Before traveling to Ireland, I thought Ireland would be surrounded by pubs (which basically is very true), 4 leaf clovers, loads of Ginger people and also kinda Leprechauns - ok jokes aside.. but most of the things stated above were actually my thoughts, before traveling there and are apparently misconceptions. According to several studies only 10% of the Irish have red hair, 4 leaf clovers are rare anywhere and you’ll only find Leprechauns in a souvenir shop. Well I can’t deny how many pubs they actually have and how good their Guinness is, but we’ll come to that later.
We’ve travelled from Wales to Dublin on a ferry, which was a great experience. I’ve always wanted to be part of “Zack and Cody on deck” (who knows - knows ;)) and this actually gave me a bit of a Z&C spirit. And can we please appreciate how beautiful the Irish Sea is?! On our first night in Dublin, we went to the oldest pub in the state called “The Brazen Head” for dinner and afterwards practiced our Aussie accent and played “Good Day Bruce”, but got told off by the waiters, because we were understandably way too loud.
We went to the Guinness Brewery (or Storehouse in Dublin if you like) and learned how God used Arthur Guinness to make a change and additionally have a huge impact in Ireland by making the Guinness available. Some of you might wonder, how a beer could make such a huge difference, but believe it or not - Ireland was in a bad place that time (kinda still is). Poverty, hunger, lack of education were normal in Ireland back then. Arthur Guinness tried to change that, by providing them with a house to stay, overpaying them, offering free opportunities for education (no matter the age) and satisfying them with his drink - a “Guinness”. A Guinness is actually very heavy (at least for me). You get full after it very quickly and that was Arthur’s purpose, because of the hunger that was going on - that drink should satisfy them and set an end to hunger. I reckon you could survive for months only drinking Guinness, because it has loads of ion in it as well.
Well, I had my first pint of Guinness in the Guinness Brewery and I thought I wouldn’t like it, because I‘m not really into alcoholic drinks and a family I had dinner with the other day were quite convinced that Guinness wouldn’t be my cup of tea. Well, I actually liked it. Even though I got a bit dizzy after I finished it. But that’s just my body not tolerating alcohol at all. I would definitely drink it again if an occasion appears.
After Dublin we drove to Belfast, which is in Northern Ireland, and learned how God used St. Patrick to have a big impact in Ireland as well. I’m really fascinated by his story. St. Patrick didn’t have a bible, had loads of obstacles that were in his way to fulfill the work of God, but yet he didn’t give up, was obedient to Christ and didn’t allow other people to disturb his relationship with Him. I want a piece of that! I don’t want to give away too much of his story. You can do your own research if you want :) I promise you - it’s inspiring.
When we drove to Belfast, we made a stop on a mountain, I don’t know exactly what it was called, but I believe it was the mountain St. Patrick hiked up everyday for several years to talk and listen to God. We (the Greenhouse Team) hiked up bits of the mountain and had some Quiet Time with God and separated for 20 minutes to then come together and share if wanted. During that Quiet Time I was quite emotional. My relationship with God was not the best at that point. I rejected Him in loads of parts of my life and didn’t let Him work in me. I let myself be led by the world standards, rather than Jesus. I was quite frustrated, because I was longing for Him, but on the other hand didn’t do much to come back to His arms. On the mountain I prayed truthfully to God and was honest about my feelings and what is frustrating me and keeping me from worshiping Him. Told Him that I want to live with Him, for Him and set things on above rather than on earth. After that I had an electrical shock, which I believe was the Holy Spirit and I haven’t received that in weeks. Normally I connect with God through creation, nature etc., which includes sunsets. On that day there was a sunset and I’ve even received a picture, in which a bridge that I’ve closed, has been open for me to enter Gods kingdom again. I was blown away, I’ve never received such a clear picture from Him. This trip had a really big impact on me and I’m glad that the Greenhouse program provided us with this marvelous journey. I’m really thankful for this team and for God.
If you’ve made it till here, you’re awesome! <3