seeing as i've been away from the blogopshere for about two weeks, i don't think at this point i'll attempt to give a day by day account. i will say that the ten days the team all had together after camps were over were a precious blessing from the Lord. we grew even deeper in our friendships and our knowledge of Jesus as we distributed magazines, led a Sunday morning service, and helped with other random upcomings. our hearts were unified further and it was a joy to bring that unity into other situations as we spent time with families and teens in the area. "they'll know us by our love"...i sure do know those team members love Jesus by their love for others.
as far as specifics, by the time the team left we had handed out 5500 magazines! we are only 500 magazines short of our goal (due only to weather, not lack of persistence!) and, should the skies smile on us tomorrow, we'll be finishing those up with kate (one of our dear friends here) as well as luke, one of the teens in town.
last sunday, we conducted the church service at youghal baptist. mervyn interviewed the team regarding their time here, chris/haley/i led worship, ashley read scripture, and jared preached. allow me to just brag on my husband for a moment. he absolutely blew me away. now, by blew me away i don't mean "performed well," "had a perfect three point sermon" (which neither of us would call perfect anyway), or "was so charismatic and charming we nearly forgot where we were." rather, i mean he studied the Word for hours on end the week before, articulated clearly, and so obviously listened to the Spirit lead. i was so blessed by him that day and we continue to pray that others in the congregation were as well. in case you're curious, he spoke on great faith using the examples of the centurion with the sick servant and samaritan woman with the demon possessed daughter, who are the only two examples in matthew of people Jesus said had great faith. oh to be as transformed as they were, how lovely to know we can be!
sunday afternoon, we had a church bbq here at the tromsness' filled with delicious food, kickball, and conversation. we also got to visit with a couple from the Logos Hope ("A cutting-edge example of international cooperation and cultural understanding, this growing fleet has been sailing the world since 1970, housing at any one time over 600 unpaid volunteers from around 70 countries! These crewmembers have each given several months or even years of their lives to serve on board, promoting world-wide education, cooperation, aid relief, social awareness and a personal relationship with God, in the ports and countries to which they travel."), a ship with an incredible bookstore (which we splurged at due to the ridiculously low prices) and a huge heart for the gospel which was docked in Cork for a few weeks. we had visited it the previous day with the team and several friends from camp whom we met for pizza, ice cream, shopping, and shipping. it was wonderful to meet others with a heart for missions who were following the Lord in such a specific way.
monday, we got to visit the blarney stone with the team - such fun - then eat dinner with a few families and other friends from camp. we have been blown away by the hospitality and openness here, if anything rubs off on us, i hope its that! we then had some time just with the team for their last night which was such a blessing. we rode with them to the airport at 5am the following morning and were sad to see them go, but excited to know that the Lord has such wonderful plans for each of our lives and it will be a joy to see where he leads each of us.
we've spent the last few days communing with friends and getting to rest a bit as we recover from social overload the past month. we're still around a lot of people all the time but jared and i will actually be getting monday all to ourselves which is a huge deal - we haven't had a day together since june 14th and only had lunch alone together once while the team was here. we wouldn't trade a minute of our time with any of them, or with a single irish person, but our marriage is definitely knocking at the door of our hearts asking for our attention, so, its time to grant it! praise God for giving us the blessing of time, perserverance, patience, whatever it may be, exactly when we need it. our hearts rejoice as we learn to rely on Him more and more each day.