Northern Ireland Team Member Testimony

You never know exactly how you will have an impact on people. For me, the Northern Ireland trip was nothing I expected, but remarkably familiar. The church we worked in reminded me some of the church I grew up in – just a small neighborhood church reaching out to the kids in the community.  The kids were also coming from similar backgrounds – low-income, single-parent homes. These were kids who need someone to show they care.

Most of the week we spent relationship building through both working in the schools and leading Kids’ Club. There were many days where as a team we felt like we weren’t making much headway with the kids, and at times it was discouraging. But then there would be this one child – you might see their eyes light up as you talked about how much God loved them or maybe they would randomly come up and hug you – and you would realize that this was why you were here. It is all about being Jesus to them.

This was exactly what our team leaders James and Rachel had emphasized since the very beginning of our trip planning.  Our purpose was to love on the people in Northern Ireland. This attitude carried on throughout our group even after Kids’ Club was long over. On Saturday, the church had planned a coastal excursion for our group and hired a coach. Throughout the course of the day we really connected with our bus driver, including him in all we were doing. His preschooler son ended up joining us by the end of the day. Imagine all of our surprise the next morning when he showed up at church with his two children, driving almost thirty minutes to come. It just reminded me how much we impact people through our daily lives. We may not verbally be sharing the gospel with everyone everyday, but through our actions we can be constantly sharing God’s grace.

~ Kellie Dundon

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Northern Ireland Team Update

All in all the trip is going well.  The Kids Club/VBS has been very successful.  We have had some opportunities to go into some of the primary schools on Tuesday, Wednesday and tomorrow, Thursday.  We have gone into the schools making relationships with the students and teachers.  I think this has been an overall positive experience for the team.

One thing I would ask for prayer.  The VBS has been gong well, but tonight we had a few behavior problems that frazzled the team.  Nothing too out of the ordinary, but enough to say “what just happened?”  We had a team meeting to encourage them and pray for them.  We also took a free night, and the team went shopping.  Just pray that we are not discouraged but are trusting that Jesus can still work in our midst.

Overall, it has been a really awesome experience.  Fantastic time!

~ James Ballard, Team Leader

Team Heading to Northern Ireland on Sunday

New Hope International Ministries is sending a team of 15 Asbury University students and alumni to Northern Ireland from Sunday, May 27 to Tuesday, June 5.  They will be working with Lisburn Church of the Nazarenze outside of Belfast by leading a Vacation Bible School during the evenings, teaching elementary children about the Armor of God and trusting God in every circumstance.  The team will also have the opportunity to share their testimonies at an elementary and secondary school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  On Friday, the group will also have the opportunity to work with Pastor Albert of Lisburn Church in some evangelism in the community.  On Sunday, the team will be sharing in drama, music, testimony, and teaching.  Pray for us as we lift up Jesus, and as we are stretched out of our comfort zones.  We are excited and expectant that Jesus is going to change hearts and lives in Northern Ireland.

~ James Ballard, Team Leader