Hope Ireland Missions — Chris and Larena Johnston

Exciting Developments

Greetings loved ones! We hope you all had a great Easter, as
we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ! We pray
that you’re doing well, and that God’s favor is all over your lives. This
month, we saw the wheels starting to turn on our progress towards the
Galway City Center location, and the beginnings of the church in general.
We are finally caught up on much of the work we were behind on, since
commuting to Dublin for the church plant shadowing process. The Lord
spoke to my heart that we need to find a small season of rest, and from that
place of rest begin to launch out into this next season of ministry. I suppose
rest can look different to different people, but for us it’s still restful to
continue meeting with people over coffees and lunches. We get such an
excitement about connecting with people, sharing our vision for the church,
getting to know new people, and investing in their lives.

Some of you on Facebook may be following our recent
development about the city center location we’ve been seeking and praying
for. Last week the perfect property came up! I had subscribed for
notifications from a website that lists the commercial lettings in Galway.
When I saw the email I received about this property, I was immediately on
the edge of my seat. Larena and I had written up a list of qualities we were
looking for in the perfect property and prayed God would help us know the
place by the list. From the research we had been doing, we figured the best
location would be a ground floor retail property with a mostly open floor
plan, but if possible a space for an office and a space for kids to play. We
also envisioned a space in close proximity to the main pedestrian area. The
problem with many of the ground floor retail locations in this area is that
they are nearly twice the amount of rent that we are budgeting for. On the
flip side, office spaces that are generally more affordable have all been
either too small, shared with other businesses, or in very bad shape. Among
other details, we envisioned a space with a lot of natural light, a kitchenette
that we can use to make meals for the homeless, and nice flooring (so we
wouldn’t have to rip up disgusting carpets). This property has all of that!
The only thing that is different than what we had on our list is that it’s not
a ground floor retail space. This is actually fine with us, however, because
it’s classified as an office space! That means it has the retail type space we
were hoping for (with a large open space and two smaller spaces), and it’s
at the office space price (half the cost). We didn’t even think that was
possible! Please keep this in prayer. We want to be in God’s will through
all of this. We have applied, sent over our detailed bio and references, and
as of the time of writing this newsletter we’re waiting to hear back if the
landlords accept us as tenants. From there we will hire a solicitor to have
a look over the contract and then we will proceed.

If we get into this space, we will need to begin outfitting it for
our purposes. We have furniture and decor in mind, and it will be a bit
of a project, but we will see if some of the people we’ve been connecting
with might help us paint and prepare the space. There will be a lot of
work, and a decent investment into the furnishings, but God is with us!
He continues to connect us with people who have a heart for our ministry.

This past newsletter I talked about an individual who took it
upon themselves to connect us with their home church. As a result, that
church stepped up with a donation that helped us cover a huge need that
arose, as a result of the recent oil crisis. Praise the Lord, another individual
had the same thought, and before we had even mailed out the last
newsletter, another church partnered with us! This is exactly what we will
need moving forward with this City Center space! We can’t travel to the
States and itinerate like most missionaries at this stage of life. All we can
do is use social media and word of mouth. Interestingly, God always
seems to bring people in our path at the right time!

Excitement is building within our support base and we thank
God for it! We absolutely love receiving the messages of encouragement,
the emails, and the prayers. We also love hearing about how God is
blessing those who have been such a faithful blessing to us and our
ministry. It’s an answer to our prayers. Recently, I received an email from
one of our donors that they received a new position at work, praise God!
As a result of their promotion, they are committing to increase their giving
significantly! The generosity of our donors blows us away, as does their
heart for the people of Galway that we love so much! Each of our donors
mean so, so much to us. We have the BEST supporters in the world!
Whether it’s $10 a month or $100 a month, every bit counts and our
gratitude is endless for the sacrifice and commitment you all continue to
show. God bless you all!

Last week, Larena also received a very encouraging message
from a woman we have known for some time. Years ago, when we met
her, we had no idea she had an extensive history in the sex industry. After
she told us, we were shocked. But, it didn’t keep us from loving her and
her husband the way Jesus would. They ended up moving to France, but
we kept in touch over the years. As it turns out, her lifestyle had a serious
effect on her ability to bear children, and they were in a state of
hopelessness. However, Larena continued to pray for her, encourage her,
and share resources with her. At the end of last year, she gave birth to a
beautiful healthy baby girl! We were so excited for them. Earlier this
month she sent Larena a message at the most perfect time, thanking her
for her love and support. She recognized that Larena’s steadfast faith and
prayers was in itself an inspiration. It’s these connections that keep us
going. We pray that this relationship will lead to their entire family’s
salvation. Thank you for continuing to invest in our lives and mission, so
we can continue to reach people for Christ! ~The Johnstons

We would be honored
if you would pray with
us concerning:
Please pray for this space
in town, that if it is where
God would have us,
everything will fall into
Please pray for the
individuals and churches
hearts to be softened and
ready to help us with this
next stage of ministry, that
is SO outside of ourselves!
Please pray blessings on
every donor who has
supported us over the
years, for massive
blessings, 100 fold in their
Please pray for Galway
city, for her people, and
for hearts that are willing
to accept Jesus Christ as
their saviour