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Scotland Trip OVERVIEW By Todd Newman - Click here
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July 11, Monday
Greetings from London!!!
The team has completed 2 (1.5 hour Mini bus ride from Perth to Glasgow and 1.5 flight to London) of 4 legs of our trip back to Buford from Perth!!! We are excited about returning but also very sad to leave our Perth family.
We started at 8am Perth/3am Buford time from Perth and are scheduled to leave London at 4pm London/11am Buford time.
For those who want to track us, we are on British Airways flight 227 from London Heathrow to Atlanta.
See you in about 12 hours!!!
Greetings from Atlanta!!!
The 2016 BYG Mission team is landed and on the bus to Buford!!! After about a 1.5 hour delay in London due to thunder storms, we made the 8.5 hour fight home. We are tired of airplanes for now. In total we have traveled about 15 hours today with bus plane plane and bus.
We are excited to see our families and share all that we did for The Lord in Perth the last 11 days. We had a super group who worked hard and long hours, walked/hiked some days 8+ miles and never complained. As we left Morris and Polly stated they have worked with many mission teams and they have never seen one like this full of teenagers who were mature and hard workers for The Lord. He stated all are welcomed anytime in Perth to work! Scott also echoed to many of us Buford missionaries work hard and go go go.
In the end, Becky and I we honored to serve with the BYG missionaries and Landen for The Lord in Perth. The only thing we wish could change is the looooooooong flights.
May God be the glory!!!
July 10th, Sunday
Well, the day has come to end on the 2016 BYG Mission trip to Perth. It was bitter/sweet today closing out of our trip with our brothers and sisters in Perth. We all were able to sleep in for the first time since being in Scotland as worship was at 2:30pm, we all needed and enjoyed it, our 16+ hour days caught up with us. At the building, we worshipped then hugged, cried, laughed, took pictures and enjoyed out last fellowship together in Perth. The weather was grey and rain but our spirits were joyful and warm knowing how much love we have seen while here in Perth. Plus how much we all have grown during this trip for The Lord and planting/watering of the seed. May God be the glory!!!
We had a great worship service today with 19 in attendance. Katie, Calvin, Layton and Leon from the Robinson family all were there and continued to warm our hearts for their attendance. The Body in Perth made up of Morris & Polly Charlton, Annette, Scott and Allana (Scott's girlfriend) attended with Norma out of town this weekend. Morris started the service off with scripture reading, Jake and Isaac led us in song, Morris presided over The Lord's Table, Scott brought us the lesson based on Spiritual Living water and I closed us out in prayer.
After our tea and biscuits fellowship, hugs and goodbyes to the Robinsons, we all headed to our final dinner together at Wetherspoons. It was good to enjoy one last meal together reflecting on the great week and seeds planted. Plus we enjoyed sharing all of our stories from the week as it related to HBC, Bible studies, activities, food, how we became a Christian, etc. it is so wonderful to be able to share in common Christ anywhere in the World, no matter our backgrounds. May God continue to be the glory!!!
We closed the evening in devotional singing in a tunnel under one of the Perth's bridges across the river Tay due to the rain. It actually was beautiful due to the acoustics and all of us knowing this would be our last time in devotion with our Perth bothers and sisters. May God continue to be the glory!!!
Finally, we are scheduled to leave Glasgow at 12:10pm Scotland or 7:10am Buford time. We have about a 2.5 hour layover in London and scheduled to take off at 4pm London or 11am Buford time. So, pray for our safe travels and we are excited to see our Buford and physical family. However we are very saddened to leave our Perth family. See you tomorrow!!!
In Him, Todd for the 2016 BYG Scotland Mission Team
July 8th and 9th, Friday and Saturday
We have had another great 2 days sight seeing together, learning about the reformation/restoration connection from St Andrews, connecting the dots of King James from Scotland who had the Bible translated into English and just enjoying God's creation in this great country of Scotland!!!
Friday (Day 7) we journeyed to St Andrews via train and 5 of the Perth youth club went with us along with Morris, Polly and Scott. Saturday (Day 8) we journeyed to Edinburgh to enjoy Scotland's caption city. See below pictures from our trips.
