One of the common questions we hear is “What does life in Ireland look like for us?” I thought I’d write out a brief preview of the week ahead for us, as well as a brief recap on the past weekend, and hopefully give you a glimpse.
When I was on a missions trip to the Philippines in the early 1990’s the US missionary there took a few of us out as he ran his errands for the day (such as acquiring fresh drinking water). While we were out he said, “We spend half our day just doing things we need to survive”.
Thankfully high quality water is piped right into our home here in Dublin, but I thought it’d be good to give you a picture of what a “week in the life,” looks like.
Our weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with Hannah getting robbed in city centre. Since we moved here, Hannah has been robbed 3 times, the rest of us 0. Thankfully they’ve just taken her stuff, and have never hurt her in any way. But as you might imagine, no one who has robbed her has been caught, and each conversation with the Guards is basically, “you know you’re not getting your stuff back, right?”
On Saturday night Liz & I went over to our friend’s apartment in Clontarf. I met him at the gym (we work out Monday, Tuesday & Friday mornings) and in the jobs course I took over the winter. Liz and I have really enjoyed getting to know him and his girlfriend. Sunday morning we went to the Vineyard…it is still a bit weird to have no Sunday morning responsibilities, but there are some nice benefits such as being able to sit in the nursery with Liz and Méabh during the service. Afterwards, I came home and did some stuff around the house, while Liz, Erin, Brenna & Méabh went shopping in city centre.
The main goal of their shopping trip was buying some last-minute stuff for Erin’s Gaeltacht trip. (Gaeltacht is the Irish word which refers to an Irish-speaking region of the country).
Although Erin and Brenna are both exempt from having to learn Irish in school, Erin still wanted to go on the trip to the west of Ireland which left this morning and returns on Friday.
Later tonight, (afternoon in the US) we have a Skype call with a coach who has been helping us and working with us since about a year prior to our moving to Dublin. Having this resource has been a great help as we’ve made one of the biggest transitions in our life.
Tomorrow, I am meeting with a Dublin area pastor to talk about church planting, campus ministry & assorted other items. He is one of the other pastors I’ve met that has a passion to see Dublin’s Northside impacted with the gospel. He is also the one who told me that in the entire Northside (not counting city centre) there is only one active evangelical church. I’m hoping to do some research soon to look at what kind of numbers of people that represents. However, our anecdotal evidence has revealed the same…basically that the vast majority of churches in Dublin are 1) on the Southside, 2) in city centre, or 3) on the west side of Dublin.
On Wednesday I’m meeting with a couple people from the Dublin Vineyard. I’ve been working on switching their web site from Joomla to WordPress, and am meeting to train them how to create pages, as well as some of the other basics. Hopefully the site will be up and ready to go by the end of the month.
Wednesday night is youth group for Erin & Brenna. The youth group has an alternating schedule. One week they meet in small groups (boys in one, girls in another) over on the south west side of the city. It is about a 35-40 minute drive from Raheny, and means you need to pay a toll on the M50. On the other week (this week in fact) all the youth meet in the Vineyard Centre in city centre. That is about a 20 minute drive. Usually we drop them off & head over to a nearby hotel, grab something to drink & enjoy their “much faster than our house internet”
Thursday morning Liz and I head into town together for an appointment at 8:30. Sometimes we stay in town afterwards and run some other errands, or just get a cup of coffee/tea together. Often we need to come right home to get Méabh so that Hannah can get to work.
This Friday night we are meeting with a network of church planters from across the greater Dublin area. We had dinner with this group about 2 months ago & it was a great experience…It is a really good group of people…even if they are all planting 1) on the Southside, 2) in city centre, or 3) on the west side of Dublin. 🙂
Saturday is, as it was while we were in Ithaca, Sabbath. Sabbath was a bit weird getting going again here in Dublin. In part because with not having a “real” job, days & weeks all run together a bit. As you can see from the itinerary above though, there is still a lot going on over the course of a week. One of the hardest things for me in getting life “normalised” a bit here was getting rhythm back into my days & weeks. Sabbath, has been an important part of that process.
So that’s a quick view of the week ahead for us. As you might guess, there is a bunch of other family stuff we have going on…as well as projects we are working on for our upcoming trip to NY.
Hope this gives you a bit of a picture of a week in the life of the Wilsons.