Sisterhood Ireland Team 2014…An Amaze-ing Arrival!

After four countries and 28 hours of travel, we have arrived!  The water is blue, the country is green, and we are tired,  But good tired.  Well, really more like exhausted. But a good exhausted.  We have traveled by plane, by bus, and by van.  We have spent hours sitting and waiting.  Yesterday (at least I think it was yesterday) we spent an 8 hr layover in the airport in Toronto, Canada.  The weather was such that we could not wander into the city, so we found ways to keep calm inside as the storm raged just outside.

We ate, we walked, we talked, and we bonded.  We played cards and read books.  We wrote in our journals and made phone calls home.  We gathered in a circle and did a devotional.  Eight hours stuck in an airport is not ideal; but we learned to be content.  Much of the time we spend on our walk with God is spent waiting., we must learn to be content in the waiting period, for the waiting time is your prep time–time that God prepares you for your next step.

There are twelve of us on the trip.  We all know each other, but each of us has a different level of connection with  the various women on the team.  There are some strong, deep bonds among us, as well as several surface friendships.  Our waiting time allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other better.  We bonded as a group, and as individuals.  We are stronger as a team, and we will need that strength as we walk through the next several days of this mission trip.

After 8 hours at the airport, and 7 more in the air, we arrived in Dublin about 11:30 am.  We did a quick “freshen up” and boarded a bus for the 2 hr ride to the Northern Coast.  It was there in the lovely town of Craigavon that Pastor John met us, and after dropping off our luggage, took us on ride to show off this incredible countryside.

One of our stops was in a park area that was home to some very large, beautiful trees.  One in particular was  chosen especially for us, as it allowed our entire team of  full grown women (who are still kids at heart), to climb up and pose for a picture.  And man, what a picture.   Seeing that tree decorated with 12 ornaments of Sisterhood brought our “Seeds” series last semester to life!  Firmly rooted and flourishing, it is able to support others as they climb to the next level.

Pastor John also delighted us with a trip to the Peace Maze.  It is a massive maze of pathways and shrubbery and at its heart sits a peace bell.   The idea is to walk the maze and find your way to the bell of peace.  A group of 10 entered the maze first,  followed shortly by  Nilda and me, who had stopped to take some pictures.

Amaze-ing Grace

As anyone who has walked one of these things knows, some paths we took ended in a wall of shrubbery, and others just circled us back to where we had just been.  We could hear other voices, but we could not see them.  After close to half an hour, Nilda and I managed to find the center, and could see where the bell had stood.  As we had circled to the center, the path we were on had risen in elevation, so that when we arrived at our destination, we stood high above the others.

There was a bridge that we could walk to, and as we did, we could see the maze in its entirety. It was huge!  Much larger than either of us had thought while walking it.  It was (ah-hem) amazing,  what we could see from this higher perspective.  Not only could we see the whole maze, we could see each and every twist and turn.  We could see which path led to success, and which was a dead end.   And…we could see our sisters, trying to make their way  through.  No longer were they a pack of 10, but at some point had broken into pieces of the original group.  They were now walking two or three together, and a couple had gone off completely on their own.  They were scattered and lost, walking in circles.  But Niilda and I, perched at our elevated level, called out to those struggling to find their way.

From where I stood, I was able to see where I had taken a wrong turn, and say, “no, don’t go that way, it leads to a dead end.”  I could see their faces light up as they found a new path that looked so enticing.  But I knew it led to nowhere, for I could see the end.  One by one, our sisters found that bell, that peace, because Nilda and I did what sisters do–we reached out to those who were walking through the same wilderness we once had, and we showed them the way.

We are Sisterhood.

–Sherri

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~ by Celebration Missions on June 18, 2014.

4 Responses to “Sisterhood Ireland Team 2014…An Amaze-ing Arrival!”

  1. I love this!!! This reminds me of my journey in that same maze. Love you ladies!!

  2. Praying for a safe God filled trip.

  3. Thank you for the image of the Peace Maze. I thought of our walk with God as I read it. In order for your friends to find peace they had to trust you could actually see them and their path. They had to listen for your voice. The song Trust and Obey comes to mind. Thank you again. May God use all of you to bless Craigavon.

  4. The song Trust and Obey comes to mind. Thank you so much for this post and the imagery. Reemphasising God can see the big picture. We must listen for His voice and then trust His direction. May God use each of you 12 women to bless Craigavon.

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