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Coming Home

After growing up in Ireland as the child of Encompass missionaries, Seán and his family moved back to the US, not knowing if they’d ever return. 

Seán’s dad had accepted the call to serve as senior pastor of Grace Church in Lancaster, so the family adjusted to their new life in Pennsylvania. After completing high school, Seán attended Lancaster Bible College (LBC) where he studied music education, Bible and theology, and choral music. Seán was thrilled when his chorale planned a trip to Ireland for March 2020, but his hopes were crushed when pandemic lockdowns forced them to cancel their trip one day before they were scheduled to leave. 

Thankfully his chorale rescheduled, and Seán got to return to Ireland in March of 2023. It felt like he was “coming home” again. He got to revisit the streets he grew up on, reconnect with some of his old mates, play some Gaelic sports, and refresh his love for traditional Irish music. 

The choir sang in all kinds of places, from beautiful churches and cathedrals to street corners and even a tiny hotel on the country’s southwestern tip. At this hotel, Seán and his chorale got to sing for a group of Ukrainian refugees that had found a temporary home in Dingle. When they sang a traditional Ukrainian song, “God Bless Ukraine,” in their native tongue, the entire room was moved to tears.

Seán knows he wants to continue his music degree at LBC, but his heart is to follow God’s plan for his life, whether overseas in Ireland or elsewhere. Seán said, “I would love to return to Ireland and work there, but above all, I want to be fervently pursuing God’s will for my life.”

This story just goes to show how meaningful cross-cultural work can be, both for the giver and the recipient! If you or someone you know might be interested in missions, visit EncompassWorldPartners.org/Go