In an overwhelming vote the 8th amendment has been overturned in Ireland.
This was the news the past couple of weeks. The world watched as an amendment banning abortion was overturned in Ireland. What once was a predominantly Catholic nation with strong moral ethics is now "conforming to western liberal democracy." " Eamon Martin, the Archibishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland, said,"Irish culture had changed and that people had drifted away from the church." He also spoke of three groups now in Ireland. The first being the committed minority of church goers, second, the large group of people who were nominally or culturally Catholic, and third a new and growing group who reject the church and are hostile to its teaching. In our short visit we were able to witness all three groups and note the change. This growing trend away from the Christian roots of Ireland will only continue unless we are willing to pray and go and spread the love of Jesus. Eamon Martin gave this statement to the Catholic church in Ireland and it holds true for us as well. "The church must renew its commitment to support life, not just in words, statements and manifestos, but in deeds that reflect Jesus's loving care for human life at any stage." Ireland is in need of our prayers and yet it is ripe for the love of Jesus. God is doing amazing things through the faithful Christians there that are willing to serve Him. The church is growing and we look forward to helping with that! We are ready to go and to love the people that deeply need the love of Christ and a true relationship with Him. In case you are wondering, "Why Ireland? Why would this vacation place need missionaries." Let me share with you some statistics that show where the Island is headed.
According to a 2012 WIN-Gallup International poll, Ireland had the second highest decline in religious respondents from 69% in 2005 to 47% in 2012.
Those who considered themselves not a religious person increased 25% in 2005 to 44% in 2012.
In a 2007-2008 Gallup Poll, 42% of Ireland answered no to the question "Does religion occupy an important place in your life?"
In the 2011 Gallup poll, the same question was answered "no" by 53% of Irish.
There are fewer than 20,000 evangelicals who regularly attend church. Less than .5%. (Aontas)
This is the lowest percentage in the English speaking world.
Brendan and Nora had an exciting soccer season and played well. We enjoyed a lovely trip to Longview! You all were so kind in visiting with us and encouraging us. Mark had the privilege of meeting some new people one who has already become a partner. Thank you for your continued prayers for us and Ireland and all of Europe. You are so appreciated! This journey would never be possible without you paving the way.