Emadi - Why Carlingford?
MICHAEL EMADI – MISSIONARY TO IRELAND
Michael Emadi along with his wife Ashley and their children have approved for the services of the Reformed Baptist Mission Services (RBMS) for missionary in Ireland. They are sent out by the Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky and will be working with Stephen Murphy who pastors a Reformed Baptist Church in Dundalk. The plan is that after Michael and Ashley get acclimated to the Irish culture that Michael will be doing a church plant in Carlingford. Carlingford is a town of about 1200 people. A legitimate question is why Carlingford, a relatively small town has been chosen for a church plant in Ireland. Michael Emadi in consultation with Stephen Murphy, the resident pastor in Dundalk, Ireland gives this compelling argument that you will read below.
The question about Carlingford is legitimate and I want to express why Stephen Murphy and I see this area as a strategic and why we chose this area.
1) The Irish government has labeled the city of Dundalk a "gate-way city." That is, it is a city that allows access and growth to come to its surrounding areas through the increase in business activity. Xerox has a plant there and just recently Paypal opened up an international office there which has brought more people into the surrounding areas of Dundalk.
2) Because that area is so close to the Northern border, its growth has been artificially suppressed over the last 30 years because of the violence involving the IRA. Since that has ceased over the last 10 - 15 years, the area is growing and expanding.
3) The attention to Carlingford is as the "main" city of the Cooley Peninsula. By that I mean that a church in Carlingford would affect the entire Peninsula. Right now there is NO church on the Cooley Peninsula. So while we hope to plant a church in Carlingford, our outreach will be to the entire peninsula. We can't look just at the number of people in Carlingford and think that is all we are going to be able to reach. There are somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 people on the peninsula. While all the villages are small, as a whole (considering the peninsula), it is a rather large group of people to reach.
4) Carlingford is strategically located half way between Dublin and Belfast. This means that there is a lot of traffic and it is a major stop between the largest city in the Republic and the largest city in Northern Ireland.
5) There are 2 - 3 families attending Dundalk Baptist Church who live on the Cooley Peninsula. While only one of the individuals lives in Carlingford, because they live on the peninsula they would be some of the founding members of a church should the Lord allow one to start.
6) The latest census (2011) and the County Louth Development Plan (Dundalk and the Cooley Peninsula are both in County Louth) show & predict a significant increase in population over the next 15 years to include the Cooley Peninsula.
8) Carlingford is far enough from Dundalk (45 min) but still allows us to be close to Stephen Murphy and Dundalk Baptist Church that we can work with them and learn from Stephen and be under his guidance.
7) There are other "strategic" areas that we could look and we are open to them. However, there is some gospel work being done in these areas. This is not to say we would agree theologically with these groups or with their methodologies. Yet, the Cooley Peninsula is one area where no one is doing anything. There is no church and there is no one looking to do any gospel work.
I hope this was helpful and gives a little better idea of what is going on. A focus on Carlingford is not limited to the roughly 1200 people in the village but is an attempt to establish a church in what may be considered the main/strategic village on the Peninsula and would serve the 25,000+ people on the Peninsula.
If you have any more questions, please fill free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For the glory of God among the Irish,
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