My name is Caitlin Leamon, I am a recent Vanguard University graduate with a passion for serving God, and of course Ireland! While I was going to Vanguard, I was able to take a short-term missions trip to Northern Ireland and I completely fell in love with the country. It was at this point in my life that I decided to fully commit to following God wherever He would have me go and in return God gave me a heavy burden for the children I was working with because I saw a genuine cry for the love of God in their lives. As I left the airport, I knew God was calling me to return to Ireland and keep witnessing to this country. Once I returned to America, I finished my degree in theater arts and committed myself to living in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco for nine months to get some hefty ministry training under my belt at the SF City Impact School of Ministry and to truly learn what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. While I was in SF, God opened the door wide open for me to return to Ireland through TEAM and has continually swung open doors for me to get to Ireland since I applied. I am so passionate about the Irish youth and I cannot wait to be joining Swords Baptist Church as a youth worker!
I'm so excited to be working with middle school to high school aged kids and I feel so blessed to join an existing ministry. In May I was officially appointed by TEAM to joinSwords Baptist Church in their youth initiative!
SBC is located in Swords, Dublin and they have an immense need for dedicated, experienced youth workers and mentors to come on staff. The youth group at SBC is a large percentage of their church body, but they currently have no one working exclusively with their youth group because there is no available budget for that. So this is where TEAM comes in! They connect missionaries, like me, to churches with a great need.
The first time I went to Ireland, I served in Northern Ireland for two weeks and completely fell in love with the country. God gave me a heavy burden for the children I was working with because I saw a genuine cry for the love of God in their lives and even while I was there, I knew I would have to return to keep witnessing to this country. My growing affection for the country also came with a growing burden over their emotional state. In 2016, Ireland ranked ranked 4th in the world for suicide rates of young men between 18- 24, leaving a majority of the country with the devastation of the loss of a loved one. Personally, I have a heart to speak truth and life into these situations and I believe that an event of this nature can leave massive holes in your heart that only God is capable of filling and I am so excited about introducing the people of Ireland to the God that is close to the broken hearted.
I feel called to work in youth ministry because of the damaging effects the event of a suicide?or suicidal thoughts can have on teens and Ireland is having to face this topic more and more frequently. I believe that the teen and pre-teen phase of life is a crucial time to place the identity and love of God into someone's heart and thats why I can't wait to be a part of the work God is doing in the teenage lives of Ireland. He is preparing them to change the future of their nation!
Primary Prayer Request:
My primary prayer request is that people will be moved to come alongside missionaries that have a heart for Ireland both financially and in prayer so that together we can make a difference in the Kingdom of God.