The thought was, we should visit one of our congregations close by since we will be in the area. And that's exactly what we did. There is no UCG congregation in Ireland, although we found out later that we do have a few members in the South of the country. We searched and found that we could travel by train to Northern Ireland, fly to the Isle of Mann, or fly to England or Scotland where we have congregations we could go and see. Last year at the Feast of Tabernacles we met a man from England named David Harris. He and I have stayed in touch through the year and I decided to ask him. He offered his home, transportation to and from the airport and church services, and of course a free tour of some places we hadn't seen before.
We had to be in front of the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire at 4:00am on the Sabbath to catch a bus into Dublin to catch an early flight to Birmingham, England to meet David
The flight was uneventful. For the first time in a long time we didn't have to take off our shoes before getting on a plane. Although the sun had greeted us in Ireland, the rains had found us again in England. David greeted us with a hug and walked us to his car
The clouds covered over the skies entirely and we headed off to Gloucester on country roads
We arrived to a school in Gloucester where the congregation usually meets. We were greeted by some familiar and unfamiliar faces all with warm smiles excited to see us. Although small, the Gloucester brethren sing out and fill the room with varied voices. It is always a delight to hear congregations sing, and to have a piano player who is willing to play along. I gave the sermon, detailing some of our adventures and goings on in Malawi, and also encouraging the brethren to keep growing and learning, and doing the work that God has for us to do. Snacks followed services, and after plenty of conversation, we left for the English countryside once more.
David had shown us a nice walking area just behind his home with plenty of trails and fresh air. We were looking forward to it, but completely forgot about it once we sat down to see some photos of David's family and to hear more about him. At a certain point, neither Lena nor I could keep our eyes open. I think the change in times had finally gotten the best of us and we had yet another early morning ahead as we planned to head back to Birmingham for our flight back to Dublin.
Sabbath Day in England
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Stourport on Severn, England, United Kingdom