See the complete blog page for all details (click on continue reading). Daily summaries, team member blogs and photos have been added to you can share in the excitement of the opportunities in Scotland for the Lord's church! Continue to pray for the Christians serving there and people to hear and accept the Gospel.
Team Member Blogs when asked:
1. Spiritually, how or where did you grow the most from this trip?
2. What did you learn the most about yourself from this trip?
3. What did you learn about God and/or His Church on this trip?
4. How will you continue to be a servant now that you are home?
This was my 2nd year in a row going to the UK but a much different experience than the first. With only half the people and not nearly as much time, the goals, missions, and memories were definitely a change from last year’s trip. We had more breathtaking moments this year with the mountain overlook, waterfall, and small room to sing loudly and amazingly to God, which really gave me a new perspective as to the power of God and what he can do for us and what he has already done for the world. I pray that I can come back for years to come and continue to help Scott and the Perth Church of Christ continue to grow.
- The thing I grew the most with on this trip was how to really sit down and study the Bible in depth whether I am by myself or with a group. I had multiple amazing Bible studies throughout the course of this trip and I truly believe I can continue to strive with the knowledge I’ve gained on how to study the Bible during my time in Scotland.
- The thing I learned the most about myself this trip is that I love working with kids and they tend to like me (for the most part) so I should spend a lot more time reaching out to the younger kids at Buford. I had a great time with all the kids that showed up for the HBC Bible Camp and I feel I can build relationships with the youth at Buford.
- I learned that God and His church will strive no matter how much resistance there is or how many people are fighting against it. Last year we were grateful enough to meet Annette in one of our coffee shop Bible studies and to have her join the church and continue in the church as we saw this year. Her two grandsons (Blaze and Diesel) had come to a bible study with her one day in which she told us that she’s been trying to get them to come to the youth club at Perth but their mom wouldn’t let them. After months of their mom keeping them away, Diesel came up to Todd and asked him what time HBC would be the next morning and him and his brother ended up coming to serve God with us. No matter how much people try to extinguish the Lord’s church, it will continue to grow and strive.
- In one of our Bible studies, after studying a few verses at a time, we would always close out the set of verses with an “I will…” statement. So my statement after being on this trip is “I will always acknowledge God and His power/might no matter how much resistance I receive from those not a part of the Lord’s church.
I can not begin to explain how much this trip, the adult leaders, and my peers have meant to me while being in Scotland this year, but I know that it gives me an extra “spiritual boost” that I will always try to carry with me during my life no matter where I am. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read these messages and keep us in your prayers while we were gone, the trip wouldn’t have gone the same without everyone’s support.
Like a couple of other people, this is my 2nd year getting to come on the Scotland trip and I’m very grateful that I did. This year has been very different from last year, but I think that is for the best because it means that things are actually starting to change. On my first trip, there wasn’t an established church in Perth yet and we were there to help promote the church to come. This year we were able to meet and participate with the few members and got to help with HBC, which is like our VBS.
- 1. The area I think I grew most spiritually from would have to be the coffee shop bible studies. Every day we talked about something different and most of the time it was things that I was curious about. The first day we talked about Mark and continued a study I had started when I traveled abroad in Greece. I also liked the fact that the groups were so small. It was either one on one or 3-4 in a group. This made it easier to let everyone speak and ask questions. I know back home we don’t really do this kind of thing a lot so I really enjoyed the experience.
- 2. Being away from home all summer has really made me realize how much I’m going to miss everyone when I go off to college. Not just my family but my church family as well. Getting to spend time with all my friends in a different country spreading God’s word is one of those memories I will cherish for a lifetime.
- 3. It was hard to see at first how what we did last year was helpful but coming back this year really showed me that we were actually making a difference. This year there were a few people that actually came to church on Sunday and a lot of people who came to the gospel meetings that we had. Slowly but surely the church in Perth is growing and I’m just glad I could’ve been part of that.
- 4. I will continue to have a keep at it attitude when talking to people about God. Even though going out and finding people and trying to talk to them about God isn’t really my forte, I think that if I just don’t lose hope and give up I will be help more people. Another thing that I would like to continue is studying the bible like we did in the coffee shops. I got so much out those bible studies and I think that a lot of other people would too.
