Attempting to plant a church in South Donegal in the North-West during a pandemic is like driving blind through a tunnel wondering if we’ll ever see the light of day. At the time of writing, all places of social interactions are closed including the coffee shop that Jules has been working at. During this period it has been difficult to meet and engage with new people as everyone has been keeping very small social bubbles.
Being honest there is a heaviness that can be detected in people. Whilst these are difficult unprecedented days, I have to believe that God is working in deep ways that we have yet to see. Much like the light that will eventually be seen further into this tunnel, I wonder is God shaking our nations worldview to its core. Uncertainty to plan, economic instability and vulnerabilities exposed are bound to shape the collective consciousness of us all! I am optimistically prayerful that God will bring a fresh openness to his gospel of salvation all over Ireland. I know it He is using it to develop a deeper dependence upon God in me!
Pray for wisdom and insight to know how to plan ahead in uncertain times in South Donegal. We are grateful for the opportunities to serve on several committees, even through zoom, with local people and for local causes throughout the year. We are even grateful that we feel sad for the towns of Bundoran and Ballyshannon, as it reminds us that it feels like home and it hurts to see so many struggling through economic hardship, mental health issues, loneliness, and the root of all, the damaging effects of sin and living life without God.
Pray for the online evangelistic videos on our Bundoran Bible Reflections Facebook Page and YouTube channel. Please pray for God’s help for hooks and connection points to local people and for God to use these reflections on small portions of scripture – pray God will draw a people for himself even during these times. Please pray Philippians 4:7 for us here ‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ I have been aware of the battle that rages for our hearts and our minds during these days.
There is a darkness around, a heaviness in the atmosphere, there are argumentative distractions, understandable frustrations and a social deficit. Yet we fix our eyes on Jesus, plough on through the darkness ahead, knowing he is with us every step of the way. Please continue to pray that he will build his church, sustain his people and magnetically draw a new flock to rejoice in the peace of God. Perhaps that is the chink of light in the distance to hold onto in prayer as we follow on in these days!
The hope of successful vaccines give optimism for 2021 that life can eventually return to normal. Pray that people would not just return to how life used to be but may have courage to re-envision life as it could be. Pray that God will form part of that conversation and that there will be gospel openings as fresh vistas of the future are considered! Join me in praying that South Donegal will become known as a place that 'will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.’ (Hab. 2:14)