Visit with Class Leader – 7 Sep 2011

Wednesday evening we were scheduled to have dinner with Becky, a member of  the CBSI-Ireland National Servants Team, and her family. Once of her children got sick, so they needed to cancel and we re-scheduled for breakfast out on Thursday when we wouldn’t be risking catching what he had by coming to their house. We coordinated with another couple that live in the same area with whom we were meeting after dinner, to meet a little earlier.

Glenn and I decided to use the free afternoon to visit Newgrange as recommended by a friend of Glenn’s. It features religious ritual sites built prior to the Egyptian pyramids. We enjoyed an afternoon visiting the museum there and then visiting the site which was basically a man-made cave. Visitors are taken into the cave through a very narrow entrance with several low areas requiring us to bend over to enter. Once gathered at the end, the tour guide demonstrated how the light would come in through the entrance to shine on the floor of the inner ceremonial area, but only at the Winter Soltice in December … 5 days for 17 minutes each … because the entrance is perfectly aligned to receive that light on those days.

After Newgrange, we met with Joyce, one of our CBSI class leaders and her husband, Jesse. Jesse and Joyce are missionaries in Ireland with Greater Europe Mission, whom Glenn had also served with several years ago, so they had a lot of memories to talk about and relationship to reconnect. Joyce’s group had also just restarted earlier in the day, so we talked about their class also, which is the only CBSI study in their area.

Another blessed ending to another blessed day! May yours be blessed also.

Sam

Visiting Marley Parish Class – 7 Sep 2011

Wednesday morning we went to church services at Marley Parish and visited the CBSI class that meets immediately after. This was their first meeting this year and they are beginning a study of Acts. It was encouraging to see that they had two new participants.

Afterwards we had a good discussion with Anne, the class leader (pictured below), and her husband, Gerald, regarding the CBSI studies and their effectiveness.

Then Glenn and I went across the main road to Marley Park for some lunch in their lunchroom and a short walk around their grounds among the wild animals.

One Meeting – 6 Sep 2011

My apologies for being so long in sending out another update. A combination of scheduling meeting, changing schedules, actually meeting, and bad internet connections have colluded against my being able to do so. Obviously many of you have been praying as it has been a very good week (I am writing this late Friday night even though I am reporting each day separately as of the date of the meetings).

Today we only had one meeting. Glenn and I had a profitable time of fellowship and discussion with Sean who serves on our CBSI Board of reference and as a personal advisor on ministering in the Irish culture. Glenn and I have been discussing our shared concern about why the CBSI ministry has not grown and expanded more after having a presence in Ireland for 12 years. Glenn asked Sean for his perspective about this and we received some good feedback on this, both regarding the need to broaden and deepening the development of leaders and understanding some things about the Irish culture.

After our time with Sean, since we were in Dublin City Centre, we spent some time walking around, taking in some of that Irish culture and enjoying our first Irish meal in a downton pub. We got to experience some of the Irish welcoming waters (rain) and took a few good pictures.

We were not able to schedule any other meetings for the day, so we spent the rest of the day trying to do so, talking about ministry issues, and getting to know one another better.

Sam

Two Meetings – 5 Sep 2011

Glenn and I had two good meetings today. The first was in the morning with one of the organizers of a worldwide conference being held in Dublin in June 2012 – 50th International Eucharistic Congress. This is a conference that is held every 4 years, next year being it’s 50th occurrence and this being the second time it has been held in Dublin, the first being in 1932.

The organizer, Gerard, first told us about the conference last spring and extended an invitation to come and possibly even participate in some way beyond just attending. This meeting was both to introduce him to Glenn, our CBSI Europe Director, and to discuss further what forms of participation might be open.

Gerard encouraged us to consider having and manning an information booth about CBSI, which would be pretty much an all-day event Monday through Saturday. The other option, which he also encouraged us in, was to coordinate with a local church to use their facilities to do presentations about CBSI and any other activities which would serve to promote the ministry among participants. These church events could be every day or select days planned to complement the particular focus of each day … there were two days that have an appropriate focus matching CBSI’s purpose of getting everyone in the world in the Word.

We have two churches with whom we have particularly good relationships that we hope to connect with this week to talk about those possibilities. One of them, which hosts one of our study groups, may be too far out of the center of the city for it to be a viable place to do so and we are hoping that the church leaders will have a better feel for that. We are visiting that class this Wednesday morning, so hope to talk with the leaders about that then.

Pray for God’s leading for us and for the leaders of these churches about pursuing this.

The other meeting was in the evening with the national director of Alpha-Ireland. We were meeting with him to discuss our desire to establish a formal or informal partnership between Alpha-Ireland and CBSI-Ireland. We have seen that the Alpha courses (you can click here to learn more about Alpha) serve as a good introduction to the Bible for people who have not studied the Bible previously and may find CBSI studies a rather daunting challenge with its personal study requirements. In addition, Alpha does not offer a long-term study program that teaches participants to study the Bible on their own.

In light of this, we feel that it would be a mutually beneficial partnership to be more familiar with each other’s ministries and strengths so that when people have completed the Alpha courses, the Alpha leaders would consider recommending CBSI if asked for additional resources. Likewise we would encourage people to consider Alpha if they did not feel they could take on CBSI.

