I find the task of writing this report to you quite daunting. The responsibility and pressure of accurately telling you of our last few days seems impossible because I can not type as fast as the thoughts and ideas come to my mind. As I am sure most of you know, we have been having an amazing summer. But this weekend, incredible things happened and your sons and daughters reached heights that I don’t think I have ever see before. I will start with Friday.
Friday was our last official day of work. The team spent the day cleaning up and making the grounds here sparkle and shine. The projects completed are as follows: dug footer around a future patio, prepared the footer for concrete by cutting rebar and tying steel before laying them in the footer, prepared and poured concrete in the footer, began construction on a future playground by measuring and digging out its footer, cut down 4 trees and transplanted one to make room for the playground, weeded the entire property including all flower beds and swept just about every inch of driveway! In two weeks time, they got a lot done! To celebrate their achievements, Ireland Outreach hosted an Ice Cream Social to honor them. The toppings were endless (as well as the ice cream portions). The laughter was wilder and the fellowship “sweeter” due the sugar high we all experienced. Once our bellies were full (and bulging), we were each given an opportunity to share a testimony about our time here in Ireland. The songs sung and testimonies spoken truly gave evidence to the genuine friendships that have been formed and to the amazing time we have all had here. After, we walked down to the harbor one last time to clamber on the rocks to get a good view for enjoying the sunset. Ireland has captivated our hearts and when we get on the bus today to begin our journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland, a little piece of each of our hearts will be left behind.
Saturday, we ventured into Dublin for some last minute shopping and fish n’ chip eating opportunities. We also strolled around the Dublin Castle grounds, taking in the free sights to be seen there. The main purpose of our day though, was to bring God’s Word to the streets by sharing the gospel with the hundreds and hundreds of people swarming about. Like I said before, it is difficult to put into words just how incredible this time of evangelism was for us. I sit here now, inspired and challenged by the boldness of your children and their hunger to save those living in darkness. They sang, presented the gospel message through the drama, Colors and then passed out tracts and gospel coins. They absolutely blew my mind away in their diligence to persevere despite rude comments, taunting laughter and indifferent behavior from those they tried to speak to. Many people stopped and listened because of their warmth and kindness and profound and courageous conversations were had, some that lasted for 20 minutes or more! One gentleman named Laurence even came around with us for the afternoon! At 3pm, we arrived at a soup kitchen named The Lighthouse, were we prepared and served a meal to those without employment or a home. It was an eye opening experience. Although our time there was very full and incredibly busy, God’s love was shown through each kind smile, each plate served and even some songs sung. I am sure the diners did not expect entertainment with their meal! It is our hope that the men and women who came hungry for food, left full in body and in spirit.
Yesterday was a great day for our team. Our walks with the Lord have deepened and we emerge today somewhat different than we were yesterday. We are singing a little louder, smiling a little bigger and seeing and understanding SO MUCH MORE about our awesome God.
On to Belfast we march…