Ireland is so beautiful, breathtaking, green as far as the eye can see, with hills and mountains and housands of sheep roaming around, and just altogether a true sight to see. That being said, during this endeavour I have learned and experienced so much, especially with this being my first time out of the country. I have learned to be patient, that the smallest thing can leave the biggest impact, but most importantly to lean into God.
Being patient: This can be challenging for me when it comes to certain things like working. When it’s to work, I’m ready and want to work. I learned things are different when we went to Storehouse to help serve breakfast and work in the warehouse in Belfast. Storehouse is a ministry to help the broken, homeless and those struggling to get back on there feet. They are focused on three things: provision, community, and growth. Before we did any sort of work they had a prayer time following a time to get to know each other. They provided tea and coffee with some cookies while everyone socialized for about 30-45 minutes then on to work. It was so amazing to see how I’m so used to getting straight to things and not taking the the to socialize with the people I’m working with or coming in contact with. Sometimes I just need to be patient and soak in every moment. To slow down and make that connection instead of rushing through things. This goes into the next thing I learned in Ireland, the smallest thing can leave the biggest impact.
Smallest things make the biggest impact: At Storehouse we went to work in the warehouse cleaning furniture they have recieved so they can take a picture to put into inventory. We all went to work wiping down and cleaning all the furniture inside and out then ran into a problem with the software. The software they use to put the furniture into inventory kept booting them off and not working. We felt bad since we knew there was more we could do but couldn’t. While we felt like we could so much more, they were so grateful for what little (in our eyes) we did. Its amazing to see how God uses those who trust in him.
“And we know God works for theose who have been called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28
Lean into God: Cosan Na Naomh, or The Saints’ Road is 18km in length and a little over 3,000 feet tall with important heritage and ecclesiastical sites along the path. There is 14 or 15 crosses along the path as you make your way to the top. Starting off just looking up I didn’t know if I could make it with my ankle. I came prepared with my hiking boots to go up this mountain and it seemed that my ankle wasn’t as much of an issue as I though going up. Instead it was the fact that it was hard to breathe. From the beginning it was challenging for me to keep up with the others and by the time I got to the second cross I didn’t know if I could make it any farther. Josh pushed me to make it one more before throwing in the towel and I made it to the third cross. There I stayed for a bit while the others went on. I felt defeated, lost, confused, but that was when I started to pray. I prayed for God to help me keep going and for my ankle to not get in the way. I wanted to make it farther, I wanted to say I made it farther, I was determined but couldn’t do it on my own. As I kept climbing up this huge mountain and between asking God for strength and breath then reciting, “You are my rod and my staff, you comfort me,” I made it to the next cross! But I wasn’t ready to stop there. I started again and again and again and finally I made it to the 7th cross! Oh the view was spectacular with the piercing blue ocean, the sheep around me, the bright green grass all around me, and that cross staring back at me was truly a site to see. I couldn’t of made it half way without leaning into God fully. I didn’t think I could make it past the third cross on my own, but with God I made it further than I thought.
“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4