Saturday, December 8, 2012

Back Home...

   Natalee and I are back in Texas.  It's bitterweet, we miss our friends and family in Ireland, but it is so good to see friends and family here!
   Our last week in Ireland was very busy, we were able to spend time with each family on the team, it was a time to thank them individually for sharing their love and work for The Kingdom with us.  We were able to spend time with several Irish friends as well, and be encouraged by them before we headed home.
   Thank you everyone for your prayers and encouragement these past two months, this has been an unbelievable journey for us, we have been blessed beyond words.
   If you could keep Natalee and I both in your prayers as we are now having to make decisions about our future.
Thank you & God Bless!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone has a blessed day full of family, friends, and thankfulness!

 Natalee and I, along with the team, just got back to Dublin yesterday afternoon.  We were in Rothenburg, Germany this past week for the annual "Euro-American Family Retreat", for missionary and military families.  Germany was absolutely beautiful-Rothenburg is one of the few places in Germany that was not bombed during World War II.  We spent about 5 days in Rothenburg, worshipping with missionaries and other believers from all over Europe.
 There was a group working in Marce, France.  There were two couples that lead the group of 10 young adults, some were right out of high school and some had finished college.  Four of them were from the states, the rest were from other parts of France,  5 could speak fluent English.  Natalee and I got to know them pretty well, and we spent our last night with the group.  It was amazing!  Even with the language barrier, we talked with everyone and bonded over hot chocolate and ice cream.  That was my favorite part of the retreat (I think it is Natalee's favorite part as well).  We will cherish that memory and the friendships we have made.
 In Rothenburg, we were able to meet many other Christians from allover Europe and the states, it was incredible to be able to worship with so many believers from so many places.

 Today, we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the team and other Americans we've met, that are either working or going to school in Dublin.  The team invited several others who are not from the states, and have never had Thanksgiving before.  We are grateful to share this Holiday with our Christian family here in Dublin!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Busy Week!

   This past week Natalee and I stayed busy with volunteer work, bible studies, and spending time encouraging others.  Saturday, (October 27th) we went with Juli and a friend of her's to Malahide.  We spent the day there exploring-we toured the Malahide Castle, walked along the coast, and had a "Traditional Irish Breakfast".  It was a great way for us to show Christ to others, just by spending the day with them.  That evening we had a girl's night with several young ladies from the community, it was such a blessing to get to know them better!
   On Monday Natalee and I spent the day in Howth with the lady we are living with.  She had the day off work and invited us to go "Cliff Walking" with her.  Again, the Lord gave us an opportunity to show our faith.  We are getting to know her better, and loving her more each day.
  During the week we had our coffee shop bible studies with the ladies (Tuesday), and with Shay (Thursday).  Both studies were full of great discussion, I come out of those studies better than I was going in to them.  On Wednesday, there was a "Craft Day" for all the  kids from the different playgroups we helped with.  There were different tables with different crafts to make.  Many parents brought their children, it was so much fun for the kids and for us!  But we were exhausted afterwards.  We met a few au pairs, one of whom we had met at a playgroup the week before.  We invited her to a "Block Party" that Friday, she was planning on coming but ended up not being able to because she had to watch the kids that night.
   We were able to go to Shay's english class down in the city centre, and be a part of that.  There were many students there, several from Spain and Poland and other parts of the world.  Later that day Natalee and I went on to Oxfam to volunteer the rest of the day.
   Friday night we had a "Block Party".  There was a great turn out, tons of people showed up and we got to spend time with our friends, the young ladies we've been getting to know.  We had a wonderful meal, and after that we played a game that Shay and Juli had played with the youth group.  It was a wonderful evening and entirely too much fun!
   It's hard to believe our time here is half-way over, but what a blessing it's been!  A few weeks ago, Juli, Natalee, and I were talking about how easy it would be to visit another country while we are over here...and so we decided to do it!  We are going to Barcelona, Spain!  We leave early tomorrow morning, we'll be there three full days, and we'll come back late Wednesday night.  We are thrilled to have that time with Juli, and share this experience with one another!  Please be praying for our safety while we are there!
   Thank you everyone for your continued prayers!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Busy Week!

Spending a day in Malahide encouraging a friend of Juli's!

The Ladies Coffee Shop Bible Study

Volunteering for a Craft Day for Kids!

We went "Trick-or-Treating" with Shay, Juli, and Ashlyn!

Halloween bonfire!-There were many!

Volunteering at Oxfam!-We are organizing donated books and movies.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween for the Irish

Halloween originated in Ireland several thousand years ago, this holiday is a big deal to some of the Irish.   They enjoy it in a different way than we do in America, back home we enjoy carving our pumpkins and having tons of candy to eat/pass out to the kids-here, they enjoy it more for the creepiness.  Also, the young teenage boys have bonfires in the neighborhoods-that will be entertaining!  So to lighten up the holiday a bit more, Natalee and I volunteered at several playgroups each day and did face/hand painting for the kids.  It was enjoyable for the kids and their parents to have us paint pumpkins, cats, ghosts, or spiders on their children.  For the not-so-brave kids, we had stickers to give them!

