God’s plan for my life and for Ireland has always been exactly that: God’s. Scripture assures us over and over again that no matter what God is doing, all things are for the good of His children. I start there because going to the Republic of Ireland was not my idea at all. It is God’s!
My wife, Lanita, and I began praying last year about where God would have us go. The Lord, in His faithfulness, showed us the Connemara region of Western Ireland. This region of Ireland is a stronghold of Gaeilge (the Irish language). It is also a stronghold of Satan. There are no Bible-teaching, Christ-exalting churches in this region to love and serve the people. As a new friend and veteran church-planter in Ireland put it, “The Republic of Ireland is the darkest region of Western Europe and the Connemara is the darkest region of Ireland.” So, we took God’s word, His faithfulness, and a trip to see this place to which He had called us.
Ireland is a place where the gospel has been in the past and has since almost completely vanished from the country, having been replaced with false gospels and extreme secularism. What we found in Ireland were people with no idea, or in complete rejection, that God even exists. The Irish people are a group that one must have personal connections to and prove that you are there for life if you are going to minister to them.
God has connected us with Michael W., a man who himself is church-planting in Ireland. Michael has connected us with some of his own family in the Connemara. Personal connections to the area are a small step towards long-term church-planting there and a great beginning step for us. We hope long-term to plant a church that preaches, prays, and praises God in Gaeilge.
In Ireland there is a need for pioneer church planters. Two specific groups of people that I keep hearing about are the Polish population and the Irish Travellers. The number of Poles in Ireland is so large that Polish is the second most spoken language there. The Irish Travellers are an oral culture that have a lifestyle similar to Gypsies. They consider themselves separate from the rest of Ireland and have their own language based off Gaeilge. May God show His mercy to these people. Please pray with us that the Kingdom of Christ advances in Ireland and there would be a Kingdom outpost established in the Connemara in Western Ireland.
This was originally published in To Every Tribe’s December 2015 edition of Ekballo Magazine.