Laurel’s Life in Ireland
Dear Friends and Family, Life has been quite full of fun and exciting events since I last wrote. We recently had our last night of Community Bible Study. We were studying the book of 1 John and had some very good and thought provoking discussions. Last week several of the girls from the café and I decided to join a knitting class. We figured it would be a fun thing to learn and a good opportunity to connect with each other and others in the community. The church I have been attending here (more info on page 2) started a young adults small group on Friday nights. This first week we had a great time of worship and hanging out. I’m looking forward to growing with this community more. I was able to take a weekend trip to Scotland with two of my close friends . We had a blast seeing the historical sights and the beautiful fall foliage. We stayed in Edinburgh and toured the Royal Mile, took a tour to the Highlands and climbed the Wallace Monument. (pictures on page 4)
That next week we had a pumpkin carving contest with several of the students that come into the café. They were really creative and they seemed to have a fun time. It was great to be able to provide a night of clean, enjoyable entertainment for them. That next week the students were off from school for their Autumn Holiday. Since much of our work revolves around the students the café is also closed that week. This break allowed for some needed rest, time to be creative and do some exploring around the greater Galway area. It has been a busy month, but so much fun. I’m looking forward to another full month before heading back to Tulsa to celebrate Christmas. Love,
Prayer Request: Finding opportunities to share more about Jesus within already growing relationships Boldness and obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading
Celebrating the Holidays in Ireland
The major holidays in Ireland are Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween. Then there are 9 Bank Holidays each year. These are similar to our national holidays like Memorial Day or Labor Day etc. However, they do not attach specific meanings behind them. They are just days the Banks and other government institutions are closed. Halloween is celebrated much the same as in the United States, loads of costumes and candy. Pumpkins, however, have only recently begun to grow in popularity. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday it is not celebrated except by Americans who find themselves on the Island on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sad to know I won’t be with my family to celebrate this beloved holiday, but I am very thankful for good friends here with whom to celebrate. We are planning a large feast with all the usual dishes or at least as close as we can get. Next month I’ll share more about Christmas celebrations in Ireland.
View from the office window
Canal Room in the café
Front Counter of the café
Life in Galway Foundation In Christ is an interdenominational ministry that encourages it’s staff to find a church that suits their religious background. Since arriving in Galway I have been going to Discovery Church. It meets on Sunday mornings at the Westwood Hotel. There are roughly 100 people on a regular Sunday. It is a very multicultural congregation which I love. It is not unusual for there to be 4 or more nationalities represented in the worship band. One of my favorite parts of a Sunday morning is the kids worship song. Before heading to their different classes the kids are invited to come down to the front. The worship team sings a fun song complete with hand motions. Most of the congregation participates right along side the kids which is what makes it so fun. Discovery has a heart for the people of Galway and wanting to share Jesus with them. They are continually coming up with creative ways to show Jesus’ love from face painting, praying for people, handing out tea, coffee and sleeping bags, to people on the streets. I am enjoying being a part of this loving community. Having a solid church here has certainly making it feel more like home.
Stories from the Café I thought it was time I introduced you to my wonderful team. There are nine of us that work in the café. We work, worship, and have loads of fun together, both at and work and after. We are becoming a real family.
Tommy O’Loughlin our Café Manger is An Tobar Nua Veteran. He grew up in Galway and has been working at the café for the last 8 years. He is always full of new ideas to help connect with the kids and make things run more smoothly. He brings life and laughter into any group.
Megan Gordon O’Murphy is our wonderful Kitchen Manager. She is such a delight to be around. She has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard and it always brings a smile to my face. She is a wiz in the kitchen both at the café and in her own home. It’s always fun to see what new recipe she comes up with. Megan has a real heart for the students and they find it easy to connect with her.
Orla Downing has been working at the café for the last 3 years and is now organizing some of the school programs. Both at work and after Orla lives life to the fullest . She enjoys trying new things and encourages others to do the same. Her willingness to listen draws people in and makes anyone feel comfortable opening up to her.
Amanda Feeney is one of the most generous and sweet people I know. She is a hard worker and willing to do anything to help someone. She is so much fun to be around and has a heart that truly seeks to follow God.
Adam Feeney the name is no coincidence. Adam is Amada’s brother and Sarah’s brotherin-law. He recently finished his leaving cert (high school) and we started working at An Tobar Nua on the same day. He exudes coolness with such a humble spirit that everyone wants to be Adam’s friend.
Sarah Feeney is originally from Minnesota, but moved to Galway 3 years ago after marrying Andrew Fenney (Amanda and Adam’s older brother). She is so compassionate and does everything she can to make others feel comfortable. She has such a servant heart.
Christina Short works with us part time on Wednesdays and Saturdays while going school to study nursing. She is such a help and a breath of fresh air. She is so beautiful inside and out. She is a wonderful example of a life lived for Jesus in a culture where many teens have turned away from Christianity.
Sarah Crawford graduated from Mary Hardin Baylor last May and moved to Ireland in June to work with this ministry. God has been teaching both of us so much over the last few years to prepare us for this season of life and it has been wonderful to have Sarah to share that with. Sarah is full of ideas and loads of funs to be around (which is great since we are also flat mates!!)
Want to learn more about An Tobar Nua? Check out www.antobarnua.com
For more information about Foundation in Christ Ministry, visit their website: www.foundationinchrist.org If you would like to financially contribute to FICM a donation can be made on the website or sent to:
Other ways to keep in contact with me: Facebook Group: Laurelâ€™s Life in Ireland
Foundation In Christ Ministries c/o Steadfast Financial Services, INC. 411 Spring Valley Lane Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
E-mail: LEAD03@gmail.com 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!
My November Newletter