Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California



“Hiya again from the Emerald Isle!   
Thank you again (as I want to say to you every month) for partnering with me during this journey in my life and ministry here in Ireland.
   The last two months have been full of such adventure and growth.  Every time I’ve moved or traveled whether it was to San Diego, Arizona, Uganda, the UK, or the Republic of Ireland, it has always been the people I’ve shared life with there that made my experience the most transformative. As I mentioned in my last update, my hope in Ireland is to be able to listen and discover people’s stories, to become a safe place for people to share both their pain and their joys, and along the way sharing about the God that has been ever-present in our lives and who’s love is unconditional and grace-filled.  I’ve met people from all around the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Spain, Catalonia, Germany, France, Denmark, New Zealand, Hungary, Korea and possibly other places I’ve forgotten, who all live here in Ireland.  I’m not only learning so much about the Irish culture, but also about other people’s home cultures.  As my Catalonian friend once told me, “more people need to be brave.”  It’s encouraged me more to be brave and step outside my comfort zone a bit more each day and to challenge myself to ask people their story to share in life together.   Ultimately, as people share their story with me (and mine with them), I am challenged to be vulnerable and compassionate to people.
I am reminded of what Bob Goff, author of Love Does writes in his book, “I used to want to fix people, but now I know I just want to be with them.”  
I’ve been challenge to hear people’s stories and to just “be” with them.  That is the significance of why I am living here in Ireland as well… not to try and fix people or solve their problems, but to “be” with them.  One of my pastors, Wil Ryland in San Diego says that people just need someone who will sit in the mud with them…that image of “sitting in the mud” with people has stuck with me ever since.  Sitting in the mud with people is more transformative to someone who is hurting than trying to fix them.  And ultimately, only God can heal those broken places in our lives.
I know it is a challenge for me here in Ireland–to not get so caught up in the “doing”, that I forget to “be” with people. My challenge for you is to remind yourself on a daily basis to “be” with people. Jesus was God in flesh. We often see Jesus is terms of what he “did,” preforming miracles, serving, etc., but his primarily ministry was “being” with people.  He calls us to be incarnational–we are called to be Jesus to people who do not know Him yet!
Thank you for your love, encouragement, and support doing this significant journey in my life.  I pray you will be willing to be used by God wherever you may be in life. May our prayer not be “God use me,” but “God, make me useable.”  
May the road rise to meet you…”

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