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Tuesday 24th July 2018 @ 8:59 am

It’s been a busy eight weeks of travel.

And good.


Two weeks ago, just before I left for South Africa (with some great young leaders from the world of Irish Methodism) my dad said an unusual thing. He is a man who dedicated his entire working life to the service of others – as a minister of the Christian Gospel he taught his family and his flock that faith was a practical thing. Your Christian life was about your decisions, your actions, your practical loving. Prayer was also a practical thing – “remember that very often, you are part of the answer to your prayer” he taught us.

Which is probably why it took me a little by surprise when this 89 year old told me that his prayer for me the previous evening was that I would have work that allowed me to fly. And he meant it. Literally. Planes and airports and check–ins and security, and all that comes with it. I’ve never heard him say such a thing to me. It was both honoring and interesting. His comments showed me, he sees me. He sees the life that is continuously rolling out around me, and he chooses to believe it is worthy, and he chooses to pray for more of it.

Maybe this time of the year for more years to come, will look like this – maybe it won’t? As I am only part–time resourced by the Church for work in Trinity, it means normally that outside of normal semester I have the adventure of traveling a different path in ministry. All the travel I do has ministry as a component of it, but it is a wide (and I hold, beautiful) concept of what ministry is that has grown within me and I hope continues to change me.

I will over the next few days upload some blogs that allude to some of these travels – France, Derry (it took a long time to drive to Methodist conference, so I consider it a travel journey also!), Palestine and Israel, and I have just returned yesterday from South Africa. In two days I’m back at the airport and heading East, mainly for holidays, I’m deadly excited.


But today I simply sit – still knocked about a bit by the extent and miles of the last 8 weeks – deeply grateful that I have a home.

More than that, I have homes.

I live between two places, Bangor and Dublin, and in both of them I have a bed.

With clean sheets.

Those beds sit in brick built constructions that hold heat.

There is running water.

The water is hot.

All the time.

There is food in the fridge and cupboards.

All the time.

There are people here who care whether I live or die.

All the time.


I am currently sitting under an open skylight, and it is raining outside.

The skylight is designed so that even when it rains, no rain comes into this room.

Three days ago I was helping secure reinforced aluminum material against a wall in a ‘wandering school’ in a township outside Durban. The space was roughly 6msq and was the educational home for c.40 pre–school children, mainly orphans.

We were helping to place to aluminum against the walls, to plug the gaps in them, so neither the sun nor the rain will be disruptive or damaging to the children.


Such travel experiences can only challenge me if I choose to let them.






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