Lyndsey D'Errico's Blog

Just what I'm up to and thinking about

The next few months… May 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — darbs27 @ 4:21 pm

Thought I’d fill you in on what’s happening with me over the next while.

May: Tomorrow (27th) I’m taking the young people to the Cinema to see Indiana Jones and on Saturday (31st) we’re having an ‘All Night DVD Marathon’

June: 2nd – BBQ for Youth Club, Kids Club and families

6th-8th- Slum Survivor. We’re going to spend a weekend the way 1 Billion spend a life time. The youth group, kids club and their families are going to build their own shelters and live in them. They’ll be eating nothing but rice and lentils and are only allowed to bring with them the clothes they are wearing. Acrossthe weekend there will be activitiesand challenges for the ‘slum dwellers’ to win extra ‘treats’ for their ‘slum family’. This is a sponsored event and we are hoping to get the local newspapers to run a report on it to show that there are Christians in the town who are committing to being the difference. Check out www.justgiving.com/sligoyouth Please pray for the organisation of this event – it’s a huge undertaking and also for the safety of those taking part.

20th-21st – Kids club sleepover

26th – Youth day out/social event

July: 12th – Youth day out/social event

15th – Kids Club day out to Eagle centre

21st-2nd August – Czech Republic trip. I am taking a team to Czech to work at a youth camp up in the mountains. We will be leading morning and evening meetings and teaching English classes. Please pray for the team (we still need a couple more!), that they would step out of their comfort zones during the trip and in doing so, see what God can do through them if they trust Him. Please also pray for safety in travel and during the camp and also for finance.

August: 16th-22nd – Soul Survivor. We’re taking our young people and children over to the UK to meet with over 10,000 other Christians at the Soul Survivor event. Please pray for the logistics of travel and for finance. Also please pray for safety and that all who go will meet with God in a real and special way.

I addition to all of the above, I am continuing with the regular weekly youth and children’s meetings, waiting on an appointment for a ‘procedure’ I have to have done on my shoulder, continuing the application process for Missionary Ventures, setting up the Gap Year Scheme and attempting to network with the other denominations in the area. Please pray for wisdom in my preparation of the teaching for the kids and youth. Please pray for my shoulder – it’s an ongoing problem since I slipped on some stairs over 2 years ago. I am really hoping that the procedure i am awaiting will mean I can come off of the heavy pain killers and nerve repairing drugs I am taking. And on that note I’d REALLY value your prayers for energy despite the drugs I’m having to take.

Please pray for God to send people here to work with us and in the meantime for the man power to run some of the events. Finally I would greatly value your prayers for finance – living ‘by faith’ is an amazing privilege in that I see God work so mightily in meeting my needs, but it is also a pretty scary way to live too 🙂

So that’s it for now. September – December look pretty exciting too but I’ll tell you about that some other time. 🙂 x

 

 

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Proof! May 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — darbs27 @ 6:56 pm

The sun does shine in Ireland! it’s been fab weather for nearly a week – and who says miracles don’t happen.

The picture is taken outside our front door. We never get tired of that view!

 

Final installment of the story… May 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — darbs27 @ 7:39 pm

In order for someone to understand the situation here in Sligo, I should explain a few things: When I first came to Sligo, God led me to an particular church. This was the only evangelical church in the area – the closest was an hour away. The then pastor was a guy whose heart for the area of the West of Ireland was similar to my own. For various reasons and through no fault of his own, he had to stop leading the church and slowly I began to realise that the church was no longer going in the direction I was feeling we should. there seemed to be no connection with God’s heart for the community or for pastoral care.

 

From that church there were a couple of house groups meeting, one of which I attended. When a few of us left the church, nearly a year ago, the members of the house group felt to carry on meeting. This group has been going from strength to strength over this time and on a regular basis, people from the town bring their prayer requests, and on occasion their sick relatives for us to pray for. There is a rumour around the town that “when the ‘born agains’ pray, stuff happens”. Out of this group came the youth group and kids club I am running.

In January, when I returned from England, a few of us met with the former pastor, (who has been recruited by the Methodist church to “bring it into the 21st Century”). We had been attending one of the churches he is responsible for on Sunday evenings but had struggled because it was a good distance out of town and because although great steps were being taken, Sligo is the place we are called to. We also felt that the type of people that were attending our meetings would not be able to attend this church due to distance and tradition. Out of this discussion we agreed that we would meet on a Sunday morning in my home and would pray for our community, for the pastor’s ministry and for God’s guidance. We have struggled greatly with the problem that we have all these people attending our house group and our youth groups, but no church to feed them into.

 

On meeting to pray on a Sunday morning, we have been blown away by the way God has been moving. There are only 4 of us on a Sunday morning but thankfully God doesn’t limit Himself to large numbers.

 

In Sligo there is a population of roughly 20,000. In Irish terms, it is a big town and has been designated a City. It is surrounded by natural beauty – on 3 sides mountains and a Lough and on the 4th side the Atlantic Ocean. Although Sligo is physically beautiful, on closer inspection, the town has become a very dark place. There is an estate in the centre of town, where our prayers have been particularly focussed. On this small estate, in the last 3 years, there have been 4 brutal murders. The drug scene is increasing at a frightening rate and, as with the rest of Ireland, alcohol abuse and suicides are on the increase. There are people who live in this estate who literally terrorise the young people in the town and who seem to have a frightening hold over a large number of people. So much so, that the police do nothing about these people and problems and the vicious circle continues. There are many people in Sligo who are living in fear.

