The Mission Possible Charity Shop in Strabane opened its doors on 1st June 2008. A special evening of thanksgiving to God and celebration of its 10th anniversary was held at the beginning of June 2018.
Some 15 volunteers have worked tirelessly during these 10 years as they serve God through working in the shop and showing God’s love and compassion to the local community.
The shop is managed by Iris Ballantine, (centre front row of the above picture). Iris has a great desire to see the shop used not only for raising funds for the Street Children projects in Bogota, Colombia, but also as a haven and outreach centre for the lonely and needy people of Strabane and district.
Husband and wife team John and Catherine Mulhern have volunteered in the shop 5 days a week since its inception 10 years ago.
Sadie, secretary of Mission Possible asked John and Catherine about their work:
Sadie, “Why did you decide to volunteer in the shop?”
John – “We had been good friends with Iris for many years and it just seemed the natural thing for us to help Iris and serve the Lord in this way. I used to pray for somewhere where people from all backgrounds could come in, feel at ease and have fellowship together. The shop provides opportunities to welcome people, to share our faith and to pray together. We also have a time of worship in the shop on the first Sunday evening of each month.”
Sadie – “What do you enjoy most about working in the shop?”
Catherine – “I love to meet and talk to customers. We have some who come in regularly and some who are strangers. We get people from Donegal, Londonderry, Ballyshannon, Omagh and Letterkenny. There is a group comes from Castlederg each week. It’s not just a charity shop, sad and lonely people come in for refreshments and a wee chat.”
Sadie – “When the shop first opened, did you ever think that 10 years later you would still be working in the shop?”
John – “We never really thought about it, but the fact that it is still going strong and we still have health and strength proves that our God is faithful. The spiritual need is the same, whether it is in Colombia or Strabane. It is a privilege to serve God both locally and in Colombia.”
Joe Law, chairman of Mission Possible added; “I would wish to put on record my sincere thanks and appreciation to Iris and her volunteers who work so hard to raise much needed funding for our projects in Bogota, Colombia. Congratulations on achieving your 10th anniversary. Thanks also to all those kind people who donate and buy product from the shop, or who support the work in any way.”
The shop is based at 6 Railway Road, Strabane BT82 8EF – telephone number 02871 885976. If you have items such as clothes, shoes, handbags, household goods and furniture which you no longer use, please leave them in the shop. This would be much appreciated and would ultimately help the sad and hungry little children that we support.