Finding a parking space in Dublin was a nightmare. The Youth for Christ Van couldn't fit in any multi-storey car parks so we had to do a few laps to find some on street parking. When we finally got parked, imagine our surprise that our parking space was right outside a 'dirt shop.' This gave us a good laugh, and we got a few funny looks from some shoppers. What was more funny was the shop below, Christian Fortune Tellers!!
We have had a great first day. Pete, Ali and myself met with a twenty something emerging leader called Ferg Brown. We spent a couple of hours chatting over coffee, getting a glimpse into what God is doing here in Dublin. It was inspiring to catch this guys vision for community, mission and discipleship. What really impressed me about this guy is that he doesnt just talk about it, he is getting of his ass and bringing in God's Kingdom here. Ferg, his wife and their soon to be born little baby are moving into Temple Bar, to bring the presence of the Kingdom into this part of the world. He currently works about three jobs to support his vision and he is looking to get a property in temple bar to open a 3 story building with a 24/7 prayer room, a coffee shop and a discipleship training school. I was really challenged by one particular part of the conversation, when Ferg shared with us, about a conversation that he had with his elders, when he shared his heart to go and start new expressions of church but still be connected with the church, the result being that they have got behind him and have released him to go and do and be. Awesome guy with a big heart and the courage to go for it!
This evening we visited CORE Church. CORE has always been a leading charismatic anglican church here. I think we were expecting to go and be blown away by a huge fancy kinda churchy thing. We were in for a big shock. 39 people, in a very simple church building, two teenagers playing guitars, very average teaching and bread and wine. But as we reflected after, we all loved it. It was simple, raw, full of mistakes (broken guitar strings and 25mins late starting, because nobody came) but very authentic, touching and engaging.
After CORE, we met Alex and Keely Mosley, friends living for God, serving in Ballyfermot Community Church. Alex is an old friend from Bible College, Keely is a Children's Counsellor working at Oasis. They are good guys, with a lovely home...and who are letting us crash over.
Ali, Pete and myself will probably unpack tomorrow on the road, but personally I can say that God has already been challenging me. Tonight at CORE, the pastor Rob shared a word with me, during prayer ministry (yes, i went forward for prayer!!) something that God had already been pressing on my heart. Looking forward to Day 2!