International -

The unexpected way my worlds collided —

By Brittany Shoemake

There are moments in life when God gives us glimpses of His work coming to fruition. 

It’s in these moments that I’m reminded of how big our God is and how His bigger story is being written. I experienced one of these moments in Ireland in the summer of 2019 and I was completely humbled.

 

We took a CIY Engage team of 20 incredible students from the U.S. to participate alongside Irish teens at the first MOVE event in Ireland. We arrived in Dublin a few days before the event and were able to pray ahead of the week of MOVE. We walked the campus, through the buildings and gymnasium and outside grounds, praying over the spaces and the seats that would soon be filled with so many young people. We asked the Spirit to break down walls, to convict hearts and to rescue souls. We were expectant of God to move in great ways!

 

What I wasn’t expecting was the wave of emotion I would feel as I stood in that gym during the first session of MOVE, realizing how much worlds were colliding. I was there leading this Engage team, but also standing in that gym was a group of young people from RIOT (Revival In Our Town) youth center in Northern Ireland, who I also had spent time with on Engage trips.

 

Over the last six years, more than 20 Engage teams have gone to Northern Ireland to serve alongside RIOT. On each of those teams there have been students from the U.S. who have shared their stories and testimonies with young people at RIOT. Many of the stories included moments when these students were impacted at a MOVE event, whether that was giving their life to Jesus for the first time at MOVE or feeling called to Kingdom work and to go on an Engage trip while at MOVE. Either way, year after year young people at RIOT were hearing stories about how an event in the U.S. called “MOVE” was a place where lives were being changed. And now I was attending a MOVE event in Ireland right along with them.

 

Never could I have imagined that six years after first meeting these kids at RIOT that I would be standing with them in the same room experiencing MOVE together. Six years of Engage teams sharing story after story of how MOVE impacted eternity for them, and now young people at RIOT were being directly impacted. Seeing all of this merge and collide at that very moment ¬– with Engage trips and MOVE events and Engage team members and RIOT young people – was so humbling. God has been at work for many years, orchestrating this very moment in time, and it’s something He allowed us to be a part of.

 

Our Engage team had a blast at MOVE and it was life-changing in many ways. They went home ready to join in the Kingdom work God is calling them to in their own communities The young people from RIOT had an amazing week, as well – including a few who made decisions to give their lives to Jesus. There’s nothing sweeter. Not only did we see the Engage and MOVE worlds collide, but we got to witness Heaven and Earth colliding and the Kingdom growing.

 

Brittany Shoemake is the Engage program director for Christ In Youth. To inquire about joining an Engage trip, please email Brittany.shoemake@ciy.com. See a list of 2020 Engage trips here.