The Republic of Ireland (Eire) is the only English-speaking Catholic nation. While Catholicism is a major influence over the country and culture, few have a living relationship with God.Read More
“You know when you really notice something?” Catherine recalled. “I think it was more on Colm’s heart in the beginning. … It was the job, really, that suited Colm. … The Lord knew the needs for OM Ireland.”
As an Irish national, being mobilised looks a little different than it might to the international worker. “When I think of ‘Go into all the world,’ I see first of all that it’s a command. It’s not an if you have time for it,” she said. Catherine thinks of her command this way: “We only have this time [on earth] to tell people about how good He is.”
Even without an official job title herself, Catherine entered into ministry with Colm. At the time, she and Colm were thinking of a year-long commitment. Five years later, a position in People Care befitting her gifts came into existence. When OM Ireland started to create a team called People Care, Catherine knew “it was my gifting.”
She has been inspired by an internship programme which sends a group of students to serve with OM Ireland every year. She explained that, at various ages, the students are mobilised into their own neighbourhoods, a different city or state, and then abroad.
“It goes to show that you can be mobilised at any age, even as a young person,” she shared. "'Into all the world' does not have a geographic limit. It could be your local neighbourhood. It could be the other side of the world. And that command of go,” Catherine further explained, “could mean physically moving or moving in your attitude…that you’re willing to be moved by God to talk to people.”
“It’s a huge opportunity to deepen your faith, to move on and move out more directly into evangelism,” Catherine testified. “People talk about their amazing personal experience of worship, growth, and deepening knowledge of God. When we get to Heaven, we’ll be able to talk to God. We’ll know a lot more about God. We’ll be able to sing, praise, and worship Him. But we won’t be able to tell unbelievers the gospel once we’re there.”
Being local gives Catherine a certain insight into the cultural background any worker might encounter. Having a national on the team gives an advantage to any office. “We’re very Irish,” Catherine laughed. “We’re a cultural resource for all things Irish.”
As Catherine sees it, the modern Irish church doesn’t have much experience with going out. Lots of workers come in, but very few are being sent out. And growth is slow. “You need a lot of patience. Some pastors have been sowing seed on hard ground for the past 20 years.”
What does it look like, this command to go? The simplest answer is just that: Go.
“You will never be the same,” Catherine explained. “Your faith is deepened because you really have to rely on Him. You can do this.”
Published: Tuesday, 06 June 2017
Credit: Hannah Rueber