I’ve been reading a two-volume biography of Hudson Taylor and the missions agency he founded called the China Inland Mission. Hudson Taylor, as you may recall, was a key player in missions history. Not only was he instrumental in sending hundreds of missionaries into the interior of China during the late 19th century, he also taught us much about how to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
The title of the first volume of this biography is, “The Growth of a Soul.” It’s a 500-page story of how God prepared Hudson to do what he did. Some of that preparation happened in China itself. Most of it took place in his home country of England before going to China. If it were up to him, he would have gone to that far country long before he actually got there. God had a different plan, however.
This story reminds me of the journey that Molly Morton is on. Ireland has been on Molly’s heart and mind for many, many years. Even before coming to EFM she searched for ways to move and live there. Then, after joining EFM, Molly, along with her teammates in Ireland, continued the search. As you probably remember, the Republic of Ireland changed its immigration laws about the time that Molly became fully funded and received the green light from EFM to proceed to Ireland. We are all still working on getting Molly to Ireland under the kind of visa that will allow her to be there long-term.
So what are all these delays really about? I think that “The Growth of a Soul” sums it up well. Molly, her teammates, and the rest of us who are part of this journey have come to the conclusion that the Lord is giving her extra time in the U.S. in order to work on some personal matters as well as to prepare her further for the kinds of ministries she will be involved in once she moves to Ireland. So, in order to take advantage of this extra time we put together a plan that includes the following:
- Begin an online master’s degree in Pastoral Studies through Barclay College. This will help deepen Molly’s knowledge of the Bible, theology, and ministry in church settings.
- Participate in The Lab which is facilitated by Alan and Barbara Amavisca in Southern California. This will deepen her knowledge of and reliance on God with a community of like-minded people as well as expose her to different ways of doing outreach in a secular society.
- Gain experience in a local church setting through a residency facilitated by Equipping Leader Ministries (led by Stan Leach). The local church setting will most likely be cross-cultural. This will help broaden Molly’s experience in the various ministries of a church as well as strengthen her ability to minister cross-culturally.
- Continue meeting with the EFM Ireland team and stay in touch with the Nazarene church in Greystones in order to keep building a relationship with that congregation.
- Meet twice a month with Carol Lewis who will help coach Molly through this entire plan in such a way that Molly continues to learn how to be a good learner and have additional support in working through the difficulties that will surely arise. Carol’s coaching will help integrate the various pieces of this plan and also help the learning process proceed at an appropriate pace.
Most of the pieces of this plan are already in place and functioning. At the beginning of 2020 we will evaluate how the plan is going and determine whether it’s time to apply for the Minister of Religion visa that would allow Molly to be in Ireland long-term. Our prayer is that immigration officials will take into account all the work that she is currently doing and that it will strengthen the case for giving her this kind of visa. If all signs are “go” on both sides of the ocean, then Molly’s move to Ireland could happen during the summer of 2020.
When you accepted Molly’s invitation to support her through prayer and financial giving you probably expected her to be in Ireland by now. We did too! We are all very grateful for the way in which you have hung in there in the midst of all these twists and turns in the journey. I hope this update is helpful to you in showing where we are at in the journey (as best we can tell!) and some of what we anticipate up ahead. I trust that this update also shows you how your prayers and financial giving are helping Molly’s soul to grow right now as she prepares for current and future ministries. Thank you for your faithful support.
As you can imagine, the plan described above comes with a cost. If you would like to invest further in Molly’s growth you can do so by clicking the donate button below and making a contribution.
If you have any questions about this update please feel free to contact me.
Your fellow servant in Christ,
Executive Director of EFM