This morning, I was intent on making it to church. I woke up groggy and the weather was foggy, but I got myself out the door by 8:45 and began my trek. Although the >5 mile walk was not ideal, I couldn’t have asked for a more peaceful morning. Everything was still and quiet. I passed dewy spiderwebs scintillating in the sun, an evil-eyed grey cat perched on a post and many cows…I couldn’t resist putting together the pic below:
I took a path new to me, but I hope to travel it again. It wound uphill and by the time I reached the top, I could “see” that the city below, blanketed by a fleecy white cloud of fog. It was lovely to be up in the clear, bright air above it all. I’ll spare you the less pleasant details about the rest of my journey…wrong turns, poor directions, lack of facilities…alas. When I finally saw the church in the distance, I was, as the saying goes, a happy camper.
Cornerstone proved to be very welcoming, vibrant and above all, filled with sincere believers. After the service, I grabbed some of the coffee and biscuits, I stood awkwardly until a lady kindly introduced herself. Dorie is a sweet woman in her early thirties – a German native transplanted to Derry by marriage. Taking me in tow, my new friend introduced me to many others including Claire, a doctor, Anna, an American intern, Andy and Victoria, the leaders of the life group I’ll attend, and Noleen, an older woman separated from her children.
It was a great day to be there, as ten church members were going to be baptized! After listening to ten different testimonies, we all packed into cars and headed to Fahan beach (in the Republic of Ireland) for the actual baptisms! The weather was again BEAUTIFUL, the water was warm, the people were happy and the Lord was present.
Another small world moment…I met a lady named Noelle, an American missionary living in Derry with her family. Turns out she is the cousin of a lady on my street whose children I used to babysit. Crazy, huh?
At the end of the baptisms, Dorie drove me home. Turns out, she lives right past my house and will be able to take me to church on Sundays. She’ll also pick me up on Wednesday for a prayer meeting. What a blessing!
Cornerstone is a fabulous influence in Derry. The Lord has huge plans for the church and is working miraculously. For example, they’ve wanted to purchase a building rather than meeting in the Millenium Forum theatre, and they were recently able to acquire one in a perfect location at an enormous discount (it went from £2 million to £350,000!) Now the prayer is that they can acquire the car park (parking lot :)) next door at a reasonable price.
I finally feel as though I’ve truly connected here!