Strengthening Old, prayerfully with Jesus and his Word - Snapshot from Elise Donaldson. Alumni Apprentice


“Do you want to stay in Ireland?”

That was what the email heading read on the latest message in my inbox. I was certain it had to be spam, but clicked on it anyway, only to discover a genuine offer from the Irish government to extend my working holiday visa by not one, but two years. That was all the urging this Canadian needed to apply for the two year ICM apprenticeship I’d prayerfully been considering. I have never looked back! 

I served as an apprentice in Immanuel Church from 2013-2015. Directly after finishing, I married Alastair, who’d been training to become a Church of Ireland minister. He was ordained as a bishop’s curate in September 2015 and we moved to Roscommon to begin rural church life. I am truly indebted to ICM for preparing me for the highs and lows of full time Christian ministry. It is easy to look at the finished product of a Sunday service and think that it just happens, but being an apprentice showed me the nitty gritty work that goes unseen; from praying over the minister’s sermon to making your microphones work properly! I also saw that it takes a great deal of patience to help people grow in their faith and that change only follows earnest prayer. I learned that being faithful to teach his Word counts more than any ‘to do’ list. Above all else, I learned the necessity of putting your hope and confidence in the Lord Jesus every, single, day.

Alastair and I lived in Roscommon for two years before moving to county Fermanagh in 2018. Alastair currently serves as rector in Derrylin while I am at home with our young son. My work at the moment mainly involves developing our church’s women’s ministry, again using many insights gleaned during my apprenticeship! I know ICM has a heart to reach Ireland with the gospel. I feel privileged that the Lord has kept me here to see his kingdom grow on this island and I pray that he would use ICM to equip many more workers for the harvest.

Elise Donaldson