This trip has been an amazing experience and I loved the group of people that got to go this year. We had so much fun and we really bonded with the people in Perth as well. Our night time excursions were probably one of my favorite parts of the trip just because it was fun and relaxing. Being in Scotland was great but now that we are heading home I’m glad to share everything we’ve learned with our family and friends.
1.This mission trip was divided into many sections. There was the HBC (Holiday Bible Club) which every teen was involved in. My section happened to be the class section which is where I worked with Isaac and Mikayla May on teaching a children’s Bible class for four days in a vbs type setting. Being that this Bible class was for very young children, I didn’t necessarily learn the most during that section but I feel like I’ve grown the most from it. I’ve taught classes before but those were with people who had a decent amount of Bible knowledge. Here in Scotland, only one or two of the children had some amount of Bible knowledge. Jesus was just a far off thought or a concept to most of them that they didn’t really understand or even think about. Because of that, I think that spiritually, I grew the most during those four days of teaching than I did anywhere else on the trip. If I had to pick a second, it would be our personal Bible studies. We would have Bible studies every day after the HBC in Starbucks and Café Nero (another coffee house) and during these studies we had people wandering the streets of Perth outside the coffee houses inviting the people to the HBC and to the coffee houses to have Bible studies. Doing this I gained a lot of experience talking to random people and striking up conversations about God that I might not do every day in my normal life. When I wasn’t on the streets I was having Bible studies with a few others of the group and those were some of the best Bible studies I’ve ever had. It wasn’t two people debating a topic or talking about a matter of personal interest, it was just two or three Christians talking together and just diving right into God’s word and learning new things.
2.I learned a lot about myself on this trip. The main thing I learned is that I’m pretty good at talking casually to random people about God. In the very beginning of evangelizing the streets of Perth, it was a little disheartening because after three or so hours, we didn’t get a single response out of anyone. However, by the latter half of the trip I learned to adjust to the culture and developed my conversation style to where I was getting a response almost every time I would talk to someone.
3.In respects to God and His Church, I learned that it’s not the same in other countries as it is in America. Since Scotland is a fairly advanced country and since it has many Christian ties I assumed most people would know at least a little bit about the church and God. However, I was very wrong. So what it boils down to is I learned that for the most part, the people the people of Scotland honestly don’t know God. The church is tiny. Not the congregations, but the church. The church as a brotherhood is very small in Scotland as compared to America.
I will treat every day of my life as if I were on a mission trip. There’s the sign on the inside above the front doors to the Buford Church of Christ that says “You are now entering the mission field.” I’ve learned that there is no truer statement. This mission trip in Scotland was eye opening for me. It was also extremely encouraging for all the brethren of Scotland we came in contact with but I must remember that just because I get home from a “mission trip” doesn’t mean the mission work ends. I will treat every day like I’m on a mission trip, because I am.
Though this has been repeated many times, it has found a new meaning in my life. God is good. God is good. GOD is good. “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1) Before this, I was new to evangelism and travel… actually anything to do with a mission trip. The thought was so surreal to me from the plane ride to meeting the kids for the first time. It was eye opening. None of these kids grew up with the kind of knowledge I have nor did they grow up learning about the Creator. However, every one of them had a kind, caring heart. I changed at HBC since most of the time I ended up learning from them. It was a mutual relationship where we both discovered new outlooks on life and on each other. Even though some of those kids came from a bad part of life or a worldly home, they acted positively and making the most of it. I realized that I have a tendency to speak before thinking, and this trip helped me to hold it and think because our goal was to draw people near and not push them away. God helped me through this by the patience He gave. Without it I would not have been able to talk to the people on the street with a sincere attitude and mindset. And I will say that I was not the first that became discouraged from those days. Instead, it made me feel strong and empowered. I will flourish over the temptation of Satan. I will live my life in accordance to God’s plan. I will be the best I can be to live up to His standards. As commonly stated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
1.There were so many different places we went and things we did so it’s hard to choose one, but if I had to choose it would probably be the mountain. To be honest there is no way to describe it. Up on that mountain I truly realized that God was in complete 100% control over my life and over everything. Any way you turned all you could see was God’s glorious creation. We sat on the edge of the mountain and sung praises to God, the creator of everything. It was just such a humbling experience that made realize that I am not my own but I am God’s and I am here to work for Him.
