Thursday, March 25, 2010


My husband Gary and I recently had the opportunity to go to Ireland for two weeks. We were invited by a couple whom we met at a Searching Together conference last summer. We thought it’d be a nice opportunity, but assumed that it wasn’t affordable. Consequently, for some time, we didn’t give it much more thought. However, it seemed that almost simultaneously, the Lord began to place it on our hearts that we were to go. We weren’t quite sure what the Lord had in mind, except that we were to go encourage and learn. Having travel points to get us to Newark, I found tickets to Dublin for a few hundred dollars!

Considering that several of our friends are excellent cooks, I think we experienced the best cuisine that Ireland has to offer! Among many wonderful dishes, we experienced Limerick Ham, Irish stew and a traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes with a scoop of hot beans in the center and “pudding” patties on the side. White pudding is similar to sausage served in the U.S. However, the black is also called “blood pudding.” I politely finished one blood soaked pattie! Although black tea is the traditional Irish beverage, Gary and I developed a liking for the bold, full-flavored taste of European coffee.

Arrangements had been made for us to share about our spiritual journey with a group of about 20 people. The evening was filled with encouragement, tears, laughter and lots of hugs. From that point on, our days were filled with invitations for dinner, site-seeing, and most importantly whole-hearted sharing with brothers and sisters in Jesus. Our hosts commented that they felt as though they were housing celebrities. It seemed that the Lord used our willingness to be honest about our struggles and our hunger for understanding what God intends for His Church to open a floodgate for others to safely share their personal struggles and desires.

This fellowship of brothers and sisters from Ghana, Hungary, Poland, Nigeria, Ireland, Romania and America typically gather four mornings and evenings each week, to praise Jesus, study His Word and to pray for and edify one another. It is also not unusual for them to participate in various daily activities with one another on a regular basis. What a blessing it was to witness and enjoy such a precious, intimate family!

I found myself frequently enthralled by the beauty! Yes, we were privileged with opportunities to savor breath-taking Ireland. However, the incredible vastness of the Irish Sea is only a drop in the bucket compared to looking across a room filled with brothers and sisters from around the world who are my eternal family. The rushing, thunderous waterfalls have little power when weighed against that of diverse languages being lifted to the same Lord in prayer. Two days of touring historical Dublin isn’t nearly as fascinating as learning of the spiritual history of my brothers and sisters from various nations. And yes, Trim Castle, where Brave Heart was filmed is intriguing, yet I know that it doesn’t hold a candle to the mansion being prepared for God’s royal family from every tribe and nation.

“…with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” [Rev. 5: 9-10].

Although we are still sorting through the Lord’s purposes for our trip, I am more aware now than ever that in all of God’s creation, including the majestic mountains of Ireland, there is nothing comparable to the splendor of His Kingdom of Chosen People.


No comments:

Post a Comment