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Jul 04

Chris and Larena Johnson–Ireland

We Have a New Intern!

Meet James. James is a hard-working, genuine,

warm-hearted Irishman, who came to Galway from Donegal in

the north to study Physics. He comes from a rich background

of farming and Christianity. His father helped found a church

in Donegal, and was its pastor for several years. James often

travels a couple hours north to visit home and help his family

tend to the sheep from time to time. Most recently, he went to

help them sheer the sheep for wool. He also plays for the local

Gaelic Football team and travels back for matches throughout

the year.

James came to GCF during the first year that we had

established the young adults ministry, but didn’t get plugged in

right away. He and his sister Eilish were a little bit on the quiet

side, and weren’t there every Sunday at first. One day, I offered

to go with a team to help another local church prepare their

new building. James and I ended up partnering on a project to

sand the drywall on the ceiling. It was then that we really

connected. I got to know all about him, his background, how

he often travelled to Philadelphia to visit his cousins. We had

a great time sanding, getting covered in drywall dust, and

joking away. I could tell by the end of the day, that this would

be the beginning of a great friendship. Here was a guy who’s

quietness I could’ve mistaken for stand-offishness, but found

out he was a really awesome guy.

Eventually James got plugged in to the group. He

started coming on a regular basis, when we moved to our new

place out in Craughwell. It was then, that we got to know him

even more. Over time, I began to see leadership qualities in

him, and knew that he would become a vital part of our youth

ministry, Torch. Sure enough, James was one of the original 12,

who enthusiastically raised their hands when we asked who

would like to help us lead the youth ministry on Friday nights.

Eventually, I would give him speaking opportunities, and

trained him to do everything that I did. My goal was to build

him up to a point that, whenever we went back to the States to

visit, we wouldn’t have to cancel Torch and lose momentum

because we’d have people able to fill our roles. Sure enough,

this last Spring, he and a few others really stepped up and did

an amazing job.

Last summer, James went to the states for 3 months,

so I was excited to hear that he would be sticking around this

summer. I was even more excited when he told me he would like

to become an “intern” with us. For those of you who recall our

previous newsletters, we’ve had several interns come over from

the States and help us with various projects. Typically, an intern

would be a full time volunteer who helped us with ministries such

as our youth and young adults ministries, community outreach,

and home rehabilitation projects. The interns we had have helped

us lay the groundwork for the new youth service format that we

started in the Fall of last year. Overall, they’ve been a tremendous

help. Now, to have one of the Irish come to us and say they want

to volunteer on that level for an entire summer is a pretty amazing

thing for us.

His first official project was helping us paint the church

kitchen at Galway Christian Fellowship. As some of you recall,

last summer our amazing home church LHC sent over Abbie as

an intern, along with funds we could use to revamp the church.

With these funds, we were able to give the sanctuary, church

offices, foyer, and the Torch hang out room a much needed

face-lift. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get to the kitchen. So,

for an entire year, the rest of the church looked amazing and fresh,

while the room where visitors were often greeted and served a cup

of tea or coffee was a drab and dingy, salmon pink disaster. Enter

James. With his help, we were able to knock out the project in

just a few hours! It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do

to the feel of a room.

The rest of the summer, James and I will be meeting on

a regular basis. Our focus is going to be marketing and outreach

for the youth program. I want to be able to develop a website for

Torch, flyers for events, and business cards that have our

information on them. I want to be able to head into town and

hang out in the square or on shop street, allowing God to make

divine appointments. Our hope is to reach more Irish youth,

make connections with them, invite them to the Friday nights, and

provide the setting for the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts.

Camp is coming up at the end of July. Be sure to pray

for God to work in wonderful ways with our youth and the

hundreds of youth who will be there. Pray for me also, that I will

be effective, and have the energy I need to pull it off. As always,

thank you for all your prayers and support. Love you, Chris.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for our youth to raise their funds for

camp to be able to attend this dynamic life changing

week to grow closer to Jesus!

-Please pray for our car situation. It has become

less dependable, and we are praying for the ability

to replace it.

-Please pray for our provisions, as we’ve lost

monthly donors due to unforeseen circumstances and we are

praying for 7 monthly donors at $25 to cover our

needs. We are also having some medical needs to be

covered. We appreciate your prayers and know He

hears and answers! Thank you!!

Support Information–

If you would like to team up & contribute to this

important mission, please make checks out to:

Hope Ireland Missions

229 W. Exchange St.

Crete, IL 60417

(Chris & Larena Johnston

on the memo line)

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