Gerald and Louise latest prayer points and photos!

Here’s the latest prayer points and photos from Gerald and Louise:

-We are grateful for the safe travel to the UK and that the boys have adapted well to the new environment.

-Give thanks for the good health of all of us and the development of the boys who are now feeding well (though it is rather messy!)

-We are thankful for being able to speak at 5 churches already with one more speaking engagement at St Marks, Portadown.

-For TransformD, please pray for new staff members Mariam and Duncan, also Lewis and Evelyn who are ministry apprentices as they have all begun recently. Pray for unity amongst them and for Gerald as he leads this new team when he returns.

-Pray for Gerald as he takes up a new level of responsibility within iServe now overseeing TransformD as well as several other programmes (more details to follow in future updates).

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Interview with Gerald Mwangi

Last night Gerald Mwangi joined us in Drung Hall at the first ever Crosslinks Regional meeting. It was a great evening, you can listen to the interview with Gerald at the link below to find out about what Gerald and Louise have been up to and you can listen to his sermon on Why Bother WIth Mission on our “Current Sermon Recordings” page or by clinking here.

And here’s some of Gerald’s slides:

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Exciting News announced today!

I was very pleased to announce this morning that Daithi Greene will be joining us this year as a placement student from Cornhill Bible Training Course. We praise God for his kindness for providing Daithi to serve and learn in our parishes. Many of you will have met Daithi as he helped with our Holiday Bible Club (and even wrote a song for it!). Please pray for Daithi as he moves to Ballyhaise this week and you can read what Daithi says about himself below:

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Hello! My name is Daithí Greene and I will be coming to serve at

Drung Group of Parishes as a placement student from the Cornhill

Ministry Training Course in September.

I grew up in Holywood, County Down and I have just finished four years

of studying Music at Trinity College, Dublin. I love music of all kinds and

genres and enjoy listening to, writing or playing music with friends in

my spare time. I also enjoy taking and editing photos.

I was initially drawn into the church through music — in my first year of

secondary school, a friend invited me to play guitar in the band of my

local Church of Ireland parish and I’ve been singing and playing in

church ever since. But it was in my later teens, after struggling with sins

and doubts about the faith, that I looked back on my life and saw how

intently God had led me throughout. I could see that He was faithful

despite my faithlessness. It only seemed right to commit my life to the

One who had given His life for me.

During my time in Dublin, I began to feel led towards ministry in the

Church of Ireland. And so I’m looking forward to studying part-time at

Cornhill while learning and serving at Drung Group and getting to know

you all!

Gerald and Louise update

Hi everyone, 

Time is flying by, baby boys are 10 weeks tomorrow! They are growing well and healthy so thank you very much if you have been keeping us in your prayers! We are even managing to get some sleep at night time. In the attached photos Jeremiah is in navy and Daniel is in red and white.


Today marks the beginning of the final fortnight of TransformD 2019, they will celebrate with a graduation service for family and friendson Saturday 22nd June.
After a bit of a break the staff will spend some time formulating a plan for specific follow up of previous participants (now over 50 young people) to continue friendship and discipleship with them individually or in small groups.


Thank you, as always, for your prayers and support.

Love from

Gerald, Louise, Jeremiah and Daniel. 

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A prayer for those sitting exams

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Heavenly Father, we pray for those sitting the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert, especially those known to us. Please help them to face their exams with peace, confidence, and courage, with wisdom, faithfulness and honesty; that they may do justice both to themselves and their teachers.

We pray especially for those who are leaving school, please may your goodness and mercy follow them throughout their life.  Please guard them from danger and keep them from evil, guide them continually in the right way and assist them in every good work.

Adapted from "Parish Prayers" by Frank Colquhoun 

Vision Update

The vision group met again this week and reviewed the last couple of months.  We were unanimous that the weekend with the Abaana New Life Choir had been a great success and it was especially good to see the team effort from all the churches in praying, catering, hosting, supporting, joining in with the games in Burrowes Hall and helping on the night with the car parking, stewarding, selling merchandise and preparing and serving the tea.  We had people of all ages and from all the churches involved over the weekend and it was a great example of us working together – thank-you everyone!

Easter seems to have gone well, and messy church was a success though it was suggested that next year we might try the Saturday before Easter weekend as Easter Saturday seems to clash with a number of things, so we’ll aim to try that next year.

