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Newsletter July 2011

St Mary Tree Down  

ADX alum, good news Rory, and we believe what followed

We heard about the Divine Healing ministry of Rev David Jardin when we first came to Belfast.  I was skeptical, afraid it was a type of fringe group.  The last time I was in a healing church service, the leader was wearing a pink Nehru jacket, and people were fainting to the floor!  Getting to know David, I can say the ministry is mainline, and important to heal fears, traumas, and disappointments, as well as the body. 

Brother Jardin organized a Day of Prayer for Revival, held at St Anne’s Cathedral, the main church of Ireland (Anglican) church in downtown Belfast.  We went.  During a break we took for tea and biscuits, we met Sister

Columcile to discover she was one of the founders of L’Arche Belfast.  This prompted me to read The Ark for the Poor, the story of the founding of L’Arche by Jean Vanier.  Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” is called “the beatitudes”.  Blessed are the poor in spirit means those who are humble, simple, or poor.  Thus we are learning the meaning of “healing” and the meaning of “poor” in a deeper way.  

Some criticise Brother Jardin for being ecumenical (which is including Catholics), and there was a fellow handing out pamphlets to the people coming in to pray, reminding them of the martyr who stood against the Pope 450 years ago.  He saddened me with his action.  But inside the special guest was the Chief Constable, the Northern Ireland chief of police speaking about his faith and how God brought him to this post.

One of the women at tea, Ruth, invited us to the Divine Healing meeting at St. Peter’s, the Catholic Cathedral for the following Tuesday.  There we met two remarkable people and were enveloped in the love and life changing Christian faith that gave joy and healed and protected these two particular people.  I thought if my friends here could hear this, but they wouldn’t because they would not go into St Peter’s off the Falls Road, so we tell them the story as we heard it and hope it will change their hearts. 

Now I’ll tell you the story of Peter and Bernadette.  Peter was the first to greet us and he was very winsome.  We were the first ones to arrive and he said he “met Jesus” 24 years ago when he was hitching a ride and a UVF (loyalist paramilitary) man picked him up.  He said he would have been comfortable with a priest or an IRA man but not a UVF man. This man just got out of prison where he had been converted, and he converted Peter that night.  Peter was a Catholic and is very much a true believer full of joy and peace.  Bernadette was one of the people to show up, about 15 finally.  Her story was as a young girl she heard a nun speak, and she realized this lady talked like Jesus was as real as a girlfriend.  That impressed her.  Years later she was in church and something happened to her where she was touched by the spirit and she realized herself that Jesus was real.  She went to the priest and told him “you need to tell people that Jesus is real”.  Years later she continued with a firm faith and was married with three young children.  Life was happy.  Then one day her car was stopped with the whole family, she in the back seat cradling a nine week old son and her two and three year old children in the other seats. Her children were shot and her husband was killed.  She said she remembers saying “Jesus will help us through this”.  It is a great privilege to hear these stories. 

Vicki returned to Belfast again and called for dinner.  I talked her ear off so I know I miss the comfort of American friends.  One day woke to three personal emails, so now you know I am addicted to my crackberry.  Your email encourages us.

Our new friends Denise and Mike came with Michael Tinne who spent every summer of his life in Co Donegal.  How this came about was an email, Subject: “ADX alum”.  Denise introduces herself as alum of ADX, coming to Ireland, and was told she had met me in Berkeley.  She later said she was at the Dwight Way house, my house, and Celeste’s Maybeck mansion over 10 years ago.  Her email said she is an artist.  Bingo!  We exchange a few excited emails and set to meet up later turning into staying for a couple of days.  Mike is an architect, she a diabetic, they go to a Missouri Synod Lutheran church of 5000 people, and she recently fired up a big gas kiln 7 years after it was provided to her.  Her advice, God will provide something miraculously so I should build the kiln shed and wait.

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

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