Armagh is located about an hour southwest of Belfast. It is said to be the first place St. Patrick began evangelizing Western Europe. There are two cathedrals which bear his name in the city; one is Protestant (Church of Ireland) the other is Catholic. On the site of the Protestant cathedral, it is said that St. Patrick erected a church in 445. Although there is nothing left of that original church, a church has stood on that site ever since.
Northern Ireland is very religious. It is what we in the States would call “The Bible Belt” of the region. But, as is often the case, there is much form and function, but a lack of true relationship with Jesus. People go through the motions without tapping into the fullness of what it means to be part of the Kingdom of God. It’s right down our alley…👍
While walking about the city, Melinda and I saw what we thought was a coffee shop, only to find out that it was a tiny cafe located in a small non-denominational church. As we entered to check it out, we heard familiar songs of worship playing on the sound system, a recent CD by the team at Bethel Church in Redding, California. Sitting by a coal burning fireplace about to eat his lunch was the young pastor of this small congregation that is going against the grain of the status quo in this town.
We had the privilege of sharing the vision of Simply Worship and Dash Away Weekends with him. He was very interested in what we are doing, and is sure that if we were to hold a weekend in the area, some of the ladies, along with his wife would surely want to be part of it. We already have an invitation for a weekend in Northern Ireland that we were unable to fit into this trip’s budget, but we feel certain that it will happen.
The others on our team had gone into Belfast for the day but Melinda and I stayed back. Once we met this pastor, we knew why. It was our assignment and our privilege to pray over and to bless him and his congregation. They are fighting an uphill battle in Armagh. They are learning together how to host His Presence in a way that makes a tangible difference in the city.
Will you take a minute and pray for Harvest City Church and their pastor and his wife, Gary and Rebecca Brown? They are Kingdom builders!
Today, we are making our way down into Ireland for our next Dash Away Weekend in Greystones at the YWCA facility, Coolnagreina. We have 12 ladies coming with an expectation to meet with Jesus in a way that transforms them from this day forward. We covet your prayers. Pray for continued health, for good, restful sleep, for the 12 ladies who are coming and for the others on our team, Beverly and Heather.
We will update you in a few days.