A big “Hello” to our friends, family, church and teammates!
Our walks with the Lord have deepened, and we emerge today somewhat different than we were before our summer in Ireland and Northern Ireland began. We are singing a little louder, smiling a little bigger and seeing and understanding SO MUCH MORE about our awesome God. It was a life-impacting and life-altering summer.
We spent two weeks in Ireland working with Ireland Outreach International (IO). We dug a footer for a future patio-type building that will be constructed and poured the concrete. We also began construction on a future playground by measuring and digging out its footer. The staff, especially the grounds staff, really appreciated having the entire property weeded and just about every inch of driveway swept too! In two-weeks time, our team got a lot done. To celebrate their achievements, IO hosted an Ice Cream Social to honor them. The toppings were endless, as well as the portions! The laughter was wilder and the fellowship “sweeter” due the sugar high we all experienced. Once our bellies were full (and bulging), we were each given an opportunity to share a testimony about our time in Ireland. The testimonies spoken truly gave evidence to the genuine friendships that were formed and to the amazing time we all enjoyed while living at IO.
Of course, we couldn’t go to Ireland without venturing into its capital, Dublin. Shopping and fish n’ chip eating opportunities were taken by most. Our main purpose for venturing in to the city though was to bring God’s Word to its streets by sharing the Gospel with the hundreds and hundreds of people swarming about. It is difficult to put into words just how incredible this time of evangelism was for us. I sit here now, still inspired and challenged by the boldness of my teammates and their hunger to save those living in darkness. They sang, presented the gospel message through the drama, Colors, and then passed out tracts and gospel coins. They absolutely blew my mind away in their diligence to persevere despite rude comments, taunting laughter and indifferent behavior from those they tried to speak to. Many people stopped and listened because of their warmth and kindness, and profound and courageous conversations were had, some that lasted for 20 minutes or more! One gentleman even came around with us for the afternoon, eager to hear more about the Good News! We were also offered the chance to serve at a local soup kitchen named The Lighthouse, where we prepared and served a meal to those without employment and/or a home. It was an eye opening experience. Although our time there was very full and incredibly busy, God’s love was shown through each kind smile, each plate served and even some songs sung. I am sure the diners did not expect entertainment with their meal! It is our hope that the men and women who came hungry for food, left full in body and in spirit. Ireland captivated our hearts and when we got on the bus to begin our journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland, a little piece of each of our hearts was left behind.
In Belfast, we partnered with Mountpottinger Presbyterian Church and Mersey Street Church to help run their Bible Schemes and Holiday Bible Clubs. (Both programs are similar to what we would call Vacation Bible Schools here in North America.) Through God’s Word, the children in attendance learned that we can do all things through Christ and that He is our Protector and Defender. In total, we figure that over 150 kids came to the programs! Before arriving in Belfast, we were expecting to be doing door-to-door evangelism. God, however, brought those “doors” to us and allowed us to be part of what we termed “in-the-door” evangelism. We used our time wisely and to the fullest while the kids were with us because what they learned at the churches they took home with them and very likely shared it with their families and other neighborhood children. The possibilities for whole-life changes were many! By going door-to-door, we never could have reached the amount of people we reached through the programs. Is it not a great truth that, “We can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)? I have to take a moment here to mention how overwhelmed and inspired we were by the generosity and hospitality of our hosts. You see, the Mountpottinger Church dates back to 1869 and the entire building was given over to us for our accommodations. (Its sanctuary was the girl’s dormitory!) Although many updates have been added to help it operate in a modern world, one of those updates does not include laundry facilities, for washing by hand or by machine. As a result, the congregations from both churches did our laundry for us! On Tuesday and Friday, people came to take our dirty clothes. They were returned freshly laundered and folded and always with some sort of sweets included. Most of us (especially those of us who have been on several teams with Teen Missions) had a hard time believing that we were on a mission’s trip because of it! Our buckets no longer served their original purpose of scrub tubs, but soon became home to the many treasures and valuable souvenirs that we brought home with us. I have learned much from their example and am honored to count them as friends.
I hope that my words in this newsletter have adequately translated to you just how incredible our summer was. I know without a shadow of doubt that being a part of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Teen Missions team was a divine appointment for our family. Like I mentioned before, we have emerged from this summer bolder and more determined than ever to make the Good News known to a world that desperately needs to hear it. The God-given knowledge that we have of Jesus and the Word needs to shine out of our lives AND out of our mouths. Oh, that the name of Jesus would continually be on our lips! May we not limit what God can do by trying to determine who we should speak it to or not. May we exercise our faith and be stretched in our daily walks as we boldly speak THE TRUTH.
I wanted to include in this letter a poem written by our teammate, Benet Landon, because I think it speaks volumes in just a few sentences.
To go or not to go was once the very question.
But in God’s will it wasn’t simply a suggestion.
To each and everyone of us he said, “Go the time is now.
For my field is softening and it’s ready for your plow.”
“Boot Camp will be easy” is what we once had thought.
But when arriving in Florida that opinion was quickly shot.
The bugs, the blisters, then finally commission
God sent us here for His very special mission.
The rolling hills and clear blue seas
The cobbled streets and waving trees.
Be ye not fooled for this place is seeped in dark.
They watch and wait for us to share the heavenly spark.
Though in leather is what we’re shod
We’re here for the people, we’re here for God!
We are ever grateful for your commitment to us and to our ministry. Your faithful prayers and support are making a difference in our lives as well as the lives of those we are able to touch through Teen Missions. Please continue to pray for us as we continue the adventure of being parents, husband and wife and missionaries for our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Mike, Michelle, Kenya, Isabelle & Lily Myers
Please continue to uphold us in prayer:
1. Regular and fulfilling time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer. Our quiet time with the Lord is the most important part of any day and yet it is so easy to get distracted and not do it. Please pray that we would be disciplined in this area. May we give God our best.
2. Mike’s back is still bothering him. We really covet your prayers regarding its whole-healing.
3. Fruitfulness…”Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may be spread rapidly and be honored…” (2 Thes. 3:1)
4. That the Lord would bring Kenya, Isabelle and Lily to a full knowledge of the truth about Him. We pray that our girls would choose to follow God and His ways starting early in life and that they would never waiver from that path. Please pray that the Lord would continue to give us wisdom as we raise them.
5. That the Lord would give Kenya and Isabelle the ability to learn as well as the desire to want to excel in their studies. Lily starts school next year, this request applies to her too I guess!