It has been a while since our last update! Things have been very busy here, what with getting ready for our upcoming church launch and having many visiters.
The summer has well and truly arrived in Ireland, or so I'm told. This week has been solid wind and rain, but I see the sun peeking out from behind the dark clouds, so I have some hopes for the weekend. Justin and Laura Gearing, friends from Arizona and coworkers from CCV have finally arrivied to begin work with us in Limerick. Justin and Laura bring so much to our efforts here, from experience in media and missions, to passionate hearts for impacting the world for Christ. They will be staying with us until they find a home of their own, and we are looking forward to some great times together.
This last year of research and preparation has been vital to our understanding the hearts, minds, needs, doubts, questions, and hopes of the people of Limerick. We know we've learned a lot, and many of our ideas and plans have changed in response to what we have learned. The Monday night meetings have been put on hold during the summer, but Dermot continues to meet one on one with people who are hurting, seeking, and excited to get involved.
We are planning on starting a "prelaunch" service in September - a monthly "practice" session that will allow us to solidify all the logistics, details, and people who we will need when we launch the weekly services in January. It's hard to believe that this time is already here, and we need a lot of prayer to make this succesful. The foundation is crucial. We are currently looking for the best location to rent for the prelaunch services. Dermot's time and attention will be mainly focused on creating a "launch team" - the people who will form the core of our new church. He asks for prayer for himself as a leader and for God to speak to the people involved so that they become a solid team, as Paul wrote, "... then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." (Phillipians 2:2)
As for our family, we have already had an eventful summer. As well as having several visitors, Marie's parents came out to stay with us for the month of June. Tara loved having her grandparents around. Marie is getting closer and closer to her due date of September 8, and with the nursery complete, the clothes bought, and the toys cleaned and tucked away, we're more than ready to meet the newest addition to our family.
We really want to thank you for keeping our family in your prayers. We know that we are going against a powerful force that has blanketed Limerick in complacency, skepticism, consumerism, and despair. It is easy to fall into habits and routines, and it is hard to press on toward the goals that we know God has set before us. What we are doing has not been done here before, and as much as we are trying to learn from successful churches and leaders across the globe, we still have to figure out what everything means for us, and for Limerick. Please pray that our family remains strong and that God continues to give Dermot clear insight and direction.
We thank you again for all your support;
Dermot, Marie, Tara and baby number 2!
Check out our church website and go to our Facebook page and like it, spread the word that a new church is starting in Limerick so people can start praying about it. Just click on the logo above.
We are now looking for and meeting with people around the city to look for a place where we can meet for our church services in a more permanent location, pray God will put us in the right location were we can have maximum impact.
Pray for us as a team, that we will be united and that we set a solid foundation of unity for the church.
Pray for the people we are meeting with, that God will soften their hearts and help them see Christ.
Pray for our marriages, that we will be the example of what God intends.
Pray for our practical needs, that God will provide all the financial and the resources we need to be here and start the Church.
Pray as we set up the board for our church, and pray for wise and Godly men.
We know times are hard, we also know people's resources are limited.
Because of people's sacrificial giving, we have been able to make progress and hold events.
We really can't thank you all for your prayers and support.
If you are not already supporting us financially, please take the time to pray about a one time gift or monthly support.
Keep up with our progress on Facebook, you'll find our photos and quick updates there. Please spread the word and tell people about us on your Facebook page.
So click here or on the above link and spread the word!
We would love to get to 1000 followers by the end of the month.
Charles S. Lauer: “Leaders don't force people to follow -- they invite them on a journey.”
With Thanksgiving just finished and Christmas around the corner, we’ve really been looking at how God has blessed us and our ministry. It’s taken a while, but we are finding ourselves feeling more and more at home. We are continually evaluating and reworking what we are doing.
We’ve changed the format of our outreach from one meeting on Monday nights, to many smaller meetings throughout the week. Monday nights were fun, and had a great sense of momentum, but now people are starting to ask more personal questions and it is time to take the opportunity to pursue those questions in a more one on one environment. We also want to encourage relationships with each other and so we are going to start hosting group meetings in a home – maybe ours, but hopefully someone who lives in town will be willing to host. We’ll be starting these in January, and will be watching a video series as well as just “hanging out.”
We still intend to do a church launch next year. At this point, we are focusing on planning, designing, and praying for a strong foundation. We want to know what we’re doing before we take off.
