During my first semester of college at Fresno State God planted a deep seed into my heart: The thought and privilege of becoming a missionary for Him. At that time, I still had much to explore simply in terms of surrendering my life to Him as a Christian, let alone be a missionary, but the Missionary seed was planted nevertheless.
Scotland – Church–planting
Mexico – Building homes for the homeless
Peru – Hospice work in mental institution, urban ministry
God has greatly refined my vision and calling over these past 5 years, surpassing my wildest expectations and prayers. (Eph. 3:20) He has placed upon my heart ministering to orphans and church–planting. With this refined detail to my destiny and vowing not to become a “professional dreamer,” I am taking the first step toward fulfilling my calling and seeing where God would have me land long–term in the Mission Field.
This summer I have been invited to Northern Ireland to serve on staff at the Murlough House. The Murlough House is Mother Theresa (orphans/outreach) meets YWAM (hospitality/outreach). I will be shadowing and serving alongside the Assistant Director, Richie Shilliday, a Belfast-boy who is the same age as me and has seen Murlough grow from nearly its beginning. Some of the opportunities I believe I might have, based on what the day-to-day needs are and my gifting could be the following…Leading worship, leading devotionals in the morning during the week, Spearheading the Children’s Ministry efforts to thousands of little Irish kiddos, Preaching both at local churches as well as for the Murlough outreach services, helping the Hospitality facet of Murlough, ensuring that the dozen or so teams that come from all over the world to serve are enabled to do just that, and even working in the coffee shop they own. I get pumped just thinking that any of that is going to happen let much of it!
It’s simple. Murlough allows me the opportunity to truly delve into orphan work while simultaneously scouting out a land that holds my heart, surveying it intentionally and internally to see what church-planting there would require.
This is my favorite aspect of all the dynamics surrounding this opportunity! On all my trips out of the country, either for vacation or ministry’s sake, being noticeably American has not always been the greatest advantage for me. In some cases, as in Mexico, it caused some persecution that led to some awesome and dangerous situations to brave through for God’s sake. Northern Ireland is wonderfully unique in that they see and receive young, American males as Christian and not as Protestant or Catholic, which is where the still-to-this-day strife comes from within the culture.
Just by being American, I am said, by the Murlough staff (born-and-raised Irish) to have an open door to the hearts of these children and young adults unlike anyone else. They admit that even with their years upon years of relationship with the kids, that Americans can come in and leapfrog them in days. Praise Jesus!
The nuts and Bolts
My time in Ireland had already seen support come around, both financially and spiritually. My family has been an incredible support to me and I would be remiss if I did not allow so many people who believe in my future to not participate in sharing in this journey. There are many suggestions as to how to go about this part of being a missionary. Some say ask unabashedly for financial support, some say walk up to that line of begging and almost cross it, others say don’t breathe a word of it to anyone: “God’s funds never lack God’s work.” I’m more of a middle-of-the-road kind of guy; always have been!
Attached is the financial/date information portion of this particular adventure. If you feel inclined to support me, however that may be, whether through money or prayer, I invite you to do it.
What I do need: Genuine support, meaning if you say you’re going to pray, pray. If you say you’re going to give money to changing the lives of neglected Irish orphans, then, with joy in your heart, do so!
It’s a privilege to be part of this, whether on your end or my own. I thank you in advance for even reading this letter and all the more if you give your support, for in a very simple sentiment: This cannot happen without you.
$1,800 – 3 month’s stay at Murlough House
$250 – Transportation between ministry sites in N. Ireland
*Two ways to give
Make checks payable Online Giving
Remnant Church http://www.remnantloves.me
1500 Day Dr. Click on “give”
Fairfield, Ca. 94533 Click on “donate”
Mark “Justin” under “purpose”