2. I learned that I am capable of a lot more than I think I am I just have to actually try. For me that ranged from doing things like talking to people on the street about God to playing soccer. Yes, I realize that those two things are very different. This trip has helped me to realize that I can truly do anything with God.
3.First I learned that God is in control of everything! Absolutely everything! I also learned that sometimes the smallest churches can be the most passionate. I have never heard singing like I did that first Sunday at the Cumbernauld church of Christ. It was so inspiring to see all of the people who came to the worship services or the gospel meetings and how they were just so eager to learn about God.
4.I will try and tell as many people about God as I can no matter where it might be. Because of this trip I got to see a city that didn’t have God and honestly it was heartbreaking knowing that they don’t have God to lean on. While we were talking to some people on the streets, a couple of the questions we asked were “Do you believe in God?” and “Do you believe in heaven?” and almost everyone said that they didn’t. When they said that they didn’t believe I wondered what they thought they were living for. If not for God than for what? I heard them say that they didn’t think that there was anything after this life and honestly I don’t understand how they deal with it all. We as Christians know when we wake up every morning that God is there and He will always be there. We know that we have this incredible thing called eternal life together with Him if we follow Him. So with all of that being said, I am going to tell everyone I can about God because as Nicholas always said “How much do you have to hate someone for you to not tell them about God?”
As a couple of people have mentioned before this is my second mission trip to the UK. Because this was my second trip it had a different meaning for me and affected me differently than last year.
1.I grew the most on this trip probably from the coffee shop bible studies that I was a part of every day. Just being able to block off two or three hours a day to sit down and delve into Gods word with the intention not only to draw other people in but to further our own knowledge of the scripture was truly a blessing.
2.Over the duration of this trip I have learned that sometimes I have a hard time keeping a positive attitude. When going to a country to teach the word it is difficult to stay positive when you receive negative or no reaction. The best way I have found to cope with that discouragement is in the scripture that I chose to do my devo on. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you, Do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
3.I learned on this trip that Gods church is truly alive and well in Scotland, and the people there are ready for God to work through them. Every member of the lords church in Scotland that I have met in my two years of doing mission work there is zealous for the Lord’s work and are great examples not only to the people of Scotland but also to us as visitors. I truly believe that they were more of an encouragement to me than I was to them.
4.I will strive never miss an opportunity to serve. I will strive to live the life that God commanded me to live. I know I will fail because I am not and never will be acceptable to God on my own, But Christ’s blood clenses and covers me from all sin, so that I might be able to stand in Gods presence one day as a clean and sinless creation.
1.I think that I grew the most during this trip from the times I had to pray and song lead. I am not used to praying in front of people and definitely not leading singing so those two things I think kinda pushed me to grow spiritually.
2.I think that the song leading also helped me to find out more about myself. I did something that was out of my comfort zone and doing so stretched my limits beyond what I thought they were.
3.One big thing I learned is that no matter where you are in the world you will feel at home when you are around other Christians. When we were headed over to Scotland I was a little worried of the people and whether or not I would get a long and build relationships with them or not. From the moment I got there though I felt welcomed and I felt like I had known these people my entire life. I learned that there are Christians all over the world and we are all connected, so no matter how far apart we are from each other we are still one giant family.
4.During this trip I had to try a lot of new things such as song leading and even a devotional. Though they were a bit shaky and could definitely use some improvement I would really like to continue to work on them and serve in ways I haven’t been able to serve before.
1.This is my third trip to Scotland and every time I go I grow even more and in totally different ways. This trip I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. For example, spiritually I was apart of the craft group for our VBS, and physically I hiked two mountains which taught me that the path to what ever the destination is maybe be hard and long, you may not get to see what the end looks like but once you get there you never want to leave all you want to do is sing praises to our Lord.
2. This year I am going to college and this trip has helped me see that I will be ok in a place that I am not used toIt grew my independence and took my teammates and turned them into my family.
3.On this trip one of my favorite things was when we would go into the town and we would split up into different groups. Last year I participated in the surveys so I changed it up this year; I joined the coffee house bible studies. Usually I am not one to want to do that but it was the best decision I made. My favorite day was the last day of our VBS Jared, Jeremy and I talked about what happens after death. After three hours of talking about it I left much more confident about where I stand with my Lord.
