2019 Northern Ireland RIOT 3 Update 3
Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2019
The cool thing about Sunday for us was that however each of our home churches are run, we got to see an alternative (though still beautiful) perspective of worship. The first church we visited was much more conventional and what most of us agreed was like the churches that we personally belong too. Besides the band and the way that the audience interacted with the sermon and worship, the whole experience was much more heart wrenching and emotionally provocative. On the flip side, we visited a much more traditional church the same evening which is not something that many of us are used to but enjoyed all the same. That is to say that singing hymns are much more bearable than I remember. The sermon didn’t cause anyone to cry but it was very informative, and it was a nice change actually diving into a passage of scripture and learning something new about it. Both experiences certainly differed, but were inspiring and uplifting in their own way, not unlike our own group. We had the opportunity on this day to start working out a snippet of our spiritual journeys and begin sharing them with others. We all come from so many backgrounds but the thing that makes sharing with others so incredible is that we get to see the mind-blowing ways that God works on each individual and all the lengths he will go to bring his children to himself.
Monday was a great opportunity for us to learn a lot more about the history and culture of Northern Ireland instead of just focusing on its outer beauty. Bringing Christianity to this country, Saint Patrick is hugely prominent and celebrated here. As a group we got a chance to walk in his footsteps and visit some of the more important sites surrounding him. At the place of Ireland’s very first church (which happened to be a barn originally) stands a new one which we were able to share some more of our spiritual journeys. Though not a large structure, particularly on Saint Patrick’s Day, it is so packed that locals often can’t even manage to snag a seat inside the building because of the attendance. Other highlights were the view from Slieve Patrick (a statue of Patrick standing on a large hill), and the Cathedral where he’s believed to have been laid to rest. Learning more of the history in a museum dedicated to him, we were able to complete the full picture and really get a better understanding of the country in which we’re serving.