Philip joined BMI as an Irish Mission Worker in November 1995. He works with the congregation in Arklow Presbyterian Church, which is in Co. Wicklow, along the southeast coast of Ireland.
Philip’s work revolves around people, whether it is children’s or youth clubs, visitation, bible studies or just building relationships with the aim of having people to follow Christ. Some of his regular outreach work includes a weekly children’s Bible club, a youth and teens club and regular bible studies.
Philip’s desire and aim is that God’s love will always be reflected not only in his beliefs but also in his behaviour, and that he will maintain an unswerving loyalty to Christ through his own personal relationship with the Saviour. Philip is married to Susan and they have one daughter.
A United Appeal video highlighting the work of Philip Whelton, Irish mission worker at Arklow Presbyterian Church, Co. Wicklow.
As I write this, we are in the midst of cold weather and short days, but our thoughts are very much on summer! Planning for our holiday Bible club is in full swing as I try to finalise many of the details. For those who don’t know, this is an eagerly anticipated event held the first week each August and we have to limit our numbers to about 230 children. Add about 80 leaders and you can see that a lot of prayer and preparation goes into this. We are truly blessed to have people who are experts in this field to help get everything organised. The programme lasts over three hours each day, then we also run a teens’ programme in the evenings.
There are plenty of activities that happen within our own doors of our church, and the coffee dock every Tuesday morning is a prime example. We are encouraging some from the community to take a leadership role and make a positive impact on those who come, as well as building relationships with those who do not attend any form of church on a regular basis.
On any given week, we are in contact with well over 200 people and it doesn’t take long to realise that in many cases we rub shoulders with those who are battered, bruised and broken, as well as those who are blessed. Quite a bit of time is spent with some of the teens who come to our club each week. Each young person is different and special and they all need to have Jesus in their lives. It can be heart-rending to hear some of their stories and their family background, but we also get so much encouragement to see some, in whose lives we have invested, draw closer to God. The Wednesday Bible club has continued this year with around 70 children attending each week and 12 ‘junior’ helpers also coming along to take part. We teach a Bible lesson as well as memorise verses and do crafts and games and provide snacks. We have some faithful volunteers for whom we are so thankful. We could always use extra helpers for this and all of the weekly activities.
Our now, not so new, pastor, Rev. Nathan Duddy, has been settling in and, together with the kirk session, has been planning various forms of ministry outreach and we covet your prayers with regards to these. He has just finished leading an Alpha course in conjunction with some of the local churches and will be following up on this in the coming weeks.
Through it all we thank God for His protection, watch, care, blessings, faithfulness and for the love that He shows us each day, and we look to Him as we seek to expand the work here in the next few months.
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