Scott and Andrea Chatterson
My name is Scott Chatterson, and this is my lovely wife Andrea. We are high school sweethearts and have just celebrated our 19th years of marriage. God has blessed us with 3 beautiful children. Audreanna is 17, Gaeren is 14, and Camden is 10 years old. We say that God has blessed us because we have had the amazing opportunity to see our children have hearts that love the Lord, want to serve Him, and they have been so supportive of this calling God has placed on our lives.
We have had a heart for missions for a very long time, and looking back we can see that our journey in missions began 14 years ago as God stirred in both of our hearts; stepping forward at a missions conference where we surrendered as willing servants to go anywhere and do anything God would ask of us. We have seen God’s leading and guiding through these last 14 years, allowing us the wonderful privilege of serving in the local church in eastern and central Canada in full time pastoral work; ranging in ministry from young children to senior saints. We have been so blessed by God’s faithfulness in these ministries, and can see how He has been growing a passion in our hearts all the while for discipleship. We love helping people build a relationship with Christ that has a solid foundation that is deeply rooted and established in His word; in order that they may be the most effective and productive for the Lord’s work and ultimately for His glory.
Our heart for discipleship is taking the foundational truths of Scripture and sharing how they apply to all our lives and how we can each live these truths out so that our beliefs in Jesus and our relationship with Him permeate every part of our lives, every day of our lives. Discipleship is partnering with people, and taking them on a spiritual journey to a fuller, deeper understanding of God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Also, the truth about man’s sin, God’s plan of salvation, and truth about God’s revealed will for the church and our individual lives. Being a Christ follower is having a faith anchored on the truths of Scripture.
Over the last 10 years of full time ministry, we have seen men, women, and teenagers taken on a journey through purposeful discipleship. There have been those who are new believers, unbelievers seeking, those who thought they were saved and then realized they were not, those returning to their faith in Christ, and those who are seasoned saint looking to be refreshed on the basic doctrines of our faith. This diversity has greatly encouraged interactions that are transparent and real; forming relationships that will last a lifetime. Often we have discipled in a group setting, but we have thoroughly enjoyed one-on-one discipleship as well.
The Lord has shown us that the greatest joy and passion we have in serving Him has come through discipleship. In the winter of 2014, after an amazing night of both of us leading a discipleship small group class, Andrea and I were sitting by the fire and we were sharing a repetitive narrative that went something like this, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do this full time!” We honestly felt and still feel like we could eat, live, and breathe discipleship. Serving the Lord in this way truly makes our hearts sing.
That night, we began praying about this vision of full time discipleship. We did not know how God was going to answer this prayer, but we knew He was the one who had laid it on our hearts. 10 months later, in the Fall of 2014, is when God answered our prayers in the most amazing way. Our good friends who were missionaries with TEAM for over 9 years in Zimbabwe, had come to visit, to be a part of our churches 185th Anniversary celebrations. It was during our time together that a conversation led to Ireland and the need for people who would build relationships with the Irish and be full time disciplers. It literally felt like God had just placed this on our laps and handed us this information, for us to then inquire further. Together, our hearts leapt because to combine a passion in ministry with a country that God had been already allowing us to become familiar and fascinated with, was truly amazing.
You see, our middle son Gaeren, had completed an extensive research project on Ireland shortly after our initial prayers for full time discipleship...approximately 6 months prior to us hearing about this ministry in Ireland. We had watched hours of BBC documentaries on the history of Ireland, had interacted with Irish people, and had fallen in love with the Celtic sound to their music; all through this research project! After Gaeren’s report was completed, God just kept bringing people into our lives that were either Irish, had Irish ancestry, or had visited Ireland for various reasons. We just kept falling deeper in love with this country and its people. God had been doing a work in our hearts well before we heard of this ministry, and we praise Him for His leading and guiding; for Him replacing a fascination with the people of Ireland to an absolute passion and love for them.
We inquired on TEAM’s website about this ministry and from our earliest beginnings with TEAM, we have felt that God has orchestrated the whole process.
Currently, we have just begun our prayer and financial support raising and our goal is to raise our full financial monthly and one time outgoing expenses by May 2016, to then be in Ireland by July 2016.
Audreanna, Gaeren, & Camden
Our first year in Ireland will be cultural studies in Sword's (just above Dublin) with leadership from TEAM and Sword's Baptist Church. Our second year, we'll be relocated within Ireland to an area with the greatest need; joining with a local evangelical church there to begin building relationships with the Irish people in and outside the church, with the ultimate goal of one-by-one discipling Irish believers, who will in turn disciple others, to build the body of Christ in Ireland. In the years to follow, our prayer is that we'll then establish partnerships with other local evangelical churches to train and equip their leadership and congregational members in how to disciple others.
If this vision the Lord has given us for Ireland is accomplished, then we will not replace Irish leadership, but rather equip and nurture the current and next generation of national Irish leaders to disciple the body of Christ, for long term health within their local church and greater community. Our goal and vision is to see Irish discipling Irish, from coast to coast, thus having the greatest impact on their own people.
Most people in Ireland would call themselves Christians, but very few understand the gospel or think a relationship with Jesus Christ is possible. Much of Ireland has moved away from the church and could be considered post-Christian.
Their spiritual temperature is lukewarm with apathy, suspicion, and anger describing their response to the gospel. As one Irish person describes it, ?spreading the gospel is like plowing concrete.? 84% of the nation claim to be Catholic, but it is in name only, with only 14% regularly attending mass.
There are 4.8 million people currently in Ireland and of that great number, statistics show that only 1.5% of Irish people are Evangelical Christian. This makes them the lowest percentage in the English speaking world. Within that very small group of believers, how many have been purposely discipled? In fact a very low percentage of Irish believers, feel that they have been properly trained and equipped by their local church to witness and share their faith. 60% of the Evangelical churches in Ireland are less than 10 years old and average 50 people.
Primary Prayer Request:
As you can tell, we?re excited for this opportunity and we?re inviting you to be involved, by committing to regular prayer for our family as we desire to make a spiritual impact in Ireland. Specifically, we?d like to ask you to pray that:
1. God would continue to guide and direct us to people who will partner with us long-term both in prayer and financial support.
2. God would give us wisdom and discernment for the upcoming decisions we will be making for our children's education, housing, visa's, etc.
3. God would begin to prepare the TEAM missionaries/leadership in Ireland for our arrival and that God would give them wisdom and discernment in how we will work together to be the most effective and productive in serving the Lord, and reaching the Irish people.