The team college students spent nine days learning about the culture and history of the country, with evenings at RIOT (Revival In Our Town) – a youth outreach ministry directed by missionary Ritchie Shilliday. Kyle said a recurring comment during the trip seemed to be “God continues to show up.”
“One day, we had planned on going to a lighthouse on the beach,” Sonja said. “We were going to do our devos there – just pray and sit and listen to the Holy Spirit. We got there and it was fine weather, but it’s January in Ireland. The sun came out – the wind stopped – it felt warm, and we all just sat there for an hour. We just journaled, prayed and walked around, and Ritchie made a really big deal about it. I think sometimes we take for granted those types of things, like the sun coming out. Ritchie was like, ‘you guys witnessed a miracle here. God showed up. He gave us this beautiful morning.’ I think that changed the mindset of the students, thinking ‘I need to notice God in the small ways that I take for granted.’ We had this moment where it was huge for Ritchie, and that was cool for us to see the outpouring of what was a big deal to him. God continued to show up along the trip multiple times, and that was something we took away, too. God continues to show up, we just have to ask Him to come alongside whatever you’re doing – in the big things and the small things.”
“There were a bunch of small instances where it was clearly God’s work, or, it was a culmination of years and years of work with a student,” Kyle added. “We would have a worship set and time to pray for whoever felt led to, and one night two of the Irish girls prayed out loud. It was the first time they had prayed out loud and they had been going to RIOT for years – their whole life basically. That was nothing we did, we just got to be there to see it happen. That step in faith was a big deal to Ritchie and the people there.”
There are many more opportunities for students to join CIY on mission trips around the world, including multiple trips to Ireland and Northern Ireland this summer. To find out more about CIY’s Engage trips, please visit ciy.com/engage.