Today I simply wanted to share some of the things we’ve been thinking and praying about, and ask you to pray with us. Eventually we’ll take the info in this post and have a web page with stuff that we are praying for. That’ll also allow us a place to keep you up to date as God begins answering them.
At this point, the two biggest things we would like prayer for, are the two things we have been most concerned about throughout this process.
First for our kids.
Hannah will graduate from high school in Trumansburg in June, and is planning to attend college in Dublin in the fall of 2012. While she will not end up having to leave school like her sisters will, clearly it will still be a big transition for her. Erin and Brenna have both sensed that God wants us to move to Ireland, but that doesn’t mean they are excited about the idea. At this point, Méabh hasn’t said anything one way or the other about the move.
Please be praying for our kids, especially over the next 10 months as this big unknown adventure sits in front of them. In some ways it might have been easier for Erin and Brenna to just go now & not have a year to think about it. Please pray that they would have a deep sense of peace throughout this process.
Secondly, for the Ithaca Vineyard.
Our hope and desire for the Ithaca Vineyard is that it continues to grow and thrive long after Liz & I are in Dublin. While there is a good solid core of leaders here currently, we are praying that several more people step forward and get involved.
Of course, one of the big items on our list is working with a Pastoral Search Team to find a new pastor to lead here. As this team is formed, we’ll be introducing them to the whole church. In the meantime, please be praying for the process of finding a new pastor. Our desire is not only that we discern the person God has to lead here, but that this whole process would be a growing process for our church.
Finally, a few things to be praying about concerning our actual move to Ireland.
Much of which we’ll be needing to figure out while we are still here in Ithaca.
My Residency Status: Elizabeth has dual citizenship (US & Ireland) and the children will soon, so they will all be allowed to move there. I don’t have citizenship in Ireland. There is a process by which we will go about getting residency for me, but it is something you cannot do until you are actually in the country. So, I don’t know if this sounds scary to you, but we’ll sell all our stuff, leave Ithaca & head to Ireland. Once we are there, we’ll start to work on getting me a stamp that will allow me to stay and work in the country. (similar to a Green Card here, although it needs to be renewed every year for the first 5 years.) We’d love for that process to go very smoothly.
Finding a place to live: At this point we are still praying that God would make it clear if He wants us to buy a house, or rent when we get there. Renting for the first year, obviously makes more logical sense…but speaking of logical sense, did I mention we are moving to Dublin next year? So even though renting seems like a better way to go, we are praying that God would direct us.
While we have a good sense of where in Dublin we’ll be moving, we are still praying clarity on that. With the kids starting school, we really don’t want to, even if we rent the first year, have to move to another section of town when we buy a house.
We are feeling led to be close to the city center, but also in a neighborhood that has a real village feel.
Finding a school for the girls.
We’ve learned a few things about schools in Ireland that are very different than here. You can enroll your children in any school you want. You don’t need to live in the district. At the same time, many of the schools have waiting lists.
This is another one of those decisions that is a bit more challenging since we are doing it from over here.
A few things to pray about.
- Planting a church means that there is not currently a church that we will be going on staff with & collecting a salary from.
- Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. (It has actually become more affordable over the past several years, but that is basically because…well, have you heard about the economy?)
- Speaking of economies, the exchange rate between the dollar & the Euro, still isn’t great. (something that costs €10 is $14.21 (USD) You can see how that starts to add up.
- We do plan to find jobs in Dublin once we move there. For me that will involve getting my residency status resolved first, and even then, with the economy being what it is, there simply are not a lot of jobs to be had at this point. Especially for foreign workers.
- So with all of that, one of the things Elizabeth and I will be doing over the next several months is raising monthly financial support. This was something we did when we were working in campus ministry, and even did for the first several years of our church plant here until the Ithaca Vineyard was able to hire me full-time. I’m sure for many of you this is something you are familiar with, and for those of you who aren’t, we’ll be explaining it a bit more here over the next few weeks. Of course if this is a way you’d be interested in partnering with us, please let us know.
As I mentioned, we’ll put up a web page that’ll have updated prayer requests. And of course there is our monthly email update that will also have prayer needs.
Thank you for taking the time to pray for our family, & for the Ithaca Vineyard! We look forward to sharing a lot of really good news.