|The Howells in Ireland|
1 Samuel 2:8 “He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, restoring dignity and respect to their lives.”
As I was reading through the book of Samuel, I came across this verse. It is one of those verses that sinks deep to the core at the exact time that it is needed. That phrase, “he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,” could not have been more spot on for me personally.
Many of you may not have known that I (Dave) took a sabbatical at the end of 2020 through the beginning of 2021 due to many factors. I came to the stark realization of how unhealthy I was; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I was suffering from extreme burnout, as well as personal and familial emotional issues. It was a painful, difficult, and dark time for me. In conversation with EFM, they were gracious in allowing me the opportunity to take a step back and breathe afresh once again. This enabled me the tools needed to begin the process of refreshing, renewing, and refocusing. The time away was a much needed first step with the understanding that the healing process will be ongoing.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic had another plan on our prescribed upon timetable. Lock downs, COVID-19 restrictions, sickness, unsettledness, and all of the other issues that all of us faced made 2021 a difficult year. As many of you know, planning and implementing new ideas and new ministry was very complicated. Yet now it feels like the tides are shifting.
I believe that is why this verse resonates so deeply with me right now. Another translation uses the phrase “lifts the beggar from the ash heap”. All around are dear ones that are dirty and stained with the charred remains they are living in. The country carries the scarred remains of a difficult time. Even our personal life and ministry carries the markings left behind. Yet, there is hope, fresh hope.
As we boldly walk into this new chapter in the life of the Howells in Ireland, we need your prayers more today than ever before. Firstly, please pray for our family. The last couple of years has taken a significant toll on all of us. To have a year filled with safety, strength, peace, and hope would be greatly appreciated. Secondly, please pray for our new ministry emphasis. When I took my sabbatical, I stepped back from some of my formal ministries. We are trying to be deliberate in the areas that we move forward in. We don’t want to just jump back into the ways we ministered in the past, but carefully discern what the new emphasis will be. One specific area that you will hear more about in the future will be new ways to be involved in the artistic community. For now, please pray for discernment and direction in these new ministry points. Lastly, pray for a rekindling of burned-out lives. The more I have thought about it, the more I have come to the realization that this will be my theme verse for 2022. Please pray for our friends to have a fresh stirring of God’s love and power in their lives. Our prayer is that 2022 will be one of significant impact in the life of EFM Ireland.
Words cannot express how much we love and appreciate every one of you. Thank you for caring for us and always being there for us. Thank you for loving the people of Ireland. Grace and peace to you.
|Please note new Ireland Address:
6 Glendasan Drive, Wicklow Town, Co. Wicklow, Ireland A67 C822
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org