Oct
30

Newsletter: September – October 2017

ONE YEAR

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It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Ireland for an entire year now!  I think back to the journey, how the Lord brought us here, how He changed our hearts and brought us together, how He gave us a burden for the Irish people, for Irish children.  What a story!  And all He’s done in this first year.  In some ways, it feels like we’ve just arrived, like we really are only now getting started.  But then I think about how much we’ve gotten to be a part of already, all that the Lord has done, and it’s incredible!  Maybe there’s always that kind of “two sides of the same coin” feeling in the Lord.  Excited to be building community, but sad leaving loved ones behind.  Celebrating with those coming to know Christ, yet burdened still for the lost.  Rejoicing over the work He is doing, and also seeing how great the need still is.

Can I just say how incredibly thankful we are for you, for your faithfulness in prayer, and for your hearts to be a part of the work Jesus is doing here in Ireland.  The need is real and so is the body of Christ, co-laboring with Him, to bring the Good News to a lost world!  We cannot express how humbled and thankful we are for each of you and all the ways you support our family and the ministry here.  We really could not do it without you, so thank you!

Since our last update in August, there has been a lot going on!  School as well as several ministries have started back up after the summer.  Also, many families have come back after being away on holiday, so church in general feels more full and the noise and energy levels are back up in children’s church!

After studying each of the Ten Commandments with the kids, we’ve been looking in depth at each of the Jewish feasts.  Every week Branden walks us through the customs, what each tradition represents, and what they mean for us now as Christians.  It’s been a great learning experience for us all, and incredible seeing how God’s plan of redemption has been there from the beginning!

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My parents also came and visited in September; it was a gift from the Lord!  I think maybe, of all the challenges we’ve faced so far, distance has been one of the hardest.  Seeing my Mom and Dad, having them here, getting to show them all the things that has made Cork our home, it was like our worlds had come together!  Saying goodbye was really hard, but I’m so grateful they came.

Some of you might have heard that Hurricane Ophelia came through Ireland!  It hit the island two weeks ago with a large storm shortly after.  There was mostly property damage, loss of power and water, roads blocked because of trees down, etc.  We weren’t too badly affected, but the country continues the clean up as we head into the colder season.

We wanted to share that our visas for the next year have been approved – praise the Lord!  I remember the first time we applied, everything seemed so difficult and overwhelming.  Praying again before we went in, this time seemed so much quicker and easier!  We are waiting on official documentation, but it looks like we are able to stay and serve in Ireland another year!

CURRENT PRAYER NEEDS

Thank you for continuing to support us in prayer!  Here are our current prayer needs:

  • CHUCH LOCATION – Our church is looking for a new location!  This is actually a very pressing need as we have about a month before we must be out of our current building!  We are seeking the Lord and knocking on doors.  So far, none have really opened, but the Lord knows what we need!  Please pray for clear direction from Him and wisdom as we look for a location that will fit all the needs of our church.
  • CHILDREN’S CHURCH – Recently we’ve had the opportunity to talk in depth on topics like repentance, the rapture, and atonement.  The kids have asked a lot of big questions, and the Lord had us walk them through the prayer of salvation!  For most of these kids, this is the first time they have heard these things taught in a Biblical way.  Please pray as seeds are planted, watered, and the harvest is reaped!  It’s a great honor to be a part of what God is doing here in this generation of Irish kids!
  • CURRICULUM – Branden is working each week to put all the pieces of the curriculum together!  Please pray as we fine tune format and graphics, create lessons and crafts, etc., and also what the Lord might have us do with it in the year ahead and beyond!
  • OUTREACH – We have so much room to grow in this area as a church!  We are still learning so much about the culture here.  Please pray for an outreach event we have planned and also what the Lord has in the year ahead as He’s given Branden and me a greater burden to reach out to kids here with the Gospel!
  • VISION – We want to keep in step with the Lord, abide in Him, and fulfill the ministry He has for us here!  Please pray for fresh vision, direction, and obedience for this next year of ministry.  That we would be in tune with the Spirit and cooperate with Him in reaching Ireland with the hope of Christ!