As far as ‘faith’ is concerned, the West of Ireland is the least evangelised part of Europe. It is 98% Roman Catholic and only 0.02% of the population is known to be Evangelical Christian. People are wrapped up in religious ritual, superstition, angel worship and many other things. They are obsessed with death and yet incredibly fearful of it. To sum up the area I would say that the West of Ireland is currently a place with no hope.

When God called me here, he planted a number of visions on my heart. First and foremost it is my passion to see Ireland once again become a missionary sending country. My heart is to achieve this by bringing people in (teams and individuals, short-term and long-term) to share the hope of the Gospel and to enthuse the Irish people to go out into the world.

I also have a vision for setting up and alcohol free bar for under 18’s in the town. This would act also as a community centre, where young people could come for homework clubs, parenting classes, counselling and various other services. Some of the people in our house group have caught this vision and are currently in the process of looking at possible premises.

I am also in the process of setting up a Gap Year Scheme, where people can come and work with us in Ireland for 6 months-1 year. There also is an option for them to link up with a Bible College in England to study theology whilst on placement here in Sligo.

As a small group of people, our passion, vision and motivation is big! Our continued prayers are that God would provide people to come and work alongside us here, for people to hold us and the people of Sligo in prayer, and to support us financially so we can press on with what we have been called to do.

As far as I myself am concerned, I went to Orlando in March. I met with Missionary Ventures and we discussed the above. I left the meeting feeling excited and also slightly overwhelmed by what God is doing. I also came to realise as the week went on, that we are not alone here in our heart for this place – God has put it on the hearts of many in Orlando.

One of the things we greatly miss here is a church fellowship like we once knew. Although it’s something we do not have as such. I do believe God is building that in the few of us that are meeting together and I also believe that as we continue to seek His will and to offer our hearts, lives and resources to Him, anything is possible!

I am now certain God is prompting me to acknowledge that He has me on the mission field and that I should be considering myself as such. I believe that I should not pursue this calling without the backing and accountability of an established organisation and feel He has led me to Missionary Ventures for this reason.

 

Catching up on what I’m doing… May 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — darbs27 @ 9:15 pm

Before I start writing regulars of what’s going on here in Ireland, there’s still lots of background stuff to fill you in on. Two more long posts should do it and then they’ll be shorter I promise!! 🙂

 

So God called me to Ireland very clearly in 2001 and particularly to the West of the country and a town called Sligo. At the time I was studying at Bible College in England and remember feeling so strongly that I went to my tutor on a number of occasions and told her I was leaving college and going to Sligo straight away. Thankfully she reminded me that I was called to college first.

 

By the time I had graduated, I ended up not leaving England for another 2 years, for various reasons. I eventually moved to Sligo in November 2006. Since then I have been actively looking for work as well as running a youth group, doing some schools work, speaking at events, organising mission team visits and studying for a degree in counselling.

 

My dilemma has been that if I were to secure a full-time position, I would have had to give up some of the other things I was doing. Time and time again the doors have been shut on jobs I have applied for, for various reasons. At the point where the man I was assigned to at the job centre said “I just don’t understand it, you’re extremely employable”, I realised maybe God was closing these doors for a reason.

 

In December last year (2007) I returned to England to visit friends and family. On numerous occasions I had to explain my situation and every time, people commented on my passion for the voluntary work I have been doing and my vision for it.

 

On one such occasion, I was praying with a friend. She asked me why I was adverse to calling myself a missionary. I explained that it was something I hadn’t really considered but also that I struggle when it comes to asking people for money and know that this is an integral part of being a missionary in the way she was suggesting. We prayed around this and I told her that I had an interview when I got back to Ireland and that if I didn’t get this job, I would pursue the ‘missionary’ route.

 

I didn’t get the job. For a few days I successfully put to the back of my mind what I had said to my friend in that time of prayer but God didn’t allow me to for long: One night I was reading a book I’d read a few years before and out of it fell a business type card that some friends had given me after a missions trip to Uganda in 2002. The card had the Missionary Ventures International logo on it. I thought something along the lines of “oh I wondered where that had gone” and put it to one side. The following morning I woke up and leaned over to my book shelf, where some of the books had fallen over. They had left on top a book which had been in the middle of them – the book a friend had given me, again years ago. The book was a little devotional written by Steve Beam – the founder of Missionary Ventures, and plastered with info about MVI. I mentioned these things later to my mother and she said “if you don’t get in contact with someone at MVI today, I think you’re mad!”

 

In October of last year (2007) a team came to Sligo on mission from Orlando. One afternoon I was driving the team’s pastor somewhere and he asked me if I had ever considered becoming a pastor? I explained that although in the past it had crossed my mind, I wouldn’t do it because it would mean having to adhere to a particular denomination. I explained that the biggest problem in this part of Ireland is denominations. He told me that his church is non-denominational and that his pastorship is through MVI. The conversation moved on and I didn’t recall what he had said until my mother said what she did.

 

I emailed the pastor in Orlando straight away and his response was that he believed this was of God. He advised me to join a team from Sligo who were heading to Orlando in March, and he would set up a meeting for me at MVI. My immediate response was a quick prayer to God “I could never in my wildest dreams afford to go to Orlando. Lord if this is what you want, please make it happen”.

 

The next day, I spoke to the man I consider to be my pastor, and told him what had been going on. We discussed the meaning of the word ‘missionary’ and explored what that might mean for me. He told me someone had paid for me to go on the trip to Orlando!!! We decided that until then I would continue to push all the doors that came up with regards to jobs and voluntary work. That conversation was in January 2008.

 

Since then numerous invitations have come up to speak at events in other parts of the country and the world. The youth group has been going from strength to strength and we are 5 weeks into a kids club, which is a highlight of my week!