I don’t like for people to know what I’m thinking.
I also am not eloquent, nor do I claim to be.
And I can’t English very good.
And I really just don’t like to advertise my words, pictures, music…
BUT. I know that God is working in my life, and I know that to hide this from the world would be quenching opportunities to share His faithfulness.
So with that said, I commence.
For those who don’t know, I’m in Ireland for the summer. I’m beginning week 4 of 8 in Monaghan, with an additional 2 at the end in Dundonald. I’m hanging out at a local nonprofit coffee shop a lot, painting and chatting with the needy and lonely who wander in, and the days I’m not there I’m doing some tedious task in preparation for holiday bible club (Irish VBS) or editing pictures. I’ve been accompanying the children’s Sunday school classes in 2 churches for their children’s day services, sitting in on (and eating lots of food at) the end of year adult bible studies, preparing to be the main worship leader for 5 weeks in First Monaghan, getting a youth service ready, singing at Hope Café, leading 2 youth bible studies, and following my new friend Jill on adventures with her friends. I’m fortunate enough to be staying with the pastor and his family, including 2 twins and a dog who likes to gnaw on arms, and I’ve learned a single phrase in Irish: “it is windy.”
To begin in sharing my journey, I’m looking back on the prayer journal I’ve been keeping here, and one of the themes that I find most is overwhelming thankfulness (which perfectly echoes the study on Colossians that I’m leading). Every day I come home from a quiet morning at Hope Café or one of their loud Sunday evening gatherings, or an informal afternoon bible study, and I can’t help but smile. The conversations that I’ve been having about life, America, Jesus, the bible… I’m often answering the same questions from people, but each time I open my mouth I’m reminding myself of all that God has done!
For years I have asked the Lord to send me out into another land to share the gospel and be a light. Over this time, He gave me photography, then He gave me music, then He put me at Lipscomb and has furthered my knowledge of the Bible. Every step of the way, I see that He’s been preparing me. This morning as I watched my little flowered shoes stepping in rhythm on the bricks down by the grocery store, I didn’t feel like I was in Ireland. When it’s 10 o’clock at night and sunny, I still don’t feel like I’m away from home. But here I am, across the ocean, using my music, my photography, and my knowledge of scripture to shine a little light in this community. My love for travel, pictures, singing, worship leading, conversation, youth, bible studies, and ministry in general, have all combined in this one summer and everything is beginning to come full circle. For that I am immensely grateful.
Thank you, Jesus, for choosing me this summer. Thank you for aligning my gifts with this community’s needs. Thank you for providing so graciously and for reminding me that You will use me for your name’s sake.
Check out more pictures… http://jamieprattphotos.com/1Ireland/