Yesterday was a good day to relax at home. We did not have anything previously scheduled and one last-minute possibility did not work out. It was a strange weather day as we saw the sun for the first time since arriving … and fairly often … but it was accompanied by snow and sleet. Not enough for any accumulation but enough to turn the ground white … several times. It would snow, turning the ground white, the sun would come out and melt it, then it would sleet and turn it white again, etc, etc. We did get out to do a little shopping but stayed close to our apartment.
Today was a lot busier … 12 hours plus. We drove in to Dublin this morning intending to stop off at a favorite coffee shop run by a Christian friend on the way to a lunch meeting, but on the way decided that we were too short on time in light of unfamiliarity with our lunch meeting place and parking for that. So we headed there instead. We had a great lunch with Tom, a new contact, at one of his favorite Thai restaurants. Tom is going to be teaching Jonathan’s (in who’s home we will be staying for a year) class at the Irish Bible Institute (IBI). We had heard about Tom from his relative who involved with CBS in the states and learned about his connection with Jonathan after we got here.
Over lunch we learned about each other’s ministries and then talked about some possible ministry opportunities at IBI that Jonathan had suggested on Saturday. Following lunch we went with Tom to IBI where we all sat in on one of Jonathan’s classes during their open house. During the time with Tom and with staff at IBI, it appears that doors are open for us to be involved there, Sam as a volunteer to help with IT support and both of us as mentors for IBI students (required for all students). We see this as a strategic opportunity that God has provided for us to interact with and in some cases mentor/disciple future lay leaders and clergy serving throughout Ireland, to include introducing them to some great Bible study resources for their ministries.
During our time in the classes we connected with 4 students that all look promising for future ministry, two here in Dublin, one in the central part of Ireland, and one in Galway on the west coast. Two of them are from Nigeria, so we’re seeing even more international flavor in those open doors also. It’s already looking like the challenge may be to keep from being stretched too thin!
I also forgot to mention that on Saturday when we visiting Jonathan and Becky, they suggested we get involved in their church. It is a new church plant and has a lot of eager new believers and they are in need of more spiritually mature leaders who can help with their spiritual growth. So this also appears to be another door that God is opening where we can use CBSI studies to disciple men and women as we are called to do. Praise God for His answers to to your prayers.
We finished up at IBI about 4pm and headed out to dinner at Ciaran and Els’ home before joining Ciaran’s men’s study this evening. We had a wonderful dinner with them and their boys and then some time for fellowship before the men arrived for study. We had 6 altogether for the study of Mark 9 … as always it was great to study and fellowship with each of them.
Continue to keep us in your prayers as the next two days are about as full. After Bible study in the morning, we will meet with our National Servants Team who both lead that study and then return to Ciaran and Els’ home in the evening for her ladies’ study … at least we don’t have to be fully prepared for all of these studies, but we do try to at least read over them ahead of time.