My wife and I have just returned from 10 days in Ireland. It was our first time in that country, and it is a wonderful place. The people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful and varied, and the old castle and abbey ruins are historic and interesting.
I was interested to learn that they are facing many of the same problems we are. We know the recession is world-wide, but when you are in another country and hear about the foreclosures, lay-offs, and other problems caused by this economic mess, it really brings it home that we aren’t alone in our economic hardships.
They also have immigration issues. When times were good, they welcomed the immigrants, many of whom are from Eastern Europe (especially Poland). They did many of the jobs the Irish would rather not do. Sound familiar? Now that things are tough, the Irish want these foreigners to leave. Yet many of the eastern Europeans have nothing to go home to, so they prefer to stay in Ireland.
Recently a report was issued documenting the extent of child abuse by the Roman Catholic Church. In Ireland it seemed to be systemic and perhaps even more widespread than here in the US. In 2002 the RC Church cut a deal with the government to limit its liability, which has caused quite a controversy now that the extent of the abuse is known. Why the Irish government would agree to such a thing is beyond me.
While we were there, North Korea tested a nuclear device. That made the news and raised concerns about stability of the world.
Let’s pray for these other countries which are facing some many problems. It helps to remember that many have it worse off than we do, and we are all part of God’s creation. Let’s pray that this recession will end soon, and also that the people, companies, the financial industry, and governments have learned some valuable lessons.