Fifteen people from various Free Presbyterian Churches made their way to the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan on the evening of Friday the 26th of November.
We were assembled together with the united objective of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the border counties, specifically to the more major towns of Counties Monaghan, Cavan and Louth.
Throughout the weekend the fellowship was excellent and we certainly felt the nearness of God’s presence, particularly in a number of meetings together in the hotel for prayer and for meditation upon the Word of God. We can testify of the Lord’s goodness in help given throughout the weekend and particularly on the Saturday which was the main day of work.
In order to cover more ground, the team was divided in two with a number working in Monaghan town and travelling on to Cavan town and the rest working in Dundalk and then Drogheda.
• The group working in Monaghan, led by Rev David McLaughlin and Rev Larry Power, was joined by a number of believers from our Clogher Valley congregation including Rev Peter McIntyre and began the day with some door-to-door work in a couple of estates in and around Monaghan town before conducting an open-air service outside the courthouse in the town at which a number of gospel verses were quoted and Rev McLaughlin preached the Word whilst a number gave out the “Consider Christ” gospel tracts. One man was spoken to who seemed to show interest in the message proclaimed.
Moving into Cavan, the group then used the same routine of carrying out some door-to-door work in the area before returning to the town centre for another open-air which followed a similar format at which Rev McIntyre preached Christ to those who were nearby. This open air coincided with the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights and so there were a good number of people in the town able to hear the preaching of the gospel.
• The other group, led by Rev Smith, journeyed to Dundalk in the morning and were joined by around 6 others who had driven down for the day’s efforts. In Dundalk we had the opportunity to conduct an open-air at which two individuals gave a brief word of testimony as to the workings of the Lord in their lives, a number of others quoted a selection of verses from the bible before Rev Smith brought a message concerning Jesus Christ and the healing of the palsied man focussing particularly on those words “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5). Although the town was relatively quiet, it was encouraging to see a number of people keenly listening from their cars as well as a few people who listened for short periods throughout.
One young man listened intently to the whole service and having spoken to a number of the team, told one of us that our efforts would not be in vain. Hearing that young man’s story is heartbreaking, yet we rejoice that if Christ is to save him, his life will turn in an instant from tragedy to triumph, certainly at least in relation to his soul.
Following the open air in Dundalk, the group made their way to Drogheda where we spent some time doing some door-to-door work in one of the estates before making our way back to the hotel in Monaghan.
One observation from speaking to people on the doors throughout all the towns targeted was that whilst in Northern Ireland the average person may not even confess to believing in a god, many in the Republic clearly believe in God, the challenge is to present the simplicity of the gospel to them that “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
The group enjoyed fellowship with the believers in Coragarry Free Presbyterian Church in Drum, and special thanks must go to the ladies of the congregation for providing a tasty lunch of soups, breads and a variety of deserts. It was a joy to have prolonged fellowship with the congregation throughout the afternoon before making our way home.
It is fair to say that the weather limited us in some regards as many of the roads were covered in ice, and so slowed down our travels, yet we thank the Lord for safety in transport. We thank the Lord for wisdom in speaking to people of Christ, for power given in the preaching of His word and especially for the sense of His presence throughout. We trust that He will use these small efforts made over the weekend for His own glory, and that even in time to come, the seed sown will be reaped in the extension of Christ’s kingdom into the Republic of Ireland.