Heidi Koppen

In Ireland

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Heidi Koppen

Gorey Teen Week

Please Pray!!

There is an amazing group of teens in Gorey (some are in the picture above), who have hearts for growing in their faith and sharing it with others. I have been sooooo blessed to know these crazy cats and help with their monthly bible study all school year. Now a couple of 17 year old guys and I are organizing and leading a week of discipleship equipment and outreach. The mornings are going to be a study and going over a series called ‘life on mission’. We will have lunch together and then they’re inviting friends in the afternoons to some fun activities (like ultimate frisbee, or beach or BBQ). We will have a ‘halftime break’ in the activity when a couple of teens have the opportunity to share with the whole group, their story of encountering God and receiving salvation. (Aren’t they amazing!)

As you can imagine, we need loads of prayer! Please share with anyone who would pray with us. We start tomorrow with going over basics of the gospel and how to go about sharing your story. I am so excited and I can tell that God has lead this. It’s going to be so fun and crazy and deep and Lord willing, life changing. I’m praying all of us are amazed by His power.

 

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.

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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!! \/

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Here’s the other side of the same spot.

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

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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.

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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.

Pray for ‘eteam’ 2016

Hello my dear friends,
I just wanted to ask for prayer for the team of women that I’ll be leading for the next three weeks. [Sheeba, Kathryn, Tamara, Shelby and Leah] They all arrive tomorrow morning and I will drive them home in a rented 7 seater MANUAL DRIVE car!!! Please pray for all of us in the next couple of days that we would be well bonded as we will just be meeting and that we can get organized and over jet lag quickly. Pray for me that I would be able to lead them well be able to make loads decisions along the way. Pray for the people who we will be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ’s salvation with and for our hearts to be soft to His leading.

This is a beautiful land and has amazing people in it. I’m so thankful for these women who are willing to give their time and make the effort of getting outside of their comfort zone to come offer light and truth in this place. Wanting to focus on Christ’s heart of compassion for people that moved Him to action. Would you join in with us and commit to drenching the efforts in prayer? This is His work and we desperately need Him.

You can follow what we’re up to on www.facebook.com/eTeams

Prayer request for tragedy in Gorey

I would love prayer for teenagers in the youth group with the bible study in Gorey that I’ve been involved with. This week a 14 year old girl from their school died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage during her gaelic football match. It’s made such an impact on the community that the school closed for the day of her funeral. I can’t imagine what it must have meant for all who knew her and for all who were at the match as well. Please be praying for her parents, coaches, teachers and students of Gorey Community School which may be many as it is the largest school in all of Ireland. Please pray specifically for the teens I work with who know Christ as their Lord and savior that they would have opportunity to share Christ’s love and comfort to everyone at the school who are so shaken and really shine light as they may be able to face this tragedy differently than those around them because of the hope and truth they personally stand on. I’m praying that God might be able to draw young people to Himself as they are faced with the reality of how fragile we are and how important it is to know Him.

First Endeavor with Community Kid’s Club

I’ve been praying and waiting for God to give me direction as to what kind of ministry I can start up. This last month He kept burdening my heart for this little community of 12 apartments in a small cul de sac tucked away around the corner from me. I decided to see if they’d be okay with me putting on a three day kids club over easter break in their lawn and the response was great. Now, this was way out of my comfort zone for me to organize a kids club for little children, but I was so sure God was putting it on my heart so I just wanted to be obedient with it.

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A lot of prep work went into planning crafts, stories, and activities and getting a team together. It went amazingly!! God is so incredible. We had everything outside so we needed nice weather and that’s just what we got :] The third day was supposed to be rainy and cold but God parted the clouds and it ended up being sunny and warm for our egg hunt. I almost cried because this miracle of the weather was so sweet of God to provide for these kids. The first day we had about 8 children come out, the second day we had 12-15 kids and on the third day we had 27 kids by the end! It was so exciting that they had invited some friends and relatives from other neighborhoods. Afterwords we had a nice chat and a cup of tea with some of the mums before packing up.

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Most of the kids were really young, about 3-6 so I planned to do a craft with a bible story and we sang the same songs every day. For the first day we planted seeds with cotton balls in a clear cup and talked about the easter story of Christ dying for our sins and being buried and raising to life on the third day. Day two we talked about Noah’s ark and how God made a way to save him and we need to be saved too. We made paper boats and had face painting (It was a big hit). The third day we made sheep with cotton balls and popsicles sticks and google eyes and the story was how Jesus is the good shepherd and we are like sheep who have ‘gone astray’ and we need to come to Jesus. Then to end all the activities was the egg hunt that went amazingly well.

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So thankful for God’s opportunity to get to know this close knit little community. So thankful that I didn’t mess everything up ;] I actually felt like this was a learning experience that God wanted to give me more confidence that with His leading and total involvement we’re more capable of starting some cool things than we know. And now I’m praying that I would know what to do next so serve this sweet community. I mentioned coming to do some activities during the summer and they said it would be great. God is good :]

Rest… a command?

