Header image  
Berkeley/Los Angeles/Ireland  
    home | newsletter archive | previous newsletter

Newsletter November 2008

African Night   Seven months in Belfast.  So many things to say! 

First, thank you for the visits (Jeff and Nyla, Jack, Nathan, Ted, and Lynne), the calls, the mail, each daily email, your gifts and prayer.  They all encourage and comfort us in our new work and life.

Ward is getting on well with Rev. Jack Drennan and enjoys visiting the elderly and home bound.  Each has a story to tell.  He is also praying every fortnight with the Clerk of Session, assisting with the Session Board of Elders, supporting the Elder who hosts “indoor bowls” and regularly calling Desmond, the Elder whose wife has a broken hip.  During the minister’s month away, Ward led the midweek study and conducted an evening worship preaching on the story of The Raising of Lazarus

I mentioned meeting our neighbor Dora, from Zambia, a Christian, along with Dixon and Alice who live up the street.  Goodness lives around the corner.  They invited us to attend an African night at New Life City Church, a charismatic church in the Shankill neighborhood.  We witnessed a breakthrough!  They have been in their church for five years.  Alice shared with me that people who never spoke to them gave them hugs that night.  Pastor Jack McKee is building a church on the peace line and welcoming Internationals and Republicans.  He is bold.

We drove down to get reacquainted with our friends the Edmondsons in Portaferry. We met them in 2005/2006 through Os Guinness.  They returned to Northern Ireland ten years ago and joined the Methodist church in Portaferry which eventually doubled from 10 to 20 people.  They refurbished an old farmhouse from the 17th Century, the 1600s!  They hold a community Bible study in their home that draws over 30 people.  They encourage us.

Our church gets praised for an initiative they’ve been doing for a couple of years.  We park a car and a little table at the Car Park boot (trunk) sale, held on Sundays kitty-corner from the church.  One or two people staff the table on a rotation of four weeks and talk to people.  We have a prayer box and take prayer requests.  We hope to expand this work by providing a booklet entitled “Try Praying” and perhaps start some new groups for prayer.  No pressure, just learn about prayer, talking and listening to God.  We hope our new friend Dorothy will join this outreach.

We don’t pay much mind to politics here.  There are five main and 18 registered political parties!  The people know more about American politics than most of us.  They say “when America sneezes we get the flu”.  Our new president Obama inspires hope for reconciliation and change.

Regarding our finances, the cost of living here is twice what it is in the Bay Area.  Many of you pledge or give special gifts and it blesses us and we hope you are also abundantly blessed.  We spend our money locally and tithe to the Church.  Our work is to come alongside and enliven faith.  If you consider our work worthwhile please pledge or donate.  Together we can reconcile and change the world.

This is our last newsletter for 2008.  Thank you for your friendship.  Christmas decorations are up.  The Irish roast turkey for Christmas.  2009 coming!

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
New Phone: (028) 90 291986  From US 01144.2890.291986.
Print or email this month's newsletter