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SUPPORT

As you pray, if you feel led to support the ministry here financially, please visit our missions website at www.treuimage.com and click on “Support Us” in the top, yellow navigation bar.  At the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to donate one time or monthly.  All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of the work God is doing in Ireland!  One year in, and we really could not have done it without you!  We’re looking ahead with anticipation; we know the best is yet to come!

In Him,

Ernie

and Branden, Silas & Ethan

One Year!
Oct
17

One Year!

I started reading the Gospel of John again.  His narrative is so full, and I’m finding I still have to read each line multiple times, mining in God’s Word.  At the end of the first chapter, Jesus calls His first disciples.  First, two followers of John the Baptist begin to follow Him.  Jesus asks them what they seek, and they inquire about where He is staying.

“Come, and you will see.”

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Later, Jesus decides to go to Galilee and finds Philip.

“Follow Me,” He says.

Philip finds Nathaniel and tells Him about finding the long awaited Messiah, that His name is Jesus, of Nazareth.  Nathaniel is skeptical, asking, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

“Come and see.”

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I remember the Lord using this passage when we were first thinking about Ireland.  Jesus made no promises to these fishermen about security or comfort, not even a pitch about how great the adventure would be.  No brochure or video about the healing or miracles they’d witness, no warnings about the heartache and persecution.  He only asked them to follow.  To come, and see.

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And though these men were waiting for this promised Savior, they did have lives – jobs and families and communities they were a part of, security and control over their day to day.  It may have seemed like this sudden decision to follow Jesus was irresponsible, irrational even.  Why would they leave what they knew, the path they could see, and trade it for the unknown?

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The thing is, they did know one thing.  And this one thing, if true, warranted this incredibly high risk.  Somehow they knew – this was the Christ.  Jesus was the Messiah.  And it didn’t matter what excitement or darkness lie ahead, the cost of staying was greater than that of following Him.

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The Bible doesn’t say these men took time to weigh out this monumental decision.  No pros and cons list, no lengthy discussions with family recorded.  Maybe if we could see Jesus Himself, hand extended, inviting us to come with Him, we wouldn’t hesitate either.

For our family though, that wasn’t the case.  It took what seemed like a long time to decide to come to Ireland, much longer for Branden than for myself.  The Lord told me right away, that he was calling us here.  He didn’t tell Branden as quickly; He was working out so much in our hearts.  And so Branden talked about every risk, every possible consequence of taking such a big leap if it wasn’t from the Lord.  And though my heart was already on the island, I could understand what he was saying.

We would give up all we knew, any security we thought we had, proximity to family and friends and the community we loved, and go.  We would have to say, like the disciples did, that Jesus – who He is, no promises of more and guarantee of nothing less – is enough.

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Well, it’s been a year on the mission field in Ireland, and the overwhelming feeling is of gratitude.

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There have been challenges absolutely, days of feeling the distance from family and friends and home.  We’ve dealt with health issues, being overwhelmed learning to live in a new country and still functioning some in the other, just growing into this unique place of being missionaries.  But the Lord has been incredibly gracious and good to us!

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We have found another home in Ireland, a place with sweet fellowship and community with like minded believers, many with a hard fought, undeniable faith and a genuine love for God’s Word.  There is a need here in ministry and the Lord is using us to be a part of discipleship and reaching kids and families with His life changing Good News!  And He has been faithful.

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Jesus never said to follow an idea or philosophy, a set of rules or group of people.  He said to follow Him, which means He intends to be with us.  And so He has been.  And perhaps that’s what shuts the mouth of fear, when what’s unknown seems to grow and skew our perspective again.  He is with us.

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And the future?  Well, I’m convinced, it will always be in the “Come, and see.”  One and then the other.

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Sometimes I’m like Nathaniel, skeptical of Him and so sure of whatever else I know.  But if I come, with a willingness to see, Jesus will show me – great things, things I would never see otherwise, but even more, Jesus reveals Himself!

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And truly, what could compare to that?

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You might be tempted to think it’s different for you and me, that we’re here and not where you are.  But the call is the same for us all, and so is the promise.

