Greetings! We’re staying very busy with our ministry this week! We have the children’s Bible School in the afternoons and the teens in the evenings. This week’s club is much bigger, with more than 70 kids showing up each day. There is definitely a higher noise level! Some come in and register about 2:30 and we have them until 5 pm. The team is doing a great job of helping lead the fun challenges, the Bible story, music, and helping with crafts and crowd control. They are running it very similar to the program we did last week, as John is in charge again. Jim and Steven at the Rathcoole Mission have been picking us up and bringing us over here to do our ministry. We continue to be overwhelmed with the friendliness and hospitality we are receiving. We’ve learned a lot about that from our Irish friends!
Tuesday morning, the team was able to visit the Belfast Titanic Museum before we began our afternoon ministry. It was an awesome exhibit and we really enjoyed our tour! It had a lot of Belfast’s early history regarding the linen mills and all the industry that was happening here at the time of the building of the ship. Outside we were able to see the actual area where both the Titanic and the Olympic were built (a different ship the size of the Titanic that was used to transport American soldiers during WW1) and see outlines of where things were placed on the decks. In one of our pictures you can see the huge poles that marked the placement of the Titanic (on the right) and the Olympic (on the right) and the outlines of lifeboats, etc. The museum building itself was an awesome structure! The metal plates that are on the outside represent the 3,000 workers who built the Titanic. Each piece is a little unique in itself. The top of the building was the exact height of the Titanic. It was fun learning more about the ship, the passengers, and many other interesting tidbits about Titanic. (For example, it only took 62 seconds to launch!)
Tuesday night we had our first interaction with the teens here at Rathcoole. It went pretty well! Of course, we seemed very strange to them. We had an icebreaker, the boys played football (soccer) and the girls had a nail party and a time to just chat a little. We had milkshakes and then a time when the team sang a few songs and Seuraya shared a little about what the song “How He Loves” means to her. Adam also shared about how the Lord worked in his life to bring him to Teen Missions and Northern Ireland. Tonight we are looking forward to some more interaction with the teens and they’ve planned a chocolate fountain as a treat.
Wednesday morning was spent handing out flyers in the neighborhood where we will be on Island Street in the evening next week doing Bible schools. The team had a sack lunch at the church, and then our hosts had asked if we wanted to make a quick trip before our afternoon ministry to the Mossley Mill Museum close by. It’s an old linen mill that was known all over the world for its linens. So, we piled into the van and car and went to the Newtownabbey and Antrim Council center, where the Mill is now located. It was a beautiful, old building with an impressive history of what life was like for Belfast’s mill workers. (Our hosts have really enjoyed showing us Northern Ireland and their wonderful history!) We had a special surprise when the ‘Mayor’ of the area joined our group and led us into the Council Chamber. He explained a little about what the city councilmen/women do and invited us to tell him about Teen Missions. We were actually able to sing one of our songs for him in the Council chamber. They also treated us to a little ‘cupa’ and some biscuits afterward. Last night we didn’t have the teens so we were able to go to Karis and Thomas’ house for an Ulster Fry. We enjoyed a fried egg, bacon, fried soda and potato bread, and a sausage. It was great to hang out in their home and just enjoy the company of our new friends! Today, I’m listening as Kristina does a “Chubby Bunny” challenge with the kids…they are having a great time. They’ve already sung songs and had their Bible story. Juice time is next!
Please keep us in your prayers as we finish here tomorrow, have two services Sunday, and begin our two Bible schools next week; in the morning at Island Street Mission and the evenings at Mersey Street Mission. Pray we finish strong here in Northern Ireland!
Hannah G_ Last week we did Summer Schemes and I really enjoyed just interacting with the kids and watching them sing. We went sightseeing Saturday and I like all of it. My favorite part was just hanging out and talking with my teammates on the beach.
Audrey- This past week has been pretty good! We just finished up with the Summer Scheme and Bible School on Friday. It was great being with them and just hearing them talk in their little accents! Oh, and yesterday we all got to go to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway! We also got to go to the Irish Sea…well, the Atlantic Ocean. I LOVE Northern Ireland SO much! I hope the rest of the time we’re here is wonderful!
Meg- (This part is from when we first arrived) We made it to Northern Ireland! The first thing we learned was that it is very cold here. We learned that we need our sweatshirts almost every time we leave the building and many of us needed to buy a more adequate jacket. However, in contrast to the cold, we have discovered the warmth of Northern Ireland. Everyone here has a warm and welcoming heart. Our hosts brought us in with their happy smiles and loving words. They have outdone themselves in taking care of us and never miss a chance to fee us. No matter how cold we are one smile from one of our hosts will warm us for the rest of the day. (recently) This past week has been great! The Summer Schemes have been lots and lots of fun. I have enjoyed getting to know every child, and each one of them seemed very receptive of lessons and songs. I’m going to miss every one of them. Over all, I think Summer schemes was a great success!
Kaitlyn- Summer scheme was really just a neat experience to be able to show others about God. I loved how the children really seemed to understand everything we taught them. I’m so happy I had this opportunity. Yesterday was a day of a lifetime. All of the amazing views showed me that there truly is a God who created it. We visited the Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge which was SO COOL, the Giant’s Causeway and we also hung out at the beach The water was so clear…and cold!
Gloria- Working with the kids at Summer Scheme this week was an experience I’ll never forget. We had a story every day about a “Hero of the Bible.” I was able to talk to them about Esther and I loved watching them volunteer to portray characters and get involved! Yesterday, the team went to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The cliffs and water were stunning! Walking across the bridge wasn’t terrifying, but actually amazing to look down and see the clear blue water below. Plus I can now say I’ve seen Scotland, or at least the horizon! God’s power was evident in the beauty that surrounded me. Psalm 19:1