Hello family and friends!
My team and I have been in Ireland for 6 days now and it still seems surreal to be in such a beautiful country. We’ve seen and done so much in the short time we’ve been here already.
On Friday, Kathi Perry, an EFM missionary in Greystones, Ireland, met us at the airport when we arrived and we made our way to the YWCA where we spent our first few days. We ate dinner at a local restaurant called the Beach House and Natalie, Heather and I went for a walk by the ocean to kick off our trip.
Saturday, we rode the train into Dublin and were able to spend the day exploring the city. We visited Trinity college, the Chester Beatty museam, Dublin Castle, and Christ Church. We got to try our first fish and chips and did roughly 9 miles of walking!
On Sunday, we attended Greystones Nazarene church and enjoyed fellowshipping with the people there. Afterwards, we ate delicious tacos at Kathi’s before doing work in her back garden. We painted, powerwashed, and cleaned lots of things. Our team had a lot of fun serving her together.
Monday, we spent our morning and afternoon doing some work at the Nazarene church. They allow Kathi to use their building for her toddler ministry so we wanted to do some things to help them out. We washed toys, pulled weeds, and reorganized their library. Monday was also RL’s birthday so we celebrated when we got back with crepes at the Crepery around the corner from where we’re staying. We tried to go get ice cream afterwards but the shops close at 6 on Mondays and we ended up at the beach instead. We had a wonderful time walking along the beach and climbing the rocks along the shore together.
Yesterday [Tuesday], we spent the day traveling to Belfast. We made several stops on our way here, one being Malahide Castle and Gardens. This castle was built in the 1100s and was owned by one family up until the 1970s. It was gorgeous and so fascinating to learn about the history behind that place. After that we drove to New Grange. New Grange is what is assumed to be a tomb of sorts that predates the book of Genesis and the Egyptian pyramids! The engineering it took to build such a structure that has lasted this long is incredible. I am still blown away by both of these places. Before this trip, the oldest building I’ve probably seen is roughly 200 years old. As an American, I have no concept of what it would be like to see generations worth of work put into a single structure like that.
Today we started our day in Belfast at the Storehouse. This is a ministry geared towards helping those in the city in any way they can, whether they’re asylum seekers, homeless, unemployed, etc. Their focus is to create relationships, provide people with their basic needs, and to help them grow and move beyond the things that they’ve been struggling with. I was amazed at how Christ like this establishment is. I thought a lot today about the story of Jesus and the woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She was an outcast in their society and was probably in deep poverty because of it. Jesus doesn’t just heal her and send her on her way. He stops the crowds that are around him to take time to acknowledge her and call her daughter. In doing this he’s given her dignity andnis allowing her to actually become a part of the community again. That’s what this organization is doing. They’re giving people their dignity back, helping them rejoin society, and giving them a place to be in relationship with people. I’m learning a lot on this trip that being like Jesus is often just engaging with people and learning about them and showing that you care. It was an amazing experience and I’m excited to go back and help more tomorrow!
We spent the rest of our afternoon on a tour of Belfast. It was fascinating and sobering to learn about the conflict that is still a reality for the people in Northern Ireland.
I’m so excited to see what God has for us all to learn on the rest of this trip. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I’m so thankful for this experience. ❤️
May God bless you richly!