Dec 12

Great News from Ireland, Chris, Larena and Anora Johnston

Hello loved ones! We hope this finds you getting ready for Christmas and the New Year! We hope and pray you each had a lovely Thanksgiving Holiday.

For us, it’s always hard to be away from family for the holidays. We try and make the most of it, by filling our home with as many young adults as we can fit, having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together. This year, we had a full house again, and it was amazing to have everyone! The fellowship and laughter that fills our home on Tuesday nights with our small groups is amazing. We have lots of feedback from those who have been here for a season, and returned home, that these nights really helped them feel like they were home away from home.

We have been very busy this past month with the youth and young adults going to Shoe Boxes. This is a wonderful ministry that is set up here, where school children prep boxes for underprivileged youth in remote countries. It’s a wonderful way to shine the love of Jesus into the lives of those less fortunate. We pray they sense the love of Jesus, and come to know him! We love being a part of this every year, where we bring our crowds to help stuff, check, and pack boxes to be shipped. See the photo above of one of the nights we went!

Last month, we shared with you the news that we heard that our landlady was wanting to sell the home we are living in. We exhausted every avenue, only to find out we simply do not check the boxes to get a loan. We’ve learned a valuable lesson, on what we need to do in order to be ready to get a loan in the future. So we will prepare the things we need to, in hopes to be able to get a loan one day. But for now, we are going to trust the Lord to provide a warm, clean, dry home that will meet all our ministry needs to rent.

Please stand in faith with us on that. It’s going to be tough to move from this home, as it’s truly been such a Godsend to us, and has been perfect for all our ministry needs…but we trust God that He knows our needs and is preparing a home. I really don’t want to give up our small groups by getting a home that is too far out or not accommodating for large groups.

Please do keep that in your prayers, because the housing market is in a crisis here. The rent is sky high, and the homes are few and far between. As it is, we will need to raise more funds just to downsize-if God doesn’t provide a miracle. But we know He can do anything!

This month, Chris preached at our home church here. He spoke on Psalm 22. He showed how Jesus, while on the cross was possibly referring to this passage. It’s a really amazing revelation he believes God gave to him, and through this message, he gave the option for others to give their hearts to Jesus. Well, would you believe that one of the young adults, that just recently started coming to GCF, raised his hand to follow Jesus?! Praise the Lord!! Another individual also gave their hearts to Jesus that day—and this loved ones, is exactly WHY we do this work!

In fantastic news that we received shortly after our last newsletter, we are thrilled to share with you that we received Irish residency biased on our little Galway Girl Anora! This allows us to be able to live in Ireland 3 years at a time, instead of living year by year and having to pay a huge fee every year, not to mention BEG to say in the country! We were given 2 years of extended grace by residing on a volunteer visa, but we now have Irish Residency. So when I mentioned that a lot of hard things were hitting us all at once, and every time that happens, usually something really big and amazing breaks—well, we believe the residency was exactly it!

Now we are able to plan better, and the cloud of uncertainty is lifted. We can plan our longer term goals! Praise God. He is the one who has given us these visions and dreams, and He is the one making the way. This is why ultimately as we mourn the loss of this house, we still look forward to what He has in store for us next…because He is always faithful, and we always see that He always provides for our needs, especially ministry needs! Thank God for scriptures like Philippians 4:6-7!

We are looking forward to heading back this December to spend time with family, as many of them have yet to meet the newest addition!! We have some dates opened for our friends and loved ones to connect! Please take us up on one of these dates as our time will be limited and we would like to see as many people as possible.

We will have an open house on Friday, December 29th from 1pm-7pm in Crete IL, at 229 W. Exchange street. We will also be at Living Hope Church on Sun, Dec 17th. We will spend the afternoon at Journey Pregnancy Hub, on Wed Dec 20th, and Grace Church on Sun Dec 24th. We would be thrilled if you are able to stop by one of these dates to meet Anora, and we can share with you more of what God has done here in 2017!

We could simply NOT do this without your love, prayers and support. We know God puts us on your hearts, to be able to do this work! Thank you—we hope to see you soon!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Chris, Larena and Anora!

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)


Prayer Requests

We would be honored if you would pray with us concerning:

Please pray for our housing situation, that we will find a warm, dry, and efficient house for our ministry needs.

Please pray we will be able to finish out this year pouring the love of Jesus into these youth and young adults.

Please pray for safe travels to and from America.

Please pray for the provisions necessary to meet the ministry needs for 2018

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