Never have we enjoyed such a sweet time of ministry in this place. The afternoon show was difficult as always, but it wasn’t raining, so we thought we were very blessed. Castlebar is a lovely small town, a very safe place and so it is difficult for some people to see their great need for Jesus. Comfort and security always make it difficult for people to see their need.
In the evening, we did a show with the band at the Christian Fellowship Church on the Mall. The cornerstone for this church was laid in 1785 by John Wesley. It is incredible to be sharing Christ in a place where the Gospel has been shared for over 200 years. The church was full of children from Ireland, Africa and India. When I gave the invitation to the children, we heard so many praying out loud and asking Jesus to rescue them and be the King of their heart. We were thrilled! Later I was told that in the stage all the puppeteers were really excited. They were praising God.
The evening was not without difficulties. There were many ladies in the crowd from a women’s refuge and some of these dear ladies struggle with addictions. Some of the ladies are there because their husbands are addicted to alcohol or drugs and beat them. The room was full of broken people and broken families in desperate need of the Cross.
***** was quite drunk and fell on her knees weeping as the band was singing songs about Jesus. Another lady took a bottle from a friend and got drunk while at church. Last night when we were taking the ladies home, they couldn’t remember where they lived. Please pray for these two ladies who have heart-breaking stories. Their lives have been full of abuse from the time they were children and it only continued when they married. Both have lost all custody of their children. Except for the grace of God in my life and in my friends’ lives, we all understand that their story could be our story. Please pray for them. Only Jesus can heal a broken heart and mend a broken life.
There is a large statue of Patrick standing on the Octagon in the center of town. God was kind to us. There is sweet man there who owns a Christian bookstore and allowed us to set up in front of his shop. It was a fabulous location and again we had the best outreach that we have ever had in this place. God gave us a blue sky and warm weather such as I have never enjoyed in Ireland. So many families gathered to listen to the band, the puppets and the Bible stories. The children stared at me, listening to every word.
Try to imagine standing in a picturesque Irish town and proclaiming Jesus. Even better, we had a large crowd that was not throwing anything. It is a sweet and wonderful experience that words cannot describe. Through your prayers, God is calling many to faith in Himself. Thank you!
We finished our time in Galway with afternoon shows in Eyre Square and evening shows on Shop Street. It was an amazing time of ministry where we often enjoyed very large crowds. There were lots of conversations with individuals about Jesus Christ.
There were also some times of difficulty. Someone sailed a CD through the air and Krista said her life flashed before her eyes, but she finished her testimony with a steady voice. We had a lot of drunks and two were particularly angry. As I was telling the Bible story, a very drunk lady came and stood in front of me. She had been very verbally abusive to many of the team, but the Lord did something beautiful. I was sure that she was going to start yelling and interrupt the story, but she looked at me and then suddenly walked away. I know that I can frighten no one but I think the Lord let her see something, someone that made her leave. All of these problems have encouraged us to pray more. I hope that they encourage you to pray more.
Tomorrow, Friday, we leave for Dublin and have street shows planned for Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we will be in Saint Mark’s church. Please pour prayer on all of these opportunities. Pray especially for good weather and responsive crowds.
The band sang a song last night that really touched my heart. Here are some of the words:
“Are you aching deep inside?
Is there shame that makes you hide?
Do you wrestle in your mind with the reason for your life?
Come to Jesus
Come and worship”
Would you please think about these words and pray for the people of Ireland to come to faith in Jesus Christ?
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
We have been very blessed to have our French director, Anna McIlwaine, and one of her puppeteers, Flora with us on this trip. You can visit their website at http:\marionnettes28.free.fr
This afternoon, Flora shared her testimony on the streets of Westport, in French, with translation. At the end of the show as we were tying balloons for the children, one of the team called Anna over to speak to a French family. When she asked them if they understood what they were watching, they said yes, because they had heard the testimony in French.
Anna is very excited at sharing the Gospel in Ireland because so many French tourists come here on holiday. It is such a good opportunity to reach them and tell them the Good News!
There are few true believers in France and there is a hardness towards the Gospel that easily closes the door to ministry. Every opportunity there is to speak to a French person is therefore especially precious, wherever it arises.
PLEASE PRAY FOR US.
Sam, Silvana, Heather, Mykayla, Krista, Seth, Anna, Flora, Stephen, Valerie, Julie, Nikita, Nathan, John, Anne, Raymie, Michelle, Brandon, Dana, Clare, Sarah, Padraig, Joe
As you can see, there are a lot of us travelling together on this great adventure!