Next Monday, the 17th March is St Patrick’s day. There are celebrations all over the world on this day. In America green beer is sold. When my husband was in China on St Patrick’s Day the locals gave him a can of Guinness. He said it was the best can of Guinness he had ever drank in China. It was the only one!
The Irish people have spread all over the world and that is why most countries have heard of St Patrick.
St Patrick is celebrated as an man who lived among the Irish in the fifth century. He preached the gospel of Jesus and did many signs and wonders among the people. It is recorded that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. There are no snakes in Ireland.
The town where I live is called Downpatrick. It is claimed that St patrick is buried here. Many tourists come to visit this historical place.
The people of this town have lived at peace with each other during the recent troubles in the seventies. Every Good Friday all denominations of Christians walked through the town behind a wooden cross. People took turns to carry it. The people of the town demonstrated their unity, when in other parts of Northern Ireland people were being murdered.
I believe there is a blessing over Downpatrick because of it’s history as a centre of Christianity and civilisation. There are many schools and colleges in our town. Christian brothers set up a school for over eleven year old boys back at the beginning of the twentieth century.
They brought education to the poor. My children attended this school.
I was praying for a bigger house for our growing family. I needed more space. I believed that God would provide for us a big family, like he provided for the tribes that went into the Promised Land.
About that time I read in the bible “Look for the ancient pathways where you will find rest for your soul.” Jeremiah 6 v 16. Downpatrick is an ancient pathway where Christians have lived for many centuries. St Patrick may have walked down the pathway or street where we live.
My husband and I believe that God can speak and guide people. God showed my husband in a dream to get in touch with a man who lived in Downpatrick. This man, some months later helped us get the big house we now live in. It has seven bedrooms, two kitchens and two living rooms. We will be ever grateful to our friend who helped us find a home here. He helped us when we were in need.
Downpatrick has been a blessing to our family. Our children were welcomed into the schools. Their friends’ parents welcomed them into their homes. The local soccer club and Gaelic club were somewhere safe for my boys to play, supervised by responsible caring volunteers. It felt as if we always lived here.
We joined with other Christians to pray in unity. We were blessed. Where brothers dwell together in unity there The Lord commands a blessing. Psalm 133.
Since we moved here as we prayed with others for our town, new things have come here. A new hospital is built, a new cinema, two new schools, and a new supermarket.
Where I came here I met other families that returned here to rear their children.
Downpatrick is a pleasant and safe place to live.
We have a vibrant Art Centre that gets funding from the government. Downpatrick punches above its weight.
It has a pleasant climate. It rests in the lee side of the Mourne Mountains. The rain falls on the mountains, so we receive less rain than other parts of our country. We often had our dinner outside in the summer time. We could never do that in the last town we lived in.
There are beautiful local parks and coastlands. Within seven miles we are at the beach. Coney Island is nearby. It is made famous by the Van Morrison song.
As people live together in harmony the Mayor of our town will have an easy job.
Soon we are moving to a smaller house not far from Downpatrick. I will always be grateful to God for leading us to live in Downpatrick. I am thankful to all the teachers, coaches, friends and neighbours who helped our family and have made our time in Downpatrick a happy one.
you too can be guided by God in your life. He will speak through dreams or circumstances that may arise in your life. God loves you.