Meeting with Spirit Radio

Sam met with Rob Clarke of Spirit Radio IE at the radio offices in downtown Dublin this morning. We had met Rob at a conference last winter when we attended his workshop on Developing the Next Generation of Leaders. We later invited him to speak at our leadership celebration in the spring on the same topic. We found out at that event that he had recently accepted the position of CEO of Spirit Radio on top of his ministry with Youth With A Mission (YWAM).

We began discussions with Rob at that time about doing interviews on Spirit about CBSI-Ireland with the intent of having the interviews be with some of our leaders from the Dublin area so that listeners are hearing testimonies with an Irish voice. At that time, hopes were to be broadcasting by this month, but it is not expected now until January, beginning with broadcasts with the 5 major cities of Ireland.

Today’s meeting was primarily to move forward with those discussions and learn what Rob was thinking in regards to length and frequency of interviews, how they would be conducted (live or recorded), etc. We reached a good understanding of what to expect and then had time for me to update Rob on recent developments with our ministry, particularly in regards to a potential Alpha-Ireland / CBSI-Ireland formal relationship. Rob had some good words of advice and encouragement and continues to be a fan of CBSI.

While I was doing this, Patti remained at home recuperating from yesterday’s activities and packing in preparation for our early morning departure tomorrow. We have spent the rest of the day continuing to pack, making some phone calls, emailing, and updating the blog.

One more night to go and then we leave our beloved Ireland and return home. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement as we serve the Lord here.

Blessings in Christ,

Sam & Patti Allgood

CBSI Calebs to Ireland

Answer to Prayer!

We’re praising God that your and our prayers have been answered. Sammy’s surgery is complete and here’s the good nuggets:

* they were able to remove the whole tumor

* they were able to do so going through his naval cavity, so  recovery time is cut to about 6 months

* it only took two hours

Joan hasn’t said when he is expected home, but from previous comments we expect that it will be within a few days.

Praising Him,

Sam & Patti Allgood

Prayer Request for Sammy Fulton

One final thing before I go to bed … please remember to pray for Sammy and Joan Fulton. Sammy entered the hospital as planned this evening and surgery to remove a brain tumor should begin in 6-7 hours from now. This is part of a brain tumor that was removed about 5 years ago, but this fragment was considered too dangerous to attempt to remove and was left alone with the expectation that it would not qrow. It has grown and is not responding to non-surgical attempts to stem its growth, threatening blindness if not removed.

Will update as we learn more.


Sam & Patti

A Full Day in Dublin

Wow, what a full day! We have been going for 12 hours, though not all meetings. A good part of it was travel to and from and dinner.

We left our apartment shortly after 9am to attend Mass at 10 with the people who would be in the study we were visiting at 11. There were 7 present in addition to us and they all seemed eager to share. We were publicly welcomed in the Mass (the study leader had let the priest who attends the study know that we were visiting) and warmly received in the study. We are often concerned that study participants will not open up with us there, but this group was not holding back at all. We had a wonderful discussion of Luke 13.

We followed the study leader, Ann, to her home afterwards for lunch with herself and her fiance, Gerald. Gerald normally attends the study also, but had other commitments this morning. We had a great time with them talking about their upcoming wedding in February and about the study. The future of CBSI in their church, Divine Word, looks promising indeed.

After lunch, we went for a short meeting with Robert, our national coordinator, to talk about some upcoming changes in how studies are distributed here in Ireland and other ministry topics.

To wrap up our meetings, we met Gerard at a coffee shop. Gerard serves on the board of directors of Alpha-Ireland with whom we are seeking to establish a collaborative relationship to encourage joint efforts to start Alpha courses and CBSI studies. We were not expecting to get any commitments out of this meeting and did not receive any, though Gerard seemed as eager as we are to foster such cooperation and mutual support.

We shared with Gerard that our study in Galway was already planning to start another Alpha course in January to recruit more participants and to follow that with another CBSI study that they will invite the Alpha participants to. We also told him that we are already encouraging our groups in Dublin to consider taking a break from CBSI in January to support their local churches’ efforts in starting new Alpha courses with a similar view to provide CBSI as a Bible study option to follow Alpha.