This week I’ve been thinking through a novelty idea.. God commanded His people to rest. It’s part of His law to set aside a day once a week to set it apart as holy to Him. He talks about giving cattle a rest and even letting the land have it’s time of rest after seven years of farming. He was so serious about it that He warned the Israelites that if they didn’t follow instructions for the farming sabbath and year of jubilee that He would have them captured and drug off to a different land so that the land of Israel would be empty and get rest for all the years of rest that were skipped. Later on, what do we see?- the Israelites being taken into captivity for exactly the amount of time God described.

This month and a half since I got back from my trip to the states has been SO FULL! I was worried it would take me a while to get back into the swing of things. But, it’s been amazing how how many opportunities God has brought to me and how much happened in such a short amount of time. I’ve met quite a few new amazing friends my age, discovered an international outreach, joined zumba in the community, connected with college girls, started some door to door (I’m a bit rusty), visited a lady who speaks to spirits, went to a ladies conference, started the ball rolling for organizing a children’s Easter club in a close neighborhood, and some more fun stuff. So much was going on I didn’t even take time to write anything on this blog (sorry). But, I love being so busy and using up every moment of my day. Life’s but a vapor right! There comes a time, however, where you’ve gone on none-stop for too long.. Let’s just say I wasn’t being very wise about taking my Sabbath rest seriously (something I’ve always had trouble wrapping my mind around) and I got sick with a bad cold/flu that completely knocked me off my feet for over a week. I was canceling and saying no to things, can you imagine! Me saying ‘no’ so I could stay home and rest?! ‘wha’

-Sometimes God puts you on your back so you look up. Maybe I should learn to put up my feet every once in a while so I don’t have to get knocked off of them..

Visit to States – Emily’s Wedding

This end of December to the end of January I was so blessed to be able to have a visit to the states for my sister Emily’s wedding and was able to come early enough for Koppen family Christmas. Here’s a pic of my dad sharing some thoughts from the word before we opened presents (I love my family!). What a gift to be there.

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It was so nice to be able to help Emily and Drake get ready for their wedding and spend some good time with them before the big day :] Drake is a godly man and I’m so thankful that Emily will be well taken care of. Pray for them as they wait on a job in Drake’s field to open up that will determine where they will live for the next couple of years. They both have missions experience and are open and willing to serve the Lord where ever they go.

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It was great to be with my family and to visit my church families for a visit but I felt away from Ireland too long! I kept asking God to use the time and thought He might have a few things in mind. I was very excited to meet up with Dave and Jaime Coulson who are a young family very much interested in ministry in Ireland. Dave is graduating form Emmaus Bible College this May. God’s timing is amazing that I was able to finally meet up with them as they are seeking the Lord on what their next step should be now. Please pray for them as they are at the very beginning stages of taking steps of faith to see if God might open doors for them to come to Ireland to work with young families and teenagers. Pray for them also if God’s plan is to have them wait- I definitely know that path well and the lessons/experiences that can come from it.

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Please pray for me now as I’m thrilled to be back and ready to see what the Lord has for me! There are three or four different college age christian girls who I’ve met up with last week and am praying about getting a study group together with them so they can have some support in the college world. I’m also trying to think ahead to what kind of outreach we can get going this summer for youth in the area.

Thank you for keeping me and especially Ireland in your prayers!

Ladies Christmas Craft Night in Drum

The Lord gave me another great speaking opportunity up in the Cavan area with Drum Gospel Hall. Liza McMeekin organizes an annual ladies craft night during the Christmas season. They always have a speaker give a thought and their speaker this year their speaker wasn’t able to do it so they thought of asking me. It was so great to be able to share a thought with about 60 moms and daughters from their community. God is so good to give me opportunities to speak already!

I gave a “Christmas thought” talking about the image we get of Christ as a baby, and the image of Him on the cross -both moments of the most humble and vulnerable positions He ever was. I had us take a minute to think of the image Revelation 1 gives us of Christ in His glory, reaching out with His right hand to touch John in gentle compassion. This gives more light on the humility it took for Him to go to the positions of coming as a human and going to the cross in order to provide for us to have a restored relationship with Him.

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Thoughts on the waves

I know this is a terrible quality picture-but it represents the sights and experiences of the sea that brought to life some thoughts of the Lord.

During days of constant busyness like this week, Kaitlyn recently suggested that we make sure to have ‘nature time’ to just go to the sea and breathe/think. Today after a children’s craft morning and before going to a couple of events at different churches I needed this ‘sea shore time.’

It was stormy today and dark when we got to the shore. Man! The waves were so powerful! I climbed down to a big rock jetting out in the water and the waves crashed loudly all around me. I was almost blown off with the wind and got splashed a bit as well. I couldn’t help but be impressed with a stormy sea and think of the two nights where the disciples were on a boat in the middle of very similar roaring dark waves. It’s one thing to think of stormy waves but another to be standing in the midst of it. The time Peter came out to meet Jesus walking on the water and the time He was sleeping in the boat -They were afraid of the stormy waves and Jesus rebukes their lack of faith and calmed the storm like it was nothing. -It’s like He’s saying, hello! I know there’s a storm but do you not realize who’s in it with you?! Even the waves obey His command. – sometimes we need to “Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:10)

Please Pray- Speaking at Dinner

Please pray for me-tonight Shankill Bible Church is putting on a community ladies Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday dinner. I’ll be giving a short message at the end. Please pray that I will clearly give the gospel as well as share something encouraging/challenging for everyone.