I am one 3 interns on the PCI Intern scheme this year; Jack is serving in Howth and Malahide and Paddy is serving in Killinchy Presbyterian and Friendship House. Greystones is an absolutely beautiful seaside town about 40 minutes south of Dublin that has a very large selection of coffee shops (The Happy Pear has already become one of my regular working stations).
I have now been in Greystones for nearly 6 weeks and I can honestly say that since day one I have been made to feel very much at home. Even though I am only 2 hours and 15 minutes away from Portadown, moving to Greystones seemed like a completely new world to me, and though I was extremely excited to see what God had in store for me, I have also never felt nerves like it, but as I am continuing to discover over and over again- GOD MOST CERTAINLY KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING!
The idea of family is very evident within Greystones Presbyterian and I have been welcomed into it so lovingly. Gary (minister) and his wife Dawn have been absolutely fantastic in helping me to settle in and ensuring that I have everything that i need. I have also been over for dinner or lunch on many an occasion (made even better by the fact that Dawn's cooking and baking is top notch). As well as interning within the church, I am living with a family; a mum and her 3 kids age 4, 5 & 9 and working as their Au Pair. The provision of this accommodation has already proven to be such an answer to prayers that I would quickly feel comfortable in my new surroundings and being considered as an ‘Honorary member of the family” (Edward aged 9) has most certainly helped with this. It has been great fun to bake cakes and cookies with these 3 young apprentices.
In the first few weeks, I had the opportunity to meet up with the youth and young adults to start and build relationships with them and I pray that as the year proceeds these relationships will grow deeper and that together we can grow in our faith and in our relationship with Christ.
On a Sunday morning during church, Sunday Club runs for primary school children and from 7-9 on a Sunday evening, the youth group named ‘Living Stones’ runs for all at secondary school and the regular attendees to youth group are a mix of Christian and non-Christian young people. Early on, I have learnt that the games sardines and four-square are going to make an appearance on a weekly basis. The last few weeks we have focused in on a reality that God has the power to transform anyone and continues to teach us throughout our lives and with that it has been great to hear the testimonies of some young adults as well as from one of the elders of the church.
In the past few years, a dinner bible study ran one evening a week for upper secondary school children and this year we are hoping to get this running again along with another study for 1st to 3rd years. However trying to get a day or time that suits everyone that is interested in attending has proved to be very difficult so far. We had planned to have our first study together over dinner last Friday, but in the end, only one boy turned up. We are currently rethinking the time that this junior bible study can run as we are very eager to get it up and running as soon as possible.
There’s a group of young adults who have just left secondary school and have started their new courses at university. I have really enjoyed spending time with these guys and have been so encouraged by their desire to serve God both in their churches but now also in their universities. They have been helping me out with leading living stones on a Sunday night and meeting up with the younger teenagers, who really do look up to these guys. The potential with these guys is massive and I am incredibly excited by it.
Gospel Ministry Training
As well as serving within the church, I am getting the opportunity to get in some personal study. On a Wednesday morning from 930-12, I am attending a Gospel Ministry Training (GMT) Course ran by the Dublin Gospel Partnership and held in the Irish Church Missions (ICM) building in Dublin City Centre. There a 5 of us attending each week including Jack and myself, Josh from America, Michael from Galway & Daniellé from Brazil and we are under the guidance of Kieron and Ruth. Throughout the year we will be focusing in on 5 different modules: Understanding God's word, The bible in missional perspective, Understanding Leadership, Apologetics & Evangelism.
In the time leading up to my move down to Greystones and throughout the last 6 weeks as I have started my new role, I have really felt the prayerful support from so many of you at home and I really do appreciate it, Thankyou!
· Thank God for enabling me to feel very settled in Greystones
· This month I would love if you could pray for the youth bible studies that we are currently organising and trying to get up and running; one for the youth from 1st year to 3rd and another for the guys in 4th to 6th year.
· Please also remember Jack and Paddy as they serve in Howth and Malahide and Killinchy and Friendship house
· Pray for the team of youth workers within the town of Greystones for the work that they are doing within their own congregations and also as we meet together to plan for an upcoming opportunity in school.
· Hoping to use the school half term holidays (first week of November) as an opportunity to arrange a few additional events/outings with the young people so please pray as we plan and organise for these.