Nothing goes as planned...
Our week here is Nenagh has been a week of rolling with it. I think it has been good for all of us. It's been a great week to practice listening and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It's also been a good week for simply paying attention to who is responding to us and enjoying them.
That list of people is quite interesting:
The team members interacting with one another which include our fearless leaders Nev and Dave. As well as Keith, Jacki, Vanessa, Nicole and myself. And last and certainly not least the pastor we've come to help Matt.
20 plus church members
Random people on the street who know Matt and his wife Jules as we pass out fliers all over town. 3000 addresses will be covered in 4 or so days.
2 members of the "Tidy Town" civic group and a couple of youth doing community service. One of the Tidy Town representatives is Martin. He is a bit of a town historian. So while cleaning up the grave yard in the center of town he told us stories on break and asked us about our project. We hope to catch up again with him later in the week.
Nev has gotten to play football (soccer) with Matt and his team for two nights and may get invited to play in a game on Friday night. We plan to go watch and cheer them on. Hopefully we'll get to interact with some others on the sidelines as well while we're there.
Vanessa, Keith and Nev did Questionarres on the street today... If you had one question to ask God, what would it be? We may incorporate some of what was learned in the Sunday Coffee Bar conversation.
Nicole has been creating art all week. We will be leaving behind some of it for the church.
That give you a taste of what it has been like. We have had plans for each day but if someone shows an interest in interacting with us the plan gets scrapped and we go there. Much of that is work that only God knows about. We hope Matt becomes more aware over time if any meaningful seeds were planted in the lives of those who do not yet believe.
In many ways the trip has been about the encouragement of believers. Matt and his wife Jules have been doing the church plant here for 9 years. That is a long time. This is slow work. It makes a difference for teams like us to come in and provide much needed boost of support, encouragement, a listening ear and appreciation for so much that gets done that does not get recognized. I've been walking this journey with my own brother back in the States. I could not be more delighted about being put on a team sent here to encourage a church planting pastor. We talked for over an hour today. It was helpful to both of us.
Young Nev. He's 24. He's dubbed me the Mum of the group. And rightly so. I'm even older than the pastor. :) Nev and I share a lot of similarities in how we see things and how we approach ministry. It has been good for us to work through the decision making process together on a few occasions on this trip. He is very open about his faith. What he has learned and what he is in the middle of learning right now. It has been a joy to both listen and throw in a few words of encouragement. I do not know what all God has planned for this young man. But God has rescued him from a lot! He knows it. There joy in his soul to match. It's contagious. He is truly the most joyful person with gift of evangelism I have ever met. I'm praying that God will allow Dave and I to host him in America in some form or fashion. We'll see if that is God's plan or mine. :)
So we've got three more days to roll with it and see what happens. That will include a football game, a hurling game and a football fun day, attending a local children's play, Sunday service and whatever else we get surprised with.
For those of you praying for us, a great big thank you!