We are in Northern Ireland! Straight from the Dublin Airport yesterday, we went to do a puppet show for the children in Belfast. They live in a very difficult place where hate is the rule. By the time they are 10, they have seen too much and been taught many things that are wrong. Giant murals of men in ski masks holding guns decorate the sides of buildings.
Sam has been doing puppet show all week in this place with his Irish team. Last night, we were blessed to do the program. On the Antrim Road, there is a little Baptist Church that loves children. Last night, in this place, we heard children praying out loud asking Jesus to forgive them. This is not a common sound in Northern Ireland. Yet, 2 nights in a row, Sam has been blesssed in this place. Ask the Father to teach these children about His love!
Pray for this little church. Two nearby churches are closing and another stands mostly empty, with half of it being used by an Indian culture group. These churches died because they had no vision, so it is very important that we pray and encourage this little light that remains. For 10 years, they had nothing for children, but God changed their hearts. This week was a new experience for them. Ask God to strengthen them and bless them!
They have also begun a Bible study for women. Ladies are coming that do not know Jesus. Pray for a family outreach that they are doing September 4th-10th.
On the airplane, I met a very nice young man who is enjoying the gift of his first child, but he did not seem to know much about the Giver. He works with people who are doing research papers for their doctorate and was very excited about his little girl.
We talked about the children around the world and how they respond to the stories of Jesus. That led us to commenting on the difference in response in western cultures. I asked him whose side he was on, believers or scoffers. He quickly told me that he goes to church sometimes. I said, "But do you live with passion for Jesus Chirst?"
He is a very nice man who, like all of us, could be so much more if he lived sold out to Jesus. Please pray for him!
I awoke this morning in a lovely room at Murlough House that Mike and I enjoyed many times. I was tempted to be overcome by a flood of emotions, loss, and pain, but God is so good! Years ago, I painted many plaques with scripture and quotes to decorate this house. As my eyes focused, I saw this verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I read another scpriture, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!" As I went to make my tea, I read, "How great is the love of the Father."
God used the walls to speak to me! My tears dried and I leave for ministry in the south this morning full of joy and excitement! I praise God for my dear husband and thank God for all the fun we had in Northern Ireland through the years. Please pray for us as we travel with the Irish band "Reality". Ask God to do great things.