Archive for the Killarney Category

Hospitality…

Posted in christianity, church, Killarney, taking action on August 15, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

A favourite blogger and good friend of mine, Connor, made a recent post about hospitality differences between here and North Africa. Please do read it, it’s an excellent post and a great description of what this post is about.

The funny thing is, that this has been something that has been in my mind over the past number of days. On the final night of our teenager program in Killarney, two male backpackers in their mid-twenties, American, came up to the church (as did a number of other people, the sound of the music from inside seemed to draw people in…) and approached me, as I was standing outside getting some fresh air. It was about 2230 / 2300 at this time. They told me they had been searching in Killarney for accomodation for ages but couldn’t find any available rooms, and were wondering if they could sleep on the floor of the church for the night…
I would have loved to say yes, but as it wasn’t my church, I told them I would have to check with the dude in charge, so I went back in and asked him… I have to say I was a very disheartened when he said no… However, he did ask where they were, and went and had a chat with them. Unfortunately the best he could do was try to ring some people (none of whom could help seemingly) and send them in the direction of a house where they might find someone who might be able to possibly help them out…
I admit, I was quite annoyed at this solution… I could see his argument of course, about legal policies and not knowing the guys’ backgrounds and so on… but to my knowledge when the Bible told us to entertain strangers it didn’t tell us to give them a full background check… When did the church become so legalistic? I guess I’d kinda known rules and regulations had taken over to an extent for quite a while, but I never knew it had gone to this extent… I couldn’t look the guys in the eyes as they left, I couldn’t face seeing what they thought now of Christian hospitality…
Anyway, not to leave my own responsibility out of it, I had considered as I saw them walking off that perhaps I could do something more myself… I had a chat to one of the other older leaders of my team to ask them if we could have given them a place at the hostel we were staying in, but I was turned down again… I could see the logic in this choice I guess, as our first responsibility had to be to the safety of the younger members of our team… but why not let them crash in our minibus for the night? Surely that was better than the cold wet night I was certain at the time lay ahead of them (yes it was raining)?
My friend Bill made some excellent points about what was and wasn’t our property to offer up to them… but I’m not sure I buy that argument. The minibus may not have legally been our property, but it was certainly ours for using as we saw fit for the duriation of our renting it… so why not give them some room in that for the night?
I don’t know if they ever got accomodation that night, or if they stayed in the streets. I certainly prayed they would get somewhere… but I left Killarney the next day feeling fairly disillusioned (and I still do) by the whole experience. These guys were in need, and we didn’t help them out. And I can’t help but feel I should have done more, pushed their case harder, MADE SURE they got somewhere to stay… I don’t even feel it was my duty, it’s more love I guess… I guess I kinda experienced love for the needy, and I’m still hurt by the fact we didn’t give them what they needed…

Home again…

Posted in christianity, church, friends, Killarney on August 13, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I had meant to make a post saying I was leaving… but didnt get a chance to obviously…

Well, to fill you in, I am now home after a week long mission trip with my church to Killarney. We were working (as we have been for the past 6 years) witht the support of the methodist church in Killarney to run a childrens holiday bible club in the mornings, do some street work, and run a teenage outreach program in the evenings. I have to be honest and admit that before leaving last saturday, i wasn’t holding out high hopes for a very successful or enjoyable week. But praise God, I was (as I usually am) wrong…

My lack of faith for God to move despite the problems I saw did have me setting off with quite low expectations. And I am very sorry that I had those low expectations to begin with. This is truely a week where I saw God moving not only in my own life, but in the lives of every member of the team, and indeed in the children and teens who attended the programs. Now, that being said, Killarney (and a good friend of mine, Iain, who was on the team) has re-raised a lot of questions in my head that I’m working through, and will probably blog on later. But overall Killarney this year was a real time of growth and experience, and praise to God for all that happened.

Thats all I feel I want to say right now, so there you go…