While Gerard did not make any commitments to promote CBSI as a good follow-up study to Alpha, he did like these models and gave us information about some other avenues for cooperation that we may want to consider.

One of these was a huge conference that is being hosted in Dublin in June 2012 for a week. There very well could be some open doors for CBSI to participate in that with representatives able to share in some venue how the studies are being used and impacting lives here in Ireland.

The other was an offer to use the open door he has to submit articles to the Irish Catholic newspaper to submit an article about CBSI-Ireland. We just need to send him a good description of CBSI and have some of our people submit their stories about how they’re using it and he will get it into the paper for us.

So, a brilliant meeting, as the Irish would say.

The rest of the long day was enjoying some leisure time, having dinner, and getting back home. The coffee shop where we met was in a park with gardens, so we walked around there for a half-hour or so. Having been warned by Gerard about backups on both sides of the main motorway due to a major accident, we decided to work our way through the City Centre of Dublin to get home and stop for dinner on the way. Since we were going through the City Centre, we decided to eat at a nice hotel where we held our leadership celebration 2 years ago.

After that, we decided to try to find the route to the place of my meeting tomorrow morning as I was planning to drive and would be going right by the area we were in … that would help me to know where to turn when I’m driving through heavier traffic in the morning. We didn’t make it more than a few blocks on the route before we missed a turn and couldn’t get turned around … getting totally lost and giving up on trying to find the destination. We did find our way back to the motorway which was clear by now and then back to our apartment … and decided I would take the bus tomorrow after all.

Well, it’s after midnight … just got off of Skype with our daughter and son-in-law … so need to get to bed.


Sam & Patti Allgood

More Phone Calls

We have received several encouraging phone calls this morning. The first came from Robert Poynton, our national coordinator, to schedule a short meeting after lunch tomorrow. We will be attending the study that he leads with Ann McGrath at Marley Parish, then we will have lunch with Ann and her fiance. Following lunch we will meet with Robert to discuss CBSI study distribution options and last-minute coordination prior to our departure on Friday.

The next call was from Gerard Gallagher who also serves on the Alpha-Ireland board. We had emailed him about meeting after Paddy Monaghan was not available. We worked through our schedules and agreed to meet at Marley Parish after we meet with Robert tomorrow. So, busy day tomorrow!

Then Mike Shortt returned my call from Monday evening. Mike leads the newest CBSI class in Galway … the one that transitioned from an Alpha course last spring. We got to talk about the details of his strategy of starting an Alpha course in January and hopefully recruit people attending that to attend a CBSI study. After I shared about my email exchanges with Paddy and meeting tomorrow with Gerard, he shared that he had talked with Paddy a few weeks ago and had shared about his experience following Alpha with CBSI. He said Paddy was interested and encouraged with this, so God is making more connections in pursuing such a partnership. Praise God and pray for his continued leading in this, especially as we meet with Gerard at 3pm tomorrow (10am EST).

We’re visiting the Rathfarnham Men’s class this evening … this group played a significant role in getting the Galway class started by showing Mike how it’s done and the leadership offering to come out to assist if needed.

Pray for wisdom in speaking to the leaders of the group about a opportunity to expand in a different way. We have learned that Alpha-Ireland is launching an effort to collaborate with 60 parishes/churches in the Dublin area to advertise/promote new Alpha courses in Dublin run by the parishes/churches. We are considering encouraging our leaders in the Dublin area to consider taking a break from CBSI to support this effort, thus gaining potential new CBSI participants when the Alpha courses conclude and more favor in the churches participating in the effort as they see that CBSI is not about taking people away from church but building them up to serve in their churches.

Admin, Calls, and Emails

The one appointment we had scheduled for today was re-scheduled to Thursday, so we spent the day catching up on administrative work, emailing contacts, and making some phone calls.

