Andrea Bamford - Our Gal in Ireland
In light of her past trips to Uganda and Sierra Leone, it shouldn’t be too surprising that our own Andrea Bamford is currently found out and about on the Emerald Isle of Ireland! A long-time part of our church family, Andrea has answered God’s call for adventure again as she participates in a training school and virtual outreach in Longford, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Dublin. Read on for more on this young woman in the midst of following God’s plan in this predominantly Catholic country.
“Out and about” looks a bit different than it may have in the past for many missionaries. Ireland itself has been on severe lock-down restrictions since December, only recently allowing two separate households to meet outside. This means no church meetings in person at all. Adaptation is key for Andrea and her fellow program participants, as they are usually assigned practical church internships after an initial two weeks in the program. These are now virtual internships with local churches that have allowed them to take advantage of some different opportunities.
One of these opportunities is the space a virtual meeting creates for a Christian population that on average only meets with 10-20 people at a time. She shares her church has just wrapped up a 4-week Zoom event that covered a few apologetic topics that answered questions such as, “Can we trust the Bible?” Participants logged in and asked some hard questions about Christianity, which may have been less comfortable for them if the meeting had been in person.
In addition to helping with this type of outreach and with church meetings, Andrea continues training for ministry with much reading and writing about the Bible and attending weekly biblical lectures. Her continued desire is to grow in her knowledge of the Lord and receive tools that will be helpful in whatever future ministry God places her in. She asks for ongoing prayer for the people of Ireland and in the lifting of intensive COVID restrictions around in-person meetings.
There is also a need for people to really come to see God as their source of life and not just part of a vague sense of spirituality or cultural Catholicism. Many still hold on to old suppositious beliefs and practices. Imagine how their lives would be forever changed by learning about Jesus’ love for each of them that goes so far beyond these things. Let’s keep holding Andrea and her team in prayer as they continue to follow God’s leading for her role in reaching the folks in Ireland for Him!