Rain Happens

Monday, January 29, 2007

Ministry Opportunities
Gary has a couple of opportunities to talk to some of the young people here. He spoke a The University of Cork to the Christian Student Union, comprising of students from around the world. He was well recieved but a little disapointed that there were not more local Cork or Irish students in attencence.
He also spoke at Cork Baptist to a gathering of teens who were from various churches in town. He spoke to them about how they need to reach out to their friends in a new fresh way and not be caught "in old armour" as he put it. He was told by some of the leaders that the kids loved what they heard and were challenged by it.
Gary has had a few opportunities to meet with some men at the rugby club and get into some conversations about the faith lately, it seems now they know we are going home they are opening up a bit. He has also had the opportunity to meet with a few people that are loosley attached to the church and have not been coming regularly for various reasons. This is good for Gary because this is his passion and allows him to use the gifts God has given him, evagelism and pastoring-discipling.

This is an update to my January 12 blog but please read it to if you have not already. Blessings!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Right so, as they say here in Ireland. Time to move on to some positive blogging. I forgot about this little pic that had been left on my camera. It is me enjoying Team Canada winning yet another world junior hockey tournament!! I had found that TSN was showing it on the internet but because I was not viewing from Canada I could not get it but, I did find a radio station from Toronto that I could listen to so, as I sat and worked on our traditional anual Christmas puzzle I got to stress out to a very exciting finish. I am thankful for todays technology.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There was a comment posted on a previous blog that we feel needs addressing. I'm greatly dissapointed that there are people that would judge us so harshley without knowing all the facts! Our family has always been very important to us and our children have always been the center of our lives, sometimes to a fault. This includes Kirbey. We have always tried our best to have as normal a family life as possible for all our girls. The odds are against us just staying togeather. Stats show that 85% of marriages in similar situations end in divorce. We have always hunted down the best possible care and programs that we could find from Calgary to Three Hills to Kelowna to Summerland and had the same intentions to do so in Ireland. God has always provided more than ample care in each case with loving caring people he has put in our lives. We had done lots of asking around on two previous visits to Ireland and were told that there were programs and care here. We were told this by people in health care professions and by people with special needs family. We truley believed this was a safe move for the whole family. The programs for brain injury can vary according to the injury and Kirbey falls inbetween the cracks here. She is not able to function on a level that is needed for what is offered here and a nursing home was suggested and we of course said no. Ireland is changing and trying to meet the need of all but this is a long way off. We were told at least 10-15 years.As for Kirbey staring at 4 walls, we have kept her busy as much as we could and this is one of the reasons we are coming home because to care for Kirbey properly is taking both of us and this limits Garys ministry. I do not feel I need to justify this any further. Whoever left this comment does not know us well, does not know how much we love our children and our Lord and are trying to serve both the best we can. Maybe we can sit down with you one day and clear things up for you.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Who Eats Better Dogs Or Humans?
Someone anonymously asked for a pic of Kirbey. Well as luck would have it, Kirbey was to be my next subject to blog about. We had just come home from doing a little shopping and buying Mungo a treat. I gave him one of the treats and left the open package on the table next to where Kirbey was sitting. During the time when we were bringing in the rest of the groceries, Kirbey had decided that the dog treats looked rather inviting. She managed to chew one down and was on the second before we noticed. I had a little panic until I read the ingredients and realized the dog snacks were heathier than most things humans snack on. So after a little panic we had a great laugh on Kirbeys behalf. Sorry there have not been a lot of pics of Kirbey but it is really hard to get a decent picture of her and I want to honour her and only put pictures that are flattering. Even at Christmas I could not get a good one after trying many times.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well on New Years Eve we got together with 6 other couples from the church and went out for dinner. We then came back to our house to let the babysitter go out, she was one of the daughters of the couples we were out with. I then proceeded to show them how to play dice. The Juliens and Borcherts taught us how a couple of years ago during the Christmas season and now I have passed the traditon to Ireland. They really enjoyed the game. We had quite a multicultural bunch, 2 Canadians, 3 Englishmen, 2 Nothern Irishmen, 1 Brazilian and 6 local Irishmen. I know it looks like we look like a bunch of boozers but we all shared a bottle of champagne to ring in the new year. Really!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

As we enter into the new year I thought I would give you all an update on what is up on the ministry side of things.

