“Ireland. Here I am. Here you are. Is this all real?”

Categories: Intercultural Studies Blog, Student Stories

Ellianna is a third-year Intercultural Studies student who’s originally from Wisconsin. Her internship led her unexpectedly to Ireland. She wrote this post reflecting on her cross-cultural experience so far.

Here I am
Here you are
Is this all real?

Forever rolling green hills
Forever supply of grazing sheep
Forever beautiful accents

Cold rain
Cloudy days
Sacred and sparse
Sunny days

It’s beautiful

To see this part of the world
Green upon green
Narrow, winding roads
Buildings older than my home country
It still hasn’t clicked yet that this will be home
for the next 8 months

I have now become a part of a team
Who is passionate about seeing the church grow
In a land less with than 1.5% Evangelical Christian
Reaching the unreached

This team has gathered from all around the world-
Germany, Korea, Switzerland
France, Brazil, The Netherlands
Australia, Ireland, Canada
(Who would have thought I’d serve with another girl from Wisconsin)
This team has a culture of it’s own
all together for one purpose

So here I am
Learning to wear a few different hats
Administrative assistant and hospitality
Helping out the office in any way that I can
Feel free to call the office and
you’ll most likely be greeted by my voice,
“Hello, this is OM Ireland. How can I help you?”

Joining different teams for different outreaches
like going to schools and doing gospel presentations
with students who may have never touched a Bible before
Or joining the Big Red Bus team and doing street ministry
offering free coffee and tea on the bus as a way
to build relationships with locals
in hopes of pointing them to

One other thing I’ve been able to be a part of
is something I didn’t expect

Once a week I join a family from
Abbotsford, BC (crazy, I know)
and we go to a hotel
where about 200 Syrian refugees live
Drinking cup after cup of tea,
we just go to hang out and see how they’re doing,
helping them practice English, trying to learn Arabic from them,
listening to their stories,
crazy, crazy stories
Realizing how much of this world I don’t know about
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them
I have no clue what all will come of this
but I’m so thankful for this opportunity

Through all this
I feel like I’ve only seen a glimpse
of this need for the Gospel
to be presented and lived out
to a nation where people are
constantly trying to do the best they can
hoping for the mercy of God
believing that works is what saves
when really it’s only by grace

O Ireland, look at Jesus…

[Ellianna’s full post continues on her blog. You can read the original version here]

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