We're the Light in this Jaded World

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When I started fundraising for my trip to Ireland what I mostly heard was, “Oh my gosh I’m so jealous, I hear Ireland is so beautiful,” or “that sounds more like a vacation than a mission trip.” Yes, Ireland is beautiful and no, I didn’t have to sleep outside and yes, I had indoor plumbing, but that doesn’t mean that it was not a true mission trip.
Something I have found to be common is that many think only the third world countries are the ones that need saving. Ok they may not say that, but their actions do. I’m not saying that it’s bad to go to those countries because everyone is worthy of spending eternity with God, and I applaud those who go to the deepest and most remote parts of the world to spread the Gospel to those who have never heard it before. In fact before this trip I was part of that group that at times, when I thought of going on a mission trip that’s what I thought about. But I have learned that anywhere we go is our mission field.
So back to Ireland, something that one of my team members shared with me who has been on plenty of mission trips to third world countries is that the people there are desperate for God. They are searching for Him. The people of Ireland have already heard the whole “God spiel” and don’t want anything to do with Him. This wasn’t a very physically challenging trip, but it was indeed a very spiritually challenging trip.
Going into this trip I was prepared for some rejection because everywhere you go you face some sort of rejection, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of rejection we received in Ireland. One thing that I heard many times was, “it isn’t us they are rejecting, but God, so don’t get discouraged because all we can do is tell them about God’s love and then let God do the work on their hearts.” This helped, but it was still discouraging to get rejected time after time.
It broke my heart to see how much hatred these people had toward the church. The church in Ireland and all over Europe is suffering terribly. Europe is in desperate need of a revival because so many are dead inside and their hearts are hardened so much towards God. They remind me of the people described in 2 Corinthians 3:14-15, “But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.” But then it goes on to say in verses 16-18, “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
God has just really begun to put Ireland and all of Europe on my heart because of their hatred towards the church and their blindness to God’s powerful love that can radically transform their lives if they just let Him in. My prayer is that the same veil would be removed from their eyes and that more and more will begin to experience the freedom that comes from Christ Jesus. And I pray that those of us who have already had the veil removed will indeed “reflect the glory of the Lord” wherever we go because we are called to be the light in the darkness.