Ever hear of an anticyclonic air mass? Neither had I, until this week. This is a meteorological phenomenon that, while not being extremely rare, sees storm systems spinning the opposite direction from what you’d expect. I don’t know what causes it, but I can see the effects quite clearly. Where Irish weather patterns are typically dominated by counter-clockwise flows bringing warm air up from the tropics, this week has air pushing from polar regions and through Siberia to get at us. As you might imagine, this has led to unusual days. Instead of a warming trend punctuated by rain showers, temperatures have been below freezing for days with seemingly unending snowfall.
Of course, a country that is accustomed to the tropical air has little infrastructure for such an event as this, the so-called “Beast from the East”. Thus, Met Éireann has issued the highest possible weather warning, a red alert, meaning all schools and most workplaces are closed down. And, just as in the midst of the hottest, muggiest week of summer, the Irish have taken to the great outdoors! Our park has been awash with people. Lads playing snow rugby. Families exploring together. Teens pelting each other with snowballs. Someone even built an igloo, although I’m sad to say it’s since been knocked down. For a country not equipped for heavy snowfall, the solutions have been very creative. Turns out, in the absence of snow boots, you can get by with waders from your fishing gear.
Parks are full. Roads (even the few that have been properly plowed) are empty.
When not taking in the snow and ice, the Irish wit has been out in force. Many see the irony as the Irish winter Olympic team had to miss their homecoming celebration because it’s too snowy. And forget potatoes – apparently the staple of which no one can get enough this week is bread!
And so we find ourselves, a little over a month into our second lap around the (alleged) sun in this country. And, as the flakes swirl and fly outside my window (not unlike the snowballs, a hundred yards to the west), it is a good opportunity to say thank you. Our time in Ireland has been full of highs and lows, successes and setbacks. But our needs have been met, thanks to the ongoing efforts of you, our team. To those who have stepped up and decided to partner financially, to those who have committed to pray, to those who have provided encouragement, to those who have advocated on our behalf, to everyone who is part of this journey in Ireland… thank you for being involved.
Of course, all thanks and glory go to God, who both called us into this adventure and provided faithfully to make it possible.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17 [NASB]
From the way this second year is starting, we have a wild ride ahead of us! If you’d like to know how to get involved in any way, drop me a line. Or, if you just want to fire off some questions for us to answer in future posts or videos, feel free! Your involvement is, once again, much appreciated.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel the need to go throw a snowball.