Heidi Koppen

In Ireland

When fear and inadequacies fade in faith

This last night I was studying 1 Timothy 1 with my good friend Danielle. Paul is entrusting Timothy with a huge responsibility to stay and charge the teachers and leaders in Ephesus not to swerve from the true doctrine of the gospel. They’re getting into endless studying of genealogies and speculations and misusing the law rather than being good stewards. Some have made shipwreck of their faith. Paul encourages Timothy with his own testimony of being such a sinner who God demonstrates perfect patients to and urges Timothy to stay. It sounded like Tim was about ready to move on to greener pastures but somehow is brave enough to accept this responsibility and take this charge to those teachers.

Wow, what a task for this young guy! As Danielle and I were digging into each part of this chapter we just thought, “I’m so thankful I’m not Timothy! Or Paul!”  But, then we realized that this life is full of facing difficult tasks that we don’t feel at all adequate for! In fact, I have it all too fresh in my mind how I felt about leading the team this last month. Having never been the local missionary and the official team leader at the same time, I felt fearful, unprepared and inadequate for this role. Funny thing is that that’s how most everyone on the team felt as we came together.


It makes me think of how terrified I was about driving! The girls were shaking in their boots thinking of going door to door, leading kids clubs and doing street evangelism. While I don’t have quite as much fear about those things, I was so so SO nervous about driving a large 7 passenger manual drive vehicle on these crazy, winding, hilly, narrow, Irish roads. But, I went for it and had two sessions of learning and practice before picking up the team and the car. It wasn’t totally smooth but I was able to get the hang of the gears. Those first days I had to unclench my knuckles from the steering wheel but by the end I was driving in the Dingle Peninsula on cliff edge roads like these!! \/


Here’s the other side of the same spot.


And on mountain passes (yes.. this is a two way road..)


If you had known the struggle I had with hill starts in the little driveway at Glen Maris… Ron had me try it at least 20 times saying that I had to do it three times without stalling before we could be done.. On these passes and driving with the team the Lord protected me so graciously! I still can hardly believe that I drove on those roads!! I want to keep these pictures as proof that there’s less to get worked up about than I think.


I was so worried about driving and leading the team and that these girls would implode before the end of the trip. But, somehow this group of introverted girls came together and faced their fears in a huge way. They were willing to follow all the directions that I gave, let me push them outside their comfort zones and go connect with complete strangers to face them with the bad and good news of their sin and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are pics of the day I was most impressed with the team- street evangelism that each was terrified to do, but when it was time, they didn’t waste a second. It was amazing to see

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Though I was very stretched and exhausted by the end of the three weeks, I’m so thankful for the experience of leading these amazing women and seeing the Lord work in the three cities in Ireland we visited. I’m telling you, reading Timothy last night brought up a whole slue of fears and emotions I have while facing this new life of mine here in Ireland. I want to be part of so much and am so burdened for the whole country but at the same time am so timid and fearful. I need your prayers and I’m sure I need urging and encouragement like Timothy got from Paul. But most of all, I need to get back to the basics of knowing who I’m serving. I need my motivation to be, “love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” 1 Tim 1:5. To start at the foot of the cross, pure and cleansed by His redemptive power, and have simple sincere faith in the only one adequate for what lies ahead.

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