14th March 2017

The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland meandering through villages and towns in the hinterland of rural Ireland as it makes its 224-mile (360 km) journey to the Atlantic Ocean. Its last glimpse of Ireland is the First City of Culture, Limerick, which is built at the point where the river meets the sea.

It was to this city of his grandmother's birth that Pastor John Bradshaw traced his family roots and which he wanted to visit with his wife, Melissa, son Jacob and more especially his daughter Shannon after which she is named. 

John Bradshaw is a well-known evangelist and speaker whose passion is to preach the soon return of Jesus. In 2011 John joined the It Is Written team both as a speaker and a director. This internationally broadcast television programme was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church over 50 years ago. The Adventist Media Centre in California produces the programmes which are well known among church members in Europe.

On Sabbath, 11 March, John graciously interrupted his family holiday, and at the invitation of John-Bradshaw-visits-Newmarket-on-Fergus-280px-long-3-of-7Pastor Tony O'Rouke, agreed to be the guest speaker at the Newmarket-on-Fergus church, just 20 minutes' drive north of Limerick. Knowing the church would be overflowing it was decided to use the Pathfinder Barn on the campus to host the event. After over a month of heavy rain, storms and grey dull weather, God provided a glorious Sabbath day of sunshine, 17 C heat, and not a cloud could be seen in the sky. 

John-Bradshaw-visits-Newmarket-on-Fergus-280px-long-4-of-7Pastor John gave wonderful illustrations and biblical quotations to bring encouragement and strengthen the faith of the congregation. He said, "We do not ask God for enough, He is prepared to bless us more than we can imagine." Mary Jo Lynam, a Galway church member, has followed Pastor John's talks on television and was thrilled to meet him in person. "He is a very spiritual man who speaks clearly and with passion about the gospel message", remarked Mary Jo after the service. 

Daniel Wilson, head elder at the Newmarket church was especially pleased to meet Pastor John as they are both New Zealanders by birth and upbringing. "There is no mistaking that Kiwi accent which I have not heard too much of since moving to Ireland. His visit has really encouraged me", said Daniel. 

So it was on an exceptionally sunny afternoon that lunch was eaten in Kiwi style, outdoors, withJohn-Bradshaw-visits-Newmarket-on-Fergus-280px-long-6-of-7 the congregation seated around colourful tables and savouring the promise of an early summer. 

We wish John and his family Slan agus Beannacht ('goodbye' in Gaelic meaning health and blessings) as they leave our shores and take with them treasured memories not just of the longest river in Ireland, but of a new-found church family near its estuary.







[Elizabeth O'Rourke, Photos by Ivars Zubov]

Filter your news by region

The Messenger

Messenger vol 123 Issue 22

9th November 2018 Teenagers can be heroes too

View previous issues

From around the world

Headlines from other Adventist news sources