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Newsletter July 2009

Gareth, Keith, Freddie Ashe, Conor, Jerem, Dad and Deborah  

Sharing our work…and year-end for Tea Talk and Pray

Some of you will be getting this newsletter for the first time due to an oversight.  If you are surprised or confused to come into the middle of the story, you may read all our newsletters at www.quonstothers.com/newsletter_archive.html  Otherwise you are on our list because you asked to be or we thought you might like to read about our work in Ireland.

Alaina and Jerem Visited.  As parents we fluctuate between distancing and smothering our children.  We are most hopeful that our children understand and endorse the work we are doing here in Northern Ireland.  We no longer have to consider proximity

for their needs or consider finances for careers, schools, and activities, however what do they really think of the way we are spending our life and their inheritance?  Will this commitment and the distance help them grow and mature in their own faith-walk?

While Jerem was here several friends seemed pleased that he would come to visit and were anxious that he enjoy the visit.  He and Conor enjoyed perfect sunny weather which allowed us unimpeded to see all the urban and the country sights.  Since they were only here from Monday through Saturday, they missed church but attended the rally at Presbyterian General Assembly.  He wants to come back at Christmas time and seems to miss us.  Alaina spent two Sundays with us so she got Jerem’s dose of church twice over.  The church members were very friendly and continue to ask how our daughter liked her trip.

Alaina came a month after Jerem, and she got more typical weather of rain and sun, but she stayed longer so she too got to see all the sights.  Into town and around the Shankill neighborhood, toured the Crumlin Goal (jail) opened in Victorian times and closed in 1995.  Photographed the murals on the peace wall between the Shankill and the Falls, and hiked up the Cave Hill.  Drove up to the North Coast, Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede bridge, Londonderry, and another visit to Downhill beach and hostel.  Alaina asked provocative questions about the church and the Troubles.  Her generation cares deeply about people but little about institutions.  We pray that spiritually minded people will befriend our children and they will experience life sustaining faith and community.  Our deepest love is for our children and sharing our work was very good.

Tea Talk and Pray.  We mentioned our breakthrough meeting at the school.  Mrs. Perry said she would meet with us once a month when we return to update us on issues and needs.  Then we met Mathilde who has been working with the parents and will start again when school resumes.  She asked if we had been to Corrymeela for which her husband is the Director.  Ward had visited in 2004 and Corrymeela is quite well known for reconciliation work.  So we will go up on August 29th for worship and a look around.  We hope for collaboration with Mathilde and look forward to meeting David Stephens the Corrymeela director.  We believe it is an important part of our work to encourage others.

Ward prayed that we would talk to one person at the school and Sandra Perry was at the door and greeted us.  Ronnie came in and talked to us about life.  He explained how hard it was to travel to the States because he can’t get health insurance for his wife and detailed out what it is like to have a stent put into your arteries.  We like to understand the thinking of the people and they like to share it with us. 

The last week we were at the school Ward prayed that one teacher would come in and pray with us.  I thought that probably won’t happen, but it did!  The third grade teacher came in and asked us to pray for her daughter and she prayed with us!  She then thanked us for coming in to pray for the school.  Wow, this really encouraged the both of us.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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