The morning started with a long phone call with Grace Wort, our area CBSI director. We had several things to talk about following our NST meeting on Saturday, so spent quite a while on the phone. We worked out agreement and better understanding on a new CBSI study distribution model that is being implemented and caught Grace up on developments in Ireland since our arrival.

Sam spent a couple of hours recording notes of our NST meeting and the conversation with Grace to send out to the NST. We also had several email exchanges with the national director of Alpha-Ireland regarding a possible meeting with him. It worked out that he is not available this week, so we attempted to contact another board member that we know to try to meet with him … more on that in the next post.

Sam also had a few email exchanges with a new couple in Cork who are looking for a Bible study for new believers. This couple works at LifeFM Christian radio station with our friend Roger Basick who had emailed us about their interest. They were not necessarily looking to start a small group Bible study, but were looking for a study to use with one person who had recently come to Christ. Sam explained to them about the CBSI program and shared some resources to use with the new believer.

Day of Rest

We made today a real day of rest and doing little but getting time with the Lord and each other. We did go out in the late afternoon and toured The Battle of the Boyne site (finally arrived before they closed the gates) where we walked about 3.5 miles through open fields and along a quiet stream through the woods. Here are some pictures …

Battle of The Boyne main site with museum, tea room, and gardens

Ancient stone bridge over stream that parallels the River Boyne

View of stream from the bridge. It was a beautiful day for a walk!

NST Meeting, Lunch, and Culture

Today’s main event was meeting with the National Servants Team, at least Robert and Becky. Sammy and Joan, as reported previously, have returned home to be with their teenage son after spending several days with us.

We had a very good discussion regarding current developments with the ministry, training manual updates in progress, possible changes in study distribution to classes, and plans for the next national leadership gathering. We topped this off with lunch at a local restaurant that serves AWESOME seafood chowder!

Sam & Patti decided to use the rest of the afternoon for soaking in some Irish culture with a visit to the site of the Battle of Boyne. Unfortunately for the second time, we arrived there shortly after they closed. We at least got to enjoy driving through more beautiful Irish countryside and discovered a more direct route from our place to visit again tomorrow afternoon.

Meetings With Board of Reference Members

After oversleeping a bit on Friday morning, we headed into Dublin for separate meetings with two of our CBSI Board of Reference members, Sean Mullan and Alan Boal. These are the two board members with whom we have the closest relationships and to whom we often look for counsel on ministering in Ireland.

We met with Sean for breakfast … thankfully he was graciously waiting despite our being a half-hour late. Sean has been instrumental in recommending a connection with Alpha-Ireland that we have been pursuing, so we spent a good bit of our time discussing our newest study in Galway which, having started as an Alpha course and is currently functioning as a CBSI study, sparked Sean’s recommendation. He provided some good counsel for us in pursuing a relationship with Alpha-Ireland that will be mutually beneficial and also provided an introduction to another Alpha-Ireland board member. Sean also told us about an ongoing concerted effort to greatly multiply the number of Alpha courses in the Dublin area, which could fit in strategically with an Alpha / CBSI partnership.

We met later for lunch with Alan & Ruth Boal, who in addition to serving as counselors have become part of our Irish family (and Facebook friend). We talked with them about the same subjects as well as what was going on in their ministry, as we had with Sean.

Praise God for giving us these faithful friends, counselors, and encouragers!

Between meetings, we did a little walking around Dublin and came across this Famine Ship Museum.

Sam Arrives, Visit Fultons and Butlers

After Sam’s arrival in Dublin, we spent some quality time with Sammy and Joan before they left to return home in the afternoon. After their departure, Sam took a shower and nap, then we drove to Bray south of Dublin to visit another ladies class, pictured below. While Patti attended the study led by Denice, Sam visited with Denice’s husband, Jono, who attends and helps lead a men’s study on Tuesday evenings.

The ladies are pictured below, but unfortunately several were unable to attend this evening. As is typical with all CBSI-Ireland studies, the fellowship and discussion include good food and drink.