It’s now been almost a year since we changed the service times following on from our consultation and discussion.  On the whole people are positive, it’s not perfect, for some things are a bit early and for others things are a bit late, but on balance we concluded that it was working and would like to amend the church noticeboards to reflect our current pattern of service times. I have greatly appreciated being able to see almost everyone every week and look forward to being able to continue to do so.

We discussed the forthcoming diocesan mission in September and provisionally have agreed that the following:

·         26th Sept opening evening service in Killoughter,

·         27th Sept “Confession of a Vet” in Burrowes Hall

·         28th Sept 5 aside football tournament, Harvest BBQ (Drung Hall)

·         29th Sept United Harvest Service at 11am in Ballyhaise

·         29th Sept Johnny Cash Concert

Please do pray for the mission, and if possible come to the training day in the Royal on 8th June from 10am-4pm, and please let Nick know if you might be able to host some of the team for the weekend. I’m praying it will be another great example of us working together as a group of churches just as we did for the Abaana New Life Choir.

We also looked forward to the Holiday Club (July 2-5) with a special United Service in Larah followed by a picnic – all are welcome, and to the In Tents Summer Camp.

Thanks for your support and please don’t hesitate to contact Nick if you have any questions.

Update on the twins!

Here’s a little update from Gerald and Louise:

Hi everyone 😊

The twins will be 5 weeks tomorrow! They are growing fast, both almost 8lbs now. Attached are 2 photos, in both photos Jeremiah is on the left and Daniel is on the right.

We are all doing well, the nights are tough going but we are managing with that as best we can. We’ve had help from Gerald’s family and Louise’s parents are here at the minute, the boys are bringing a lot of joy to everyone!

Thank you very much for messages of congratulations, we really appreciate them even though we can’t easily reply right now! Thank you too for prayers, we can see how God is sustaining us and making these boys strong and healthy and without too many extended crying episodes...for which we are very grateful :)

TransformD arrive back tonight from Samburu, they will have a debrief for a couple of days then have a break at home before resuming the last phase on 20th May. Gerald is looking forward to hearing their reflections and what they have learnt.

Love from

Gerald, Louise, Jeremiah and Daniel. 

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The value of the Gospel

Great words for Easter:

The gospel is so precious a thing that, if it is to be bought, the whole world could not pay for it. And therefore if bought at all, it must be without money and without price! It cost the Lord Jesus his blood – what have you to offer? What? Do you imagine that you can buy it with a few paltry works? God himself must become a man and bleed and die to bring pardon and eternal life to sinners! And do you thin that your tears, bending your knees, gifts of money, and emotions of your heart can  purchase this unpurchaseable blessing? Oh, believe, because it is so rich, it must be given away if it is to belong to us!

C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Some Ancient Words to reflect on this Easter

He was tempted as Man, but He conquered as God;

He bids us be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.

He hungered—but He fed thousands;

Indeed, He is the Bread that gives life, the bread of heaven.

He thirsted—but He cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.

Indeed, He promised that fountains should flow from them who believe.

 

He was wearied, but He is the Rest of those who are weary and heavy laden.

He prays, but He hears prayer.

He weeps, but He causes tears to cease.

He is sold, and very cheaply, for it is only for thirty pieces of silver;

but He redeems the world,

and that at a great price, for the price was His own blood.

 

As a sheep He is led to the slaughter,

but He is the Shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also.

He is bruised and wounded,

but He heals every disease and every infirmity.

He is lifted up and nailed to the Tree,

but by the Tree of Life He restores us;

He is given vinegar to drink mingled with gall.

Who? He who turned the water into wine,

who is the destroyer of the bitter taste,

who is Sweetness and the altogether lovely one.

 

He lays down His life, but He has power to take it again;

and the curtain is torn,

for the mysterious doors of Heaven are opened;

the rocks are cleft, the dead arise.

He dies, but He gives life,

and by His death destroys death.

He is buried, but He rises again;

Gregory Nazianzen [c330-c390]

 

Good Friday Readings and Prayer

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

 

A. Success through Suffering

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,     and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations.
    Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.

 

B. Facts of his life

53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

C. His suffering explained

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

  

B’. Facts of his death

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

 

A’. Success through Suffering

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

  

1 Peter 2:21-25

 

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

Martin Luther:

 

Here’s what you should do when you feel your sins weighing on your conscience. Don’t be afraid. Instead, by faith, take them off yourself and place them on Christ. For this text says, ‘He has borne our iniquities.’ It’s clear that we need to entrust our sins to Christ. If you think your sins still belong to you, then this thought doesn’t come from God but from Satan because it is contrary to God’s word.  For in God’s word, God places your sins on Christ. So here’s what you should say to yourself. “I see my sins on Christ.  So my sin is no longer mine. It belongs to another. For I see it there on Christ.” It is a great thing to be able to say, “My sin is not my own any more….My sins have been transferred to Christ and now they are his responsibility.”

