It never ceases to amaze me – that instant sense of bonding in the Holy Spirit that comes when true Christians meet for the first time, even across cultures and nationalities. And that was certainly the blessed experience Ruth and I had when we met at the midweek evening meeting of the church in Castlebar that Calvary Mission has recently established.
We met in the house of Stephen and Nikki Childs as their children, Saoorse and Eoin, were just being put to bed. We had a wonderful time talking and praying with Stephen, Nikki, Andrew and Larry about things of the Kingdom, the state of Christ’s church in Ireland, and the work God is doing through them in Castlebar. It was heart warming to witness the commitment and dedication of these disciples to live 100% for their Saviour in this key town in County Mayo.
Stephen and Nikki grew up on the west coast of Ireland and moved a year ago to Castlebar after education and work in Ireland and London; Andrew and his wife are from the US and been in Castlebar from April 2012; while Larry is a native of Mayo. They are looking forward to September when two new families join them, and they hope to start meeting regularly on Sunday mornings in a venue that will make it easier for people to come along.
These guys would say that they are just a group of ordinary Castlebar people whose lives have been changed by the extraordinary message of Jesus. They certainly want their neighbours to have the same opportunity to know Jesus for themselves, and believe that through the Bible we all have the opportunity to start a personal relationship with the creator of the universe.
Ordinary people, maybe, but these guys exude a refreshingly honest and simple view of church and the Gospel, and demonstrate a clear determination to reflect Christ’s love to the people of Castlebar in all the do and say. It seemed to me to be a simply wonderful example of Gospel centred “Total Church” in action.