Today Beki and I were discussing how we have now been in our house at 123 Marian Park for two years. That seems impossible, until I remember that lockdown has consisted of about half of that time. So what have we learned? First of all, nothing happens quickly here, getting to know people and earning their trust takes time. The locals are usually eager to meet the Americans and hear why they have moved here, but moving beyond that requires proving yourself. So we are working on being stable and dependable, not just for Ireland, just as a rule. Whether we like the lockdown or not, it is affording us time and forcing us to be patient.
We have also learned that serving in a different country during a pandemic lockdown requires intentionality, flexibility, and actively seeking opportunities to serve and foster relationships. Prior to lockdown, our ministry mainly consisted of travelling and performing music and the conversations before and after concerts. Now, we spend a lot of time helping our church’s online service, checking on others, and walking and conversing with people locally. Being proactive and intentional through this change has been well worth learning and practicing. However, if our norms were in place, it may have taken much longer for us to develop this trust and focus.
What grains of wisdom can be gleaned from all of this? One thing is that God does and requires what He wishes, regardless of our expectations. This can be both frustrating and a relief. Would we want to serve a God that we could debate or outhink? Will we grow if we are not challenged or stretched? These are not new concepts to mature believers as much as helpful reminders. God is not surprised by covid-19 nor is He unprepared. We are called to serve and follow God, period, regardless of circumstance or difficulty, and today, we are grateful for God’s gift of our little Irish home, which is becoming a place for lessons learned, ministry opportunity, and God-willing, meeting the needs of others.
To find out more about Team Kerkman, visit modernday.org/field-workers/team-kerkman