Summer 2021 Greetings from Ireland!

All together
All 24 members of our family … miracle of miracles, all in one pic!  Our five kids and their kids at Trey and Denise’s wedding on May 5 in St. Augustine, Florida.

July 4, 2021

Warm greetings from a lovely cool summer in the Emerald Isle!

2020 was an awful year with lockdowns that continue to stretch into the foreseeable future here in Ireland.  Our precious firstborn son and his fiancé, Trey and Denise, sent us air tickets so that we could share their special day!  At about the same time, the Irish government decided that all air travelers from the U.S. would be escorted by the army and put into hotels for the mandatory two-week quarantine upon return into the country, which would’ve meant about $5,000 at our own expense.  Since that was virtually impossible on so many levels, we prolonged our stay in the states until that was lifted.

Our church and prison ministry was locked down here as well, so it meant that we had more precious time with our children and grandchildren in the U.S.  God was, is, and always will be in control of our steps.  Thanks so much to all of you who prayed.  We returned home on Monday and are now in the required home quarantine for two weeks, getting over jetlag and some much needed R&R.

The Lord gave us some exciting welcome home gifts.  Precious guys from our ministry here got in touch and blessed us beyond measure upon our return.  We met David at a Dublin prison a few years ago:  “Hi my friend, Just an idea, my teacher … could you post a thought like this every day or every couple of days on Facebook?  It always gives me strength and uplifting.  I find them extremely enlightening.”

Declan texted me saying, “Hey Tip, thank you very much for playing a great part in helping me in my early days which I’ll always remember. I hope you’re keeping well!”  I was chatting with him one day and he said, “Tip, what we need around here is more old guys like you!”  I couldn’t help but chuckle.

I was working two nights a week in an Irish prison in Dublin where I met Liam.  We became fast friends, shared many phone calls, and met a couple of times after he was released from prison.  Then one day he just dropped out of sight.  That’s never a good sign when the last I heard was that he was living under a bush in Phoenix Park.  We’ve often prayed for him, but never knew what had happened to him.

Liam’s baptism

After we returned home on Monday, we switched our phones back to Irish numbers.  On Tuesday morning we were having coffee and prayer when a call came in.  IT WAS PRECIOUS LIAM!  He told me a story that warms our hearts to this day.  He gave me permission to share a pic of his baptism.

“Hey Tip, thank you very much for playing a great part in helping me in my early days, which I’ll always remember. I hope you’re keeping well!”

Please continue to pray for more remaining fruit here in Ireland!

I know some of you are praying for my health.  I have good days and bad days, but my strength is very limited.  I now require wheelchair assistance in airports.  Every day I thank the Lord for waking me up and getting me through the day.  I have an appt. with my cardiologist in Dublin on Tuesday.  My life is in God’s capable hands, and I greatly appreciate your prayers … always!  God is good.

We could take HOURS telling you about Trey and Dee’s wedding along with a fabulous family reunion.  An added bonus what that Karis’ fiancé, Gavin, officially asked me for her hand in marriage, so we’re hoping for another wedding in 2022!  Our kids took such great care of us while we were waiting to return home.  We stayed at Trey’s Orlando home until they flew us up to Minnesota for a visit at Dee’s home and to celebrate her parents 50th wedding anniversary celebration on the exact day that we celebrated our 51st!  They are keeping their homes in both Florida and Minnesota, and travel between them often.

From there we went to Maryland to spend time with Josh, Trinity and their families (they live just 20 minutes apart).  Between them they are raising our five youngest grands!  J  We stayed with Trinity and Eric, and were so grateful for their gracious hospitality.

We continue to ask for your prayers regarding Irish citizenship. We’re in “never never land” right now with no visa since a year ago March, which expired about the time the lock down went into effect, and have been kicked back into the residence visa department.  Irish immigration usually only extends three visas, and they’ve given us six. The airport passport control officials don’t know what to do with us, and just granted us three more months to get things sorted out.  Bottom line, we still have no idea if we’ll be allowed to stay in Ireland long term.

We’re so grateful for your faithful partnership in ministry and pray for you daily.  Please feel free to contact us with your news or prayer requests anytime … we’d love to hear from you!

The signs of the times are clear … we’re in the last days and look forward to the soon return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!  May you and yours be blessed beyond measure as you continue to shine your light into the lives of your family and friends!

His, therefore yours,