Last May, we very strongly felt that we needed to stop all the ‘things’ we were doing and to ask God what it is He wants us to be doing. It was so tough to let go of the things we had going on and to tell people so but we knew we had to.
Even tougher was waiting on God for His guidance on what was on His heart for us. Sitting down and waiting has never been either mine nor Eric’s strongest point. But boy are we glad that we did! So what have we been up to??
Firstly we strongly felt God leading us to Sligo Elim Church (now called Sligo City Church) and began to fellowship there on Sundays. We continued with our house group, which now also became part of the church in Sligo. At the time the church was being led by a wonderful couple who had committed to oversee things until a permanent pastor could be appointed. More about that later.
Secondly our beautiful son, Caoimhin Stanley Patrick entered the world in December. He is now 7 months old and a complete blessing. He has a smile that would melt even the hardest heart. We absolutely LOVE being his parents!
Over the months we have seen lots of things we would love to get involved in but have learnt not to jump and take on so many things that we can’t give 100% to all that we do. We have learnt that when there are things we are passionate about, to give them to God and see Him bring opportunities into being or not.
One of the first things is that Eric has been heavily involved in working alongside the African community in Sligo and particularly a man named Jacques. Together they run a French speaking outreach for the very many asylum seekers in the town. This has been going from strength to strength and Eric really loves spending every Monday with Jacques, praying before the meeting in the evening.
We have been praying about opportunities in the University, which is on our doorstep. At one point our enthusiasm caused us to sit down to write to some people there to see what we could do. Before we did, again we strongly felt to wait and then God would open the doors for us. Very shortly after this a couple of young people I had met a few years ago form further down country, got in back in touch and said they were both studying here in Sligo. Very shortly after that, I bumped into the local Church of Ireland Minister, who is the Chaplin at the Uni. I told him we had been praying for him and for the students and if there was anything we could do to help, we’d be happy to. He was really excited by this and we are looking into working with him and the two girls come September.
In May, the wonderful couple overseeing the church left to make way for another wonderful couple… John and Joanne Fitzimmons. We had met them a good while ago when we were overseeing the church in Manorhamilton. When we knew the Sligo church were praying for a new pastor, we felt very strongly to pray for this couple. We had no idea they were even considering it! 7 weeks in and we’re blown away by what God is doing! Lots of reports to come especially on incredible answers to prayer!
Nearly two weeks ago we returned from Listowel in Co.Kerry, where we helped with a Kids Camp at Listowel Christian Fellowship. We linked up with Pastor JP Walsh through Eric’s MA course at the Irish Bible Institute. We had a fantastic week and are really excited about future work with JP, his wife Fidelma and the church in Listowel. This is our remit with Missionary Ventures; to support local pastors and projects and we love it!! We’re hoping to take regular teams to Listowel in the future. If you’re interested in being on one of these teams as an individual or bringing a team from your church, just let me know!
Last week the New Wine Ireland Conference came to town. We managed to get to a few sessions, which were wonderful but the most amazing thing that we have noticed every year when the conference is in town, is that the dark spiritual cloud that hangs over this area lifts. That’s why we love hosting teams – when there are more Christians in the place, being Christ to those they meet, praying and shining God’s light, it has the power to change the atmosphere of a whole town!
All the way through, the nerve damage in my shoulder has been a constant ‘thorn’ in both our sides. It really has restricted us. I’ll write more about that in another post but just to say that the last couple of weeks have been really good! I’ve begun to feel like me again. Although the pain is still there, it is nothing like it has been. Praise God!!
Well, there’s loads more to write about, especially regarding the coming months but I’ll save that for another day. I’ve just put the boy down, Eric’s at the weekly prayer meeting and I have some catching up with laundry to do. As always I’d love to hear your news too!!