Ireland Thus Far

Travel Days:   7.5.11
Today was supposed to be our first day in Ireland, but we had a few snafus in our travel plans. Currently we are sitting in the Newark airport for four more hours until take off. However, our ministry has already begun. These kids are incredible! Allow me to rewind to yesterday.
Yesterday, we left AIM around 9:30AM to drive to the ATL airport where we were planning on spending about five hours before our flight to Newark. We had a great drive to the airport and once we arrived and made it through security we cozied up to our assigned gate for what ended up being almost seven hours due to weather delays. The group morale remained high, we prayed over the traveling, made goals for positive attitudes, and the leaders shared some hilarious stories from the mission field. Not to mention our team’s obsession with planking, a new craze most of us are not yet familiar with.
The plane ride was lovely as it involved sharing music with Darleen, watching the sunset, seeing the stars, and crossing over Manhattan. The city was all lit up and sparkly like glitter and we could see tiny fireworks displays all over the grid below for the Fourth of July. It was truly spectacular.
In Newark, we ended up missing our Dublin flight by one hour. There was a weird and dark spirit around us of fear and anxiety as we spoke with the airline representative. For some reason we were not getting much help from the airline.
I got the team’s attention and we started praying over the situation: for peace and compassion from the workers and that God would give us a safe place to sleep. The thing is (and what we shared with the team) that when you are going to do something good – something in the name of God – there will be a battle. We established this past week that this is not just a frivolous trip to experience Europe, we are going with a purpose and it is going to change our hearts. We are going to experience God and love people in that. God is doing amazing things. So, we all prayed out against the struggle we were having.
As soon as we looked up the entire situation had shifted. The anxiety was gone, we all became calm, and the airline rep that had been walking away in frustration suddenly turned around toward the counter again and began helping us. It was like a switch had been flipped. We ended up having three hotel rooms comped for the team to rest. NOT ONLY this, but this morning (7.6.11) when we arrived in the airport again we began to have a struggle yet again to get anyone to assist us. As we stood by the counter trying to get anyone to help us Frank tapped me and Bekah on the shoulder and pointed toward our team. There they were in a circle praying for us. Smiling and encouraged, we turned around and suddenly someone was helping us. Someone was printing all of our tickets.
While these things may seem minor, it is a battle against what we are going to do. It is something that as a missionary you have to combat and pray for discernment to be able to recognize these things in yourself and your team and call it out in love. Things like frustration and fear could cause disunity and can close us off to what God has for us.
Satan cannot touch us, but has a role in twisting our situations and luring us away from God. So, we cling to Christ. It’s incredible to be a part of a team that gets that. We are children of God and we are called here with a purpose.
With all of this in mind, we have less than three hours now until our flight to Ireland. The team is enjoying their time in the airport and even met an Irish teen right here. His name is Mike and he’s teaching them to juggle. While the travel thus far has been challenging, it is such confirmation again of God’s astounding provision and encouragement for what is to come. Praise God for everything He has done! Onward to Dungarvan!
Arrival:   7.7.11
We arrived in Dungarvan yesterday! The countryside on the drive in is so gorgeous and our walk around the town was equally stunning. Dungarvan is a quaint Irish bayside town. We spent time this evening (Thursday, 7.7.11) at The Drop, which is the drop-in center we are assisting in developing here. The team spent time hanging out with some teens in the area and played a raucous game of Spoons while getting to know one another. We are developing a logo and branding for the drop-in and passing out fliers around town tomorrow inviting everyone to hang out at The Drop. This is the ministry we will be doing daily here.

Team time is going really well; everyone is in great spirits and loving the chilly weather and friendly people! Tonight is Ben’s 18th birthday and we are celebrating with a cake and a movie. We will connect back soon and are keeping you all in our prayers.
Much Love,

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