Angel and I have been extremely blessed by all of the kind and generous friends who have been praying for and have contributed to get us across the North Atlantic Ocean for our vision trip.
As of today we are 85% funded, so there's still time if support us if the Lord leads. Thank you!
Finding Faith in Ireland
Phone, Zoom and Skype calls, combined with emails and social media messages with Pastors, religious leaders and rural Irishmen all point towards the direction that Ireland desperately needs the "Fresh Wind" of the Holy Spirit to sweep through this beautiful country. Though some are searching for what the church has to offer, many prefer the religion of secularism and selfishness above anything else.
Now, we who believe in Jesus Christ know that though the battle has already been won, the Spiritual warfare will continue until His return. IT IS this warfare that rages on through the streets of Dublin and throughout the pastures of Ireland.
This vision trip will give us the opportunity to sit down with a number of pastors and leaders who are on the front lines of a gospel centered movement in Ireland. The privilege that we've had to connect with them over the last 6 months is beyond words. BUT now we have the blessing to fellowship face to face, experience what needs to be done, and witness what chains and walls the Lord is presently breaking down through their ministries.
What will our Vision Trip look like?
We'll be meeting with other European Leaders of Converge to dream big, discuss, and plan for what a Gospel centered movement looks like across Europe.
Converge Missionaries from across Europe, Mediterranean and Africa will be coming to together for the first time to learn, grow and be refreshed.
Vital time with AT-3 ministries as we further a deeper relationship and seek the Lord's direction for a future collaboration in ministry, in and throughout Ireland.
Getting our boots on the ground as we soak in, pray through, meet with and break down the areas of "revitalization, Strengthening and Planting" through the lens of Gods word guided by the Holy Spirit.
We are overwhelmed with Joy by the doors the Lord has already opened for us, even preparing us to go...want to know more? Read the "Visa Story" below.
Navigating the Immigration Landmines
When it comes to immigration it’s a whole other battlefield. You could only imagine the tension and absolute faith needed to tackle this journey, so here’s our story.
With our Vision Trip in Europe this summer Angel needed 3 Visas: Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The number 3 can be a bit underwhelming, but let’s enlighten you to the reality of how immigration works.
Rule #1 is that you can only apply for your visa 90 days out from departure and not a day before. What could only make matters more complicated is the infringement of Rule #2 your passport must be submitted to each consulate with each application. It’s truly unfathomable to comprehend how we attained not one, but all three visas with the time and application constraints laid before us. What the world and the immigration officials were telling us was impossible, God made completely possible, one by one.
Her very first appointment began with the UK consulate in Miami, thankfully not too far of a drive. With the utmost haste the trip was extremely brief: 4 hours there, 15-20 minute interview, and 4 hours back. The short trip could not compare to the estimated time the consulate gave us to receive the passport back-a gruelly 20 business days at the latest. Knowing our timeline we prayed and claimed that God would give us a miracle. Sure enough the very next business day we picked up a UPS package with her passport, but God didn’t stop there. Instead of giving the bare minimum that she had applied for the trip, she received a multiple entry visa for the UK. God was just showing off.
After the blessing of her UK visa from Miami, Angel was looking for the next available appointment for either the Irish or German consulate. It turned out that the earliest appointment for the German consulate out of the whole east coast was June 5th, so she had to pursue the Irish visa in the meantime. After filling out the application, there was no choice but to ship off her passport to the consulate in New York and pray it came back in time. We waited. After a week went past, there was no word and after the second week of silence she called the consulate to check in.
The conversation proceeded like this:
IC: “Your visa is still in processing. What type of visa are you applying for?”
A: “A multiple entry.”
IC: “Have you had an Ireland visa before?”
IC: “Well we don’t offer multiple entry visas for first time Ireland visa holders.”
At that point it was nerve wracking to say the least. Instead of becoming discouraged and anxious we took the opportunity to bend a knee in prayer knowing how essential the multiple entry is for our trip and the almighty power of God. He was testing us and our faith. We had to relinquish it all under his control. Time passed, but we still held faith and less than a week prior to her German consulate appointment, her passport arrived back from New York. Now that it was back, the ultimate question was the status of her visa. With complete joy Angel opened it up and wept after seeing that God had made a way for her to receive the multiple entry for Ireland despite the consulate’s doubts.
With 2 of the 3 visas secured Angel would simply comment “God has great plans in store for us, just look at what he is doing.” Arriving at the German consulate, we were both fully confident in what the Lord was going to do. No doubts whatsoever. With the appointment on Wednesday, her last and final visa arrived on our doorstep 2 days later. She received every single one. God is good.
After reading and sharing this story we encourage you to not look at how far we’ve come, but the extent to what God has done for us. Be encouraged friends that when God is in the midst of your journey and you trust him completely, there is nothing that he can’t triumph over. Even against all odds, his name will be glorified.
We are beyond blessed to adhere to the calling he has for us and can’t wait to share with you more when we return.
Christopher & Angel Harris, Missionary
Help Christopher and Angel lead a gospel centered movement to the least reached people groups in Ireland.