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Jessica Applegarth

My Story

God has brought me on a great journey throughout my life of learning to trust Him and not my plans, or even my own strength. This truth was brought to light again when God called me to leave everything that I had ever known and follow Him to Ireland! God has been in the process of drawing my heart to Europe since I visited Germany in 2011. During that visit, I was blown away by the spiritual darkness; churches were used more as museums than places of worship! Ever since that trip, God has been opening my eyes to the need for the Gospel throughout Europe, and specifically in Ireland. When I came across the need for a Youth Director at Swords Baptist Church, it was very clear that God was calling me to take a step of faith and follow Him. Throughout the process of applying and preparing to go, God has confirmed His call by opening doors that I had assumed would not have been opened to me. My prayer is that God will continue to lead and guide me as He continues to use my heart for discipleship, mentoring, and spiritual growth.

Ministry Focus:

My time in youth group as a teenager was incredibly formative to my Christian faith. Most of my friends "believed in Jesus" but their lives did not necessarily reflect that Jesus meant much to them. There were days that felt like going to church was not making that much of a difference to them or to me, but as I look back on those times, I realize that church and youth group were forming my worldview and helping me to see how life should be, according to what the Bible says.

I am so excited that God has called me into a ministry that was so influential in my own life! High school is a tough time of life, but having a strong church family that can come alongside teens and encourage them that it is okay to be different than the "other kids" makes it just a little bit easier. Many of the students in the Swords Baptist Church youth group are the only believers in their entire schools; they need leaders to encourage them and build them up into strong followers of God. What a blessing to be able to be a part of forming the next generation during one of their most difficult stages of life!

The People:

When people first hear the word "Missions," Europe is not what usually comes to mind. Historically the Church has had a strong presence in Europe, but over time this has turned from meaningful relationships with Jesus to cold history. Ireland has suffered from this trend as well. Catholicism is strong, but genuine relationships with Jesus are not. Evangelical Christians only make up 1.5% of Ireland's population; that is the lowest percent of Evangelicals in any English-speaking country! Swords Baptist Church is seeking to change that statistic and make Jesus known again in Ireland. The need for support of Irish believers and evangelism to unbelievers is great.

Primary Prayer Request:

My primary request is that the people of Ireland would find freedom in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course, to begin my participation toward this goal, I need to raise support and find partners who are willing to connect with me in this ministry through prayer, encouragement, and finances.

Please pray that God would be faithful to provide for Swords Baptist Church (SBC) as they are already fighting the good fight, and for me (as I go through this season of support-raising), please pray that God would give me strength to endure spiritual attack, and confidence to move forward in this step that God has called me to.

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