Méabh hanging with some swans in Stephen’s Green

While I’ve enjoyed sharing about our journey these past 2 weeks (it has only been 2 weeks…wow) I wanted to clarify something that I think is crucial…while some of the things we’ve experienced have been a bit frustrating…letting agents and car salesmen for example…I hope this has not come across as complaining…because it isn’t…it has simply been a good vehicle to share our experience here so far.

I received a text from a friend this morning talking about how things often work in Ireland…and my reply was, “yeah, because no one is frustrating in the states.” (that was sarcasm if you didn’t catch it:-)

Sure the car stuff and the housing stuff has had some ups and downs…but in two weeks:

1) I have residency in Ireland and the ability to get a job in Ireland (I had that within 27 hours of being in the country…that’s amazing).

2) We all (except Hannah) have our PPS numbers (think social security numbers.)

3) All the stories about issues with getting a bank account…we actually have 3 accounts now. Liz has a private one (with all the money in it). We have a joint account. And yesterday they called us and suggested we set up a Dollar Account. (Bank of Ireland gives about the best exchange rate you can get. When I tried to wire money from our US bank to our Ireland bank, the US bank was charging 2 cents more on every dollar…which starts to add up. With a dollar account, we can transfer our money to Ireland in dollars, and hold them there until the exchange rate is favorable (or we need it), and not be subject to higher exchange rates. And since we are still being paid from the States, this is great for us.)

4) We are likely purchasing a car tomorrow (I am still not counting unhatched chickens).

5) And although still a bit higher than we would have liked, it looks like we are close to obtaining a place to live in Clontarf & only a short walk from the girl’s school and 5 minutes to the DART station so Hannah can take the train to Trinity..

That all happened in two weeks…and doesn’t even get to things like cell phones, mass transit cards, and other items we’ve figured out.

Now, there was a lot of planning and prep work that went into that, and the support and guidance we’ve received from the Garzas has been priceless, as have all the prayer we’ve received. And I still think we’ve seen an amazing amount accomplished in 14 days.

But even if we hadn’t seen so many things fall is to place, we made a decision before we came that we weren’t going to allow these obstacles to frustrate us, or make us upset. Obviously not everything here works like it does in NY…but there are positives and negatives to that.

In my mind, one of the great tragedies of the history of missions…and really the church as a whole, is we’ve expected people to adopt our culture and our way of doing things along with the gospel, as though they were inseparable. We recognized when we moved here, we are the ones who are going to have to learn a new way of living life…an entire city is not going to change to make our entry as smooth as possible. (even for us:-)

For both Liz and me, core to what we believe we are here for is to love and serve the people of Ireland…that’s hard to do if we’re irritated that they are not doing things the way we’d like them to.

So if you don’t mind, I’ll still share some of the things we experience, just please keep in mind the spirit behind it…because we have been having a blast so far!


PS – Quick update on Méabh…she’s still pretty sick…but not quite as lethargic as she was this morning. Please keep praying for her. Thanks.