4.Coming home from this trip I realize that this probably be my last time attending the Scotland mission trip with the church. As that is saddening it means that I have grown up and as I may not be young anymore I am still in my youth. I am starting college and although I am going to a christen school I have chosen a career path that will put me in situations that will give me the opportunity to tell more people abut God and shine my light as bright as I can.
1.I think the way I grew most spiritually from this trip is in a way I didn’t expect to grow. I learned to appreciate God more and to see Him and His power throughout my everyday life. I learned to take time each day to sit back and just think about God and all He stands for, and that He can be seen in my life every day if I would take the time to look for Him.
2.What I learned about myself is that I really need to step back and stop nit-picking myself so much. I have a bad habit of having to be in control, and if I would just let go and go with the flow every once in a while my life would be so much better. I am definitely not in control, God is, and I learned that there are times when I don’t honor that and I don’t allow Him to have His way with me.
3.What I learned about God’s church is that it is alive and well! It amazes me that there are so many groups in the UK striving to worship God the way He wants to be worshiped. The churches there don’t have the numbers that Buford has, but they sure have the heart and spirit. It also amazed me how comfortable it felt to be with them. I think that’s the way God intended it to be, that you can come together with a group of people you’ve never met and feel so at home because you both share a special bond in and through Christ.
4.I will show others the love of Christ through my everyday actions. I will take time each day to reflect on the beauty of God and all that He is. I want people to look at me and know that I’m different, and that I’m different because I know I have a Savior who laid down His life for me. How powerful is that! “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love!”
1.This trip has had a huge impact on my spiritual growth. Everyday we faced new challenges that helped me go out of my comfort zone. From approaching strangers and asking them about God, to teaching groups of children about the Bible, I definitely grew in my relationship with God. Not only did this trip let me learn more about the Bible but also it put some things into retrospect. I realized that I have no idea how much longer I will be on this earth and that I must start studying my Bible and focusing on my spirituality much more than I have been in the past. I also learned that God is truly in every aspect of the world and that it only takes a few seconds to take a break from the chaos of the world to appreciate His great power.
2.I always knew I wanted to pursue a career that would guarantee the ability to help others and this trip has just proved to me that it is what I am put on this earth to do. I realized that I am best in situations that allow me to comfort and provide care for others.
3.Being able to work with people who truly love God and want to dedicate their life to spreading His word show me how great and powerful of a God we have. Not only the people I got to spend the trip with but also the fact that we were constantly surprised with beautiful landscapes God created was insanely reassuring that heaven is going to be no doubt the most beautiful thing ever to exist. I learned that God is a merciful, powerful God that is ceaselessly working wonders in our lives and that He has the awesome ability to bring us all to tears at the sight of His creations.
4.I will, for as long as I’m given life, work my hardest to follow The Way and shine God’s light to all the souls I encounter.
This is my 2nd mission trip to the UK and 1st with sole focus in one city. In 2014 we worked in Sheffield/Loughborough England and Perth Scotland since Perth had not yet established a congregation. However since the 2014 mission trip there is fruit being produced via two congregations started in November from our visit in Loughborough and Perth. Because of these fruit bearing congregations, I was able to grow by
- Being a better spiritual encourager for my brothers and sisters in the UK who are keeping the Body of Christ alive and my Buford Christian family on the trip to keep planting the seeds and watering so the USA will not fall into the same traps Satan has built for the UK and other countries. God is in control and more powerful that man, man’s laws, Satan or any other forces.
- For Scott in Perth at 24 years of age, he needs so much encouragement as only 3 or 4 are members at the Perth congregation with 18 to 20 youth from Perth attending the weekly youth clubs. I can’t imagine how hard it is for a young man only 5 years being a Christian continues to press on for The Lord with so many other temptations from Satan to follow society trends vs God.
