OM sows seeds at National Ploughing Championships

06 Oct, 2011 | Ireland
OM International
Face painting as a means of building relationships at the National Ploughing Championships with OM Ireland.
From 20-22 September, over 190,000 people attended the 2011 National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co. Kildare. And OM Ireland’s community outreach team took part in the fun by sharing about God with visitors to one of Ireland’s biggest farming events.

Over 18 people represented OM Ireland: four staff, the Immersion Team, a group from the U.S. and a couple from Singapore. Partnering with the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland, the team provided a café atmosphere by serving complimentary tea, coffee and sweets to passers-by. They also offered free face painting and balloon animals.  

Participant Julia, from Germany, was working in the tent and sat down next to two young boys, but couldn’t find the words to start sharing about God. “I had asked God before the Championships to give me a signal to speak to people,” she said. “Through a very tiny hole in the roof of the tent, a small sunbeam hit me directly in the face. It was clear to me God wanted me to speak to these boys. And I just shared the gospel for the first time in my life.”

Another participant, Lindsay, from Canada, was talking with a group of teen girls and was shocked to discover these girls didn’t know who Jesus was or what He had done for them. "I’d never seen something like this in all my life," said Lindsay. "Someone who didn’t know about Jesus? Impossible! This experience really made me realise the reality of the country’s need for Jesus."

It’s one thing to read about the state of religion in Ireland, but a totally different thing to experience it for yourself.

One afternoon, a group of teens approached team member Eric, from the U.S. The leader of the group asked Eric a few good questions, but Eric could tell the teen was mocking him. The group walked away but then returned 10 minutes later, and they talked some more. Throughout the conversation, Eric realised that the leader of the group was affected in some way by what he said. “He told me he couldn’t look in my eyes because he believed me when he did,” remembered Eric.

Throughout the event, team members also handed out Christian literature on different parts of the site. One of these team members, Seong Bok, from South Korea, was nervous because of her limited English, so she decided to pass out as much literature as she could to get the gospel into people’s hands.

As she did so, Seong Bok was reminded of the verse from 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV): "The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

"Through this message, I realised the honesty of God again, and I expect God to be at work in Ireland,” said Seong Bok.

Rachel and Jeremy, a couple from Singapore, had heard about the declining church in Europe and decided to come this year for the first time to get to know the culture. But, they knew that visiting as tourists wouldn’t give them an accurate picture. So, the couple made a few inquiries about OM Ireland and the outreach in September.

“If it weren’t for this opportunity, we would have just come as tourists, and we wouldn’t have been able to interact with the locals and meet people,” said Jeremy. “That has been very special to us. It’s one thing to read about the state of religion in Ireland, but a totally different thing to experience it for yourself."

Interested to experience what God is doing in Ireland firsthand? Find out more about short-term outreach opportunities here.

Credit: OM International · © 2011 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

OM’s role in the Church is to mobilise people to share the knowledge of Jesus and His love with every generation in every nation. OM pioneers and leads initiatives to redeem lives, rebuild communities and restore hope in over 110 countries.

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