Hi there! In my last post a few weeks ago, our family was headed to Ireland to do a family mission and scouting trip, serving, but also praying about if we are supposed to go back as full time missionaries! I know some of you have already heard from Facebook or in person, but I wanted to share about our trip here, and what we feel like the Lord has said.
Our trip to Ireland lasted two weeks and for the most part, we stayed in Cork, a larger city in the southern part of the country. We served with a church there called Calvary Cork. We had connected with them last May and began building a relationship, learning about their church and community. They are a growing church and have a great need for someone to help lead and oversee their children’s ministry. During our time there, we got to do one of their children’s ministry services, hold a Holiday Bible Club (aka Vacation Bible School), participate in outreach, go to one of their services, and just spend time with the people.
We also had some time to just enjoy our family and see a little bit of the country! If you’re wondering what Ireland looks like, just look at any picture of Ireland ever. It really is that beautiful! We saw castles and old forts, visited the coast and walked around several little towns. The roads are narrow and winding, (which made driving on the other side of the road even more fun!), and the landscape really is an amazing, lush, endless green!
The people are beautiful too! We learned there that the population of real, Bible believing Christians is less than 1%. Most Irish people there that are Christians are first or maybe second generation believers, which means they didn’t grow up in church. They are discovering the Bible for themselves and living in a culture that doesn’t really know what Biblical Christianity is. There is a great need for intentional, relational evangelism.
And the children! They’re precious (and ornery and funny and mischievous) because they’re children 🙂 We got to spend quite a bit of time with the families of the church. It was such a huge blessing for us, especially since we were praying about going and doing life there with our own family! Our kids got to meet kids their age, and we got to enjoy the company of parents who are doing life a lot like we are. A great answer to my prayer as a mom!
Okay, down to the nitty gritty! (#nacholibre)
Here was our list of prayer requests before our trip:
- That our time there would be fruitful
- Unity in our marriage and family as we prepare to go and during our time there
- That we would be able to hear clearly and know His will for our family
- That the Lord would prepare our hearts for all He wants to do in and through us there
- For those we would connect with there, as they pray and get ready to have us serve with them. That our time there would be intentional and our hearts would be knit together in Jesus and His mission.
- For Branden specifically, as He seeks the Lord for direction and leads our family.
- For the serious spiritual warfare that has already begun and will undoubtedly continue/increase. That we would trust the Lord and stand together in Him!
I have to say, that in every way, Jesus just blew us away 🙂 Our time there was incredibly fruitful and the Lord really blessed us with an amazing time as a couple and family. We got to serve together and just be really intentional about prayer and fellowship and being in the Word.
I was also just amazed at how connected we got in the two weeks we were there. Not only with the church in general, but with several individual families. You know you’ve found new friends when they invite you for dinner and you end up leaving their house carrying your sleeping kids out at one in the morning!
And as far as direction, the Lord gave us clarity, confirming and leading both Branden and I as we asked the big question – ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GO BACK FULL TIME?!
And the answer the Lord gave is YES!!
Through a series of events, Scripture, and just drawing near to the Lord, Branden and I both believe that the Lord has said for our family to move to Ireland and serve there as full time missionaries!! What does that mean? Well, a lot of that we are just now figuring out, but our hearts are to go, truly as Jesus commanded His very first disciples, to share the Good News, to be a part of God’s mission of reconciling people back to Himself. And what a privilege to follow Jesus in this way and participate in what He is doing in the world!
There is a lot ahead of us – figuring out visas, moving abroad, getting the word out and raising support, learning to live in a new country, a new culture! We know it’s not all going to be easy, but we’re excited and know that wherever the Lord would lead us, He himself will go, and that is amazing!
We’ll keep posting updates here on the blog as this will serve as our primary way of updating/communicating even after we’re in Ireland. Would you partner with us in prayer? Not just for our move and all that goes along with that, but also for Ireland and the beautiful people there that the Lord loves so much! I hope you’ll come back too, and follow along in this amazing adventure! Blessings to you!