International Church Planting: An Interview With Missionaries

Missionaries to Ireland, Mandy and Jason, share advice and encouragement from the front lines of mission work.

You and your family labored for many years without seeing many “results.” What helped you persevere and not waver in your faith? What encouragement would you give to other international church planting wives who are not seeing fruit from their work?

Thankfully, by the grace of God, we were mentored by our colleagues who had worked in another difficult country in Europe. They told us the work would be slow and taught us to count small, seemingly normal, insignificant things as huge successes. Results weren’t seen in our church meetings or “numbers,” but in getting to have a spiritual conversation with a person on the bus or having a family accept an invitation to our home for a meal. And if we were actually invited to someone’s home or to meet for a coffee, it was cause for celebration. Fruit from our labor comes in all shapes and sizes; some like berries and others like watermelon, but it is all still fruit nonetheless. And aren’t the smallest fruits sometimes the sweetest?

What do you want people in the States to know about your life and ministry? 

We are ordinary people trying to let our extraordinary God use us in His mighty plan for the world He loves so much. Here in Ireland, that means I worry about our sticky floors when a friend pops over for a “cuppa” (tea, that is). It means that Jason sometimes sighs when he has to switch from his pastor hat to his IT hat or accountant hat.

Our children kick balls that break things, write on the walls (and clothes and sofas), and yell at each other. But we pray for God to use our ordinary lives to show people His love. That friend of mine will hear an encouraging word while we chat over tea. Jason’s time spent working on our church website will draw a new person or family to our fellowship. Our children practice asking for forgiveness in our home and are now asking for and extending forgiveness to their friends. It’s never about us, but about letting the Lord work in and through us. And if you are ever in Ireland, pop on over for a cuppa and let’s encourage each other in the love of Jesus. Just mind your feet on our sticky floors!

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Christine Hoover
Christine is a popular blogger and ministry partner to her husband, Kyle. Together they planted Charlottesville Community Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. The church seeks to reach out to University of Virginia students, young professionals, and growing families. She is also the author of "The Church Planting Wife" (Moody, February 2013)