- For Paul Hill in Leicester (who visited us in Edinburgh on Saturday) who left being the preacher for Loughborough for many years and many of his physical family to start a new congregation with his wife Janet and 3 of 6 children. Since November, 15 Christians have been restored in Leicester and others moving into the city/region has grown from 9 Christians worshipping to almost 50. The amount of effort to lead a new congregation, secure funds for the facilities, making visits to members, canvassing the city of 500K where there is only 1 Church of Christ and continuing to do his secular job is taxing and the Hill’s need all the encouragement we can offer.
- Encouragement goes both ways though. Seeing how Scott, Paul and others are continuing to work for The Lord encourages me to keep shining my Light for God like Christ no matter what is thrown at me by Satan to distract or divert me from serving, planting and watering for God! Seeing the BYG youth and chaperone team work long hours with no real complaints, adjust where we needed for plans and pressing forward even though no one from Perth community attended our Gospel meeting/Bible studies encourages me for who they are and what they stand for God.
As for what I learned about myself, the old sayings are true, if there is a will there is way, mind over matter, 98% sweat equity vs 2% inspiration and I can do all things through God.
My heart is soaring after reading the blogs written by the kids, MY kids as I call them now. I feel as I felt that whole time we were there....that I should just be silent and let them talk. They amazed me each day with their willingness to serve in any capacity thrown at them, their genuine love and compassion for the sweet kids who came our way, their zeal for God and His ways, and their humbling support of each other. I was truly blessed to be able to sit back and take it all in. We were awe-struck at God's beautiful creation so many times on this trip, but I realized that there is something far more beautiful than anything that nature has to offer. That's His people. God's children following Him, working together to serve Him and spread His love, and exhorting one another as we look forward to that glorious Day. When the church comes together and follows His plan the way He intended it to be, it is most certainly a beautiful thing to behold.
I was most humbled by the church in Scotland and their courage and strength to keep pressing on despite the adversity and apathy they face on a constant basis. It can be very discouraging I'm sure, and Satan would love nothing more than for them to throw their hands up in defeat and say it is hopeless. Yet they keep going, keep sharing, keep showing Scotland the love of Christ, and remain faithful week after week, day after day. That is all God calls us to do, and that is what I will take away from this trip the most. I need to remember that here in my day to day life. Being in Scotland could cause one to come home feeling completely hopeless, that this world has fully forgotten God and is doomed. Yet, it did just the opposite for me. My cup is overflowing with hope and joy. Scott's life and passion, along with the others before him who led him to Christ, simply exude hope. The gospel is still alive and sharp, and it can pierce the hardest of hearts in Scotland, the US, and anywhere across the world. We just need to do our part and share it. We got to see so much history of the Reformation and the courage those saints had and what they were up against, that we realized we can do anything with God on our side. So let's get to work! I WILL "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
This is my first mission trip. This trip was the most amazing thing for me. I felt God’s presence from the green landscape to the incredible people that are residing here. I was pretty nervous coming to a foreign country and not sure how the trip was going to work out. However, the moment we met Scott, Adam and Graham I knew we were in good hands. Scott has done a lot for God in Perth. He is on fire all the time. It was nice being in his presence and wanting to be fired up too. I felt that God was already soothing my fears by letting me know things will be okay. I found myself walking up to strangers (Cumbernaud Church of Christ) and having some amazing conversations. I found people who I consider lifelong friends now and I know that is God working in my life and theirs. I met Annette who is a strong woman on faith. She has shown incredible perseverance even when it would be so much easier to just give up. She has two grandsons who need our prayers to continue on the right path. I also met Leah and Sheila. They were easy to talk to in our short time together. It’s wonderful to have a connection with someone you just met. I feel like God’s guidance was with me daily to be a part of His bigger plan. The children were very special as well. They were very eager to learn more about God from us. I hope it will continue even though we are gone. Our own BYG kids were just amazing. They stepped right up and did any task that was necessary. All the lessons, crafts, and games went well and enticed the camp kids to want to come back the next day. All of our BYG kids are special but I noticed these things from the trip. Jake, Jared, Isaac and Danyon can all lead songs, prepare thoughtful devotionals, and pray from the heart. The girls encouraged the lessons, made crafts fun and played games with the children. It warmed my heart to see the kids want to come back every day. One sweet boy, Luke, said he was glad he didn’t go to camp and came to our Holiday Bible Camp instead. He also was sad that it was ending. This proves to me that God was in our midst daily working and using us as vessels.
