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Riley Stephens is a Kingdom Worker

October 05, 2015

  • God told Riley Stephens to go to Haiti, but listening to that call was one of the toughest decisions of her life.

    It also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.

    It wasn't that Riley didn't want to travel out of the country – in fact, it was a dream she'd had for most of her high school career. She and her friends had been planning and saving to take a trip to Greece in the summer before their senior year. Her parents knew all about it and had even helped her plan and prepare. It was her dream trip and she'd been looking forward to it for a long time.

    And then God introduced Riley to Christ In Youth and the international mission trips offered through its Engage program. Over Spring Break of 2014, she traveled with her youth group to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip. It was eye-opening for her, and she knew that God was calling her to do more Kingdom work. She knew immediately that God was challenging her to use the money she'd saved for Greece to go on an Engage trip instead. It was an immediate struggle for her – giving up a dream for something uncertain. But she wanted to follow God's lead, and so she began to explore the many options Engage had to offer. One of the first locations that peaked her interest was Northern Ireland. It was beautiful, and Ireland was also a place she'd always wanted to visit. But God kept pointing her to Haiti.

    "What Riley did next blew me away," said Chris Nelson – her youth pastor at Current Christian Church in Katy, Texas. "She went to her parents and told them she wanted to use the money they'd been saving to send her to Greece to go on the CIY Engage trip to Haiti instead. Instead of going on a trip designed specifically for her, she wanted to use the money to serve others."

    So Riley applied for the trip through CIY and was accepted. She cancelled the Greece trip, went to Haiti and learned what it means to be a Kingdom worker – not to serve others in another country, but to work alongside them for the Kingdom and to bring that mentality and mission back to her own home and community. 

    "Now she's looking for her next chance to serve somewhere else," Nelson said. "Riley is the true definition of a Kingdom worker. She has inspired our other students, and she has inspired me."

    God may be calling you to a similar international mission trip. Engage has years of experience working alongside missionaries in other countries, teaching students what it means to be a Kingdom worker and to serve alongside other cultures. Take some time today to visit the Engage website to find out more about Domestic and International. 

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