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Anna's Update from Ireland

 I can hardly believe we've already been in Ireland for three weeks!  Time goes by quickly and the Lord has been so faithful!  The Kid's Clubs went well.  Katie, Mary, Noah and I teamed up with members
of a Baptist Church here ...and went to three different neighborhoods to reach out to the kids.  The Clubs are a lot like street preaching would be - you work with whoever happens to be there.

Some kids come consistently, but you always have new faces greeting you as you walk onto the pitch. Clubs usually began with a nice game of "Bulldog" or football, and then we brought everyone together and
sang songs and taught a Bible story.  Our teaching times centered around the story of Jonah and we got to explain three things about God - His constant presence, His promise to hear our cries and His great
love manifested in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It's been incredible to see how surprised these kids can be to hear that God is not far away, cold and quick and eager to punish, but is rather a loving Father Who desires an intimate relationship with each of us. You could really tell that was a completely new concept for them. That's been the neatest thing for me to share - that God does not want our "religion" or our "good works" - He wants us. He wants a relationship, a friendship. The Lord gave me several opportunities to
share this.
I was playing with one of the kids the first week of clubs and met him again later on that week with his dad.  His dad recognized me from the club and he and I began chatting and the Lord opened up the conversation!  I was able to share the Gospel simply and again emphasize the fact that God is interested in a relationship with each of us.  He is not impersonal, but personal.
I got another opportunity with the neighbor kids that we play with in the evenings.It's been neat to see the Lord open doors.

The second week of clubs were a real blessing as well.  Despite the rain kids kept coming!  A few of us got to share our testimonies with the kids which was really cool!  It's always a neat opportunity to give an account for the hope that is in you.  I was really excited because two girls from the neighborhood we are staying in happened to be there and they got to hear our testimonies.  That was really cool!  We had been hoping for opportunities with them, and that was definitely an opportunity.

 During the two weeks of camps Mary, Katie and I got chances to share our testimonies at two ladie's teas.  That was really neat! It's been great seeing how the Lord has really gone before us and has given us chances to share.  He is good!
Through this trip the Lord has been teaching me a lot about Himself as well. He is so gracious and merciful and those attributes really hit home for me after one of the clubs.  We were doing a club and some of the kids were blatantly defiant - defiant against each other, against authority, but against God at well. It struck me though that they were simply living out the condition my heart was in before I came to know the Lord.  Apart from Christ that's what I was - a defiant rebel against Jesus Christ, I  just hadn't had the same
opportunity to demonstrate it.  I may have been more polite outwardly, but I was a rebel nonetheless.  It amazed me though, that it was then,when I was mocking the Lord and rebelling against Him in my heart,
that He died for me.  It was at that point when I was not for Him that He was for me and He is for each one of those kids in those neighborhoods.  We all have the same heart condition and we are all debtors to God's mercy and grace!  It's amazing though, that if God was for us when we were His enemies, how much more is He for us now that we belong to His Son. Like I was saying earlier, in God we find a Father and a Friend!
Thanks so much for praying for us as we've been in Ireland!  ... You are all appreciated!

Thanks so much!

In Him,