MISSION TRIP TO IRELAND
Early in our trip, however, a number of team members (including myself) became ill. Some were unable to participate in a few of the planned times of ministry. Several mornings I prayed in earnest, "God, sustain me today. Strengthen me to do what you called us here to do." Each day, God answered that prayer. I can't explain how I was physically able to carry out some of the tasks before me during the week, but God sustained me. Thus, one of my takeaways from the trip was a deeper belief in the truth that when we are weak, he is strong.
Towards the latter part of the trip Ireland was hit with one of the worst storms in decades! For a few days the transportation around Dublin shut down, and we were unable to carry out a couple of ministry opportunities. The illness among the team members and the harsh weather totally felt like a form of spiritual attack. At times we felt a bit discouraged, but we kept reminding ourselves that God was writing this story. His ways are not our ways, and his plans are not always our plans; yet, he is faithful. I believe the times of worship, service, and sharing were very significant and, by God's grace, will bear fruit in the weeks, months, and years to come. I know I was strengthened in my walk with God and learned a fresh lesson about his daily provision and sustenance in my life.
A highlight of the trip was the relationships. The people in Dublin were so kind and receptive. It was such a joy to get to know some new friends: the pastors and their families at Liberty Church, many of the church members, the men and women in recovery at Tiglin, the guests who find a warm meal, clothes, and some shelter at The Lighthouse. It was so humbling to get to know the various leaders and volunteers who are serving and ministering on a daily basis in and around Dublin. They are truly making a difference for God's kingdom, and it is exciting to see the fruit of all their labor in the Lord.
The day before we flew out of Dublin we were able to take in some of the sights. It was such a privilege to visit the Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. I was able to walk along the River Liffey and take in the beautiful architecture of the various bridges and buildings. All in all, it was a great trip. I feel like I have many wonderful memories from Ireland and a number of new friends in Nashville and Dublin. God is good!