Hey y’all / yous!

I am here. And I am stuck in! 🙂 That’s Irish for: “we’re going full-tilt.” The first two weeks of being with the American students and the first week with the Irish students/staff have been great! YOU CAN PRAY that we’ll continue in unity and love.

The Americans have really accepted the challenge of entering Irish culture and have done a really fantastic job of engaging with people in the streets the first few days (as they learned about Irish culture and life) and now at Encounter with the Irish interns. They’ve got integration down pat! YOU CAN PRAY that where my cultural lack runs down, I’ll trust God with grace to interact positively and not offensively with the Irish.

It has also been encouraging for me to get to see old friends again and reconnect with Irish staff and interns that I know, as well as getting to know new ones. It is a beautiful thing to be able to go halfway around the world and still find a home among other believers! YOU CAN PRAY that I would be an encouragement to the girls my age that may only have a few other close God-loving friends.

As I said, we are wrapping up our first week of Encounter and we’ve all been exposed to teaching from Galatians regarding our true SONSHIP in Christ. Such topics as: orphans vs. sons mentality, God’s confident sons, repentance, law and gospel, the Pharisee and prostitute, maturing as a son, etc. have been covered in a pretty fast paced format! The SONSHIP course is like drinking from a fire hydrant and requires long breaths in between gulps! YOU CAN PRAY that students would have/use adequate time to reflect and listen to what God may be speaking to their hearts through the word preached.

That said, tomorrow evening we’ll be having a barbecue with many of the student’s parents, friends and potential future interns in order for them to see what Encounter is all about. YOU CAN PRAY that we are well rested and ready to share openly about the transforming truth we are taking on board. YOU CAN PRAY that logistically everything runs smoothly and there is enough food for everyone to eat! 🙂 (There will be about 100 people around the Y for the BBQ.)

YOU CAN PRAY for Ireland… This time more than any other time I’ve been here I’ve sensed a hopelessness that is weighty. Many Irish can’t find employment, there is an oppression that is learned because of the oppression so recent in Irish history, and there is just a sense of “running out” of all the things that were giving the Irish hope. More than 1100 Irish per week are leaving the country in search of better economic circumstances–the Celtic Tiger of the 80s/90s/00s is a thing of the past. Really, the prayer is that they would run out & that they would trust God in their lack.

In the same way would you pray for me? This week especially has revealed that in many ways I would much rather depend on other people than trust God. I would rather be in control than allow God to reign. I would rather ignore hurt and pain rather than allow God to heal me and find my identity in him. These things are all huge an affect the way I functionally trust God. This is a battle we’re fighting here… Satan certainly doesn’t want me to be assured in God’s love and plans because then he has lost. So would you pray that my heart would be strengthened and that I would continue to dig down to the dark places of my heart that keep me from living in the freedom I so desire?

Thanks for your love and support!