Big News!

“Please, please, please, come back to Ireland.”

As we sat across the dinner table from our friends and ministry partners who were in the States on furlough, we listened to them talk about their plans to plant a new church in a town in County Roscommon. We shared good food, laughs, memories, and we talked about the hard realities of the spiritual hurts and needs in Ireland.

Somewhere in the midst of the weekend-long conversation that had danced around the idea of Brian, Jacob and myself heading back to Ireland to help with the new church plant, our hearts gave in—to the need and to the desire: the need to serve and the needs waiting to be met; the desire to help and the desire to be in a place that felt like a different kind of home to us.

We never wanted to leave in the first place. Continue reading

How to Be Strong when Life Wears You Down

“Be strong and courageous.”

It isn’t a suggestion. In fact, it’s a command. From God.

But what happens when you don’t feel all that strong. What if you’re flat-out tired… exhausted from seemingly constant challenges? Poor health, work, kids, marriage, even church can wear a body down. What then?

God’s answer: “Be strong and courageous.” Continue reading

God Always Knows what He’s Doing

We-see-the-dotGod doesn’t always make sense. Our finite minds can only comprehend so much. We see the dots.  God sees the entire picture. I’m grateful His vision is bigger than my own.

During the past sixteen months, our lives have changed in so many ways. Moving to Ireland may seem like the biggest change, but really, the physical move feels much less important than the work God has done in our hearts. Working with a small team to establish a Bible-based, Christian church unlike anything else available in town has allowed us to be involved in God’s work like never before. Learning to share our faith freely and naturally—without scaring people off—opened the door to rich, meaningful, eternal relationships. Continue reading

Trading a Pity Party for Purpose

“One day, you’re going to wake up and think, What am I doing here??”

I’d been warned by my friend and minister Foree, that even though living in a foreign country is exciting, and working to share the Good News about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus is important and meaningful, some days it’s hard.  This past week included a few of those days. Continue reading

What Is It Like to Live in Ireland?

Greenway-Newport

We love to hear from friends, family members and co-workers about how their lives are going. The pictures on Facebook of proms and weddings and graduation ceremonies (from Kindergarten to college) in the past few weeks help us feel connected even though we’re 4,400 +/- miles away.  Very often, when we talk to friends over email or Skype, one of the questions that comes up is, “How is life in Ireland?”

It’s beautiful. A friend who recently visited Ireland named her FB picture album “Fifty Shades of Green.” And it’s true! Even in the cold, wet, winter months green covered the fields. Now that spring is sliding into summer, the trees and vines just add to the beauty of the landscape. Continue reading

Clean Cars and Whitewashed Tombs

When we bought our car, Joe, the previous owner, passed the keys over with a look of pride mixed with carloss and said, “Brian, will you make me a promise? Keep her clean.”

“Clean” is about as spiffy as our car could claim. It’s a 2004, with plenty of miles and it’s well broken in with dents, a missing armrest and an assortment of scratches. BUT it runs, it’s a five-seater, it’s paid for, and the little beater gets brilliant mileage.

But here’s a confession: In the six-plus months we’ve owned our Picasso, keeping it clean hasn’t made our to-do list… ever. We make sure to remove any trash every few days because we often collect people for worship service on Sunday. But that’s about it.

Perhaps I should be ashamed of the constant, light coating of mud that covers the bottom half of the vehicle, but I can’t bring myself to care that much. This is Ireland. It rains almost every day. It’s going to get dirty again as soon as we hand over a few euro to have it cleaned. Nah, the dirt on the outside of the car doesn’t bother me.

The inside, is another story. Continue reading

The Costs of a Spiritual Famine

Once known as the ‘land of saints and scholars,’ today Ireland is a state of spiritual famine. In this video produced by OMS (One Mission Society), some of our co-workers here share about this country’s extreme need to know God and His Word. Prayer is one of the greatest needs and it’s one you can fulfill no matter where you live.

If you want to know more about how you can support the work of sharing Jesus Christ and the Bible with Ireland, please sign up to become one of our prayer partners by filling out the form on the right of the screen. Thank you for your prayers. God bless.

Same Difference… or Not!

Sometimes people from the United States ask what the biggest differences are for us here in Ireland. In many ways, our lives look much the same as they did before we moved here. But there are certainly a few differences…

Where we live:

house

Our house is a 4-bedroom, 2-bath home. It’s on the larger side in comparison to some Irish homes, but certainly nothing that would be considered extravagant. We’re in an estate (subdivision) that is about 40 years old, and there are plenty of houses that look very similar to ours. No thatch-roof (bummer).

Continue reading