Every year, OM in Ireland hosts the St. Patrick’s Challenge, a one-week outreach centred around the Irish national holiday. This year, we set a new record with 30+ participants coming from the USA, Canada, Scotland, Wales, Germany, England, and Ireland.
“We had such a large age range too,” Helen, OM office administrator, said. “We had everyone from 16-71 years old!”
“I’m thankful that God is still burdening and calling people to serve Ireland,” Irene (OM Human Resource Director) said, “and that they’re willing to give up time and money to come serve.”
With the guest house and chalets of Lacken House, we were blessed to be able to house everyone onsite. For some, this was their first visit to Ireland. For others, this would be their first time doing street ministry. Trained at and sent from Lacken House, the participants were sent to five different church partners around Ireland: Letterkenny, Cootehill, Longford, Athlone, and Newcastle West.
Each team’s ministry was a little different, based on the needs or plans of the hosting church. Everyone participated in their local St. Patrick’s parade in some capacity. The Big Red Bus was also able to be a part in a couple parades. Teams were handing out gospel St. Patrick’s tracts as well as doing street evangelism.
Letterkenny. “We got to Letterkenny and joined the youth group that night, Benjamin — the youngest member of our group — was asked to share his testimony on the spot. It was his first time sharing his testimony. It was amazing to see,” Danny (USA).
Cootehill. “During our time doing street evangelism, I was able to share the Gospel with an older lady who brought up the apparent brokenness of politics in the region. I spoke about God’s design for the world and the way that Christ’s death and resurrection makes it possible for God to hear the brokenness in our hearts,” Rebecca (USA).
Longford. “As my husband and I went door to door, God allowed us to encounter a young man who had been dealing with bigger questions: How can there be goodness without a God? How can one maintain an atheistic viewpoint when it is unreasonable? We were so excited that God had already started working in his heart and mind,” Wendy (Canada).
Athlone. “We connected with three young men from the time we got there. Right after we set up, these three guys came up. Gene from our team connected with them through his background in the States. It was incredible to see how easily we were able to connect.
“After the parade on Saturday, God brought one of those guys back to us [even though we were in a different location than the night before]. We talked with him for about an hour. Then on Sunday, we were in a different part of town, and he showed up again. So we got to talk to him a third time,” Jeff (USA).
“It’s amazing to see how we’ve never been out witnessing before, but we connected with these teens. The second day they were so excited to see us that they introduced us to their friends. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have been part of OM’s mission ministering out on the streets,” Gene (USA).
Newcastle West. “During our mall outreach, myself and Monja were able to share the full gospel with two guys. It was cool watching their faces as we shared. They seemed like they were really listening and considering what we said,” Lela (USA).
“It was a joy to see Lacken House full with St. Patrick’s Challenge participants,” Alastair (OM Ireland national director) shared afterwards, “being trained onsite and how they are passionate about going out and sharing their faith. I would love to see more Irish initially equipped here at OM Ireland with for something like St. Patrick’s Challenge and then sent out.”