This week some friends offered to collect our children from school one day, keep them at their house all afternoon, feed them dinner, and drive them all the way to Youghal in the evening – all so that we could have the whole day to pack boxes for moving (we packed a lot of boxes!). We’ve also had several friends from church help us with jobs that needed to be done on the house we’re selling, and offers coming from all directions to help when we actually do move. We are very thankful for such amazing support from the family of God!
After agreeing to the sale of our house in Youghal recently, we started looking hard for a place to land – and it was harder than we thought. Most of the houses listed online were actually already sold, and we were running out of options. But at the last minute, God provided an unexpected solution and the result is that we have put a deposit down on a new home for our family!
Hurricane Ophelia, the strongest hurricane on record this far east in the Atlantic, is currently battering the shores of Ireland with very high winds. All the schools in Ireland closed and everyone has been advised to stay indoors, so we’re having a hurricane holiday as a family. So far we still have power, and our house is not in any danger of flooding, so we’re enjoying the time together!
Last week all three of our children started in their new school, where we are trying to move. It’s a bit of a commute to get there, but we’re hoping that we can move there soon, so we thought a time of commuting would be better than switching schools mid-year. It’s Rebekah’s first year in school as well, so the last few days have been a big adjustment for all of us. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, though, and we’ve already seen some answers to prayer along the way.
One of the realities of living overseas is getting acquainted with the US Embassy. In Ireland, the embassy is in Dublin, and there are times when getting or maintaining our US documents requires a visit. This week we’ll be going up to renew Daniel and Rebekah’s passports. Today I (Seth) took them to get their passport photos and noticed that I didn’t have to coach them not to smile – they already knew exactly where to stand and what to do. International living is the norm for these kids.
On Sunday our family drove to Midleton for church, instead of going to church in Youghal. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel strange. Not that the people in Midleton are strange, mind you, but after years in Youghal the reality that this transition is beginning to actually happen is a bit jarring. We do like the church in Midleton, though, so that’s nice!
On Sunday, we had two major events. First, we went to our last official service at Youghal Baptist Church. From now on we will start attending the church in Midleton, and working with them towards seeing something start in Carrigtwohill. It’s been seven years since the church in Youghal was officially formed, and it was definitely hard to say goodbye, even if we aren’t going that far away.
After church, Seth went to Cork to help with Munster Bible College’s very first graduation ceremony! We had a graduating class of eight, who have now completed three years of study. All told, 82 people have taken classes with Munster Bible College. It was a very encouraging evening, seeing what God has done and hearing from some of the students about how God has used the studies in their lives and ministries. We are thankful!
Last week Seth and Jessica celebrated 13 years of marriage! We went to a nice restaurant, and afterwards the proprietor came and said: “You’re Seth, right? I heard ye are moving, it’s a shame to lose ye!” Which goes to show that there are no secrets in small towns. Being known is one of the things we’ll miss most about Youghal.