‘Team Due South’ To Westport Co. Mayo July 27-Aug.3 2013

It was all systems go for 7 short-term OMS Workers (3 Northern Counties; 1 Southern County and 3 different churches), all eager to serve the Lord due south in Westport, Co. Mayo! Some of the team met just a few weeks prior to the mission trip, but that did not dampen their drive, or hinder their resolve to work together as a team for the Lord’s work!
The Team consisted of a wide range age group and was represented as follows: John Humphries, Team Leader and his Co. Monaghan Assistant, Jamie Brennan, brother and sister Wesley and Christine Brownlee (all members of Armagh Baptist Church Co. Armagh); Arnold Gardiner from Co. Armagh; Ioannis Kalos from Gortmerron Baptist Church Co. Tyrone; and Minnie Miles from  Ballymena Baptist Church, Co. Antrim.
Every provision for the Team was meticulously planned ahead of time, most importantly the food arranged lovingly and deliciously by the Team’s Chief Chef, Minnie Miles. As Napoleon once said, ‘An army marches on its stomach’ so the Team marched on, well fed each day, rain or shine, to knock on as many doors around Westport as they could, engaging in many stimulating conversations with the local folk.
Guided by Westport’s Calvary Mission, Pastor Paudge Mulvihill and co-workers, Larry Dunn and James McMaster, helped the team with local culture while also meeting the folk on the doorstep. The Team directed interested folk to the ‘Good News 4 U’ Christian bookshop, strategically situated in the centre of Westport, and were surprised to hear how fondly people thought about the bookshop! Some even quipped that the photocopying was the cheapest in town!
The current issue of `4you.ie’ magazine, published by Aontas/Paudge Mulvihill, was distributed with interesting news stories of folk coming to Christ, as well as current affairs articles.
In order for the Team to learn about the religious culture of the area, they visited the Marian shrine at Knock on the first day of the Mission, and Croagh-Patrick Mountain during the second day (Reek Sunday), the holiest day at the Mountain, when pilgrims climb, some barefoot, up the 2,000ft peak to get closer to God.  The Team were saddened to see people caught up by “religion” and were more determined than ever to express the simplistic Gospel message that Jesus is the ‘Way, the Truth, and the Life’ (Jn.14:6) and that He alone is the ‘only mediator’ between God and man (1Tim.2:5).  OMS had a Gospel stand at the base of Croagh Patrick for interested pilgrims to peruse and take free Gospel leaflets and booklets, as well as receive a cool drink!
All in all, the Team thoroughly enjoyed the Mission experience, so much so that even before the week was over, they were already talking about coming back next year, God willing, and Calvary Mission Westport willing too!
Ioannis Kalos & Jamie Brennan

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