“I see you have a guitar up there on the shelf.”
“Yes, that’s right. Do you play?”
“Sure, help yourself.”
During a special trip to Ireland to welcome back the Murphy family, I took a Thursday out to visit with the Dyserts in Serendipity, their center-of-influence shop. Thursdays are always an interesting time in Serendipity, and today was no exception.
A young lady and her mother who had visited the shop before came in. After general greetings, she spied a guitar high on a shelf. After getting permission, she took it down and began to play and sing a beautiful rendition of an Irish folk song. Then she followed that with one of her own creations. The other shop patrons enjoyed her music as much as I did.
Thursdays tend to be busier than other days because that is when Serendipity offers free blood-pressure checks. On this Thursday, quite a few people dropped by to have their blood pressure taken. Most were well within the safe limits, but one man’s blood pressure was much too high. Patrick and Bridget advised him to make an appointment with his physician as soon as possible. They also offered him advice on health and lifestyle, which he was happy to receive. He left with a book and a leaflet—another satisfied customer.
Welcoming the Murphy family brought other opportunities for interaction with Irish people. “This is a beautiful park for children. They are having so much fun,” said an Irish lady as Pauline and I enjoyed the playground in the central park in Cork with the Murphy family. It was a lovely sun-dappled autumn morning, and many families had brought their children to the park. Irish people tend to be very friendly, so it was easy to strike up conversation.
The Murphys had only been in the country for a month, and we were eager to learn how they were settling into their new role as a career missionary family. It was great to see that they had reconnected with several of the people they met during their first missionary stint in Ireland. Now they have returned with two young children, and this new family dynamic has opened networking opportunities for Mary who attends the toddler group in the local parish hall. The Murphys have restarted the Bible study groups and morning exercise classes, and it was wonderful to see the spiritual growth of several Irish participants as they shared during the Bible studies.
There is still much work to be accomplished in Ireland. As we begin a new year, we invite you to join us in praying for more missionaries to come to the Emerald Isle to share Jesus with the Irish, bringing health and hope to those who are discouraged, depressed and discontented with the forms of religion they have known.