Ireland Bible Training
My name is John. I broke the sound through barrier this year and turned 50. I am married to a fantastic woman, Erica, for four years now on November 14. I have two wonderful sons from my first marriage. I am currently pastoring a local church in the town I live.
I came to faith in Jesus Christ in March 2001, when I had TOTALLY given up on life. Life had presented itself to be meaningless and hopeless in all my pursuit of love, social climbing, happiness, contentment and financial gain. I had worked in the automobile industry as a toolmaker for 23 years where I had many problems, including a serious hand injury caused by an accident with a hydraulic press and the insertion of a pacemaker due to stress at the age of 27. My marriage had also come to a cross road; it too was falling apart. Empty inside and with no purpose to living I was having constant thoughts of ending my life. Having recognized I needed professional help, I admitted myself to a psychiatric hospital. There I was diagnosed with depression and a mood disorder.
It had been 3 months since my release from the psychiatric hospital and I was now facing the family courts for separation and divorce! All my past issues, present pain, rejection, hurt, confusion coupled with my psychiatric illnesses and awareness of my own wrong doings ‘SIN’ eventually caught up with me. This weight of guilt and shame managed to manifest itself in me by desiring to remove the pain by hanging myself. The thought almost became a romance in the planning of how I would do it!
On that evening I went to say a ‘silent’ good bye to my parents…but I was unable to hold back the pain and tears inside. (God was on my case) Having recognized my deep distress they called a local Pastor who came and explained how much God loved me. He explained, God gave Jesus, His Son, as a ransom to die for me, for the guilt, inner pain and shame I was experiencing. The Pastor led me in a prayer of repentance for my sin and to ask Jesus to come into my heart. I was so overwhelmed by this conviction; I wept deeply asking God to forgive me.
There and then I surrendered TOTALLY to the Lordship of Jesus and asked him to fill me and change me. Within seconds I could sense the darkness leaving. Suicidal thoughts were displaced with an inner happiness, a joy! The weight lifted off my shoulders and my mind became incredibly peaceful. This reassurance of His love and grace would assist me in the painful years ahead of court hearings, divorce and the daily disconnection with my children.
Losing everything…marriage, family, health, home, job, savings and allowing Him to turn everything around for my good was a very slow and painful journey. But I was more determined than ever to get to know God personally. He gave me a new (and healthy) heart as the pacemaker was removed too! So with a hunger for His word I have done all I can to pursue the call of God on my life. It took me some years to recognize that God had indeed called me into ministry. He used His word, the Holy Spirit and put many people across my path to encourage me in the pursuit of ministry and continues to do so.
I have been pastoring for the last seven years and at the moment I am pastoring a local Church fellowship here in Carlow, Ireland. We are a church plant out of Portlaoise, Co Laois since 2012. My wife Erica is a teacher by profession who is also studying with CLI’s Ireland bible training. She is a fantastic supporter to me in so many ways and looks after the children’s ministry in our church.
As many of you can imagine being involved in a church plant involves many challenges. We all want to see things happen quickly, but digging trenches and foundations is not easy.
However, I can trust God for everything and that encourages me to pursue what He has put in my heart, which include: to be a more effective leader, to have a closer walk with the Lord; to rightly divide his word; to see leaders raised up to take their rightful place; to see the people in my home town, county and country transformed and set free by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For all this to happen I know I need more training and equipping. I have had some basic theological training in the past, but had to travel on low budgets, which placed a burden at the time. CLI’s Ireland bible training offers me the opportunity to study modules at home online for free, which I would normally have to travel for and not for free. Having a greater understanding of doctrines and theology will assist me in dividing the word rightly. I can see that CLI is a serious organization with very high quality training and I have no problems with recommending it. It will enable me to introduce others who are called that are unable either to travel, afford training or a seminary qualification. In turn, CLI will assist me to raise up effective trained leaders at a greater pace to see a move of God in and beyond my country. Thank you for this opportunity to have studies for Ireland bible training.
I would appreciate your prayers regarding my marriage, family, studies and ministry. May all these areas be in balance and may God raise more people to assist us in what He has started. Please, I ask you to also pray that the hearts of the people here would be open and softened to receive God’s message. Thank you.
If you are interesting in taking this Ireland Bible Training into local ordination click here to find out more details. Enjoy the comfort of being able to train in ministry online for free with our Ireland Bible Training Courses!
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