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Laurel’s Life in Ireland

June/July 2011

Dear Friends and Family, I have officially been living in Ireland for over a year now. In some ways it is hard to believe it has already been a year since my parents and I arrived in Galway and they helped me get settled into life here. Yet when I take time to reflect on all that has happened and how I have grown, it is hard to believe it all fits into the last 12 months. I often get asked how long I will be staying in Ireland, and the honest answer is I don’t know. I am confident this is where God wants me for this season of life and the country of Ireland has approved me to live here for another year, so I am happy to be here for at least one more year. I mentioned in the last edition that I would be traveling for the last couple weeks of June. My travel plans were to return to Tulsa to spend time with my family and friends there. We kept my trip home as a surprise for my grandparent’s 65th wedding anniversary, which is why I kept things vague. It was so wonderful to be able to join my family in celebrating this momentous occasion. I loved catching up with old friends, playing with my nephews and enjoying the warmth of a Tulsa summer. I wish there had been time to meet with all of you, but I’m thankful for the time I had. The café reopened on July 5th after getting a face lift with a few coats of paint in the main room. Our business is much slower in summer since the students are not in session and coming in for lunch. However, this gives us more of a chance to connect with students that do come in and with more of our adult customers. Ireland has a huge influx of tourist over the next few months which can create all sorts of interesting opportunities for ministry. Please be praying God connects us with just the right people. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Love,

Prayer Request: 

Ability to connect with people and meet them at their point of greatest need

Creative ideas to improve programming and materials for the fall school work

Continued growth as a team as God moves in and through each of us

Immigrating to Ireland Before the last decade Ireland had very little immigration activity. However, it saw a sharp influx in 2000 and the desire to live on the island grew rapidly for the next eight years. This growth was parallel to the strong economic growth experienced in the nation in the early 21st century which has come to be known as the “Celtic Tiger.” With the rising demand for residency, the government recognized the need for more strict immigration policies. This included new fees, more intensive visa investigation and regulated procedures. However, Ireland was very hard hit by the global recession in 2008 and continues to suffer deep economic decline. In 2011 there are now flocks of people emigrating out of Ireland in search of work. Many people that came during the boom are now returning to their homeland because there are so few jobs to be had here. The unemployment rate is currently at 14.2%, a drastic difference from the 4.8% seen in January 2008. Please be praying that people will see God’s provision during these hard times and learn to trust him with every aspect of their life. Statistics found at

Life in Galway

You awaken early in the morning, hail a taxi and arrive at your destination right as the sun appears on the horizon. You are greeted by the sight of a small crowd huddled against the building as it starts to rain. You join the group eagerly awaiting the opening of the doors, anxious to see if you arrived early enough to get a number to be seen today. Once the door is unlocked everyone starts moving forward, pushing, jostling to get one of the 20-30 numbers to be given that day. Once a ticket has been secured you find a seat in the waiting room and start to look at the faces of those around you. There are people of all ages, races, and nationalities including families, singles, and students. What are their stories? What brought them here today? You may engage in some small talk with the person next to you, but for the most part you just sit waiting. As your number draws closer you collect your paper work, making sure you have everything in order. Finally your number is called. The man behind the glass partition asks for your passport, proof of address and insurance, explanation of why you are here and how long you plan to stay. If all seems to be in order, after a period of interrogation, your photo and figure prints are taken. You pay the fee and in return you are given a card of registration and allowed to stay in the country for another year. Immigration was not something I had given much thought to before moving to Ireland. I knew it was often an intense process, but it was not until going through the process myself that I started to see the reality of it. I have it relatively easy. I am working for people that are very familiar with the process and know exactly what you need. But while sitting there waiting for my number, I couldn’t help but imagine how scary or nerve racking it must be for people that have traveled from very unstable countries, are not native English speakers and are going through this process on their own. The fear of being rejected or having to pay huge sums to get everything in order must be overwhelming. Please be praying for those going through immigration and immigration officers who are charged with the task of discerning what is best and fair. May they have the ability to properly discern what is best for the individuals and the nation.

Time in Tulsa with my family

Stories from the Café Generally our slower summer days provide the perfect opportunity to train new staff. However, this year we will be working with the same staff as last year. This means we all have at least one year of experience which creates more opportunities to work on other projects. We have been full of new ideas we want to explore, but the busyness of the school term offers limited time to pursue these ideas. Right now we are in the process of updating statistics and information used in our purity and drugs and alcohol talks, as well as, seeking new techniques to engage the student with the topics. We are also working on creating Retreat Packets that can be used to explain all we offer to new schools, designing a poster to advertise the classes offered this fall at Emmaus Scripture School and making sure all of our café information is up to date. We are also in the process of discerning the best way to evangelize in a certain community God has placed on the hearts of many we work with and a few other programs as well. Thus we are keeping plenty busy during this “slow season.” We have had several students stop in for lunch or a cookie and a chat. It is encouraging to see them coming in during their holidays and to see the relationships developing with them. I am seeing a real openness and curiosity about Jesus in a few of them and excited to have a chance to explore that with them. Please pray for these individuals and for our team that we will walk in God’s guidance for all of these projects while still remaining open to his calling in the moment.

Want to learn more about An Tobar Nua? Check out

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An Tobar Nua Galway Rain

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u g i t l f t a g

a n i a r c s u h

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Claddagh Ring Ireland St Patrick

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Coffee Leaving Cert Tea

Other ways to keep in contact with me: Facebook Group: Laurel’s Life in Ireland

For more information about Foundation in Christ Ministry, visit their website: If you would like to financially contribute to FICM a donation can be made on the website or sent to: Foundation In Christ Ministries c/o Steadfast Financial Services, INC. 691 Cricklewood Terrace Lake Mary, FL 32746

E-mail: Address: Laurel Dyson c/o An Tobar Nua 25/27 Lower Dominick St. Galway, Ireland

Thank you to all who have already given so generously!


Laurel's Life in Ireland: June/July Edition  

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