Saturday 6 May
The day began earlier than I would have hoped (#insomnia #coffee) but that meant the chance to finish yesterday's blog and photo gallery. There was also a disappointment, as my appointment in Limerick was cancelled so on the off-chance, I texted the number of someone in Adare, County Limerick and by 10am plans were made for a lunchtime visit! Happy days!
Of course, I'm still on the look out for tractors and the running total soon receives a boost!
With a little time to spare, I stopped off at the ruins of Ballybeg Priory, just off the N20 north of Mallow. The monastery was established in 1229 under the patronage of the de Barry family and remained in use for just over 300 years. The remains include an incredible dovecot which would have once housed up to 350 pigeons (kept for food and manure by the Augustine monks). It is awe-inspiring to think about the people who lived and worshipped here almost 800 years ago!
In Adare, I have the joy of meeting Hugh and Marie Doherty at the Adare Caravan and Camping site. For almost 40 years, this couple has run a Bible study in their home and in 2000, they launched a monthly meeting in the Barn (behind the tractor in the photo) where Christians from the surrounding areas of Limerick and North Cork gather for fellowship and encouragement.
Hugh and Marie share their personal stories with me and their desire to be a blessing to Christians of all backgrounds through their regular gatherings. "When God looks down on us, He doesn't see the labels that we have over the doors of our churches on a Sunday morning," Hugh shared. "He simply asks are we His or are we not?"
Another hour behind the wheel (I'm starting to get very tired now) and I'm glad to reach Lahinch, Co Clare with time to spare for a cup of tea before my final appointment of the day.
Here I meet John McCarthy from the Lahinch Surf School and his wife Rachel. In 2015, John felt God gave him the idea for a film series called "Cliffs of Hope" (for those not familiar with County Clare, Lahinch is very close to the Cliffs of Moher). With the support of folks from North Clare Community Church, John has produced films designed to help people understand and experience the love and hope found in God. Cliffs of Hope includes John's "vlog" as well as a series of interviews with different people talking about their hope in Jesus.
With a "lighter" schedule for Day Five, it is lovely to finish off the blog at a reasonable time and head for bed... especially as Day Six is likely to be quite punishing (From Clare to Galway to Roscommon to north Mayo).