Colin is sitting in the Solas na Mara http://solasnamara.ie outside Dungarvan on our way home. Kathy said she could do with a bath so she is having one along with a tub full of steaming seaweed! An early Christmas present.
We have had an encouraging but bit less eventful lovely 5 days since the last blog post. On Monday we went with Cyril and Gabrielle to an outreach service in Moy Ross which is a tough estate on the north east of Limerick. A powerful service with great worship and people experiencing the Holy Spirit. Speaking and praying with some of the locals was a moving experience. The 50 mile journey back to Ballybunion lasted 90 mins arriving after midnight. Cyril will know the road blindfold soon I reckon!
On Tuesday we left Ballybunion, Tom, Cyril and Gabrielle feeling a bit sad but excited for stepping out again, heading to Cork City. It was a three hour drive including a search on winding roads to a 4 star campsite near Blarney Castle as the sun set we arrived looking forward to showers, laundry and electric hookup to find the place closed on Nov 1st! So we looked for a pub car park and settled up a dark lane at the Waterloo Inn. Wondering if This was our Waterloo 😜 we went in to find the locals stop talking and stare at us. Yes it really was like that. However, the lovely landlady was happy to let us stay so we had a Guinness and settled down for Tuesday night. Next day we went to kiss the Blarney Stone on Roger Hedley Lewis’s recommendation but baulked at the admission price. Instead we headed off to Cork City.
Once there we found you cannot park unless you have a parking disc which we did not have. It wasn’t till later we found you had to purchase them in shops. We drove further and further up St Patrick’s Hill along tiny steep lanes till we found free flat parking next to the old army barracks. It was another wild camp on Wednesday night. Colin spent the afternoon walking the streets hoping to talk and pray with someone. Two hours later about to give up he sat next to Eric, in an O’brien’s coffee shop, a lovely young man hoping to break into the Cork rap scene with his version of life walking in faith with God. After an encouraging discussion Colin prayed for Eric to rap out from the heart of the Father. Watch this space for this young man. God doesn’t let us down if we persevere in faith.
That evening we decided to go to the cinema to see ‘The Martian’. An enjoyable thought provoking adventure a bit like Robinson Crusoe in Space (which has been done before). It became clear to Kathy that this was also an allegory of man trying to survive on alone using his own wisdom. In the end he fails and needs help from the sky and a whole world watching and hoping (possibly praying) for him to survive. There is one line in the film that mentions prayer). At the end of the movie he is seen telling astronaut students that you need to just get on and solve your problems when you are in trouble. An admirable aim but not acknowledging all the help he needed to come through. Without friendship, advice and sacrifice he would not have made it. Wisdom alone can’t keep you alive.
Next morning Colin again spent time on the streets of Cork City, talking with people and in two or three cases praying for them, including several people collecting for ‘Suicide Awareness’ as suicide is a big problem in Ireland. Latest statistics put Ireland 59th in the world and the rate is the highest since records began. There is also big Romanian population some of who have joined local evangelical churches. Colin met a local churchman Billy O’mahony who has been running the Cove Street Fellowship bookshop for many years. We had a great discussion discovering we knew several people in common including Pete Drew. There were other coincidences that were evidence of this being a God ordained meeting. We prayed together and Colin went to meet Kathy for tea on quite a high. We visited the amazing ‘English Market’ buying fresh fish and bread to make Fish Chowder in the evening.
At 5pm we said our goodbyes to Cork City a place we had begun to really like. We drove on to Dungarvan and after another disappointment of closed camp sites we ended up parking ‘wild’ alongside Davitts Quay with a nearby loo in the SuperValu store 😳. The fish chowder was fab.
That brings us up to date and the seaweed bath, massage and eyebrow makeover. Kathy has just come out. What do you think?