The Mission

“doing whatever it takes to have every child discover their nature as a child of the King, for the sake of His Kingdom”

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The Call & Vision

Before Richie & I were married, we took some time to pray into our relationship & to wait on the Lord. We sensed Him asking us to lay everything down & He lovingly spoke Isaiah 43:18-19 over us as we prepared ourselves for the next chapter, that was becoming one. 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland…”

For us, this ‘new thing’ was becoming a strand of three with God. But it also spoke of the ‘new thing’ He would do in & through us in preparing us for overseas. Again & again God reminded us that it was not about the “location” for us, but instead the vision of being a mother & father figure, to the motherless & fatherless. It felt like Richie was one lens, I was another & together we had a pair of glasses (so to speak!) Everything just clicked into place. 

We heard Heidi Baker speak the year we were married & she gave us real encouragement into what we are now about to undertake. She prophesied over us that we are called to unreached people groups, and that young people would be the key. That in welcoming them, we would see great fruit in & through our lives. Heidi said we were to begin serving young people here in Belfast & that He would then open a door to the nations. Great love & great mercy would be keys, & we would live everyday as a day full of grace. This was very helpful to us & it felt like God had given us some riches from the poor in spirit that day. He really does love the poor, but that day we revelled in His love & grace for just us. Shortly after we were married we began respite fostering an 8 year old boy, and later an 11 month old baby. God had clearly told us through Heidi’s word to “start here”.

On our wedding day we chose Isaiah 58: 6-12 as a mandate for our marriage. The Lord has been using those words to challenge & change us ever since.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”

I love that it is when we do these things commanded by the Lord in this passage that our own healing will quickly appear. A friend once said to us that she wonders if sometimes the Lord calls us into His dreams for the world, simply that we might be changed. I wonder about this too… He could achieve His purposes for the world without us, but instead He decides to partner with us because He loves us that much, it brings about our own freedom & unity with Him, & it’s a lot of fun! He is amazing.

In October 2011 we moved to South Africa to work as house-parents for 11 months. During this time God re-affirmed our calling to these children & upon returning home to Ireland we established Penuel. Before moving to South Africa, I asked the Lord “why us?” & the answer I got back I wrote down, as we don’t ever want to forget it…

God said very simply:

“because this is not about you. It’s bigger than you. It’s about your work colleagues, families, friends, neighbours, church, city, nation, impacting the nation of South Africa in such a way, that all who witness that impact will know that only I could be responsible for that level of intervention”.

This answered my question sufficiently! Richie & I have a little book we write words in that God has spoken to us that dates back to before we were married… we read through it a couple of months ago & found a prophecy given to us in 2006. Someone had prophecied a “care home” over us. The same guy also said that God was going to give us the gift of faith like the roman centurion in matthew 8 who astonished Jesus. It encouraged us a great deal to read these words at the front of our little ‘God book’, as we’d forgotten all about them. How we long for more of this faith in our lives…! We also read recently a prophecy from a Vineyard pastor in 2010 saying that we would be part of a ‘multinational force’. He saw conscription letters going out all over the world to look after His children, as we stepped into this calling. It excites us a great deal, that we are not on our own, that there are many many other couples & families who will care for these children, & that it is the Lord who is doing this. It is quite simply, all Him.

We want to see many, many people raised up and released to welcome vulnerable young people and children into both short-term & forever families. We want to see the church trail blaze the way, in how to love these children, and represent Jesus well. The children’s identity will be healed, from “abused, neglected, orphaned or abandoned”, to treasured princes and princesses of the most high King. Royalty. We shall see God’s love, glory and power impact upon these beautiful ones. Holy Spirit’s goodness, presence & glory is our daily reality, therefore we aim to release children into both receiving, and participating fully in seeing the Kingdom come. Our aim is that all this would be done in the loving and nurturing environment of family.

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