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Newsletter August 2009

the girls at the Tall Ships  

Where did August go?  The poor weather didn’t help. Houseguests nonstop.

We took the Drennans to the airport and met John Dunlop there.  More about John later. Ward took Rev Jack’s place and taught a lesson at Clifton House, a convalescent home.  Ward and Bill McKnight read prayers and poetry at the Ballysillen church.  The poem Armagh which Ward wrote on his N.I. peace tour in 2004 was deemed too provocative and left out.  Ward learned that some things are very slowly and carefully presented. Swiftly Aubrey put the video up on Youtube within the week.  Take a look at Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxZcVgbUcOc and Part II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dflNh72BMxA

We had houseguests non-stop from August 11 to September 7th.  Marda doesn’t mind as she is an extrovert, but poor “wee Ward” as they would say here.  He is an introvert and needs private time and space,

but even he liked the interaction and the energy.  Carol and Jack Rothenflue, our last guests, are from CTEN sent to bless us with encouragement.  They told us to enjoy ourselves, and that we will know when it is time to leave.  God will plainly give us something else to do.

For a day and a half Karen Kilbourne Young of CRM, came and graced us with insights on how to positively evaluate and reflect the culture.  Tuey came, and with her was Randy and Evelyn Lee.  We drove to the Giant’s Causeway, toured Dunluce Castle, crossed the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, visited Downpatrick for Patrick’s interpretive center and grave, and got up early to drive 2.5 hours to Belleek to tour, shop, and get back before 1:30.  Belleek is the last vestige of Irish fine chinaware.  Sadly the factory is down to three days a week.  We did our part to support Belleek.

Two days out of every three has seen rain since the first week in June.  The weather has allowed for God’s providence.  We had shown our friends the Youtube video, and while five of us waited for the bus, Bill stopped at the bus stop and offered Ward a ride.  He wasn’t’ expecting five but with the rain he took pity on us and brought us into town.  We saw the “tall ships” which hadn’t been to Belfast for 15 years and bought new umbrellas.  Rev John Dunlop who was at the airport preached at the church and brought friends from Hong Kong, who spoke about our church’s first missionary, Dr Ida Mitchell who went to China.  Randy was able to update us on the current church in China.

Summer Outreach time again.  This is the most intense week of the church year.  The Drennans were committed to be Seattle for the marriage of their son.  Three friends connected to Marda from childhood, Tuey, Randy and Evelyn, came to help.  All newly leaving their careers they offered to come for a visit and responded to our suggestion to come during the Summer Outreach.  Little did they know!  Our little church is way understaffed for this type of program but they do it anyway.

We hang a hand painted sign on the church for a week; pass out flyers door to door and 60 to 70 very active 5-14 year olds come in for a week.  Stothers household was cutting felt squares and silver stars into the night.  We were racing to the computer store for ink cartridges and cables.  We were teaching the days of creation, David and Goliath, listening hard to understand, applying plasters (band-aids), and briefing and debriefing from 1130 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Members from the church donate funds, make meals, and come by to observe.

Several children have since greeted us on the street.  One wee girl maybe five years old today asked Marda “Is there Sunday School today?”  “No pet, not today” (it is Friday).  “Tomorrow?”  “No come on Sunday, the day after tomorrow.”  “Oh aye, bye.” 
I hope she will come the day after tomorrow.

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

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