 

Jesus was pierced for my transgressions;
Jesus was crushed for my iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought me peace,
and with his wounds I am healed.

A Prayer to pray to return

 

Lord Jesus Christ, I admit I’ve been like a sheep that has wandered away from you. I’ve gone my own way and I’m sorry. I want to return to you. Thank-you that you went willingly to your death for me, taking the punishment I deserved. Please help me to die to sin and live to righteousness. Amen.

 

 

Maundy Thursday Readings

Sorry these weren’t on the term card, if you’d like to read ahead of tonight’s service you can read Psalm 88 and Luke 22 below. As you read Psalm 88 it would be good to think about how Jesus might have used these words in the Garden of Gethsemene:

1 Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape;

my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.

 

Luke 22:

 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed,42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

 47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

 



The true Vine


As encouraged by “6 steps to loving your church” - here’s the reading for this Sunday! It’s from John 15:

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

You might also like to read Psalm 80 and Isaiah 5 to see the history of the Vine.

Who was St Patrick and why celebrate his life?

St Patrick

Patrick was born in Britain during the reign of the emperor Theodosius (347-395AD). His father was Calpornius and grandfather Potius.  Both of them were involved in the local church, but Patrick confessed that he paid very little attention to the Word of God as he was growing up.

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When Patrick was 16 something happened that would change his life forever.  His father was an important man in the town and had left Patrick in charge for the day. There were had plenty of servants to take care of things and so Patrick himself went for a walk up on the hill.  He was enjoying the view out to sea, he could just about make out a couple of boats being blown along by the wind. He assumed they were fishing boats. But something in him made him concerned.  His father had often told stories around the fire of Irish raiders, but surely those days were long gone. He thought about running to warn those in the town, but then said to himself that he shouldn’t be so jumpy.  As they got closer, to his horror he realised they were not fishing boats, he saw rough looking men, and weapons! He ran to warn the villagers, catching his breath as he entered his home, he said to a servant girl – “Raiders…quick, raise the alarm.”

The servant girl dropped the pot she was carrying and screamed, Patrick wasn’t sure why she reacted so strongly until he felt a knife pressing at his throat and a gruff voice in broken Latin saying “come with me, don’t get hurt.”

Patrick wanted to fight back, but it was pointless. He went with the brute down to the boat. All around him, people were being grabbed, and his beloved home was being set alight. He fought back the tears and demanded to be released “I’m a Roman citizen, my father is an important man, you mist release me!” But the sailors simply laughed at him.

At first Patrick wasn’t sure what they were planning to do but as they approached Ireland it dawned on him that he would be sold as a slave.  They next thing he knew they were at something like the mart, with men holding up fingers to bid, but to Patrick’s horror they weren’t bidding on cattle and sheep but on people! Patrick was sold as a slave.

He worked for the next 6 years tending sheep. He described the place as the Woods of Voclut, near the Western Sea, which could be around the modern town of Killala in Mayo.  Wherever he was, Patrick didn’t know, but one thing he did know, he was far from home, lost and alone.  He began thinking over his life, far from being angry with God, he regretted not having paid more attention at church, he had ignored God’s Word and hadn’t lived God’s way.  Patrick even said that he deserved to be taken into captivity because of the way he had treated God. Patrick couldn’t remember much, but He knew God was merciful and so in the mess, far from home, he cried out to God

Patrick says “it was here in Ireland that God my heart so that I became aware of my failings and began to turn with my whole heart to he Lord.” Patrick used the words of Psalm 40 to describe what happened next. 

“I waited patiently for the LORD;

he inclined to me and heard my cry. 

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

 out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

A song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear

And put their trust in the Lord.”

 

What happened? Was he set free? He was still a slave in a foreign land, but something more incredible happened. Patrick described a burden being lifted, a burden he didn’t realise he’d been carrying.  He was still a slave in Ireland, but his heart had been set free. He’d been lifted from the pit of destruction, He no longer feared God’s judgment because the Lord Jesus had taken his sin.   Psalm 40 speaks of one who delights to do God’s will (v8), and Patrick knew that wasn’t him, but he trusted in the one who had always delighted to do God’s will (Hebrews 10:5-8), and had done so even to the point of death.  The Lord Jesus Christ had obeyed God perfectly, Patrick had not, but when Patrick cried out for mercy, the Lord Jesus took all of Patrick’s sin, and gave Patrick his perfect record of obedience – what a swap!