Since we have come to Ireland in July, Gary has tried to get into the groove of preparing his sermans and leading the people of the Lee Valley Bible Church. He had a slow start as you know because it was hard to work out of the house and boxes and no office. Well he is now into the groove, preparing sermans, meeting with the elders of the church once a month to help give directon and a new vision, and getting going and following up on 5 small groups, 4 adult and 1 youth. There have been a few Christian people that have not had close ties to the church lately because of different negative things that Gary has had the opportunity to give a few fresh insights to.

We have tried to connect with some people in the neigbourhood by going to the local rugby club and selling Avon. Some of the people we managed to connect with were the people who had children that the girls met, children are a great connection to other people. We have tried to feel out where they are at spiritually but being a very guarded type of people here it is all very polite and not much depth to the conversation. They are more interested in socialising and good craic(crack),that means having fun. Gary did however have a couple of great spiritual conversations with one of the neighbours and another fellow in the rugby club recently.

Gary has met with the denomination heads here in Ireland and tried to share his vision with them only to fall a little flat. He also meets with the other area pastors once a month to share prayer requests and how things are going in each others churches. He had also tried to share his ideas here but is often told most of his ideas will not work here or they seem not too interested. There seems to be a very traditional approach here and a resitance to change.

He has also become involved in a prayer meeting every Thursday at a couples house that live close to the University of Cork. Their names are Jo and Frank and they have 5 children. They are from Canada and the USA. They have been called to serve in a ministry where Frank teaches at the university and tries to introduce people to Jesus. They have given up much in the way of material items, nice home, cars etc to serve here. I know that is not suppose to be important but if you could see the extremly old row house they are living in so they could be within walking distance of the university you would understand the sacrifice. They have also gone almost 2 years with no car as they have nowhere to park. We had to adjust our thinking of our house being small and not what we were use to after we saw their house. It is literally falling apart and for 7 people only 3 bedrooms and the kitchen is the size of a trailer you pull behind your car with no counters at all. But if they were anywhere else they could not open up their house to who they are trying to reach. They are trying to buy a better place but because of the locality they are having to pay over a million Canadian just to have a decent place. They are getting some response but unfortunatly it is mostly foreign students.

There was another couple here from Canada named Terry and Laura. They were planning to be here for 1 year but Laura got pregnant and they had to go home but, while they were here Terry ran around like a mad man searching out every possible connection he could find and hoping in turn to hook them up with either Gary or Frank and Jo. Not much was accomplished in the 7 months they were here except with foreigners as the locals are very guarded and don't take to outsiders. They visited just about every church here before we came and gave Gary a good idea what is going one here in the local churches.

Well it has been difficult to connect as we knew it would be but it is still difficult to accept that it is so hard. Gary was talking to the guy who runs the local Christian book store and he said there was a family from the US that has been here 3 years and has felt they could get no where and is going home. Ireland is a tough nut to crack!

Well as most of you know now we are heading home. Not because Ireland is a tough nut, because we were ready to give it a serious go, but because we have exausted all avenues for any kind of programs or respite care for Kirbey. She has mostly sat around the house and we have had to take turns caring for her 24/7. This is hard because Gary is trying to help me out and this limits him in his ministry. But more importantly Kirbey needs some things to make her life special too. We have taken her swimming on a regular basis and to town when not raining and out to the rugby club even but it is not what we feel works for her or the family. Gary will give more details when he comes home in Feb.

Even though we feel we have not made a huge difference we have been told that we are a breathe of fresh air and caused some new ways of thinking.

We will carry on as best we can hoping to make a difference while we are still here.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Well, Christmas and New Years have come and gone. So now that things have settled down I will finally get down to some blogging. On Christmas eve we had Joe and Dawn and two families from the neighbourhood come over for our traditional Christmas Coffees. Lots of whipped cream and yummy.
We had our turkey which Gary made the stuffing and stuffed it as usual, I hate putting my hand into the bird so Gary has done it for years, and I did the veggies. I found a great recipie for brussel sprouts with bacon and apple all roasted togeather, yes its a Martha recipie. I did cheat on the roast potatoes because you can buy frozen ones here that roast really nice, not as nice as Nannys of course! The girls were happy with their presents, TaLeah is our pamper queen with her terry towel outfit and her foot spa and body creams. Shanaya loved her Eeyore shirt and was very suprised to recieve a cd that we thought we would not be able to find here as no one had ever heard of them. Kirbey also loved her presents and Mungo even got into the recieving spirit with his new chew toy. Gary and I also managed to find a few presents that we could surprise each other with as we usually know what we are getting. We did our usual Christmas puzzle and I taught the girls how to play Dutch Blitz. It was a nice Christmas but very lonely as this was our first Christmas with no family for any of us.