Where we might be invited

Dan Cammack writes in this year's EFM Easter Offering materials that "we've been sending missionaries to the Republic of Ireland for about two decades," but "in terms of evangelical Friends churches planted," we have very little to show for that investment. So what are we doing in Ireland? In his letter, Dan lists four parts to that answer, one of which is the lessons Ireland can teach us about planting churches in North America "because we, too, live and minister in an environment that is increasingly post-Christian."

Barclay Press is a long-term partner with Evangelical Friends Mission - designing and helping to disseminate materials for Easter and summer offerings that tell the story of how God is using EFM around the world. This year's focus - To Ireland with Love - is on the work of Kathi Perry, the Howell family, and Molly Morton. 

Kathy writes beautifully of her learning, over the years, that her job "is to be in a position where I'll be invited into the lives, conversations, joys and sorrows of people around me.... Whether I am teaching a Bible class or washing baby spit out of toys and duvets, it's important to do whatever I do with joy." Because "sometimes, loving people takes a long time." David and Tricia Howell recount how the events of the Easter Uprising, when Ireland claimed its independence, have shaped "these amazing people" who, "time after time, . . . have faced heartbreak." In response, David and Tricia find their hearts breaking for their Irish friends. Molly writes of her work, bringing teams of students from Azusa Pacific University to partner in ministry with Dundalk Community Church and to join "in service with the staff at The Birches Alzheimer Care Centre in the same town."

These Easter Offering materials won't start to show up in local churches until next month, but you can find them online and learn more about the ongoing work in Ireland, not to mention what we're learning from that work - how to join in service with others, the importance of letting the heartbroken break our own hearts, and what it might mean for us - long term - to become a people who put ourselves in positions where we might "be invited into the lives, conversations, joys and sorrows of people" around us.

Eric Muhr