Campus Ministry

Bangor, Northern Ireland March 2012

Spring Break Mission Trip to Bangor, Northern Ireland March 2012

Northern Ireland team is pictured in the backyard of our home for the week, Reachfar.

The team is busy at work cleaning up the back yard of ReachFar

Some of our girls are putting up a roof at Eagle Creek.

Some members of our team are enjoying a lunch break at Eagle Creek.

Team member Sami Kiel takes a turn on the ALT climbing tower

Michael Fisher is working in the kitchen at ReachFar

Campus Minister Ben Gates shares a gift with Desi Fisher of ALT

Team member Benjamin Williams hides behind menu at restaurant in Ireland

The beauty of Dunluce Castle on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland

You know we love a place when we keep going back.  In March of 2012, we paid our third visit to Northern Ireland to work, once again, with our dear friends Desi and Pamela Fisher, their family, and all of the people with Adventure Leadership Training.  One of the exciting new features of this third trip was that ALT now owns a wonderful building to house visiting short-term mission teams called "Reachfar."  In the first picture above, you see the 2012 Northern Ireland team gathered in the back yard of Reachfar after a day of cleaning up.  In the second image, you can see the yard work in action.  It was a day of discovery--Campus Minister Ben Gates stepped right into a pond that we knew was back there in the midst of all of the overgrowth.  He had the ripped and soaked blue jeans to prove it!  We also spent a day of work cleaning up Eagle Creek, the special plot of land ALT owns along the Annalong coast.  Eagle Creek will someday be a family camp for the spiritual and emotional healing of its residents, but now it is actively being used as a ministry site for ALT.  We spent the day planting trees and working inside one of the out buildings.  In the third picture, you can see some of the women on our team putting in a new ceiling in the building.  (Where are the guys who should be helping with this task?)  In the fourth picture, the team is taking a well-deserved lunch break at Eagle Creek on the front porch of the building where the girls were putting up the new ceiling.  Desi and Pamela Fisher's daughter Pippa is standing in the doorway of the building with her fiancee' (soon to be husband in October of 2013) Matthew sitting in front of her.  Another ministry opportunity we were given included helping area youth enjoy the challenge of climbing the ALT portable climbing tower.  Pushing young people to overcome their fears and limits is one of the ways ALT is sharing the love of Jesus Christ with both Protestant and Catholic youth in Northern Ireland.  In the fifth picture above, team member Sami Kiel scales the climbing tower.  Campus Minister Ben Gates went up and quickly fell down the tower as well.  Another of the Fishers' children, Michael, is shown in the sixth image wearing an apron apparently getting ready to cook a meal for our team in the Reachfar kitchen.  We are not sure whether he is actually going to cook or just pose for the photo op.  Michael and his wife Kristine also help with ALT ministry projects.  Kristine is a fine singer who has recorded her own CD's.  We always hope that we will have money left over whenever we make these trips so that we can leave a gift with our host ministry that will bless and encourage them.  We were able to make a gift to ALT on this trip; in the seventh picture, Campus Minister Ben Gates is sharing the gift with ALT director Desi Fisher while the rest of the team is gathered around behind.  As you can see in the picture, this gift was made at the front gate of Reachfar.  Whenever we travel to Northern Ireland, we spend our last day in country having fun along the Causeway Coast in the very north of the island.  In picture number eight, some of the team are gathered in a restaurant for a meal on this special day.  The young man hiding behind the menu is Ben Gates' step-son Benjamin Williams.  Is he really that shy?  (NO!)  The final picture above is a great example of the mysterious beauty and majestic scenery of Northern Ireland.  This is a photo of Dunluce Castle, a place we always take our students to visit on our last day in Northern Ireland.  They love to climb around the ruins of this lovely castle!