Missions -

The journey after the journey … —

By Becca Haines

CIY’s Engage mission trips unite young people from all walks of life for unforgettable experiences, and the unique and nourishing relationships that are formed on these journeys often don’t end just because the trip is over.

It’s common for team members to keep in touch with email, group messaging and social media – and some even travel great distances to attend reunions. A great example of this special bond happened this summer after a group of 21 young people from across the U.S. traveled to Northern Ireland. In a matter of days following the team’s return home, a reunion was held in Joplin, Missouri. Half of the team of 21 came together to reminisce, pray together and encourage one another to continue the Kingdom work that was sparked while in Northern Ireland together.


“We got to know each other in such a close environment where we were growing, learning and seeing the Lord work in our lives – as well as others – every day all day,” said Mia Buckley, 16, of Louisa, Virginia. “We honestly became like a family. They are the only ones on the planet who experienced that with me. When we’re together it’s like no time has passed. When I went to Joplin I was expecting it to be awkward, but honestly it was like we had never left Ireland. Each one of them is truly a blessing in my life, and I can’t imagine not having met them.”


The mission trip turned mere acquaintances into close friends for Nathan Hardy, 18, of Webb City, Missouri.


“I hope this carries on for the rest of our lives,” he said. “A lot of relationships can be lost over time, but these were rooted and formed around God – He was the foundation. I think we just bonded so well that we didn’t want the mission trip to be our only story we had together. God works in crazy ways. It’s hard to say how or why it happened, but it did and that’s how God wanted it to be. I guess He just wants us to stick together.”



The 2018 Northern Ireland 2C Team

Engage leaders: Ben and Amanda Hedger, of Webb City; Braden Bare, Daniel Bare, Dylann Beck, Travis Fink, Tanner Grove, Conor Miller, Adam Russell – all of Joplin, Missouri; Mia Buckley, Louisa, Virginia; Molly Ford, Spokane Valley, Washington; Nathan Hardy and Josh Scheuermann, both of Webb City, Missouri; Emily Keller, Alexandria, Kentucky; Samantha Locke, Glendale, Arizona; Taryn Miller, Odessa, Texas; Alex Neuenschwander, Carl Junction; MaKinzie Poitevint, Spokane, Washington; Josie Pritchett, Kansas City, Missouri; Kari Snow, Lakeland, Florida; and Megan Stribling, Lake Waukomis, Missouri.


The 2019 schedule of Engage trips is available to view here.