Here Natalee is painting a  little boy's hand....he was Michael Jackson, he took his costume off..

And here "Buzz Lightyear" is painting my hand...he was precious!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Routine of Things

Hello Everyone!
   This week has been incredible!  We are a part of two coffee shop bible studies: One is with Juli and the ladies, we are studying the book of Mark.  The other one on Thursday evenings is with Shay, we are studying Acts.  Our friend Dee, has been coming to the studies, and has also joined us for worship on Sunday.
   Once a week we are helping Juli with a morning playgroup.  There are more parents/au pairs and children than we had expected-Juli tried to "warn" us, it was and will be so much fun!  We get to sing fun songs, and play fun games with the kids-and help set up/clean up afterwards.  It's a wonderful way to spend time with the parents and the young au pairs that bring the kids.
   On Friday, we got an opportunity to go to Belfast in Northern Ireland.  We went with a couple on the team, along with some friends of theirs.  The group of us went to the Titanic Museum there in Belfast, which had more history about Belfast and the general ship building that it was known for.  There was quite a bit of information about the Titanic as well, we knew what to expect at the end-it was heartbreaking.  The day was a blessing non the less, everyone had fun and we all enjoyed each other's company!
   Saturday was little Ashlyn's birthday-She turned 3!  Along with the team members, a few kids and their parents from the playgroup came.  Ashlyn had lots fun, got lots of fun toys, and ate lots of sweets...and so did we!  Later that evening we had a girls night with a few young ladies who have come to worship.  It was a chance to encourage them and show them Christ, we are praying for more opportunities to do that.
   We are looking forward to this week, and the weeks to come.  It is a comfort to know we have everyone back home praying for us!  God is so good!

Thought those who know Shay would appreciate this!  He's "having tea" with Ashlyn on her new princess table while she pretends to be a mouse!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving In

   For those of you who don't know, Natalee and I have been living with Shay and Juli this past week.  Our prior living arrangements did not work out-it was a blessing to spend that time with Shay, Juli, and Ashlyn.  We found a place not too far from them, and it's about a 3 minute walk from another couple on the team.  We moved in Saturday night, after Shay and I (Jenny) watched the Texas/OU game, which by the way was a huge disappointment.

  On Sunday morning we, along with the rest of the team, worshipped with the Ranelagh Christian Church.  It was a blessing to be with so many believers from so many places.  Sunday evening we had worship at the Smith's with the North Dublin Christian Community.  It was a day full of worship, and it brought us so much peace.

  Last week, on Tuesday evening we went to English Class with Shay.  There were about 12 students there, who happened to all be from Poland. We met a young girl that arrived in Dublin just a few days before we had, so her english was not as good as the other students. But she was so sweet and I am praying that God will allow us to become friends.
   Thursday was our first day of work at Oxfam-it was so much fun!  I (Jenny) worked the till (Cash Register) and Natalee organized and steamed clothes.  We both enjoyed it and are looking forward to going back to work!  Thursday evening we went to our first Coffee Shop Bible Study, we finished up Luke and had great discussion with other believers.  We met Dee, she's our age and from the states.  She is here interning for 5 months, this was her first study and she was thrilled to meet more Americans and more believers.  We start studying Acts this Thursday.
  Friday evening we had a "Block Party".  It is a chance to get to know people in the community and minister through meals, conversation, and games.  It was a fun night and we had a lot of people show up.

  Please pray that God will continue to use us, not just with our time with the team, but also with our free time.  Pray that we will follow His direction, and He will lead us to more opportunities.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finding our way

Thank you everyone for your prayers-please continue to pray for us while we are getting settled in!

The past few days we have been trying to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings, there is a lot of walking involved.  We went to a nearby farmers market and the park with Shay and Ashlyn on Saturday while Juli was at a conference.  Yesterday (Sunday) we had our first worship with the North Dublin Christian Community-It was an incredible experience feeling so close to the people we just met.  Natalee and I took a train to Howth, a nearby village off the coast of the Dublin Bay, we got to walk around and see the lighthouse there on the boardwalk.

Today we travelled to the City Centre with Juli to fill out an application for volunteer work at Oxfam and meet the ladies we'll be working with.  Natalee and I start Thursday morning-I am thrilled to be in the heart of Dublin, surrounded by the culture and the people of Ireland!

This week we will get to shadow Shay as he teaches english classes and leads the bible studies in the coffee shop.  I am looking forward to see what the Lord has in store!

                                     (Natalee and I "riding the cow" with Ashlyn at the park!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Off to Ireland!

Natalee and I are leaving for the airport tomorrow morning and heading to Dublin Ireland!  We will arrive there Thursday morning at 7:15am, and Shay & Juli will be there to pick us up and get us started!  We are thrilled for this opportunity!
I personally just want to thank everyone who has supported me in one way or another, I have been blessed beyond measure! So thank you!