Being around the gorgeous nature that takes your breath away daily, I felt like I was walking with God. I felt like I could talk to Him and He was with me. I am challenged to read more and find Him so I can get closer to Him. I learned that a mission trip is about the relationship you have with people. You can change your home, work and church relationships by being a light for Christ. I have learned to be an encourager and be thankful for what we have at home. We are very blessed at Buford and in America. I never want to take my spiritual relationship for granted again. It is important to be aware of scripture, prayers, and just going to church. Our team had a common goal to bring connection into Scotland. I feel like we did that by planting the seeds for God. I want to strive to plant seeds here at home as well. This trip has changed me. I am forever grateful to the Buford congregation and the BYG for allowing me to grow spiritually, get out of my comfort zone, and spread the word of God wherever I am.
I recently returned from a 10-day trip to Scotland with 10 teens from the BYG (Jared & Jake Davis, Isaac & Mikayla May, Alexis Smith, Alexa Sherman, Danyon Maugeri, Hannah Read, Katelyn Newman, and Julia Upchurch) and 3 other adults (Todd Newman, Katie May and Rayleen Upchurch). We left on July 3rd, and returned on July 13th. Our group went to Scotland for several specific reasons:
1.To support and encourage Scott Tominey as he strives to plant and grow a local congregation of God’s people in the city of Perth, Scotland
2.To put on a 4-day VBS-style day camp for some of the youth of Perth. This involved crafts, games, and Bible classes and was done entirely by our BYG teens. The theme was “CONNECTION”
3.To do a 3-night Gospel Meeting for the church at Perth. Our young men led the singing & prayers while I preached each night. The theme was “CONNECTION”
4.To do some sightseeing in the UK
As with every mission trip I’ve ever been a part of, my experience may have ministered to me as much or more than it ministered to those we went to help/serve. I was challenged, encouraged, stretched, and blessed in ways that I couldn’t have expected. I’d like to share some of my experiences in this week’s blog post.
First of all, I couldn’t be more impressed with or encouraged by the 10 young people we took on this trip. They worked hard during the months preceding the trip; they worked hard while we were in Scotland; and they had a fantastic attitude during the entire process. We did not have ONE SINGLE PROBLEM while we were in Scotland together, and this is a testament to their parents, grandparents, and the teens themselves. We laughed together (a lot), we cried together, we walked together (a lot), we worked together, we flew together, we played together, we ate together, we sang together, we prayed together, we witnessed God together; in short, we did everything together. It was a privilege and an honor to serve our Lord with these outstanding young people during this trip.
I was also greatly encouraged by the congregations at Cumbernauld and Perth. Although the Perth congregation is very small, and still in its planting stage, I know that the Lord will give the increase and bless His Church in Perth. These Christians are so warm, inviting, and filled with love for God and for one another; they are truly an inspiration. In a culture that is almost anti-God, the body of Christ in Scotland is truly a tight-knit family that seeks to spread the Gospel to everyone around them. It was a joy to spend time with them and to worship our Lord together with them.
Although there were many “moments” on this trip, I suppose my favorites would have to be these two:
1.We hiked up a hill together on Tuesday night and found one of the most gorgeous views I’ve ever seen. It took our breath away, inspired us in inexpressible ways, and provided the kind of perspective that only God can provide. Our group bonded on this hill in ways that we could have never planned or foreseen. It was an unexpected blessing and an unforgettable experience.
2.On Wednesday night, we hiked to a waterfall and found a small room (called a “folly”). We sang praises to God for nearly 45 minutes in this dark room with some of the most beautiful acoustics I’ve ever heard. The group sounded like a legion of angels as we praised our God together and encouraged one another. I know that some of the teens recorded it on their phones, but trust me when I tell you…you had to be there:)
Words fail to capture these kinds of experiences, but let me say this: if you ever have an opportunity to go to Scotland and work with the Church there, you should definitely go. It was a huge blessing and a life-changing experience.
Greetings to you from somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean! We are on our last leg of flights for our journey home to our Buford and our family!