Follow Him.  Come, and see!

www.treuimage.com

Photo Credit: Timothy James          Post Work/Editing: Ernie Treu

Newsletter May / June 2017
Jun
27

Newsletter May / June 2017

OUR FIRST IRISH SUMMER

Hello Everyone!  There’s been a lot going on since our last newsletter in April.  We have enjoyed some incredible weather with temperatures up to 75 degrees!  I don’t think we realized how few days of actually warm weather we’d get here in Ireland, but it has made us so thankful for each time the sun comes out!  Summer in Ireland also means days with up to 18 hours of daylight!  The sun is up before 5am and doesn’t go down until close to 11pm – we’ll take every minute!

Last month, we had some friends visiting from the States (Hi Ryan & Megan!)  It was encouraging to hang out and catch up, and Megan even helped me get some things done for the house!  After being here for over eight months, our house is finally starting to look like a home!

Ministry has been really fruitful at Calvary Cork.  A few weeks ago, we got to do our first family service.  All the kids stayed with their parents and we melded the children’s and adult services together.  There’s something really special about families worshipping together!  Curriculum writing is also going well.  We’ve finished Genesis and have moved into Exodus.  It’s been incredible following God’s story so far, learning to see His faithful character and having opportunities to teach and disciple the kids in our fellowship!

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Speaking of teaching, Branden had an opportunity a few weeks ago to teach for an organization here called Child Evangelism Fellowship.  They create materials for evangelism and do outreaches in Cork and the surrounding area to reach neighborhood kids with the Gospel!  It was a privilege to partner with them and to learn how others are reaching Ireland’s kids for Christ!

I recently had an opportunity to share my testimony at a women’s ministry event here as well.  Being honest and speaking about the work God is doing in my personal life, especially to women from a different culture than my own definitely made me nervous!  But I’m learning it really is when I am weak, that God can and does show Himself strong!  It’s been a great blessing to grow in community, not only in our own children’s ministry, but with our church body and beyond!

PRAYER REQUESTS

Thank you for always faithfully supporting us in prayer!  Our current needs include:

  • SUMMER OUTREACH – With school coming to a close (praise the Lord!) we are gearing up for some summer events!  Please pray for wisdom as we navigate these relatively new waters and seek to be good students of the culture here.  Pray that the Lord would use us for His glory and the work of      His Kingdom!
  • HEALTH – We’ve had a few challenging things come up (nothing critical) and are asking for prayer, that the Lord would keep us in good health and help us not be distracted or discouraged as we serve Him and those He loves here.
  • SILAS & ETHAN – Please pray for our boys.  They’ve been missing people from home a little more than usual lately.  It comes out in their behavior, which is challenging, but we are praying for God’s heart and wisdom to love on and encourage them in these real issues as we continue to transition here.
  • ABIDING – As with all ministry, we are challenged to ABIDE – set our hearts on Jesus and not be distracted, even with the work He’s given us.  Please pray that we would abide and be fruitful in Him!
  • PRAISE REPORT! –  We wanted to share something incredible the Lord has done!  When we began to make the transition from Shepherd’s Staff to our own nonprofit, Small World Big God, I was honestly overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork it would take to get everything up and running.  My prayer was for the Lord to send someone to come alongside us and walk us through.  God did more than that, and sent someone to not only help us navigate but also do a lot of the upfront work for us!  God is so good to take care of us and give us “more than we ask or imagine!”

SUPPORT

As you pray, if you feel led to support the work here in Ireland financially, please visit our missions website at www.treuimage.com and click on “Support Us” in the top, yellow navigation bar.  You can scroll to the bottom of the page and use the prompts to set up one time or monthly recurring donations.

Thank you for partnering with us in the work God is doing here in Ireland!  We’re continually encouraged by how the Lord is stirring up His church to pray, and give, and be a part of the ministry here.  It’s an honor to be on the ground and see firsthand the work God is doing among the Irish people.  We would not be here if it weren’t for the body’s support and obedience to the Great Commission!

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.’”

                                                                 – Ephesians 3:20-21

Blessings to you and yours!

Ernie

and Branden, Silas & Ethan

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