Today was the first day of our holiday club in Mountrath. We left Durrow at about “half nine” and got into Mountrath around 1o. The children started pouring in not soon after, and we settled around 30 kids for the whole morning. Mervyn started off the club by introducing all the leaders and getting the ground rules set out for the children. The kids ranged in age from about 5-13.
Jerush led the kids in a fitness exercise at the very start of the session, and they all seemed really into it. Afterwards, Mervyn led them in some messy games that they all enjoyed (of course!) and we had the first lesson. The theme of the week is “Space Adventure” with lessons coming from the book of Daniel. Our first lesson was on how Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to eat the food offered to them by King Nebuchadnezzar. Erica and Amanda let the quiz following the story and the kids had fun trying to complete challenges after answering their questions. We had snack and then started working in booklets that the children will be going through the whole week. Following that we had our craft time! The younger kids made scratch art decorations in the shapes of planets and rockets, while the older kids made hanging planets out of styrofoam and old CD’s. After they were finished crafts, we had a bit of a recap of the lesson, and I (Lena) gave a short testimony on a time when God helped me in a difficult situation. The parents started arriving not long after and we finished up the club for the afternoon.
All in all the first day went smoothly! We got a chance to interact with some children in what would be considered a more poor area of Ireland. We were also encouraged to be working in conjunction with the Church of Ireland (similar to the Anglican church in Canada). It’s not often that groups like Faith Mission are welcomed by the Church of Ireland. The Rector of the church we were working with attended the whole club and seemed really keen on the work Mervyn and the rest of us were doing. Erica and I (Lena) got to work with some of the younger leaders who may not necessarily know the Lord, and it was great to talk to them about things like shopping and school, and what they’re doing this summer. We’re hoping to spend some more time with them and get to know them a bit more. They’re sisters, and the sweetest girls!
After we came back and had dinner, we had a prayer meeting for tomorrow (today at this point, haha). We spend some time committing the day to God and thanking Him for His undertaking for that days club. We went for a walk into the village and got ice cream, walked along the river, and headed back into town for tea. After tea, a friend from last year called on us! Shane was a leader for two weeks last year and he hung around our team a lot on our days off. He stopped by to say hello and we all went for a walk down the road. It was so nice to catch up with an old friend from last year! He’ll be working with us again this year for three weeks of camp.
And here we are. We spent the evening talking with Mervyn and Rachel and now it’s time to sleep before another day’s work. We’re still so eager and excited for the work being done here. We’re encouraged by the missionaries we’re serving with and their heart for God’s work. We’re expectant of God’s power being poured out during these next few weeks. We’re inviting the Spirit to work in the lives of the kids we’re meeting and that they will see the truth on God in their own lives.
We do have some prayer needs:
- I (Lena) have been having awful migraines since we got on the plane in Toronto. Though I’ve taken an exorbitant amount of Advil, nothing has helped.
- We’ve heard that a number of campers from last year have not enrolled in camp this summer. We’re not sure exactly why they’re being kept from camp and clubs throughout the year, but we’re praying that God would bring more Christian influence into their lives.
- We’re praying that the children at our holiday club are open and ready to receive the Gospel. We’re praying that what they take away sticks with them and that we can make is applicable to their lives in some way.
- We’re short male leaders for some of the camps here at the centre.
- Also pray that the relations between Faith Mission and Church of Ireland continue to improve as they have been.
Since it’s 1:25 am here in Durrow, I guess I’d better scoot to bed.