All are excited to be coming home but also saddened to leave our brothers and sisters in Perth/Cumbernauld and Scott. Goodbyes are never easy, especially when we have grown to love Perth, the youth there, Annette and Scott. However, we know because of our Christian faith if we don't ever get back to Scotland, we will see Annette, Scott and hopefully others we planted the seed with for God in Perth in heaven. A part of all of our lives will now have a special place forever in Scotland from the last 10 days we spent there.
We will all soon forget the
• long flights
• pains from walking many miles a day
• discomforts of our hotel with hard beds/low water pressure/some with cold showers on our last morning
• no hand wash clothes
• things and comforts we really did not miss from home
• hours without WiFi
• hills/stairs we climbed
• ever changing weather (which by Scotland terms was spectacular week),
• frustration of trying to figure out what coins to use or the exchange rate for a cup of coffee
• small cars and tight quarters
• getting directions somewhere when a motorway = our interstate, dual carriage way = our 4 lane highway, a single carriage way = our roads, a round about = our traffic lights, etc
• walking up/down stairs on the left, walking on the sidewalk on the left and riding on the left side of the road
• importance of looking left vs right when crossing the road or when a traffic light turns from red to yellow it means go for cars before it turns green
• unthinkable of having no ice for drinks or air conditioning
• paying for plastic bags at the store
• eating out of a bag paper bags vs on plates for take away
• confusing words/terms/signs like chips = fries; crisp = chips; biscuits = cookies; scone = looks like a biscuit; queue = standing in a line; pants = your underwear, our peace sign = something vulgar; to let = rent; mind the gap = watch your step; toilet or water closet = our rest/bath room; the meanings of alight/rubbish/bin/aye, the pronunciation or spelling of some words like organise, enquire, Scottish drop their "T" when not at the beginning of a word Scottish = Scuoish or computer = compuer, Eric making it hard to understand them, especially when they talk fast, etc
But replace them with all the warm, refreshing, joyful, friendly, caring, loving, etc memories we have of our Christian brothers and sisters of Scotland, the beauty of the country and the experiences we all grew from HBC, surveying, Bible studies, Gospel meeting, singing from the heart, our unexpected journeys, our sightseeing excursions and the laughs/tears/hugs/growth we all shared together as BYG.
Scotland is beyond words for beauty which God shaped for all, the spirit of the people is alive and joyous, the water is as cold and pure as you can ever imagine and the weather is always changing to accentuate the countryside with a touch of briskness, freshness and water. But more importantly a beautiful mission field for the workers of The Lord to plant, water and harvest. Scott, the Body of Christ at Cumbernauld/Perth and the 10 to 12 other congregations in Scotland are full of hope, readiness and desire to bring others to God. The real beauty of Scotland is in these brothers and sisters continuing to hold to The Way in a mission field with promise. The youth in Scotland want something better than their parents and society have left them and are willingly open to hearing The Word. Please include in your prayers for the hearts of these youth to be opened for the seed to be planted by the workers, accept the watering, sprout and grow in due time according to God's plan to bear fruit. Also pray for the adults there to allow their hardened hearts against "organized religion" to be opened through the youth and workers in Perth.
The seeds we helped plant over the last 10 days we might never see the growth or the fruit but we all know the power of God is greater than anything we can imagine. Let His Will be done through Scott and the others workers in Perth. Let the encouragement and growth we gained from this trip allow us to be stronger for The Lord upon our return. Let our Light shine brighter for Christ in an ever darkening USA where God is being removed so we don't fall into the same traps of Satan as many countries around the World.
As I close, a few fun facts -- 8 had never been on an international trip, 2 have never flown, 8 had never been on a train and all of us collectively walked on average 110 miles a day or over 1,000 for the week! Next I want to thank you for allowing me to share from my perspective as 1 of 14 my experiences from the 2015 Scotland trip. I have grown! Finally, I encourage you to talk to each about the trip when you see them next and check out their stories on social media and the BCOC Mission sight for blogs. You should be very proud to serve side-by-side with these brothers and sisters at Buford for Christ and ask you to continue to pray for their growth. Time will allow all to realize how they have grown from this focused effort and hopefully pay it forward in the future for another mission trip.
Thanks again for your support, love and prayers! See you soon!
May God be and receive the glory from our efforts and fruit to come!
PS. The group arrived home safely. Thank you for the prayers during our trip!!