We believe our input was well-received though no indications were given of whether he was particularly interested in the proposal. If nothing else, we were able to establish a healthy relationship with another national ministry leader, for which we are happy.

Here again, pray for God’s leading for us and them on whether this is something to be pursued further.

Blessings in Christ,

Sam

P.S. Patti’s father is doing fairly well and has been moved to a rehabilitation center for what should be a short stay until he regains his strength and ability to care for himself. Patti has gone on to Tennessee after visiting him to be with our son (as well as our daughter and her family) as they await the arrival of our grandson.

Prayer Requests and Calendar

I arrived safely in Dublin this morning and am relaxing and getting caught up on some things, including posting these prayer requests and a calendar showing my schedule for this trip, not including some meetings that have not been finalized yet. Click on the calendar for a larger image that will be more readable and printable.

 

2011-09 Prayer Calendar

2011-09 Prayer Calendar

 

Dinner With CBSI Leaders – 4 Mar

We had a wonderful dinner in the evening with class leaders and spouses, 15 of us all together. We had a nice dining room to ourselves at the Airport Bewley’s Hotel.

Leaders Dinner

Sharing the blessings of our studies this year.

We kept the program light with sharing testimonies of the year’s blessings and discussing some future ministry changes and Christian events coming up in which we will be participating.

It was interesting to note that almost half of the leaders there (two were spouses who are not involved with CBSI) were from one of our newer studies at Marley Parish. One couple, Gerald and Anne (far end, facing the camera), had just returned this week from their honeymoon in the Canary Islands. Anne co-leads the Marley Parish study with Robert, our national coordinator. Another leader, Els, was on her way back from Belgium (her husband, Ciaran, is closest to the camera) and joined us a while later, making our total 16.

We had 5 studies represented. We were disappointed that Sammy & Joan were not able to join us from Northern Ireland. Joan had just been called that her sister-in-law in England had just been returned to the hospital in serious condition, so she was preparing to go be with her brother and family there.

A very encouraging evening with leaders whose passion for CBSI continues to grow.

Back in Dublin – 2-3 March

We had a leisurely trip from Cork to Dublin on Wednesday.  We planned to spend Thursday making numerous calls and making final preparations for Sammy & Joan Fulton’s arrival late Thursday or on Friday morning and then dinner with our leaders from across the country Friday evening. As the day unfolded, we didn’t get to do as much of that as planned.

We had a few good chats with our landlords, to include assisting them with setting up Skype on their laptop and meeting their newest grandson. During the first chat, Patti learned that she could get an appointment with the landlady’s niece to get her hair cut, so part of her afternoon was spent at the beauty parlor. She liked it so much that she believes she has found another good reason for coming to Ireland every 3 months 🙂

We called the Fultons to confirm their plans for arriving and whether they were bringing their niece as planned. Unfortunately, Joan reported that she had just heard from her brother in England that his wife, who has been suffering from cancer for a good while, took a turn for the worse yesterday and had to be returned to the hospital, possibly in the final stages. So Joan is working on plans to join her sister to go be with their brother and family, so they will not be able to join us this weekend. Please pray for her … she has already lost a brother and his wife to cancer in the last few years in addition to dealing with Sammy’s brain cancer.

It looks like we will have about 15 at our leaders dinner tomorrow evening. This one is less formal than in the past … primarily just a dinner without a message / program.

Patti and I were pleased to be able to complete some editing on some study materials we use here in Ireland also … this was something we have wanted to get done for quite a while.

With the Fultons not being able to join us, we are altering our plans for a National Servants Team meeting on Saturday. We will meet with Robert and Becky for a shorter meeting prior to our dinner tomorrow instead. Pray for wise use of our time on Saturday … that if there is someone here we should meet with that He would make that clear.

Thanks again for holding us up in prayer!

Sam & Patti

Day in Cork

After Sam’s arrival Monday morning and some time to freshen up and get a few hours of sleep, we headed south to Cork for some time with friends Roger & Carey. They are from the U.S. serving the Lord at LifeFM Christian radio station. On Tuesday morning we joined the radio station crew for their morning prayer time and then did a live interview about CBSI at the station. We found out later from Roger that the station will be re-airing the interview at 2:30 am, which will be at 9:30 pm EST, so if you missed it this morning and would like to hear it, you can listen on the internet at http://lifefm.ie.

We have had a wonderful time staying with Roger & Carey and their kids and enjoyed a nice meal at an Italian restaurant this evening … we can’t do Fish & Chips every meal.

We head back to Dublin tomorrow (Wednesday), but we don’t have anything to rush back for so we can take our time and take in some of the Irish culture on the way.

Thanks again for your prayers.

Sam & Patti

Meetings in Northern Ireland, 24-25 Feb

On Thursday, Patti and Joan had a good visit with a friend who was a great help in getting the CBSI studies started in Northern Ireland. Ria has been and continues to be a source of encouragement and blessing.

Friday they visited with a couple who are friends of our area director. This couple serve the Christian community by training those going on the mission field to raise support for their ministry. It was a good time of fellowship with them and we hope that Joan will be able to continue a relationship with them.

Friday evening, Patti joined Sammy and Joan with their Bible study, which is always a great time of fellowship around the Word of God.

Patti is staying in good health and staying busy. She told me this afternoon that she has not been able to slow down enough to even be able to write in her journal.

Thank you for your continued prayers.