It has been a great start to this trip. The front end brought the most flexibility regarding our schedule, which has been great because it has allowed me to adjust some to the time change and setting here. From here out each day is fairly full. We have been all over Northern Ireland and I have seen everything from castles to cathedrals, from mountains that inspired CS Lewis' Narnia to dramatic sea coasts. Yesterday I was able to tour Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Northern Ireland, where neighboring hills boast Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals making their claim to St. Patrick. Lucas and Su are the real thing. Their affection for their friends and neighbors both within and outside of Village is fantastic. There is a constant stream of people in and out of the house. Each day and night has been filled with opportunities to spend time with the wonderful people of the Village as well. God has done and continues to do something special here as Jesus builds His Church in this place. I love talking to the people involved in Village and hearing their passion for the Gospel and desire to see the Spirit at work.
On a random note, I received a Facebook message last night that blew my mind. in 2008 I spoke at and led the youth portion of a missions conference in Istanbul, Turkey. A couple of the students were part of a missionary family from Northern Ireland serving in Istanbul. They have since moved back and live less than 10 miles from where I am staying. So, they are going to come out to connect with me and Village tomorrow night. Crazy.
Today we are headed out to Glenabbey Church, the church that sent Lucas out to plant. We will have lunch with some leaders there as they celebrate the opening of a new building. I'm looking forward to meeting and connecting with the pastor and leaders there. Tomorrow Lucas and I will travel to observe a church planter in action in the morning. Then I have the tremendous privilege of opening God's Word to preach as the Village gathers for worship tomorrow evening. Please pray for the Spirit to move through the worship gathering. Pray that doors would be opened in people's hearts and minds and that I might make the gospel clear.