This has been a year punctuated with visits to Kilkenny and Barneveld, the Netherlands. In the former it has been to see Dad, Douglas and some of Dorothy’s relatives living in or around there. Dad celebrated his 97th birthday recently and remains in relatively good health. It has been so good to be able visit him so often over the past number of years. When we lived in Community it was either a very quick trip up and down on days off or else take a week out of our annual leave.
The draw of Barneveld is of course Rachael, Jan and our grandchildren Lydia and the birth earlier this year of Lucas. Thankfully, with flights out of Belfast it doesn’t take much longer that driving to Kilkenny. It is unfortunately, a different sort of journey if we want to see Cheryl in Sydney, Australia and Nigel, Kyria and family in Boyne City, northern Michigan. Again, thankfully, we have seen them both this year: We were in the States in March and spent a few very cold days there and Cheryl came to Ireland during the summer when we had a great time with her in Kilkenny and out West in Killarney.
On the ministry front.
As I have mentioned we were in the States in March. During that time, we spent some days on the Standing Rock Reservation in Northern Dakota, attending a Healing of the Land Conference. This was a Native led gathering, with people who are so hungry to see God’s healing for the Sioux Nation which has been, like many other Tribal groupings, so traumatized by years of U.S. growth, westward expansion and more recent contentious issues over the Government forcing an oil pipeline through their treatied lands.
It has also been a year of “watch this space!” After 7 years of being set aside by God, in particular regarding things connected with the Ulster Covenant. This was reawakened in my spirit, during our time in North Dakota. Where that is going I am not sure, but opportunities have been given to share about it; all of a sudden, sales of my book Heal Not Lightly have increased. Whether the current shaky Political environment is contributing to that remains to be seen, but people are often making the comment that the message of the book is as relevant today, if not more so, than when it was published 11 years ago. One thing is certain – there is unfinished business regarding the issue of the Ulster Covenant.
In a recent Facebook response regarding the impasse at Stormont, I wrote, “There is however one piece in the discussion missing for me: Over the last number of years research and writing I have constantly asked myself, “What is going on in the heavenly realms regarding a particular issue?” And again, in the language of St. Paul, what footholds, strongholds in our cultures have we given Satan as a result of our opposing positions? Once we bring the spiritual into the equation, is there not a role that the Church at a leadership and an individual level needs to be playing? There is certainly much that still needs to be owned and repented over!” Perhaps a new prayer initiative is needed!
A few weeks ago, we attended an Irish National Day of Prayer and Repentance in Dublin. At one point, it was such a privilege for me to share the platform with a long-time friend, Marie Gough, regarding the two covenants of 1912 and 1916 – the Ulster Covenant and the Sinn Fein Proclamation. For the benefit of some people attending, I had also been asked to put our prayers into context, by sharing some of their historic development.
Update on “A Destiny Denied, A Dignity Restored.”
The long journey in research and writing is finally coming to an end. Drafts, or parts of the book are now in the hands of people in the UK and the U.S. to read and give me feedback. Pending any tweaking of the text it will be ready for publishing. I so much need your prayer regarding this, as I need a publisher that operates on both sides of the Atlantic. While the book is addressing foundational issues in the early colonial days in America and in the birth of the USA, I sense that there is something God is wanting the Church in the UK to be a part of in the healing of these deep-seated roots. Publishing, printing, distribution has changed a lot since I wrote my first book – how God wants to get the book ‘out there’ and responded to, I do not know. And what it means for our future is also an unknown – one thing is certain we need His guidance and the opening of doors for us.
We wish you all a blessed Christmas and New Year, Harry & Dorothy.