The Sky is Falling!

Posted by Tim on 25 October 2008 - 6:35am

  Today (Saturday morning 25th October)started with a BANG, literally!  Jeff and Caroline Hay are spending a few days with us here in Ballycullen considering what the Lord would have them do concerning leadership at our church - and just as we were all getting going we heard a big thud outside.  Then our doorbell rang and it was our neighbor asking us to move our car - the sky, or more accurately, the roof is falling!

When you take a look at the pictures, you can see it was to late for our little car!  The large slate tiles from 2 floor up had smashed into the bonnet (hood) of our car and sent a spider web of cracks into our windscreen (wind shield).  There is also a deep hole in the sheet metal near the side mirror.

We have learned that this had happened before and our poor neighbors had their roof fixed and inspected - the whole building is only 4 years old and they (our neighbors) are very upset.  Pray for them with us as we think this is a chance for them to see Jesus in us.  We told them that the car is just a chuck of metal and glass and that it is not nearly as important as people.  Pray that God will use this for his glory in their lives.  The wind (60+ mph) is still howling and there is the potential of more rood damage, but God will use this we are convinced.

We're not sure about our car insurance coverage as it is not spelled out as it is in the states, but however that works out, we want to reach our neighbors.  Thanks for praying with us!


 look at the roof above the people on the right, near the sky light...

close up of roofHere's a close up of the roof with tiles missing and one hanging on the sky light - it fell a minute later.

In front of our house

  This is what it looked like in front of our house after we moved the cars -

Our car   

It's hard to see here, but the right side of the bonnet (hood) is smasked and the windshield is a total loss!



Tullagh Is Growing!

Posted by Tim on 18 October 2008 - 5:52am

  Tullagh, our 3 month old Golden Retriever Puppy (Guide Dog in Training) has more than doubled in size in the 7 weeks we have had him (from 6 kilos (12 pounds) to 12 kilos).  The picture below was taken earlier this week while we were at the Giants Causeway on the North Sea in Northern Ireland.  This is a typical scene with people wanting to come up and 'meet' Tullagh.

We are very grateful that the Lord is giving us this opportunity to earn credibility here in our new country.  If you have ever raised a puppy you know that it is a lot of work; and we are learning that the things we are doing to help train this young guide dog require lots of patience.  Kathy is so very good at this, much better than me (Tim), but as a team things are starting to take shape.

Today (Sat) we are going to some kind of exhibition for The Irish Guide Dog Association. We think we will have chances to meet lots of new people, and to get to know fellow 'puppy walkers' as well.  Tullagh is now completely house broken, waits for us to blow a whistle before he eats his food, and has learned how to sit 'on command' - sort of!!  There is much more for him to learn in the next 10 months, but I think he is going to be a great guide dog

Our next door neighbors LOVE him and are always anxious to see and pet him,

Kathy with Tullagh

National Ploughing Championships!

Posted by Tim on 27 September 2008 - 10:42am

    Tuesday was a first for Kieran and me, even though Kieran has lived in Ireland most of his life he  had never been to the annual Irish National Ploughing Champships (NPC).  This HUGE event happens every September somewhere in Ireland and it is a REALLY BIG DEAL.  Now you might think that its all about ploughing (plowing) on a quiet Irish farm somewhere right?  Wrong.  We were in Kilkenny, site of this year's championship, from about 1:00 until 7:00 PM and did not see a single ploughing 'event'.

We did see about 80,000 people, however, gathering into a tent city that would exist for 3 days only, then revert back to a working farm! The NPC is very much like a huge American state fair . . . tons of food booths, exhititions by most business interests in the nation; especially heavy equipment like tracktors, harvestors, loaders, etc.

Kieran, Sam (a wonderful man from our church) and I spent lots of time handing out New Testaments, cds and other materials to many.  Our tent offered free tea and biscuts as well as tray bakes (home make goodies) to tired attendees.  I had a chance to talk to Liam, a former Catholic who did not think Jesus was God, but came into existence at his physical birth.  We talked for quite a while and then he had tea while thinking about John 14:6-9 as well as John chapter 1.  Pray for Liam when you think about it. . . 

  Here are some pictures I took that I thought you might enjoy. . .

NPC Road Sign A road sign on the way from Dublin, the normal drive time is 2 hours, but it took us almost 4.










Sea of Tents



A part of the sea of tents and other exhibitors covering a huge area near Kilkenny






Inside our Tent


The 'free tea' area in the back of our tent with tired attendees taking a break







Craig & Kieran


This is what one wall of the tent looked like with Craig (L), Kieran and another worker.  You can also see a bit of the front where we greeted people and invited them in . . .





Vintage Loom

This man was showing how Irish wool used to be woven by hand into tradional plaid patterns.  You can see old farm equipment in the background.  We also saw a 'red wool' sheep waiting to be shorn (if that's really a word.

Being an Immigrant . . . As Written by Sarah

Posted by Tim on 20 September 2008 - 11:57am

Living in another country is full of adventures- some more pleasant than others. Dealing with immigration is one of those many adventures, which I had the pleasure of dealing with recently. ;) Coming into the country in March was no problem and we all received our G.N.I.B cards (like a green card) on our first attempt.

At that time I was given a “stamp 3” on my passport, which stated that I was not allowed to go to school or get a job here. I hadn’t foreseen this problem, so I asked the immigration officer what to do if I wanted to go to school here. He went to ask someone and came back with a list of things I needed to do in order to change my status.

  • I needed to: be accepted at a school here,
  • open an Irish bank account with 1,000 euro, and
  • leave and reenter the country.

He assured me that if I brought the proper paperwork with me when I left the country that the customs officer at the airport would take care of it. By the end of May I had decided to go to the Irish Bible Institute (IBI), so I started working on getting everything I needed to change my immigration status.

In August, I happily took a trip to London with the family, which doubled as the fulfillment to the requirement. Back at the Dublin airport I explained my situation to the customs officer, who promptly told me that all such issues were dealt with at the Guarda station in town (which is where we were in March getting our G.N.I.B. cards). So this wasn’t going to be as simple as I thought! I shrugged and went back to the Guarda station to see what they said this time.

After a short wait in the queue, I was matter-of-factly informed that I needed another reference letter stating that I’d paid my tuition at IBI and that I hadn’t needed to leave the country at all! Once again, I set out to fulfill their requirements. It really all does depend on who you talk to, so I was a bit fearful that I would be told something different upon my return to the Guarda station.

It’s interesting and, I must admit, a bit humbling to be an immigrant at the mercy of whichever immigration officer I happen to be assigned to. However, I know that in reality, my true citizenship is in heaven and that my Father is One in control! With this in mind, I went back to the very familiar guarda station to try my “luck” again. After waiting for about 4 ½ hours, it was my turn to speak to the immigration officer. She examined my papers and began looking very carefully at every page of my passport! “Have you left the country since March, “ she asked, “I can’t find a stamp.” I explained what I’d been told at the airport (and did my best to hide my irritation =), but she told me that she had to refuse my request. She then said something about talking to her supervisor and disappeared for a while.

When she came back, she seemed to have forgotten what she’d said because she looked at my papers again, scanned my fingerprints, and issued me my new card! The very next morning I legally went into orientation at the Irish Bible Institute!! As much fun as this whole adventure was, I’m very glad not to have to go back to the guarda station again…until next year. =) No worries though, because the Lord already has that sorted too…


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