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Ire to Iris

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

– 1st Corinthians 13:12

It was nearly 6 months ago to the day that I began to “pull the trigger” as it were on following the Lord’s leading on my heart to head to the Mission Field.

It seemed simple enough: Allow God to fill me with bravery and abandon. Allow those traits to permeate my every motive. Ride that strength and freedom into the Mission Field (Ireland). Funny how the most confusing things often times have the simplest roots.

If you follow this time-line you will see God’s protection at its finest…

– 2 months ago I had my VISA delayed. This delay persisted and kept me from entering Ireland, causing me to cancel my original flight

– 2 weeks after I canceled my flight, I learned that the church I would have been serving in would not have been able to accommodate me as they were undergoing many as-of-late changes.

– 2 weeks after that I received a letter from the main ministry organization I would have been working with, informing me they no longer felt they could accommodate my missionary hopes.

As you can see, had I been able to go to Ireland as I originally intended on June 3rd, it would have taken only a few short weeks for me to find myself without a church to serve in, or without my main source of ministry. That would have been an adventure no doubt, but likewise a disappointment. But out of the ashes of disappointment can once again arise the intended fire. Ireland’s door being shut in my face only emboldened me to remember why I was doing any of this; Why I was going through the inconvenience of raising support to craft a life that would be one of inconvenience, sacrifice and foreign shores. I have been made by God to be a missionary! And by God I will do so!

As I returned to God in prayer after these handful of set-backs began to mount up I distinctively felt as though I had done what was asked of me…“Pull the trigger.” I never had a back-up plan, because my plan was and is to go to the Mission Field and get my feet wet with what I believe is my calling in life. My mode of attack for this plan was, at first charge, the shores of Ireland. I’ve always Loved Ireland and I always will, and perhaps one day I will get to grace her shores and spend time with God’s island. But my calling is much bigger than a strategy, a mode of attack, a VISA delay, a disgruntled volcano and certainly bigger than Ireland. And so, I bid a confident “Slan Eire” (goodbye Ireland).

As it so happened, God gave me many ideas as to how to attack and carry out this plan of the Misson Field at the outset. One of those many ideas was working with Iris Ministries. The founding lady, Heidi Baker, is someone I deeply respect and furthermore, someone I always considered to be “my tribe.” Ireland might be a place that holds my heart, but Iris, and Heidi Baker, are my kind of people.

That said, I am “pulling the trigger” once again in devoting myself to going to the Mission Field to serve with Iris Ministries. They have a Harvest School, in Pemba Mozambique, which is their main form of receiving missionaries which begins Oct 8th lasting until just after Christmas. The cost of this trip is slightly higher than Ireland, but God’s work will never lack God’s funding. Ireland was not a mistake, nor was it even a deep seed of disappointment. On the contrary, I feel had I not had the opportunity to lay my heart’s desire before my God and be willing to count going to the Mission Field of more value than going to Ireland, I might have toiled in my own details instead of God’s overall plan for me.

I would give up anything to serve Jesus and that is why utter passion, determination and virtue steer my course when all too familiar fear and hesitation try to nestle up to all things uncertain in my future.

I do not need details to be certain of God’s Love for me. I can serve a God who does not fully explain Himself at times.             I trust Him.

In fact, and it does take practice to truly mean this, I actually relish when I do not have the details all neatly before me…that kind of adventure and trust demands devotion and surrender, and that is the only posture I ever want to serve from.

With confidence now firmly in my sails, I will be updating everyone on here as to what the next few weeks/months looks like.

Prayer requests…

– That I would trust in God as I prepare for Iris and for what I know will be world’s different from the anticipations of Ireland.

– A short-term job until I leave in October.

– I wish impart to and empower other leaders in my church, ensuring little to no difficultly in the church’s transition.

– More support, both prayerfully, and financially. I have $2,000 currently raised. I need $3,900. (This is easy for GOD!)

Focus! I want to remain faithful to here and now even while preparing for what’s next.

*I promise to make other prayer requests available to you as they reveal themselves to me.

With all my Love…absolutely all of it.

Justin Gunter

God is good. I am not. Hooray!




About justingunter

I'm recently 29 years old, recently married and ready to change the world for God. He has called me to be a missionary! This means more than just changing zip codes and living in countries where I struggle (for a while) speaking the language the locals dream in. It means a lifestyle of sacrifice, audacious Hope and above all, a desire for Jesus simply because He is who He is. I moved to Franklin, TN in October 15th of 2012 and expect this to be the first of many changes for the great calling on the Gunter's life. Side note...I dig being married. It helps when you're married the best woman ever! Teale and I feel called to plant churches, combat sex trafficking and be a place of refuge and Holy sojourn to all who would seek to join alongside us for good or for a season. For now, Ol' Rocky Top is our home, Zoey is our Great Dane and we, the Gunters, love Jesus with all we have.

4 responses »

  1. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, Mr. Gunter. 🙂 God knows what’s best for you and your ministry.

    I have a similar story that has to do with God watching over us. I had originally planned to take Intro to Psychology (sp?) and Chemistry next year, but for a second time in a row (first time was freshman year) I didn’t get Psych. (God must really not want me to take that class, lol, or yet, anyways.)

    I was really upset, because the only other option I had that I kinda liked (okay, really hated) was Physics (sp?) that same peroid. First off, I was like, oh no, two sciences in the same year!? That’s crazy! But I ended up choosing that class, thinking I was going to die in sophmore year with two science classes. It didn’t hit me until later on that same day, that in order to get into UT Austin (or any other out of state college), I would NEED to have taken Physics. I never thought of that before because California doesn’t require grads to have Physics, but most other states do, and so if I hadn’t taken it, I would be a year behind (even if I did take two AP science classes in junior and senior year). After that I just felt this calming sensation come over me, and now I feel fine about it. God really is watching over me. 😉

    My friends still think I’m going to kill myself next year though, haha. But I still have time this summer to read “Chemistry and Physics for Dummies”. Let’s hope it helps.

  2. As I sit here reading this entry.. I am breathing a sigh of contentment and of relief. I do know how badly you yearn for Ireland and how you yearn for the people over there… however, I also know that you also yearn for what God is calling you to do and that is to serve him in any capacity that he has for you.

    Ever since you laid on your heart that you wanted to be a missionary it just made sense to me; it made sense that you who loves to travel to places would be content in traveling and serving the Lord at the same time.

    Who knows what will happen but only God… Who knows where I will be a year from now. Only God… I thank you for your openness and your honesty in all that you do. I know that God does have awesome plans for you and I can’t wait to see what he has for you next 🙂

  3. khorne says good luck in all of your endeavors. u can email me at
    -john salerno

  4. I love Iris Ministries and Heidi Baker!


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