The Howell Family | Serving in Ireland
This week, I met with an old friend for a coffee and chat and saunter around Wicklow Town. This is a person that I have had the honor of knowing for well over a decade. It had been too long since we had caught up, so it was time for sure. After we went our separate ways, I started processing this relationship.
This was a young man that I first met when he was in his mid-teen years through the youth club that we facilitated. Long after he outgrew that, we continued to meet on a regular basis. He would share his life with me and often ask for my input on certain situations. After silently praying and seeking God’s wisdom in the situation, I would speak. I don’t take this honor of being invited to speak into another’s life lightly. It is with a profound sense of humility and grace that I come. Over the years, the relationship has matured, yet I still find a sense of awe in its rawness. He has mentioned more than once how vital this relationship has been to him in becoming who he is today.
This is one example of a typical day in the life of ministry in Ireland. It might be classified as pastoral care or mentoring. But whatever term you use to describe it, the powerful impact it has reverberates throughout. I love this simple definition I came across, “wise adviser, intimate friend who also is a sage counselor.” The part that speaks to me the most was the phrase “intimate friend.” The intertwining of lives through time, experiences, and love.
Moses and Joshua. Paul and Timothy. Elijah and Elisha. Mordecai and Esther. Priscilla and Aquila and Apollos. Eli and Samuel. Barnabas and Paul. Jesus and all of the disciples. The list goes on. Throughout the scriptures, we see this playing out on a regular occurrence. The intentional act of breaking bread and sharing time with one another.
As I am writing this, Tricia just came in and shared of a four-hour coffee chat she had this afternoon. We spend time with these dear ones, investing in the hard parts, and celebrating with the good. It’s not always easy or even productive. However, it is worth it. For this young man. For the one, Tricia met with. For the artist. For the businessman. For the tradesman. For the parent, grandparent, and child. For the one who feels like no one listens or cares.
Would you continue to pray with us for this awesome country? Pray that these conversations will continue to bear fruit. That through these intimate friendships, the impact of the love of God with grow beyond anything we can even imagine. Please pray with us for new ministry opportunities that are presenting themselves. Pray that we will be faithful to hear and follow the voice of truth as we are led forward. And please pray for us as a family. It had been a difficult season that we had found ourselves in. We treasure your love and prayers as we navigate what lies on the horizon.
Thank you, friends, for loving us and praying for us as we are an extension of your hands and feet in Ireland.
The Howell Family