Sunday, July 17, 2011

Team Ireland Expansion Pack, Entry 4

We broke into our various teams yesterday...9 teams total, and the best I can tell you is that we're all doing the work of our various ministries in our various locations in the Republic of Ireland as well as in North Ireland. You can scroll way past my anniversary update of yesterday to get the breakdown, but basically, you're looking at about 125 workers on 9 teams.

The common thread each team is supposed to accomplish together involves a prayer ministry, a service aspect, a children's ministry and a youth ministry. Our team in Dungannon arrived yesterday morning, got settled and began work on our service project.

We were serving Youth for Christ's Dungannon office specifically. They recently acquired a new "drop-in" center in the town square and needed help moving their stuff from their storage facility. Now, in the U.S. there are trucks and plenty of room on the streets and the whole deal. However, here, not so much...we had one small car, 10 people, and about a 2-block walk. We managed to get everything over in about 2 hours.

A second project in the office involves making their prayer room an actual prayer room (instead of extra storage). Three team members are part of that.

We then spent some time in the afternoon planning our team's children's ministry. Basically, we're hoping to go into local "estates" (in the U.S., they're usually referred to as "projects.") and put on a VBS-type carnival with games, snacks, skits and a message. We had a fun putting some ideas into our "super-hero" theme.

We ate dinner...which evolved into everyone on the team sharing their testimonies. I was blown away at the work of God in the folks I'm working with on this trip. What was extra cool was that I got to hear parts of the CBC team's story that I didn't know about already. We were there almost two hours and it was certainly a great way to kick off a week of ministry with these folks (just so you know, our team has 4 from Dallas, 4 from Calgary and 4 North Irish members).

Then our first ministry event was last night...they call it Safe Haven. It's a ministry to the folks who have been out drinking on the weekends. See, the YFC office is right on the town square and within walking distance of many of the pubs. YFC works in tandem with the city to help keep some sort of limits once the pubs stop letting people in at midnight. Eventually, they all come out of the bars at 1AM or so and eat or head home or whatever and YFC takes advantage to show love to these people. How? By giving them hot tea if they're waiting outside a restaurant for food, or by giving girls who are having trouble walking in their high heels a pair of flip flops, or getting taxis, and they even have a little first-aid kit in the backpack full of goods for any cuts/scrapes. On colder nights, they might even open their "drop in" center for snacks and such. It is a pretty cool little ministry and I got to take one of the rounds. Nothing eventful on my watch, but other team members had some chances for real ministry (and a few laughs, to be sure).

Then this morning we all attended the Methodist church in Dungallon. It was a strange juxtaposition of the old building (complete with church bells ringing out 15 minutes before service) with LCD projectors inside and the computer-driven sound equipment with the old-time replaceable hymnal numbers in a wooden sign. Gotta admit it was hard to sit through an old-time service on about 4 hours sleep.

Tonight we'll be leading the evening service at the church. Grayson will lead worship and our team will be presenting testimonies & readings and such.

One small side note: We may not be as frequently updating as our Internet is about 3 blocks away from where we're staying.

Anyway, thanks for keeping up with what we're doing!


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