A glimpse of what God is doing in Ireland!
On our ministry outreach to Ireland, it was exciting to learn about the history of past works of God AND to see how God is moving today in very exciting ways. We saw the mountain where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days for Ireland, we preached in a church founded by John Wesley, and we ministered in a growing church (on the border of Northern Ireland) that was the “seed” of a nation-wide Irish revival almost exactly 100 years ago.
Ministering as a Family-Team . . .
We met up with Josh & Anna in Dublin, Ireland, as they were beginning their 3-country mission outreach (ministering and traveling throughout Ireland, India, and the UK). It was awesome to be able to minister together as a family team, with Josh & Anna ministering to the youth, leading in worship and special music, and sharing a next-generation perspective.
a beautiful country
ministering in churches across Ireland
(Note: The yellow line shows our journey throughout Ireland!)
Life Church in Port Laois
In Port Laois, we met up with two great ministry couples, James & Rachel (above, right), pastor of Life Church and former YWAM’ers, and their assistant pastor, Noel Cammack, who is engaged to our dear long-time friend, Heather Church from Alaska (who used to be our pastor’s daughter and babysitter in Bend, Oregon). We had a very special time with Noel & Heather (above, left), talking and praying together about their upcoming wedding and marriage. Our fellowship together felt significant and God-orchestrated. What great people!!!
We preached in two services at Life Church in Port Laois. The congregation was very international (with church members from Nigeria and Poland), and both services were even interpreted into Polish. The worship was contemporary and vibrant and the church seemed very healthy. The pastor and his family had even just returned from their own mission outreach to Poland and Norway! (During this time, we heard about the vast spiritual needs throughout Ireland and Europe. Did you know that in 10 European nations, less than 1% of the population is Evangelical Christian. What a HUGE NEED for prayer and action!!!)
Effective Families Seminar in Navan
In the quaint town of Navan, Ireland, we met-up with Pastor Johnny McEvoy (our ministry contact who we had met at Global Missions Conference in Wasilla, Alaska, and who had arranged all of our connections with the Elim churches throughout Ireland). It was good to see him and we thankful for his organizational work and effort. In Navan, we led a one-night Effective Families Seminar with representatives attending from three churches from this region, including pastor Richard from Meath Christian Centre.
Home Meeting in Roscrea
What a unique experience we had with a new church-plant in Roscrea, Ireland. We got to stay in an old mansion on a working horse farm (with a professional Irish bronze-sculptor-artist and her husband, a horse-trainer/100-mile-marathon runner). The pastor, Ken Baker (left), was so hospitable. We enjoyed the presence of the Lord during worship, and had a wonderful time of fellowship with wonderful new friends, such as Norman & Carianne (below).
Exciting Ministry & Vision in Monaghan
On the border of Northern Ireland, we were blessed by the vision and ministry of Stephen Matthews (below) and his family and congregation (Elim Church in Monaghan). Currently, the church is in a tiny building (left), but they are seeing revival! Many are coming to the Lord and the church is flourishing and growing.
It was thrilling and very informative to personally learn about the political and spiritual situation between the Republic of Ireland (the country we were visiting in the South, which is an independent country, historically Roman Catholic) and Northern Ireland (a part of the United Kingdom, which we briefly visited one afternoon, historically Protestant).
Over the years, there has been much fighting, division, and terrorism between the two sides, but God is bringing reconciliation and healing. Currently, less than 1% of the population of the Republic of Ireland is Evangelical (born-again or Bible-believing) Christian. But revival is stirring! We were fascinated by Ireland’s spiritual history and by what God did long ago through a fiery young evangelist named George Jeffreys nearly 100 years ago in this very spot (here’s more about the history), sparking spiritual revival all throughout Ireland.
We also learned about the current ministry news up near the border of Northern Ireland and we were able to see this church’s nearly completed (very large) building!
This Monaghan church is active in one-on-one witnessing, using tools as local personal testimonies on CD, and vibrant participation in the local city-wide St. Patrick’s Day parade (2 out of the past 3 years, this church has won the city prize for the best float-entry). But most of all, this church is a church that PRAYS and listens to the voice of the Lord. WHAT VISION!
And here was a “wee-bit” of fun: we were able to visit with an owner of race horses and he let Anna have an opportunity to ride (and even jump) one of his champion horses.
Westport, Ireland is a beautiful area known for tourism and recreation. A mountain just outside of the city is a world-renown pilgrimage destination, as this is where St. Patrick climbed to fast and pray for 40 days for the nation of Ireland.
Today, people come from all over the world to climb this Irish mountain, Mt. Croagh Patrick, sometimes even going barefoot over the rough rocks as a sign of penance for their sins.
The local church in Westport (led by Peter and Martha Finch of Amazing Grace church, who we met at a Missions Conference in Alaska) had a great idea to share the Gospel. On the yearly pilgrimage weekend, they washed people’s feet and shared the love of Jesus. The church worship was filled with life and we had a special time of ministry, sharing about The Scarlet Cord and God’s miracle working power!
(Everywhere we went, we gave away copies of our brand-new book, The Scarlet Cord: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, a concise call to world missions. People were very thankful and appreciative and we were glad to have this “seed” to give.)
In Castlebar, Ireland, we had a wonderful time with the pastors and leaders.
Daniel Caldwell (right) was fascinating. He did his PhD in a study about the Pentecostal roots of Irish history and St. Patrick. He’s pioneered several churches, has preached at large mission gatherings all throughout Europe, but refused to be called either “Dr.” or “Pastor.” With a humble heart he insisted, “Just call me, ‘Daniel.'”
The church in Castlebar, Ireland, was founded by the famous minister, John Wesley, who laid the foundation stone for the building and often preached here during his visits to Ireland years ago. How fun to preach in the same church building where God moved long ago . . . and where He is still moving today!
Thanks for sending us. Please pray for Ireland!