Latest Report from Beth

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8

Looking for Spring in the Middle of Winter.

Has this winter seemed like it will never end?  I'm sitting here as the wind is howling outside and rain is lashing down.  Its finally April and according to the celtic calendar we are supposed to be on our way into summer, but spring never came.  The daffodils and the tulips came up, but then eight inches of snow fell and they all withered away again. 

Have you ever been waiting in anticipation for something that is slow to come? Its unbearable.  I've been waiting over a year now for my citizenship approval.  Still no word and no indication of where I am in the process.  There is a ceremony scheduled in May, which means that if I'm accepted then I should be expecting a letter any day now.  Please pray with me as I wait in anticipation of that letter. 

As I go through this time of wating I can't help but reflect on where the Lord has brought me and the opportunities He has given me. Many have asked what will you do after you get your citizenship, will you look for paid work? Will you continue serving?  To be honest it is hard to plan for the future when there is no certainty that I will be accepted yet. However, there is one thing that remains clear throughout this year of waiting. I am called to serve the people of Ireland.

Many missionaries respond deeply to Matthew 28:19 when Jesus tells his disciples "to go...". While I have followed that command I think it is vital for all of us to take head of the next part of the request "...make disciples...".  I am a disciple maker and it is my honour to continue supporting the Churches in Cork and Killarney by showing them how to fulfill that command as well. 

In Killarney I continue to drive down twice a month to keep the Bible study going. While the church body in Killarney hasn't grown a lot in numbers it has certainly grown in their deepth and maturity of faith.  In the last year individuals have started recognising the need to serve one another rather than wait for the Pastor to provide.  One woman from the group felt called to start a women's meeting, one man started a men's coffee and prayer group and a couple started doing monthly worship nights. I have seen some amazing growth and maturity in the members of the group over the past two years and am excited to see what the Lord will do this year.

At the youth group in Fermoy we have older students who are taking on leadership roles within the group and initiating great conversations with the younger teens.  Many of our teens that attend youth group are not from Christian families. They are teens who connected with us through the summer camp or by other friends and have had a real encounter with Christ that has changed them.  The more these students engage and challenge each other the more solid their faith becomes.  What a blessing it is to see them grow and mature and make their faith their own.

Getting my citizenship will not change how I serve in Ireland. More importantly I continue to feel a strong calling to supporting the local Church. Many churches here have a small congregation of 20 to 50 poeple and the pastors have little to no support.  Leading Bible studies, mentoring students at the youth group in Fermoy or even covering a Sunday morning for a Pastor who needs a well deserved holiday has given me a sense of pure joy.  Thank you for your continued prayer and support in helping me fulfill my purpose in Ireland.