After a two-hour drive from the Dublin airport to our missions house in Dundrum, Northern Ireland, the team had a nice Sunday lunch with the missions team before taking a "wee dander" around town. A "wee dander" is Irish slang for a "short walk" … though the team has already learned that "wee" is an oft-used expression by all Irish and is a relative term and somewhat unreliable in its expression of measurement. In this case, the "wee dander" turned out to be a seven-mile walk. But it was a great way to be introduced to the small seaside town of Dundrum. That evening we joined a local congregation for their evening service, and then returned home for a nice warm meal … which after 24-plus hours of travel served to be the thing to put us all straight to sleep.
The first full day on Monday was filled with education about St. Patrick. Our missionary host, Richie Shilliday, spent the morning teaching the team about the history of St. Patrick and his influence on Christianity in Ireland. Then, during the afternoon, we visited some key locations associated with St. Patrick - including his first church, his purported gravesite, and a hill overlooking part of Northern Ireland where he first arrived on the island. The team also got to visit the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the work of St. Patrick. Then, following a dinner of shepherd's pie, we got to hang out with some of the youth of Dundrum at the RIOT Youth Center (RIOT stands for Revival In Our Town). It was a great opportunity to see how God is working in this country and establish relationships that we will continue to develop throughout the week.
Please pray for the team as we work with the students of Dundrum every evening of the week, and as we travel throughout the country learning more about its rich Christian history and the ways in which God is working.