The Galway GO Team 2019 was a week full of laughs, jokes, bonding but most importantly prayer and spreading the amazing Word of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every morning we studied chapters in Acts about how the first Christians responded to persecution. The studies were very helpful and challenging. We learnt about how Peter, John and other Christians went straight back to preach about Jesus even after being arrested and persecuted many times. It was incredible!
Our studies every morning helped to prepare to spread the Word of God to people who desperately need it in Galway. After our bible studies and prayer times each morning we distributed booklets called “How can God accept me?” and “How can I become a real Christian?” written by Gerard Chrispin. They’re easy to read and understand and we pray that people would take time to read them and for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts. We distributed the booklets around many parts of Galway and placed a card with our church information inside. There was a lot of walking but exercise is key!
Most afternoons we did more distribution around Galway but on the Tuesday afternoon a group of us travelled to Connemara to distribute Irish booklets to Irish speaking people. This was a new idea and hopefully we will do it with future GO Teams!
Wednesday afternoon was free time so the whole team decided to get the nerf guns out and have a battle around the church and the banter was great! We were all exhausted afterwards and hungry so we headed to Shop Street for Chinese and brought it back to the bookshop.
In the evenings Billy and my Dad (Peter Jemphrey) preached on shop street to people passing by. We were hugely encouraged to see people stopping and staying afterwards to talk to us, to ask questions and take Christian booklets. Sadly, some people stopped only to mock and debate harshly but God helped the men who spoke and gave them courage and confidence.
On the Thursday afternoon we set up a ‘Let Them Live’ stand in Shop Street. I was nervous about being on the stand as I knew talking about abortion is a tough subject in a secular city like Galway, but God protected us and gave us courage. We were all happy to see people pick up booklets and some people talked to us about their views on it.
When a few members were at the ‘Let Them Live’ stand, the rest of the team went in pairs to do questionnaires with people in the centre of Galway. Some people were interested to hear what we had to say and we had some great conversations with them, but others were hard to interact with. Approaching strangers to do questionnaires is always nerve racking but it’s comforting to know that God is with you 24/7. Members of our team loved doing questionnaires so much that they did more on the Friday afternoon!
On the Thursday evening we hosted our public meeting on the topic “Christianity and the Arts”. Máire Daly, Liam O’Neill and Lidia De Lange gave incredible talks on how their relationship with Christ impacts their art. Máire is in theatre, Liam is a wood turner and Lidia is an artist. There wasn’t a big turnout unfortunately but the people who turned up really enjoyed listening to the talk and it was great to have Patrick playing the electric guitar before the talk and Anna playing the violin during tea and coffee.
Serving in our church’s bookshop is always a big part of the Galway GO Team week. From Monday to Friday, two members from the team worked in the bookshop and this summer our bookshop has been a big encouragement! Seeing people constantly in the shop is an amazing feeling and we are so blessed to have our bookshop in Galway.
This year’s team was a huge help and it’s been the best getting to know everyone and forming strong friendships. Thankyou Anna Coulter, Philip Coulter (PC!), Jamie Stewart, Matthew Magee, Hannah Fallows, Rhoda Simpson and Labhaoise Blair for giving up a week of your summer to come down and spread the word of God to thousands of people here in Galway! The week was truly a blessing.
Rachel Jemphrey, Galway