One month ago today, we left the United States, our home and all that we knew, and came to Ireland.
I remember for so many months, waiting and planning and working. Some days it seemed like it was so far away. Other days it seemed to be approaching at high speed. There was this huge mix of emotions – excitement, knowing the Lord had called us here, that life and ministry and so much was waiting on the other side of the world. There was also this soberness, knowing that we truly were leaving behind all that we knew, our family and those that are like family, our friends and church and life as we knew it. We would be getting on a plane, one way tickets, knowing that we were completely in the Lord’s hands.
Well, we’ve been here an entire month now! You know what’s strange? It feels completely normal to be here. Don’t get me wrong. We’re aware that we are not in the States, that our families and those we love are far away. Everything feels new here, and each day we find new ways that things big and small are different. But somehow, it also feels like home. It feels like we’d anticipated being here for so long, that this is where the Lord told us He would bring us, and now He’s brought us here.
I will say, the last month was really full! We landed in Ireland with pretty much all our personal belongings in tow. We got and moved into a house, got a car, applied for visas, set up utilities, got Irish cell phone numbers, began attending Calvary Cork, and have started relationships with some amazing people and families! We’ve also had kids that were sick back to back, with one ending up in the hospital. There were several really discouraging days, coming face to face with the fact that we are in a different country and things are not the same here (something I’m sure we’ll be learning for a long time!) There has also been genuine spiritual warfare, and we know that we are in a battle, that the work of God is real and so is the enemy that would see it thwarted. But day by day, we have found the Lord present and faithful to walk with us, to teach and love us and show us Himself.
There is a lot still to be done as we settle and adjust to life here – practical things with the house and car, furnishing and decorating our new home, figuring out what it means to serve at Calvary Cork and become part of the community here. I’ve been lesson planning all week, and we’ll actually start school next week! Seems crazy to be starting the year so late, but I know our boys have been learning so much as we’re transitioning to life in a new country.
I know our emotions will come in waves, and there have been a few moments of realizing the magnitude of this move, that those we love are half a world away. I know there will be more and that the Lord will meet us every day. But we are genuinely grateful, excited, and ready to participate in all the Lord has for us here! We’re so thankful that though we’ve left home, God has been so gracious to give us another home here. He has added to us and not taken away. What a good and generous Father we have!
Thank you all for praying, for standing with us, for supporting our family and this call on our lives in so many ways! We’re humbled really, and so thankful that we are part of Christ’s body, functioning as all the parts work together to accomplish God’s purposes. Know that the Lord uses you to encourage us so much, that we are thinking of you often, and that you are a part of what the Lord is doing in Ireland!
Much love from the Emerald Isle!