I visited Belfast, NI in November of 2014. I went to check out the Every Nation church plant there, but with no intention of returning to work with them. While I was there the Lord whispered to my heart, telling me He wanted me to return.
I prayed about it, and had other, trusted people in my life pray as well, and felt that the Lord was definitely leading me to Belfast. Northern Ireland has been a country divided, as many well know. But this has taken it’s toll on the people there. And just like every other nation in this world, the healing love of Jesus is needed.
I strongly desire to go to this nation, to share about God, and all He has done for me, and how He has healed me. I believe that this is where the Lord is leading me, but more than that, I want to see healing and reconciliation occur in this nation, I want to be a peacemaker, and to show love where there may not be love, to give where others so desperately need, I desire to be a vessel for the Lord, to do as He asks, and tell of His great love. My heart, my soul, longs to do as I am commanded, and give, love, share, and serve. Above all, I desire to love God, and in turn love people with all that I am.
This is why I am going to Belfast, it’s not a competition of which country has more needs, but rather, where is the Lord leading, and am I willing to obey?
One question that seems to come up the most is: Why Belfast? Why Europe? Aren’t they already reached? Don’t they have a million churches there? Well I would answer that with a quote from C.S. Lewis, who is originally from Belfast, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.” Many look at Europe and see it as “reached”. I look at Europe and see a sad, lost, broken people who desperately need the true gospel of Jesus Christ. While Northern Ireland does have a high population of “churched” people, there are so many that are living an empty, godless life. They are wasting their time, just as Lewis said. There is also the fact the Belfast has the highest suicide rate in all of Europe, so clearly there is a disconnect. There is also still major strife between the Catholics and Protestants in this area, and a need for true peace, and reconciliation. So while there might be “churches” there seems to be a lack of Jesus. To say that we are bringing the church to where it is not might be a stretch in this situation, yes, I will admit that, but to say that we are taking Jesus to where He is not, that is not a stretch. I want Jesus to use me to breathe life into this place again. God has used the Irish time and again throughout history to bring His church to where it is not, but how can they take the church when they have not heard? How can they share God’s love when they do not know His love? This is my calling, this is my goal, to give God’s love, to speak life, and to see the Irish raised up and walking out in the destiny that God has called them to.
I wish to work in Northern Ireland. Not because they speak English, or because it’s pretty, or because I love Irish accents. I want to work in Belfast because it’s where God has called me. I have a heart for these people. I have a strong heart for Europe. I know the Lord is doing great things there. I know it isn’t easy, having worked in France for thirteen months I’ve had a taste of it. But I know I will be working with a strong team of people who have the same goals, same vision, and same heart.