Making disciples of Jesus in western Ireland by living life in community on mission. Our aim is to plant gospel-centered churches, not the mere brick and mortar building, but the family of God worshiping Jesus in community on mission for his glory. The Irish people are a soulful, relational, community-driven people. They are rich in culture, arts and have celebratory spirits. Many of the Irish have been hurt by and have lost trust in religious institutions, and have sworn off God all-together.
We currently live in Minnesota with our three kids, Aidan (4), Norah (3), and baby Lucy. I, Will, work as a mail carrier for the USPS, and Sarah is a stay at home mom. Sarah was born in Minnesota and in middle school moved to St Croix Falls Wisconsin, the town where I was born and raised. Sarah and I began dating in High School, and got married in 2009. We both attended the University of Northwestern St Paul, where Sarah got her Bible certificate and I got my bachelor’s in Biblical and Theological Studies.
Ever since we began to trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have both been open to the idea of global missions, but never to the point of actually taking a step. The story of our obedience to God’s call began in 2016, with a car accident that took the lives of our friends Jamison and Kathryne Pals and their 3 children. The Pals were headed to Japan to be missionaries through WorldVenture, and were headed to Colorado for their final training before flying to Japan. With the news of their death, and the funeral service in particular, Sarah and I were both moved to begin praying about and be open to the idea of global missions again.
Through WorldVenture’s website we found an opportunity to serve in the country with the lowest percentage of born-again Christians in the English speaking world. That country is Ireland. Most of us probably think of a vacation destination when we think of Ireland, or even its rich Christian history. But behind that natural beauty is a people who have been deeply hurt by religious institutions, held captive by guilt and shame, are fleeing from cathedrals in droves, and are swearing off the idea of God all-together.
Our call is to bring the life-giving hope that is only found in the good news of Jesus Christ. That through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God provided all the righteousness that he requires, so that for anyone who will trust in him alone for the forgiveness of their sins, God gives the right to become children of God, and that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! We will do this by building genuine relationships with the people in our community, discipling people into relationships with Jesus, and by studying and preaching the Word.
Just like the Godhead did missions as a community – the Father sending, the Son going, and the Spirit empowering – we are made to do missions in the same image. God uses senders, go-ers and empower-ers to reach the nations for joy. If you have any interest to partner with us in God’s mission to Ireland, please contact us! We would love to have a deeper conversation on what God is doing in Ireland through us and through you!
Our personal challenge will be uprooting our family from the community we love and learning to do life in a new culture. The missional challenge is that the Irish people are rapidly losing more and more trust with organized religion and few consider Jesus as anything more than a cultural icon.
Please pray that God’s Spirit would be at work in the hearts of the Irish people that he is calling us to serve. Pray that God’s Spirit would continue to work in Sarah and I as we prepare for full-time ministry. Please pray that our time building prayer and financial partners here in the States would be life-giving and worshipful for everyone involved.
Articles and Blogs on WorldVenture:
– Remembering the Pals