I have done a lot of travelling over the past few months. I've gone to Arizona and Atlanta and am headed back to the US next week to find more ministry partners and support. In Atlanta I participated in the National Missions Conference where the response to our ministry was enthusiastic and encouraging! Keep me in your prayers as I struggle with the time difference and am trying to make the most of my time away from home.
Although we’re in Ireland, Marie and I still wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving. She cooked all day and invited my family over for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. My niece brought apple pie and we all ate until we were stuffed. Now we’re looking forward to our first Christmas here in Ireland. Next week the tree will be up and we’ll get the joy of watching Tara open presents and experience the Christmas season.
Thank you for being a part of our adventure and keeping us in your prayers. Please pray that God continues to give me wisdom in making the decisions that will influence the church in Ireland for years to come. Pray that God speaks through me and straight into the hearts of the people longing to know who He is. And pray for our whole family, that we continue to be strong in the Lord and a light to the people around us.
Dermot, Marie and Tara
End of year Tax Donation
There are many people and organizations in need today, and Cross Ireland Ministries is no different, so it's a good time to take a second look at your charitable donations for the year. Better still, bump up the giving and watch your 2011 tax bill shrink — but you'll need to donate before the year's end. Donations can take most forms, like cash, electronics, cars, jewelry, paintings, stocks, real estate, etc.
If you have the ability to donate, click here and you can do so online.
If you would like to talk to us about a donation or your giving please feel free to contact us anytime and we'd be happy to talk with you about it.
Reality is the leading cause of stress for those who are in touch with it.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mohandas K. Gandhi
This Last Month!
What a crazy few weeks we’ve had. Things have been going faster and better than we anticipated! Our Monday night groups in Flannery’s have developed and grown into a wonderful group and we’ve had to multiply the group into two nights during the week now instead of one. We still meet for an hour and have our discussions but most of the “real” progress happens during the week when we meet up for coffee and one on ones, or in much smaller groups.
We’ve only been going a very short time and to see the difference in people already, when we started meeting NOT ONE of them went to a church, or even liked the thought of it. Now people are so open and honest and really seeking God and have started to believe that God does have a plan for them and that he wants to be a part of their lives.
One guy who started coming to the meetings came as a complete atheist, his purpose was to tell people “there is no God” – he has been the best person to have in our group. He is the most honest and straightforward person I could have hoped to meet. Well, he sent me a text a few days ago asking me to “pray for him”, what great progress, an atheist asking for prayer!
I’m so encouraged to tell you that we are making progress here in Ireland and we are small (for now) but we are in this for the long haul and God has some unconceivable things planned for Ireland and I’m so glad you are going to be a part of it!
Coming Next Month
Next month is going to be a busy month for us. I will be working a lot on our plans and steps for next year when we are launching the church. I will be mapping out what each month next year looks like and how best we can be used and help our communities.
I need to work out how best to move our group forward and the next steps we need to take with them to grow them into fully committed followers of Christ. Because each person is different and has different hurts and needs, I need to work out the best step for each “group” of them.
I will be back in America in the coming months. I’ll be in Atlanta, GA for a Mission Convention that is held there to promote Cross Ireland Ministries and to try to raise financial support.
I really love working on the messages for our groups, we have been working on answering a lot of questions they have and now we are moving them to find out more and in a deeper way who God is and what and why He wants them to follow Him.
So next month is going to be a really busy one, please keep us in your prayers.
As a family, we have been doing great! We have almost settled in a new way life and are still finding our feet in a lot of areas, but for the most part we are all well. Things here really are so different from the US, the attitude of people is a very negative and everyone is out to get the last cent from your pocket. It is taking a little bit of getting used to again. You have to haggle and sometimes you have to straight out tell people no.
But the other side of it is when you get to know people they are the kindest and most generous people you can meet. They really do care about each other and the “family community” here is something that I have never seen anywhere else.
Tara is becoming a proper little woman, she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. Just this week for the first time she told me “No” – Looked right into my eyes and said it. It took a lot not to laugh. She is growing really fast and we are enjoying every moment of it.
Marie is working hard, she does an unbelievable job with Tara and works a lot making clothes and other things for kids. At the moment I think she is going a little psycho because we live out in the country side (about 15 minutes outside Limerick) and she gets stuck at the house a lot because we have only one car. But we are both doing well and would ask you continue to pray for us as a couple and for our marriage.
Prayer Points for this month
Pray for the people we are meeting with, for their heart to soak up what God has for them.
