I will first ask for the forgiveness of all those who actually speak Irish if my title is incorrectly translated. It is meant to say, “Sword of the Spirit. A Community of Love”. After having left our mission post in Spain, I had decided ahead of time that our brief mission in Ireland wasn’t going to be much of mission at all, but instead just a break on our way back to America. Little did I know, that the Lord had other plans in mind. The week and a half spent I was to spend there would soon become one of my most treasured times in our European mission. Leaving Cordoba, the ten of us missionaries flew and bussed ourselves to Madrid, off to Dublin and finally came to rest in the beautiful little town of Loughlinstown in County Dublin, just south of Dublin City. Our plans were to stay, as a group, for a few days with the Moran’s, a family of one of our missionaries. I don’t think they really knew what there were signing up for when they said yes to having us!
– The whole group in Ireland! (plus Inma!)
Arriving Friday, midafternoon, we had just enough time to invade the Moran house and throw our luggage all over, before we were rushing off to an evening of ministry. The ten of us, split up in pairs of two’s, and headed off to local homes in the neighborhood in order to speak and give testimony to five different aged youth groups, ranging from ages five to eighteen or so. As a community, every friday each of the children in community come together for a night of prayer, scripture, teaching, and fun. I was able to pair off with Teresa and spend my evening with 30 kids from the ages of 7-11. Apart from all of the games we played and fun that we had, it was such a blessing to be able to sit down with them and share my testimony with them… to tell them how God spoke to me in a cave and called me to give my life to Him!!! He is so great!!! And these children were so intrigued, so captivated by the power of the Lord, of His desiring for us to live for Him, to follow Him, to trust Him, to give our lives to Him!!!
– Lord’s Day celebration at the Moran’s.
The Moran’s, along with a great number of other families in the neighborhood, are part of a Christian Covenant Community, Sword of the Spirit, a community which has chapters all over the world. Covenant Communities are comprised of singles, married couples, and families all trying to live out true Gospel values. The members and families of the community often live near one another and simply provide support for one another as they all try to live as good Christians in the world today. Prayer meetings, youth groups and community events are all aspects of living in such an incredible community.As a “community of disciples on mission” The Sword of the Spirit seeks to…
√ proclaim the good news of Christ through direct evangelization
√ bring together Christians from different traditions and cultures for common mission
√ support parents in raising children with character and a clear sense of identity
√ envision and train the upcoming generation to take on roles of responsibility
√ help bridge the gaps of race, class, and culture
√ work in cooperation with the churches to foster Christian renewal and promote unity
√ give hope and vision to those seeing their countries destroyed by war and violence
This beautiful witness and way of life surrounded us during our time in Ireland as we did whatever we could to help the community and share our witness with them. On Sunday evening, we were blessed to attent the community’s night of praise and worship. A night of beautifully praising the Lord together with the older youths and young adults of the community was then followed by a time of planning activities for Evangelizing, fun activities for the youth groups in the community that would allow them to reach out to their friends, who either were not in the community or even not Christian, and show them their way of life and their faith in Christ.
– Missionaries and Young Adults at a Sunday Night Praise and Worship gathering.
As the weekend passed by, our team slowly dwindled down, until it was myself and Jonathan who remained. Arriving in Ireland, we had planned on trying to attend an eight day silent retreat once the rest of the missionaries had returned home, however our plans did not work out. Before we had time to think of other options, Mr. Moran generously offered to allow us to stay for an extra week with him and his family. The rest of our time in Ireland was filled with opportunities to serve. We were blessed to be able to help out with chores around the community, to meet many of the other families, share meals and to continually give our testimonies to the Lord’s hand in our lives. The following Friday we were able to once again partake in the youth group night. Taking one of the age groups, we had an evening of games followed by the children asking questions about the faith for us to answer. It was just so beautiful and often so surprising to see how intrigued, interested and insightful these children were. They were asked questions that I would expect theology students in college to be asking, and then when we answered them, they would always have an insightful input and a true understanding of our response. The Lord was and is truly working in these youth, preparing them for a life of love and service for Him!!!
– Sitting in front of the Doors of Dublin.
When I look back, I am still shocked by how much we actually fit into our schedules during that short time. The witness of that community is something that I will not soon forget. To see families living together in such a way, living for the Lord, raising their children with good and holy Christian values gave me a glimpse of how Christ wanted the world to be… how He still wants it to be today!!! A place where all people are free in Him, have support from our fellow Christians and are fearless to be living for something more than this world has to offer. In a special way, the Moran family blessed all of us so much during our time there. They are a family, with struggles and trials just like every other family in the world, but the love that they showed for each other, for the other families in the community, and for us (basically complete strangers upon arrival) was and is still such a blessing in our lives. May the Lord bless them and the entire Sword of the Spirit community, pouring our His love and grace upon them and shining His divine light upon them to guide them into the way of truth.
– The sun setting over the homes of Ireland and setting on Mission Europe.
With what seemed like the perfect ending to such an incredible chapter in my missionary life, Mission Europe came to an end.
Next stop… General Cepeda.
Missionary Randoms 😛
– Me and my new friend 🙂
– Shadow Guy!
– Me and Jon at Killiney Beach.