We found our way to the tiny inn near Ballycastle. Jeff was supposed to already be in the house, but I sent Billy ahead of me, just in case the authorities had guessed our whereabouts; Billy was an unknown to the officials. Nobody suspected the large man with the ready smile, tucked underneath a heavy beard, was a key player in our game of cat and mouse with the anti Christian authorities. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about me.
I had been chased through France into Belgium, and finally to Northern Ireland via the British Isles. Billy was the first to greet me when I stepped off the small fishing boat on a cold Northern Sea night.
The third member of our troupe was Jeff. I had known Jeff from before the takeover. He was a dedicated Christian who had lost his entire family during the purge. I thought of him as a brother. He was short and round, with a red face that looked like he had been on a three-day bender, though he never drank a drop.
So, there were three of us heading an effort for Europe. Our job was to find Christians, rebuild churches – acts forbidden by the new laws.
The new authorities had very little influence in Northern Ireland – there were few people, the land wasn’t good, and the harbors were treacherous. Also, after the initial purge and rampage there wasn’t much to govern in the cold wasteland bordering the sea.
Billy exited the inn and hobbled up the rocky slope. “No sign of Jeff, but the inn is clean. I know the matron, she is a Christian, and she has a room and board ready for the three of us.”
“Good, we will sleep well tonight.”
Billy put his hand on my shoulder. “Tis true my friend, I pray that Jeff finds his way.”
We entered the inn together, the matron was not to be seen but there was a large bowl of soup and bread on the table. I pulled out a chair. “Looks good.”
“She wants us to enjoy, rest, commune. She has gone to her sister’s so that we can be left alone.” Billy sat on the edge of a bench.
I winked at my friend. “My guess is that she didn’t want to be here if the authorities came through.”
Billy laughed. “That too.”
There was a gentle tap on the door. Billy rose and motioned for me to stay. Minutes later he returned with Jeff and six others.
I embraced my friend and then asked, “and, you have traveling companions?”
“Christians I found in the old Cathedral. I had planned to spend the night there, when I discovered them. They have been hiding for weeks, waiting for someone from our movement to come by.” The Cathedral ruins had long been a hiding place of Christians.
“You got them all in your coach?”
Jeff laughed, his round face beamed. “Indeed.”
One of the women had found bowls in the cupboard and was busy dishing out soup for everyone.
Billy clanked the side of a bowl with a spoon. “Where two or more or gathered in His name He is there.”
All heads bowed. Billy prayed. “Oh merciful Father, God of all creation, Creator of the universe and stars, to You we humbly come with joyous hearts that You have allowed us to be a church in Your name. Bless this food, oh Father mighty, that we might gain strength to continue Your will. To rebuilt what has been torn down, to bring Your Love to Your children; In the name of the Risen Savior. Amen.”
Amen’s echoed around the table.
I found an extra chair. “Well Billy, it looks like we have a congregation for you right here in Ballycastle.”
Jeff looked over the group. “These Christians will rebuild the Church. He pointed at the ceiling. Look Lord, we brought you a half dozen more.”
Billy laughed. “Indeed Lord, six here now, six more in England. If we add six a day, and the six add six more, I can’t add that high.”
I thought of all the trials we had been through to this point, and now the fruit of our efforts was beginning to show. “Thank You Jesus.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.