An Irish Blessing

During the month of March, Janet and I had the great opportunity of visiting some friends in Ireland whom we first met some years ago in Chile.  He is Irish, she is Chilean and they originally met at university in California!  They were members of our English home-group during our last stay in Chile and they moved back to Ireland to live last year after we left Chile for the Unites States.  During our visit, I had the opportunity to preach at the Dublin Vineyard where our friends now attend.  As always, I prayed about what the Lord might want me to say in the midst of a congregation where I knew so few people.  Without delay, I felt the I was to share a message that the Lord put on my heart over a year ago and which I have proclaimed in congregations on three different continents!  When I was first ordained(almost fifty years ago) I would have thought it was heretical to preach the same message twice!  I now realize that when there is a “word from the Lord” given to any of his servants such a word can be relevant to any of his children.  The response to the message that morning in Dublin was most gratifying and many people came forward for ministry.  Two weeks later we were back at the Dublin Vineyard worshipping with the congregation before we left to fly back to the states the next day.  Six people were baptized that morning and each gave a short statement about their decision to “follow Jesus”.  The younger of two sisters who were baptized shared that “something Richard had said in his message two weeks ago” helped her decide to openly give her heart to Jesus.  The young girl’s name is Viola.  She is twelve years old and I was deeply moved to hear her say that a word the Lord put on my heart in another country pierced her heart and gave her the confidence to give her life to Jesus!  As Jesus said in Mark’s gospel, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. (Mark 10:14) Viola and I talked after the service and I agreed to pray for her regularly as she seeks all that Jesus has in store for her in the years to come.  The Holy Spirit blessed us both that morning with a mighty touch of his presence.