DESCRIBE WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO & THE COMMITMENT YOU HAVE MADE TO ANSWER THAT CALL:
About six years ago, God burdened my heart for young adults in Ireland. There is a big sense of isolation that can hit here as a Christian and it is very difficult for young Christians not to just sink into a secular or harshly religious culture. I feel that God has called me to come along side believers, especially youth, and show them the amazing privilege they have of knowing the Living God as their Savior. Evangelism is a huge part of my life so I want to pass on a passion to be thrilled in this walk with God and to share this gift with anyone around.
To answer the call? First off, I’ve moved to this country. There’s need everywhere. I very much felt more useful in the states, but it took answering the specific burden to leave all I know and to actually move here. So far I’ve just been laying ground work by getting to know people, helping out with existing ministries, and getting to know the church here in Shankill. God has already blessed the networking and investment in the community. He has provided a way to start a Kids’ Club and Youth Group with 8 teens/preteens. I’m ready to devote the rest of my life to the work here as God provides Visa’s and continued direction. Though it’s been a challenge, I am thrilled to be here!
TELL US ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MINISTER TO:
There are those in the older generation who are much more traditional in their mindset. When you spend time with these people the clock stops. You take your time to have needed chats with a good cup of tea. A lot of people in their 20’s and 30’s have a real, Dublin City, rough and tough way. You need to be used to them “slagging,” which is their way of making fun of you or jokingly putting you down. I’ve learned that if anyone is slagging you, it’s because they like you and just want to “have a bit of the banter.”
The younger generation is faster paced and wants to have a good time. They’re very much into social media that’s influenced by America so it’s fairly easy for me to connect with them joking about “dabbing” or YouTube clips. They’re excited to have anyone who wants to invest into their lives or listen to them. They mostly learn or see a lot of Catholic religion in their schools, so it’s really interesting to hear their questions as they work out how things of the Bible connect with real life. Unfortunately, with the older teens and college kids they begin to have atheistic mindsets even if they would call themselves Catholic. So, there’s a lot of mixed thoughts to sort out. Now, I must say that I’m around people of Dublin that seem to be very different from most of the rest of Ireland. Country folk are very laid back, but also a bit suspicious about hearing new thoughts.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN YOUR MISSION FIELD?
Honestly the most challenging thing for me is starting from scratch and building a foundation. When you move to a new country and start a new ministry, you have to realize that you’re taking in so much new information and everything is different. You’re learning new geography, different history, new ways of communicating, eating, acting, and even facing different ways of understanding the world around. It takes a long time to start from scratch, build up trust with people, and to get connected with more people in ministry. For me, coming from a place where I was so networked and active to only knowing a handful of people with nothing started or set up for me to enter into has been a challenge. It has been hard to work and wait patiently to see much movement.
HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?
You can pray that God would really show me step-by-step what He would have me do. I have a burden for the whole country, not just Dublin, and it’s hard to see how God could use me in that big of a work. Pray that I would have ears to hear His leading and that I would have faith to take steps to follow it.
DESCRIBE ANY FINANCIAL/MATERIAL NEEDS OF THE MINISTRY:
Just living in Dublin is quite expensive. My biggest expenses are housing and traveling by bus and train. It’s really hard for me to not be working because I’ve always had one or two jobs and paid for my own things. Currently I have a Visa that doesn’t allow me to work and to make money in Ireland. I live by individual donations from people in the States, so I never know what amount is coming in. It would be awesome to start praying that I would have enough to start pursuing an Irish driver’s license and to be able to get a car. That’s really dreaming big and sometimes I wish I was a ‘less expensive missionary,’ but if God brought me here I know He wants to provide.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE US WITH?
This year God has been showing me what I turn to for either comfort or a sense of accomplishment. My challenge for you is to ask, “What am I holding onto that is keeping me from enjoying Him more fully?”
A good way to find out is to think of what you really wouldn’t want to live without, even if it’s not a bad thing. It might be great, even ministry. But if it’s taking greater importance or you’re going back to it for a sense of value, it’s keeping you from fully enjoying God and what He has for you.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VERSE/QUOTE?
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. | Psalm 63:3
WHAT IS THE BEST/PREFERRED METHOD OF SENDING MONETARY GIFTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS MINISTRY?
You can give directly to my ministry through CMML. All donations are tax-deductible. Give online or via check made out to CMML:
CMML, Inc. P.O. Box 13 Spring Lake, NJ 07762-0013.
Please include this note/memo: This donation is for Heidi Koppen
The best ways to follow me are on Facebook or Instagram simply under Heidi Koppen. I also have a blog where I write things I’m learning or new things that are happening at heidikoppen.com