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May 05

Hope Ireland Missions, Chris & Larena Johnston – TMCI Missionaries to Galway, Ireland

APRIL 2020–Focusing on Jesus

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Greetings from Galway:

Zoom Sunday services and Torch – a new way to do ministry!

We hope you had a great Easter despite the circumstances. We are still awaiting the end of our lock-down. As of today, there have been 1,159 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland and 19,877 total cases. The lock-down has created many obstacles for us as a church. Services have gone completely digital.

On Fridays, I still have my Torch meetings. I’m able to meet with my leaders, have a time of devotion, pray together, and even play an online game of pictionary with them. We’re trying to keep each other’s morale up during this time of isolation. I’m disappointed that none of my youth have any access to the level of technology needed to join any virtual meetings, but at least I can continue to encourage and disciple our youth leaders.

Sunday services started out as Pastor Peter uploading sermons to YouTube. We’ve taken the step towards a more interactive meeting, and this past week introduced Zoom church. We had about half of the church show up for a massive video conference call. We had a time of sharing, we prayed together, and listened to a sermon from Pastor Peter. It was my responsibility to facilitate the meeting, making sure everything went smoothly, and that there were no security issues.

We are also starting a midweek service on Wednesday nights. It’s a smaller attendance, but it gives people a chance to connect and get spiritually fed outside of Sunday services. Frankly, this has been something we’ve been talking about doing for a long time now, so what better time to get it started up than during a time of quarantine! So far we’ve had two weeks of midweek service. I’ll be leading next week’s, and I’m super excited about it!

Quarantine Blues

I know many people are experiencing “quarantine blues.” Trust me, we definitely went through a period of time where the isolation was really weighing on us. We’ve made some minor adjustments to our daily schedules, our priorities, and our overall mind-set. I think we’re in a good place now, but still quite ready to go back to the real world. Thankfully, we’ve had really nice weather recently.

I feel sorry for Anora, during all of this. I mean, she’s super happy about having me around the house more, since I’ve had to work from home, but she hasn’t been able to see any of her friends. She has two friends in particular named Asher and Jackson. They’re probably her closest friends, and not being able to see them has really made her sad. Last week, she cried her eyes out when she found out she wasn’t able to play with them for a while.

My heart goes out to all the parents out there, and especially parents who have to home school! There are so many adjustments we all have to go through.

I had an interesting thought recently. At the end of this lock-down we should all come away with two or three different areas of self-improvement. This is at least MY goal. For me, I’m focusing on improving my grilling/baking skills, physical fitness, and developing a YouTube daily devotional blog. Larena is writing her own book and potty training Anora.

What are your 2-3 areas?

Larena and I are praying for each of you daily. We know this lock-down is taking a toll, and we are constantly praying for your protection. We pray that you and your families will be kept safe from the virus. We also pray for God’s protection over your finances. Remember that God is in control. He’s not surprised by the things that are happening. The current situation may seem like a giant uncontrollable disaster, or even like a storm that’s raging around us, threatening our livelihoods.

Just remember to keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t focus on the storm! Focus on Him. We will survive this storm and continue towards the mission He’s called us to do! God bless you!

Love from Chris, Larena, and Anora.

Prayer Requests

We would be honored if you would pray with us concerning:
Please pray for new ways to connect and interact with people and share the Gospel message during this �me.
Please pray for Ireland, that this will cause more hearts to be open to the Gospel.
Please pray for all those who have suffered with this virus, either mentally, physically or financially.
Please pray that soon we will begin to live the new normal and be able to connect again with others as we are not meant to be alone. We are meant to connect and meet and spread the Good News that Jesus Christ died and was raised to life to save us from our sins.

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)

ONLINE GIVING

Simply go to: www.hopeirelandmissions.com & click on “partner.”