Greetings Dear Friends,
Here are the latest updates on life and ministry in Ireland. Please continue to pray for God to be made known in a real way among our Irish friends.
Grace and Peace.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”
Life in Ireland Snippet
Driving around the lush, green, and picturesque scenery is one of the perks of living and serving in Ireland. We are still overwhelmed and amazed at the beauty around us after all these years. However, there are always two sides to the coin. These jaw-dropping views and scenic byways are usually only accessed by roads more suited to horse and carriage than motorized vehicles. It is a common occurrence for visiting guests to try and climb onto my side of the car for fear of the wall or brambles or buildings mere inches away, it seems, from their window. Added to this are the speeds that are more suited for the motorway and not these rough roads. It’s also common, in the countryside, to be driving on a two-way road that isn’t suited for one car. Yet that is a part of life that we are accustomed to. Even in big cities, the width of the roads is smaller than we were used to. This brings with it its own challenges. Living and driving in Ireland took a bit to get used to. But we did, and with that, every drive is a new adventure.
The relationships that we have made over the years are special. We got a call from a friend who had access to a surplus of food and asked if we could help distribute it to those in need. Tricia rang another one of our friends and set it up. Tricia spent the next two days sorting and preparing, packing, and loading and delivered 30 food hampers to help at-risk families in our communities.
Recently we were talking with a young man who comes from a home filled with addictive substance abuse. He was sharing with us how much our family has meant to him getting through school. We were always there for a chat or a word of encouragement. He especially appreciated the discussions with David on theological issues; books that he had read, questions about the Bible, and topics that he had no other person to wrestle through with. We were a solid foundation for him.
“You are like a beam of sunshine in human form.” Recently a friend was joking with me about the way I try and bring joy and peace into everything. I smiled and said I like to try and reflect the hope and joy that I have inside. They asked where that came from and I smiled and said, “My faith in a loving God.”
I was sharing with a friend in the States recently how I feel like I am still a pastor of a church; just my flock doesn’t meet in one place. As I am writing this, I’m sitting outside at a café and several of the local schools have let out. One of the teens that I have worked with over the years had attended the Alpha course we ran in the schools last year. After the initial hellos, they were excited to say that they went to CU that day. (CU stands for Christian Union and is a student-led school group). We chatted about this for a bit and then they were off. I love the way that God has given us opportunities to plant seeds, nurture them, and watch them grow.
Please pray for our funding. We will be traveling back to the States, starting in January, for deputation and meeting up with past, present, and future partners in ministry in Ireland. We would love to meet up and chat with you about what God has and is doing in Ireland.
Please pray for our family’s safety, both mentally and physically. We will be traveling a great deal over the coming months. Please pray for traveling protection as well as for the mental toll that these times take.
Grace and Peace,
The Howell Clan