Stories - Lessons In Ireland


Lessons In Ireland

Lori Allison | Nov 14, 2017

I planned to go on this journey to Ireland and help with the arts and crafts. I can glue stuff to stuff and love on kids, right? But then another opportunity presented itself. I could do Fitness with the kids. Hmmm. Some of you reading this may not know me, so let me just say, looking at me you would never guess that Fitness would be of any interest to me.

BUT...God has been working on me the past two years and He has transformed me physically and spiritually and He has used Fitness to do it. So I boldly proclaimed to my Team Leader, Dennis, that I wanted to help in the Fitness area. It was all arranged and off to Ireland I went to be the Fitness Coach for the Sports Camp our partner was conducting.

The very first day of camp one of the campers came over to my area with a look of dread on his face. He was big for his age (11 or 12), taller than me, but also overweight. I knew this kid. I WAS this kid. I hated exercise. I hated running. Couldn't we all just sit down and play a game? My heart immediately went out to him, my kindred spirit. As we began to stretch and start the workout, he said, "I can't do this.". Every new exercise, he would repeat his mantra and I would repeat mine. "You can do this, Daniel. Just try your best." He would try, but none of his attempts could be called stellar. Finally, after yet another round of our mantras, I approached him. I looked him in the eye and again I said, "Daniel, you can do this. Look at my bum. It's a lot bigger than yours and I can do it. You can too! Just do your best. I'll do it with you." So we did the exercise together. Later we ran sprint races. "I'm going to lose!", Daniel complained. "Buddy, it's not about winning and losing. It's about doing your best. So just do your best., I encouraged. So he off he went when I gave the signal. And you know what? Daniel came in 3rd out of 3. He "lost". But actually, he won. He did it. He didn't give up. He put forth his best effort and completed the race.

This is kind of how I am spiritually. I tell God I can't do it. That I'll lose. He encourages me. He tells me I can because He is with me. He tells me it isn't about my effort, it's about His. And in the end, He tells me I win.

At the end of the day, after the final assembly, Daniel approached me and said, "Thank you for encouraging me and helping me today. I really appreciate it.". If I had gone to Ireland for just this one day, the entire trip would have been worth it. At the end of the week I was able to share a little more of my story with Daniel and encourage him that he could make good choices when it comes to nutrition and continue to use what he had learned this week and he could live a healthy lifestyle. Again, with a genuine heart, he thanked me.

I pray that there is someone in Ballymun, Ireland who will continue to encourage Daniel in the areas of health and fitness, but even more, I pray that there will be someone who continues to impact him for the Kingdom. I pray that God will use the tiny seed He allowed me to plant, will be watered and will grow into a fruitful tree that will change the landscape of Ballymun, for the Kingdom.