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Ask and The Lord Will Lead: Some ATL at Work in Baltimore, Ireland

After finishing up with day two of Kid’s Club in Baltimore this morning, we decided it was time for some street ministry. I can’t speak for the whole group on this, but this was something I had been looking forward to since the moment we arrived in Ireland. We were split up into groups of three and then given an hour to do whatever the Lord led us to do. I was grouped with Maddie and Hannah, and I have to say we started out clueless and confused.

It started in a coffee shop/bar/I have no idea what to call it. We sat down and decided we would pray for guidance in the next hour and see if we could pray for whoever waited on us. Well the whole praying for your waiter thing doesn’t work out too well when nobody comes over to serve you for a long period of time. Uncertain and confused we decide to pray and see how the Lord might inspire us. Hannah was feeling something off to her left so we abandon our unserved table at the restaurant and decide to pursue the lonely old man at the table across the road. We get over there only to find out the man was leaving, and we miss the opportunity to talk.

This may have ruined the point of even going across the street, but by being led in this direction we happen to come across an old woman struggling to get out of her car and deliver her small package. Maddie immediately offers her help, and we are blessed with the opportunity to put her package in the mailbox down the road.

Helping a sweet little old lady with her mail may not be the most insanely amazing act in furthering God’s kingdom, but I’ve learned that you should never prejudge the effect you have on someone. Who knows, maybe we just did something as drastic as saving a sweet old lady from getting hit by a car, or just the small act of brightening her day put her in a better mood from a previously rough day.

After this tiny act of kindness we still have plenty of time to do something totally crazy for the Lord, and that is just what we plan on doing. It takes a lot of prayer and wandering before we’re finally inspired, but we get there.

We’re sitting in prayer on a stone wall where two roads meet when the Lord finally sends us a clearer message. “R-something-TH.” That’s what we got, and sure enough there’s a sign for a hotel/restaurant pointing up the road with those letters. It sounds slightly farfetched, but at this point any sign was enough.

We thought the restaurant was just a tiny bit up the road, but unfortunately that was an extreme understatement. To say the restaurant was over in China would have been a bit more accurate. After walking uphill for days, okay fine it was more like 15 minutes, we were feeling quite discouraged. Trudging my little feet up that ginormous hill I send a quick prayer up to the Father and I’m like, “Hey man, not really sure where we’re going right now, but you know any sign, like specifically a bird flying in front of my face, would be super awesome right now to at least let us know we’re headed in the right direction.” And sure enough I open my eyes to see a precious little bird fly hedge to hedge across the road in front of me. IS THAT COOL OR WHAT?! God didn’t just give me A SIGN. He gave me THE SIGN, the sign I asked for. That just blows my mind, and makes me so excited I can’t even handle it.

With no time to spare we rush up the rest of the hill, hurry into this adorable looking restaurant, and sit down to order the cheapest and quickest food we can find on the menu. So of course this means ordering some delicious chocolate mousse. (It was actually heavenly to say the least.)

The sweetest middle-aged waitress was serving us, and Maddie had this sense that she had just gone through some recent struggles, so we knew we must ask how we can pray for her. Sweet Hannah, who has a talent for talking to anyone anywhere did the honor of asking.

The waitress actually accepted our prayers very graciously, and without saying anything specific she just asked for protection over her children. I don’t blame her at all for not pouring her life story out to random teenage girls in a restaurant, but I just know our prayers and genuine attention were something she needed, no matter what she told us.

Due back to our meeting place in less than fifteen minutes, we ate our desert as if our life depended on it, but this wasn’t the end. Right before leaving we struck up a good conversation with our waitress about God. She admitted to believing in a God, but she wanted nothing to do with the Catholic Church, and all that came with that. She didn’t want to be defined as a Christian because of the hypocrisy of the Church, but she was eager to hear about what we stood for and why we were here in Ireland.

This has really seemed to be a theme in Ireland this past week or so, and it’s terribly sad to see so many people turned off by the Christian faith because of outrageous things being done in certain Church communities. People need to see the real Jesus in Ireland, and this totally confirms our motivation for coming here in the first place.

I would really like to hope we put something on that waitress’s heart today, when we were lead to her this afternoon. We can’t always stick around to see the growth, but we sure are planting seeds here in Ireland. It just amazes me the places God can take you if you just ask.

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