The reaping stage of life! A couple of weeks ago, Liam, our 5-yr. old Dublin grand said, “C’mon Granddad, let’s go upstairs to play.” Once we were in his bedroom, he began to tell me wonderful things that he’s learning in school, including an explanation of the Gospel. As he concluded, his question was, “Granddad, how did God raise Jesus from the dead?” After I answered him, he said, “Granddad, why are you crying?” I told him that they were happy tears. He has no idea how much joy he gives us. Seeing guys and gals of all ages learn lessons about Jesus gives joy incomparable. Let us share a few highlights…
After a summer of training 20+ volunteers, we began the Release Bible Academy in late August. Our first six week module of the Gospel of Luke just finished, and has provided fertile ground for weekly studies in two Dublin prisons on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. We tell the guys that this is the only Bible study where we don’t want any of them to come back! At first it was tough to get them to open up in discussion groups, but now it’s hard to get through the lessons because they share so much! One night we tried to bring Laurie’s famous banana bread for the tea/coffee at the very end of our two-hour session, but the guard said, “This time banana bread, next time, heroin.” We just laughed. Sometimes the world denies good things to people, but God brings the best things … release, restoration, and new life!
Teaching the Bible to our “ex-offenders” is a great joy. Our objective is changed lives by the Spirit of God, but that’s a tough assignment in just two hours a week. Pray for us as we work to get more time for informal meetings with the guys. The objective of Bible study is application, not knowledge. Prisons present unique struggles for ministry efforts, and Ireland’s situation has even more interesting challenges because of the religious / political / Protestant / Catholic issues. (We also offer Alpha courses and Celebrate Recovery courses.)
Saol Nua Men’s Ministry
One of the best things about our church is our new men’s ministry. A friend, who is a recovered addict, leads it on Tuesday evenings, and tells everyone that he’s “livin’ the dream.” That characterizes our ministry over here. He is quickly learning how to mix relation building, Bible teaching, and sharing times for a really encouraging environment. Recently I was asked to speak about how to deal with sin in order to build maturity in Christ. (1 John 1)
We leave for our annual trip to the U.S. in a couple of days, and look forward to spending sweet time with our kids and grands in Baltimore and Orlando, and Laurie will spend a week in NYC with Trinity while I’m in Lynchburg, VA, and in AZ with my mom, siblings and their families. How grateful we are for friends with the airlines who provide us with buddy passes!
We were recently granted another year of residence here, for which we’re very grateful. It’s getting more difficult with every passing year to be allowed to stay in Ireland. Things have changed dramatically since we were here in the 70’s and 80’s, and since they became a part of the EU. God is faithful, and what He orders, He pays for!
Our financial support has dropped by about half since we returned to Ireland three years ago. We’ve cut our expenses to the bone, still drive our little 2001 Nubira, moved a year ago in order to lower our rent, and yet our work in Dublin has caused our expenses to rise. Please pray for us as we seek more financial and prayer partners to stand with us. The giving link is on our website at www.masterlife.org. We also continue to have the same ministry address for checks and snail mail: MasterLife Int’l, P.O. Box 4784, Lynchburg, VA 24502. If you’d ever like to chat about anything at all, we have two U.S. phone numbers that will reach us here … 434-509-0722 (Tip’s cell) or 480-389-0655 (house phone). My cell # while we’re in the U.S. is 434-420-4621.
Our faithful team of ministry partners encourages us greatly as they soldier on with us month after month. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for enabling us to reach out to the lost and weary here in Europe. It would be impossible for us to serve here without a supportive team of friends behind us … praying, giving and encouraging.
We love and appreciate you more than words can say,
Tip & Laurie
Tip and Laurie Killingsworth
Avoca, Arklow, Co. Wicklow