My name is Stephan Fleming and I have online chaplaincy ministry aspirations. I am Irish but living in Yorkshire in the UK at the moment. My parents came here when I was a young boy aged eleven as my father had just left the British army and at that time politically it was not possible to return to Ireland (The Good Friday agreement has now made it possible to reunite with my family).
I attend our local church. It only has a small congregation but it is growing all the time. The church is called Mosaic and is a joint Methodist and Pioneer project in a poor area of our town.
In my life, I have never really fit in or felt welcome in this country due to the prejudice against the Irish. I remember the signs in the guest house windows proudly saying ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’ (Well it was the 1970s). As a child, I had to make a conscious effort to develop a local accent and be invisible to avert the bullying (from adults, not other children as they hadn’t learned to be prejudiced yet). The signs are gone now but every now and then the nice mask people wear does slip (it is amusing watching them try to justify their comments when they find out I am Irish).
Things do usually turn out right in the end, even after they sometimes start out by seemingly going horribly wrong.
No matter how dark things get I always find that prayer helps and I have learned to overcome much and even reached the stage where I can start planning for the future.
I recently decided to buy a house. I found one online in the area I was looking for. It was a good price because the house was in need of some work. I went for it, provided the agent with proof of funding and paid my deposit and secured the services of a lawyer to look after my interests in the transaction. Weeks turned into months and the sale dragged on and on. I kept ringing and emailing the agent and then the bombshell that the person renting the house wouldn’t move out even though it was not their house. After much worry and prayer, another house in the same area became available for a similar price out of nowhere. It was double the size and on the main street rather than the first one which was a bit out of the way. I got my deposit back and bid successfully on the other house. My bid was accepted and things flew by and before I knew it I owned the house. It is obvious to me now that God didn’t want me to live in the first one. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
My dream is to seek out other misfits and broken people just like me and with God’s help, I am sure that we can piece together again the broken pieces of ourselves.
I really consider myself fortunate to have been led to Christian Leaders Institute website and hope to learn a lot. I think my aspirations are growing more towards online chaplaincy as I think there is a real need in this cyber world.
Learn about ordained minister study programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.