

By Brad Warren

Just because a student isn’t going on an Engage mission trip doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of it.

Once again this summer, Engage will issue a specific challenge to students attending CIY’s MOVE conferences: commit to praying for one team member traveling abroad this summer.


Engage mission trips are fun, challenging, transformational, exhausting experiences that only about 320 people will participate in during the 2019 calendar year. This challenge gives the 35,000-plus MOVE attendees the opportunity to be part of an Engage team, and there’s even a cool reminder for the individual lifting up the team member in prayer.


If a student at MOVE is up for the challenge, he or she takes a small plastic key tag with the name of an Engage team member printed on one side. By taking a key tag, students are committing to pray for that person all summer. We’re excited to see how God will use these key tags in 2019, hopeful that He will create some similarly amazing stories to the ones we heard in the summer of 2018.


I may be biased, but one of my favorite stories from last summer involves a trip I co-led …


One day in June, I was packing my bag to get ready to take a team of 11 high school students on an Engage mission trip to Kenya. That night at MOVE in Holland, Michigan, CIY’s European Director Jasper Rutherford chose a random key tag that read, “Cloe S. – Kenya,” and prayed over it during the evening session. My co-leader who was at the event immediately texted our group a video of Jasper praying from stage for our entire team with this caption: “Guys! Jasper picked up the key tag with Cloe’s name and just prayed for her and our whole team at MOVE. You guys are being covered in prayer by 1,900 people – isn’t that nuts?!”


The team instantly responded with exclamations of praise to God. He had sovereignly used a little piece of plastic to minister to our team as we were preparing for an amazing adventure together.


That trip was filled with prayer – from beginning to end – and to this day never ceases to glorify God every time the individuals from that experience share their stories.


God uses these key tags to prepare, equip, protect and encourage our Engage team members. In 2019, we trust and believe that He will continue the good work He began last year through some tiny pieces of plastic and tens of thousands of willing high school students.


If you attend a MOVE conference this summer, I would love to challenge you to be part of an Engage team by taking a key tag and covering one student in prayer. I can tell you from experience that it makes a difference!


Brad Warren is an Engage program administrator for Christ In Youth. His email is brad.warren@ciy.com.