Tuesday, December 12, 2017

in between two chairs


Ireland
Here I am
Here you are
Is this all real?

Forever rolling green hills 
Forever supply of grazing sheep
Forever beautiful accents

Cold rain
Cloudy days
Sacred and sparse
Sunny days

It’s beautiful

To see this part of the world
Green upon green
Narrow, winding roads
Buildings older than my home country
It still hasn't clicked yet that this will be home
for the next 8 months

I have now become a part of a team
Who is passionate about seeing the church grow
In a land less with than 1.5% Evangelical Christian
Reaching the unreached 

This team has gathered from all around the world-
Germany, Korea, Switzerland
France, Brazil, The Netherlands
Australia, Ireland, Canada
America
(Who would have thought I'd serve with another girl from Wisconsin)
 This team has a culture of it’s own
all together for one purpose

So here I am
Learning to wear a few different hats
Administrative assistant and hospitality
Helping out the office in any way that I can
Feel free to call the office and 
you'll most likely be greeted by my voice, 
"Hello, this is OM Ireland. How can I help you?"

Joining different teams for different outreaches
like going to schools and doing gospel presentations
with students who may have never touched a Bible before
Or joining the Big Red Bus team and doing street ministry
offering free coffee and tea on the bus as a way 
to build relationships with locals
in hopes of pointing them to 
Christ

One other thing I've been able to be a part of
is something I didn't expect

Once a week I join a family from
Abbotsford, BC (crazy, I know)
 and we go to a hotel
where about 200 Syrian refugees live
Drinking cup after cup of tea,
we just go to hang out and see how they're doing,
helping them practice English, trying to learn Arabic from them,
listening to their stories,
crazy, crazy stories
Realizing how much of this world I don't know about
 I've really enjoyed getting to know them
I have no clue what all will come of this
but I'm so thankful for this opportunity

Through all this
I feel like I've only seen a glimpse 
of this need for the Gospel 
to be presented and lived out
 to a nation where people are 
constantly trying to do the best they can
hoping for the mercy of God
believing that works is what saves 
when really it's only by grace 

O Ireland, look at Jesus.

I'm being stretched to serve
In ways I’ve never done before
Stretched to not be ashamed
Stretched to be bold
Stretched to trust

It's only the beginning

Even though it's been a very cool experience so far, 
I need to be honest with you, 
I still don't feel as though my heart has followed me here yet
I want it to
I need it to
But I can’t deny that there are still days when
I still feel lost
and confused
as to why I’m here

I learned a french saying since being here:

ĂȘtre assis entre deux chaises

Translated it means "to be sitting between two chairs"
To feel both good and bad about something
Torn
In between two chairs

And that's only how I can explain this mixed feeling
I'm thankful for this time
I'm excited to see what God is going to do
I pray that I will be open and available
to be used in ways that God wants
but I don't know what it'll take
in order for my heart to take the next plane
and catch up with me here

I guess we'll see what is to come

Thank you for being a part of this
Thank you for you prayers

Through it all, we can trust that He is still good and He still reigns

All for Him,

Ell

⇿⇿⇿

First day helping out with the Big Red Bus ministry in Athlone.

I'm thinking of creating a photo album of just the Irish doors. Why not.

It's a dream that one day I'll be able to get a selfie with a sheep.
One day. 

Walking the streets of Galway.

I'm glad to see that Ireland loves Canada, too.

It's beautiful and dark all at the same time. 

This bookstore in Galway was filled, absolutely filled, with books.
I found out that bookstores have a way of making you feel at home. 

Took a pit stop at the smallest chapel in Ireland.
A husband built this for his deceased wife to demonstrate his love for her.
I guess he set the standard high.
Wisconsin came to visit.

Trying to sing carols.

Still trying to sing carols.

For some of the kids in the neighborhood, this was only their second time where it snowed enough for them to make a snowman. 
They still can make better ones than I can.







“Indeed, God is not abandoning the city. In spite of moral and spiritual decay and socio-economic deterioration, in spite of every prophet of doom’s statement that the city’s sickness is unto death, the church must believe that even if there is spiritual, moral and economic death in the city, our God is able to speak life into it and call for resurrection in the city”
-George McKinney, No Stranger in the City, 38

Amen and amen. 
3 comments on "in between two chairs"
  1. Wow, wow, wow, Ell... That was absolutely beautiful! I'm so glad that God's provision and faithfulness have been so evident to you during your time in Ireland. I'll be praying that your heart catches up. <3

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  2. Home sickness never goes away. It just becomes a smaller part of your growing life. Be encouraged by all loved ones you are missing. One day you will be homesick for Ireland and people there. Blessings. Dunc

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  3. Hi, Ell!
    This is Heidi - wow! I can resound with your feelings! You are in a different place, culture, language, music, food, hours, expectations. You are a sojourner, a missionary, and it feels different. You are just getting used to everything and your brain is expanding. It takes a while to learn something new. Keep walking the same path; familiarity will help your heart. Love you and praying for you! Heidi

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