Though most of my focus here is in Shankill and working alongside Shankill Bible Church with the Youth Group we’ve started and the Moms and Tots group – I’ve been networking and discovering new areas to serve and connect with. Two weeks ago I was able to have three brand new experiences that I have to say seemed pretty intimidating.
First was a three day preachers conference that my elder Len convinced me to sing up for. This conference ended up being over one hundred men of ministry (and 4 women) coming together to hone their preaching skills and collectively learn from one another’s critiques. How intimidating for me to be there with all of these male pastors and ministers! It’s very well organized, each attendee is assigned a passage and put into small group work shops who meet a few times for several hours to work through and then preach through the passages. Each has a seven minute slot to preach their passage and then hear feedback. We were all challenged and built up. The main sessions were also impactful with great speaking and a unique experience of hearing a room filled with men of God singing together. It was so encouraging to be there and see all of these men humbly coming together from across Ireland. I was very blessed to be able to be part of this and am excited to follow up with new connections.
Second is that I was able to finally connect with DCM’s Light House homeless ministry. Dublin Christian Mission is based in Dublin City Center and has been flourishing these past few years with Joe Murphy (American missionary through CMML) and his leadership. Light House has a type of soup kitchen that I was able to come and help out for one whole day. I’ve never actually done anything like it before so I was pretty nervous coming in. It was such a great experience. I was impressed that it was so dignified and the focus wasn’t only on providing for people in need, but building relationships with them. It was a really nice atmosphere and I was able to take a break from serving food to sit down and eat with some guests. I had some great conversation and was even forced to play a song on a guitar someone had with them. I found serving here is something I definitely want to do as often as I am able.
Third was that a friend who works with Scripture Union needed help with an in-house retreat for at all boys Catholic secondary school (high school). It was an all day event with games, messages, reflection time and small groups. Eric asked me a couple of days before if I would be willing to help and if I would have a message I could share. It was actually pretty intimidating being the only girl on the team of four with a big group of high school boys and knowing how to speak to them. They were one of the most high energy groups of teens I’ve ever worked with. It turned out to be a great day, we just went with it and used their energy for more competition and fun. It left us quite exhausted but there was some great questions and thoughts brought up in the last hour that just proved that it was impactful and totally worth it.
I’ll be helping Eric and his teams once or twice a month with these school retreats. Though the boys were great, I am looking forward to going to an all girls school this coming week and seeing the change in dynamic. (Sorry I didn’t get any pics so there’s the sight \/ )