Kathi Perry | Serving in Ireland
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Create family (my paraphrase). Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
In November I will have been in Ireland twenty-one years. I think about the places I have lived, and the people I’ve met. I think about friends who have become family. I am thankful.
In 2009 I started the first Little Friends Parent and Baby group. I see these women (whose babies are now teenagers!) when I am in the shops or walking in the neighborhood. They say to me “The people I met in your group, they are still my friends. Those babies are the children that now come to birthday parties.” I love this. Create family. Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you…
Not long ago a mum messaged me and asked if I could “help” her husband. She was with their youngest who was in hospital, and dad needed a nap. I brought the older children here and we went into my garden. They helped me dig up potatoes and carrots, and water. They laughed and they hugged me, and their shouts scared the cat. We went for ice cream. My heart is full. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. Create family.
I recently asked some of the women if they would write down what “Little Friends” has meant to them. One mum wrote this:
“Little Friends baby and toddler groups were a great help to me when I was a new mum in a new place … It was a lifesaver to have a place to go in any weather to talk and get support and advice… To be able to sit down and drink a mug of something hot and to enjoy the luxury of cake was a real gift and something to look forward to each week. Later came the Bible study where we were able to have some great discussions and disagree on various points without damaging the friendships which had grown out of the baby and toddler groups. These days when many are afraid of causing offence this was really valuable, to be able to freely discuss different points of view whilst maintaining unity. I believe this helped us to grow spiritually.”