Pray for guidance in the planning of our meetings, that God will give us the words and the opportunities to speak into the lives of people.
Pray for our financial support, that in these hard times for people that God will provide us with the resources necessary to accomplish His plans here.
Pray for us as a family, that God will keep us strong in Him and that we will be a united front – that Satan won’t come in and try divide us in any way.
Pray for the people of Ireland and the hopelessness that people feel here.
Pray for the Giving of Life competition- that we will get enough votes to win the $50,000 donation to our ministry.
It's super easy. Just click on the above photo (or here) and you can vote for Cross Ireland Ministries. Each vote matters.
Here is what i'm asking you all to do. PASS IT ON. When you click to vote, it will give you the option to post the link on your FaceBook and Twitter accounts, it's on the bottom left of your screen when you go to the page to vote. Please take the 30 seconds it will take to do this, it will help us a lot. Thank you!
Please take the time to click the above photo and place your vote for our Ministry. We are in to win a $50,000 award to the ministry with the most votes.
Pass it on to ALL your friends, add it to your FaceBook, and Twitter accounts!
You can donate once or each month through our online giving. Please consider partnering with us.
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Our Church is on it's way!
These last few weeks have been incredible! Things are moving much faster than we expected, which is a great thing. We had our first open night on the 18th of July in Flannery's Bar and we got many people involved and interested in what God is and will be doing here in Limerick.
I sent out several hundred surveys to people who don’t go to church and got their feedback on their reasons for not going, from those results, on the 25th of this month, we started a series called “Mythbusters” – dealing with all the misconceptions people have about God, Christ and the Church.
Our first meeting was on the topic of “Isn’t the Bible a Myth?” We had a great turn out for the night and we had an hour long chat about the Bible and how it can be trusted; we had several of the people ask Marie and I for Bibles.
What was more amazing is, our meeting was from 8pm to 9pm – we ended up leaving at 12:30am, people were just soaking up the topic which brought us to several other things, for fours and a half hours we got to share and talk with people – that’s church!
What are the next steps for Elevate?
Right now we are meeting with literally dozens of people who don’t go to church and talking with them about what a “church” is and what it means to follow Christ. People here are hurting and are very cautious of anything to do with “God” because of the past hurts from “Church”.
Our aim is to take it slow and just offer people a chance to “come and see.” We’re not asking anything from them or any commitments, just to come and see. Our prayer is that they will encounter Jesus Christ and make the decision to live their live for him.
We would love to be at a place soon where we will need to rent somewhere because our numbers will grow and peoples' lives will be changed. By this time next year we hope to have full weekly services with a church that is impacting this City for Jesus Christ.
Prayer for this coming week.
People who have been coming are really asking questions about Christ; even more, they are questioning their own doubts and realizing that maybe there is a God. Pray for these people, if you email me I’ll send you their names so you can pray for them by name.
Pray that the people who asked us for Bibles will read them and God will pierce their heart and they will come to know Him, pray that they will understand what they are reading and that Satan won’t deceive them.
Pray God will give Marie and I the words when we speak to people, that there will be such power in them that people will know it’s not of us but God and they can’t ignore it.
Pray that there won't be any blocks in our way as we set up the coming series and that we will be dealing with and answering questions that people are asking.
Pray that our "stuff" arrives from the US soon. We shipped most of the contents of our house along with Bibles and ministry equipment, pray it get's here soon so we can start distributing the Bibles.
Pray that financial support we need starts coming in. The exchange rate here is damaging the speed at which we can do things and we are in need of financial support for the cost of living here. It really is the most expensive place to live in Europe and the fourth most expensive place to live in the world (international price comparison survey). If you have the ability to support us, once off, or monthly – just click the link here and you can donate online or mail it to us.
Tara and I have been enjoying all the farm animals that live around our house. She is so funny when she see an animal for the first time, she acts like her mind is just blow away and says “what’s that?”
Continue to pray for me, for energy and wisdom and to meet the right people to get the mission done that God has us here to do. Pray for both Marie and I, that we stay strong and that we grow together as a family.
Marie and Tara have been having a ball, going for walks and Marie showing Tara all the exciting things in the countryside. Tara had her first encounter with rain, and decided she didn't like it so much! And Marie is starting to get to know some women with kids who live down the street.
We really miss you all and do hope that you will come and visit us. As much as we love it here we really do wish you could be here with us.