We love to hear from friends, family members and co-workers about how their lives are going. The pictures on Facebook of proms and weddings and graduation ceremonies (from Kindergarten to college) in the past few weeks help us feel connected even though we’re 4,400 +/- miles away. Very often, when we talk to friends over email or Skype, one of the questions that comes up is, “How is life in Ireland?”
It’s beautiful. A friend who recently visited Ireland named her FB picture album “Fifty Shades of Green.” And it’s true! Even in the cold, wet, winter months green covered the fields. Now that spring is sliding into summer, the trees and vines just add to the beauty of the landscape.
It’s fun. We’ve met some great people here through our church and through our day-to-day activities. Many are extremely kind and generous. The blessing of friendship makes us feel a little more at home.
It’s busy. With careers that are “location-independent,” we stay occupied. There are deadlines to meet, occasional tech-issues to conquer, phone/Skype calls to make…. God has taken care of our financial needs by providing plenty of work! Aside from our careers, volunteering with our church family keeps us on the go. We’re looking forward to a very active summer!
It’s challenging. As beautiful, fun and busy as life is here, it’s challenging to be away from family and friends in the States. The people we love cross our minds on a daily basis and we wonder how you’re doing, what you’re up to and how life is for you.
It’s heartbreaking at times. Earlier this month, reports of a mass grave at the former location of a home for unwed mothers reminded us, the Irish people, and the world of the atrocities that have been performed in the name of God here in Ireland. It’s no wonder that people are filled with mistrust when there’s such a long history of leaders bearing the name of Christ (both Catholics and Protestants) who have behaved so despicably. This problem isn’t unique to Ireland, but we are acutely aware of it here. News like this shows us we have our work cut out for us. The heartbreak renews our sense of purpose: showing the love of Christ and helping people find a real relationship with God rather than submitting to religion out of culture or habit.
In short, it’s a lot like life. The good, the bad, the joy and the sorrow mingle together. No matter where you live, hardship and hypocrisy try to hide the Way. But regardless of the name of your country or continent, God’s promises are true: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:13
“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” ~Matthew 4:16