Until We Meet Again…
Our last week in Ireland was a mixed bag. Covid behind us, weather mixed, last meetings, countryside drives to soak in the unique beauty. Most have been the same drives we’d take on our journeys to connect with friends, but during out last week we’d stop to photograph some of the sights.
Lunch with new friends from this trip, Kirsten and Tim was time filled with laughter, shared interests, allowed Tom the opportunity to talk buildings and construction while Linda and Kirsten talked about creative arts.
The Tuesday fellowship was a study from James on wisdom. Tom taught the study this week and there was an opportunity for much discussion, and interactions. Questions and examples proved how this wisdom is evident. The richness of life experience provided varied instances others had as they witnessed this type of wisdom.
A lunch meeting provided us the opportunity to connect again with Mark and Lona Webb. Missionaries here for over ten years, and friends now since our first trip in 2019. It has been a gift to see how they have flourished since then and through Covid. Later this year will be their first trip back to the US in many years, where they will be making a whirlwind trip across the country to visit with supporters and family. We hope to connect again on “our side of the pond.”
The writing group was smaller, due to many traveling or having other commitments. However, the fellowship was as rich as ever. Covid changed the dynamic of this group. With the first lockdown in 2020, they went online via Zoom, then as the culture opened up, they morphed into two weekly meetings. One in person, and the next day, one on Zoom. So, Linda will continue with these meetings once we’re back home.
Thursday evening was a women’s meeting coordinated and hosted by Living Rock Church. What a fun evening and what a treat to see women from different fellowships groups gather together in friendship, worship and a time of sharing. Linda encouraged the women with some words from Esther on the topic of “For Such a Time as This.” The interactions and camaraderie of the women was evidence of God presence. What a blessing it was to be a witness of this evening. May it be the beginning of more interfaith gatherings in County Kerry. And what a treat, to meet an Irish woman from Killarney, living in Dublin, who also feels the call to minister to and encourage the pastors. Tom and Michael spent the evening together and had one last long conversation.
Friday breakfast with JP and Fidelma was one of those bittersweet moments. A final gathering for this trip, and confirmation of a deeper and growing friendship. Cherished moments.
We squeezed in a performance at Saint John’s Theatre in Listowel, and tea with a fellow writer before making the trek back to Dingle. The sun was in and out, the air was cool and the day beautiful. Daffodils were popping all over, adding simple beauty.
While in Listowel, Linda was introduced to a gentleman who is connected with a writer from the San Diego area. Sometimes the world feels so very small.
Concerns abounded for the Ukraine, and still do. Remember to pray for those trapped in this war, fighting for their homeland and way of life; for those who have family and friends in this environment; for world leaders; for God’s peace and grace. Pray for the people.
Time is such a strange phenomenon. Seven weeks sounded like a long time to be in Ireland, and yet in many ways, it passed too quickly. There were people we hoped to see, or those we hoped to see more frequently but either schedules, work, life or lack of time prevented our connections. Perhaps, next trip.
Ireland is a beautiful country and many will tell you so. But it is the people, the people…who have captivated our hearts. Those people, and the knowledge of how much God loves them and wants to call them to himself keeps pulling us back. We will return. …in His timing.