Here it is, already Tuesday and I haven't even made it off to bed yet. I am "trying" to figure out all the new and strange features on my new blog site. I am totally NOT a "technical" person and will need to enlist the help of someone far more "engineered" than myself to help me get this thing the way I want it.
Tuesday.........hummm........so much to do and so little time. We are prepping for our BIG "Annual MAHAN St. Patrick's Day Celebration" that we hold every year. This year is bigger and better........lots of people coming. We want to celebrate Ireland in a fun, yet, semi "calm" fashion. No drinking or anything like that. I mean we eat the food, we talk the "Blarney" and we celebrate Ireland. We pray for the country and we talk about it and what God has and is doing there. It's sort of an "awareness" thing......people don't really understand Ireland and what has and is going on there still and this type of "celebration" allows us to speak of what God is doing there and what God wants to do there. WE want to see Ireland the way God sees Ireland and it's people.
Ever since I went to No. Ireland a few years ago.....I have had a DEEP love for the Island. I always have loved the British Isles, so Ireland has been in my hear forever, but to go there and to experience the people and the culture first hand......is/was amazing and so much so that I will never forget it. The trip I went on was not with a "tour group," it was no vacation, this was a Missions trip and we went there to work.
We did "reconciliation work" and anyone that knows the history of Ireland........ESPECIALLY No. Ireland, will know what that means. It's long and it's complicated what has happened in Ireland and it goes back centuries and centuries. The hatred has been deep.
So, our group went to specifically work with a small church in Londonderry, No. Ireland, and go into the schools in the town and do assemblies with the youth, trying to reach them with positive things and not divisive things. We then would invite them to come to meetings in the the evenings, we held a "Teen Club" at the church, which by the way was above a pub......very fitting I thought.
Hey, it's Ireland what did you expect? HA! HA!
We totally converted "the Church" into a Teen Club by lining all the walls in black plastic bags that we sliced open until they were flat and taping them onto the walls, then we spray painted them with things......to look like gang writing or some of the stuff you see splashed on the walls in Ireland.......but the writings said things like......."Jesus died 4 U" and things like that. Then we had very LOUD music with a live band, the church band of course.....ha! And we did drama's and showed video clips and everything was geared around salvation. It was way cool. Those kids had NEVER been exposed to anything like it before. I know, I led two teenage kids to Christ after talking with them, a boy and a girl. They told me......."did you see that" and they pointed to the wall and the writing that said "Jesus died 4 U" and they told me to my face....."we never knew that"......it broke my heart. Mary they knew of but they didn't know that Jesus her son, had given his LIFE on the cross for them.
Long story longer.......we saw and felt many, many, awesome things and God did some amazing things in us and many others those 10 days that we were there. I will have them ETCHED in my heart and memory forever.
This is why we continue to use St. Patrick's Day as a tool........a tool for educating people about Patrick, and Ireland and the Irish people that are still there.
Besides.......I'm married to a Mahan~! And after visiting Ireland.......I found out that my maiden name "Ayres".......was the same as some of the people we met and know there.....pronounced like the word "Heirs" but spelled with a twist to it.......they spelled theirs "Eyres." Interesting. They told me that the crest and the background are all the same. Cool. I've got Irish blood in me after all.......well I already was claiming it.......I have a GREAT, GREAT, Grandmother in my family who was famously named "Mary Catherine Lacy" before she married an Ayres.......that my friends.....is a totally Irish woman don't tell me she's not. HA! I know a good Irish name when I hear one!
So......4 Days to St. Paddy's.......5 to our party. We're it on Sunday afternoon! I still have to get at least 2 more good sized Corned Beefs in order to have enough......I have 3 so far. Got the Kerry Gold Cheese from Ireland tonight......via Target.
The rest of the menu will include.......boiled potatoes and carrots and cabbage........potato rolls, and some kind of crazy dessert. Something green. HA~! Cookies more than likely. Everyone loves to eat this food, so we will have plenty on hand. We even boil the Corned Beef in our Cajun boiling pot now so that we have enough room for all of them to cook......plus cooking it out doors keeps the house from getting so hot and stinky! HA! Wish you all could come, but we haven't got the room. Sorry!