From that moment on, Patrick wanted to serve the Lord, he knew he could never repay the Lord for all that he had done, but he desired to live his life declaring God’s praises to others.

For the next 6 years, he became a man of prayer.  In his confession he speaks of how he prayed whilst tending the sheep, up to 100 times a day, and his love for God and faith in Him was strengthened.  He said he would get up early before daylight, whatever the weather, to commit the day to the Lord.

Return to Britain

 

One night, the Lord spoke to Patrick in a dream and told him there was a ship waiting for him to take him back to Britain! Patrick was delighted, and wasn’t afraid to escape and head off in the way he thought God was leading him.  When he got to sea, he found a ship about the set sail and was so thankful, he approached one of the sailors to ask if he could board, the sailor said he didn’t see why not, but he’d check with the captain.  The captain had no time for Patrick, and told him in no uncertain terms that he could not sail with them and to sop bothering his crew! Patrick walked away feeling dejected and prayed to God, thanking Him for leading him this far, apologising for his impatience and asking for him to keep trusting while he waited.  The next thing he heard a voice shouting - the sailors had persuaded the captain to take Patrick on board!

Patrick was so relieved and couldn’t believe he was finally on his way back to Britain.  However, there were still a few obstacles in his way, the first of which was that the sailors invited Patrick to join in a pagan ritual of sucking their breasts to show his allegiance to them.  Patrick didn’t want to offend the sailors, and didn’t want to risk losing his ride back home, but he loved and feared God more than these sailors, God had rescued him out of the miry bog and he was not going to descend back into it.  He politely declined their offer saying that he followed the Lord Jesus Christ and could only give his allegiance to Him.  The sailors were shocked, but let Patrick on anyway. 

You can only imagine Patrick’s relief to be finally on the way home - to see his family again after 6 years, he could hardly wait!  But he’d have to wait a bit longer, there was a furious storm and they were blown off course, after 3 days they landed, expecting to find some people to direct them and to buy provisions, but they found no one and nothing to eat for 28 days! They were famished and near death.  The Captain said to Patrick,

“Well, Christian, what are you going to do? You say this God of yours is so great and powerful – why don’t you pray to him for us? We’re dying of starvation.”

Patrick answered with confidence urging them to turn to the Lord themselves and confirming that nothing is impossible for God and that God would indeed provide for them. Six years of praying to God daily had taught Patrick to trust God, and God answered his prayer with a herd of pigs! The sailors enjoyed BBQ pork for the next two nights.

Eventually Patrick made it back to Britain, his parents were overjoyed to see him again and understandably they never wanted to lose him again, so you can imagine their shock when not long after returning home Patrick told them that God was calling him back to Ireland! What?! Back to the land of his captivity? Surely not.  But God had spoken to Patrick in a dream, he had a vision of a man named Victoricus pleading for Patrick to come back to Ireland to speak to them about Jesus.  Patrick knew that God was calling him back to Ireland.

At first, those in the church were not persuaded, but eventually they decided that after further study and preparation Patrick should be sent as a Bishop to Ireland so that he could preach the good news and eventually ordain local people to be clergy and he was sent to Ireland in around 430AD.

Return to Ireland

It was very strange for Patrick to get back on a boat heading for Ireland, but this time he wanted to go, he was still sad to leave family and friends behind but he was convinced that God was calling him. As far as Patrick knew, Ireland was the ends of the earth, he knew that there were hardly any Christians in Ireland at the time, almost everyone worshipped pagan gods and he was convinced by Jesus’ words to go and make disciples of all nations.  He longed for people to know Jesus as he knew Jesus, and longed for the Irish people to be rescued from their rebellion against God.

Patrick was accompanied by some other Christians who were persuaded of the need to bring the good news of Jesus to Ireland and to establish churches.  The first people they met didn’t give them the warmest welcome – they accused them of stealing pigs! They were taken to the landowner Dicho who asked them why they had taken his pigs.  

“We haven’t stolen any pigs” Patrick replied, “we have travelled all the way from Britain to teach people about the God we worship, not to steal or cause harm. In fact the God we follow commands us not to steal but to do good to all people and even to love our enemies.  Dicho was amazed at what he heard, and Patrick and his companions seemed like honest men, but he said “I don’t understand what I’m hearing! You’re telling me that you’ve travelled all the way over to Ireland just to tell people about your God – why? What’s so special about him.”

