Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Northern Irish Coast

What an AMAZING weekend we just had in Northern Ireland. We went to a conference with our church at another Vineyard church called Causeway Coast Vineyard. We were both so encouraged and challenged! We left knowing that our lives would never be the same. At the end of the conference our friends Katie and Aaron took us to two famous sites on the coastline: Giant's Causeway (huge stones in the shape of octagons protruding from the coastline) and a rope bridge (the bridge went from the mainland to a small island). It was insane how windy it was! We have never been in such intense wind before. At one point Ross' entire body was leaning at a 45 degree angle and the wind was holding him up! The island was covered with grassy knolls that were bouncy! We felt like little kids running and jumping on the bouncy grass. With the wind, we were picked up as we jumped! It was one of the most exhilarating and freeing experiences playing on a grassy hill surrounded by the crazy ocean waves. The northern coast is absolutely beautiful, although the weather is definitely more extreme than Dublin. Enjoy the pics!

Giant's Causeway

The Coastline

A view of the island from a distance

A wee little path we walked on to get to the bridge (and yes they actually use "wee" in the North!)

The bridge from a distance

The bridge

The bouncy hill

Bouncy... bouncy... bouncy

New Hopes for Working

A lot has happened in the past fews weeks in regards to my (Suzanne) prospects of working.  Basically, because I have a stamp on my passport that only allows me a visitors status, I have been ineligible to work.  Upon discovering this I was very discouraged.  Thankfully, I found out about a Working Holiday Authorization that I can apply for at Christmas time while I am at home in the States.  This authorization will give me permission to work for a 12 month period of time.  Finding this option was an incredible blessing!  At a time when I was getting very discouraged, this was incredible news.  Ross and I will be flying home December 16 to go directly to the San Francisco Irish Consulate.  Please join us in praying that the authorization will take less than four weeks to process.  Also, pray that between now and when we leave for Christmas that I will be able to connect to a school to work at upon my return.  We are so excited to be coming home for Christmas especially with the ability to come back to Ireland mid-January with permission to work!  The Lord is good!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Ole Abbey

Today after church we were kidnapped by some of our new friends and taken to explore a bit of the beauty of the Irish countryside. They took us to the largest castle in Ireland (where some scenes from Braveheart were filmed) as well as an old monastery that was built in 1120AD. It was absolutely breathtaking! We have learned that the Irish countryside is littered with historical ruins like castles, ancient graveyards, and monasteries. This was our first true taste of the rolling green hills and historical character of Ireland. It was just what we needed after a long and uneventful week (as I, Ross, was sick all week). Here are a few pictures of the monastery.