Patrick was delighted to have the opportunity to speak about the Lord Jesus so soon after arriving: “the God we serve is the only God, He made everything, none of us have worshipped him as we should, but instead of demanding we fix the problem, He loved the world so much that He sent his only Son to live among humans and to die in our place so that we can be forgiven and enjoy being with God forever.  I’d be glad to tell you more about Him if you like?”

Dicho responded “And I’d be happy to hear!” The Lord opened Dicho’s heart to see his need of Jesus and transformed him.  Dicho now understood the importance of what Patrick and his companions were doing and since he owned a lot of land he gave Patrick a site for the first church! What an incredible start and great confirmation of the Lord’s call to Ireland! Patrick now had a base.  He helped the new believers to grow by teaching them from God’s Word, but he remained convinced of the need to keep going with the mission God had called him to. 

From his time as a slave Patrick knew that Irish life was rural and tribal, in the 5th Century there were around 150 tribes, each one having its own king. Patrick understood that the way to reach Ireland with the good news of Jesus Christ was to reach the kings, also, practically speaking, the only way he could speak safely to the members of the tribe is if he was there with the king’s permission and so Patrick sought to pay to give him this freedom.  This approach undoubtedly helped him gain a wide audience and over the course of about 30 years Patrick writes in his confession that he baptised thousands of people!  Not only that but he also ordained local Irishmen to continue multiply and continue the work. 

So why do we celebrate St Patricks Day?  The 17th March is thought to be the day that he died, probably around 460AD.  The date was passed on from generation to generation and the stories about Patrick multiplied and exaggerated! Scholars, however are convinced that Patrick wrote two works, His confession and a letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus.  These two works give us the record of a man whose life is worth celebrating, a sacrificial life given to spreading the good news of a Saviour who had changed Patrick’s life forever.  We pray for more men and women like Patrick who are committed to spreading this wonderful news.

This St Patrick’s Day, why not celebrate his life by reading his confession? You can read it free online here: https://confessio.ie/etexts/confessio_english#01

 

Further Reading and sources for this blog post:

Patrick’s Confession

Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus

St Patrick of Ireland, Philip Freeman

Patrick of Ireland, Michael A.G. Haykin

The Boy who forgave, K. C. Murdarsi

Saint Patrick, The Man & His Mission, John Holmes

 

 

M

Latest Prayer Update from our Mission Partners in Kenya

2019 transformd.PNG

 Praise God that we have 26 young people in the programme this year, one or two more may still join.

 Give thanks for a good start to TransformD, pray for our young people as they study the bible in-depth, many for the first time—that the Holy Spirit would convict and teach them more. Pray for more understanding. They are looking at Genesis in personal devotion, Mark in teaching sessions and Ephesians in group bible study.

 Please pray for Marylyne who has Type 1 diabetes as well as epilepsy and is having some medical issues.

 Please pray for several members who are more ‘searching’ than they are believers. Pray for their hearts to be opened to the gospel, particularly as they study Mark and explore the life of Jesus and the gospel message.

 Give thanks that we have moved home! We are now settled into a new place considerably closer to church and the iServe office.

A prayer to prepare for taking Communion

Here’s a helpful prayer to pray before taking Holy Communion:

Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly thank you that you did choose bread and wine to be the emblems of your sacred body and blood, given on the cross for the sins of the world and that you did command us to remember you.  As we prepare to take Communion, please deepen our repentance, strengthen our faith, and increase our love for our Christian family in the church so that, eating and drinking in remembrance of your sacrifice, we may truly feed on you in our hearts with thanksgiving, for the sake of your great and worthy name.

(Book of Common Prayer)

No confidence?

As the UK prepare for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May and her government it is good news that we can still have confidence in God and his government! Tonight we’ll be looking at God’s trustworthy Word in our Bible Study at 8pm at the Rectory. All are very welcome to come and find confidence in uncertain times.

School Enrolment for Drung

Just a reminder that our church school is now open for enrolment:

Drung No 2 Central National School will be accepting applications for enrolment from 14th January 2019 until 1st February 2019 for the next academic year (2019 - 2020).  Any parent seeking to enrol their child should contact the school secretary: Drung (No.2) Central N.S., Drung Co. Cavan; Tel (049) 4338317; E-mail drungcent.ias@eircom.net; Website www.drungno2ns.ie