Saturday Day 8 was a free day in Edinburgh where the team toured the castle, saw where King James was born, the Scotland Crown Jewels, the crowning stone, John Knox home/burial spot and the wonderful sights of the Capital city. Fun was had by all and we closed the night back in Perth seeing a rainbow and having a prayer. It was sleep in for Sunday morning since Perth worship would be at 2:30. Continue to pray for us as we worship with The Body in Perth today, see some of the Perth youth club at worship to say good bye and close out our spectacular trip for The Lord in Perth. In Him, Todd for the 2016 BYG Scotland mission team
Friday Day 7
St Andrews trip, Carvery Dinner and Devo next to the River Tay at Sunset (Devotional on the stone jetty into the North Sea where we had 2 ladies as tourist join us for signing (they said we sounded like angels), another group stand and listen and others recording us sing.) St Andrews cathedral and castle where Scotland's Reformation started by John Knox around 1559. Notice the cathedral is missing the stones, after the reformation speeches against Catholicism, the people wanted their own personal relationship with God and not through a man made path or pope. So they reformed by taking down the cathedral stone by stone to the foundation only leaving the main tower and a few walls as a reminder to others in the future. Reformation martyrs monument who stood for the truth (see one stone where supposedly the face of one who was burned at the stake near another cathedral) and notice see the stone buildings/homes the people built after John Knox speeches from the cathedral stones. Sights from St Andrews many know about today, the castle ruins where John Knox escaped from, St Andrews university where William and Kate met/went and famous golf course where golf was started at St Andrews Links/where British Open is played every 4 years/where the rules of golf started. A Scotland Carvery dinner back in Perth and sunset (10pm) devotional led by Scott by the Ruver Tay where we discussed from Joel that each soul counts, one by one and not to get discouraged. God wants our soul and heart, one by one. Friday as you can tell was a special day for so many ways and impactful for us knowing we were brought the Word of God by someone who we can trace way back through the Scotland Reformation movement. Alexander Campbell and his father was connected to the Reformation movement but realized they needed to "restore" to the original. Hence the Restoration movement in the USA began and how many of us had the Word of God brought to us and the Church of Christ in USA. Now the 2016 BYG mission team is teaching others and bringing the Word of God to the people of Perth and building the Church of Christ. A complete circle for Him and impactful for our team realizing their role for Him.
July 6th and 7th, Wednesday and Thursday
Day 6 (Last Day of Compassion What are you doing for The Lord, Hightower castle visit/coffee Shop Bible Studies, Pitlochry Highlands foothill visit and fellowship). Class Time; Armor of God Crafts; HBC Closes.
Continue to pray for us as we are busy about The Lord's work in the classroom, in the coffee shops, in Perth amusement park/castles/city centre and in the hearts of each other/Perth youth/Perth congregation and them in ours.
In Him, Todd for the 2016 BYG Scotland mission team
Day 5...We have been sooooo busy from 7am to 11pm every day and I have had no time to even send a quick update. Forgive us as we are super busy for The Lord and have been given a special opportunity to spend 13+\- hours a day with 6 to 10 Perth youth. This has been so special and allowed us to really get to know these great youth and hoping to be our brothers and sisters in the near future. The seeds of The Lord, Compassion and Love we are planting in what we believe is fertile soil we are praying will bare fruit soon!!!
See some pictures from day 5 & 6 for some insight. I will send updates from today, day 7, from our trip to St Andrews where we had 5 of the Perth youth go with us. It was another amazing day!!!
Day 5 (HBC Compassion What the Lord does for us, end of Gospel meeting led by Landen and fellowship activities) See photos of Class time; Jesus Paid a Debt craft time; Get my Strength from God relay; Noah's Ark Amusement Center; Dinner at Morris and Polly with Annette helping; Last night of Gospel Meeting of 40 in attendance and Quaich for Landen
July 5th, Tuesday
Tuesday was one of those banner days if there is such a term for a mission trip. All days working The Lord is wonderful but some have that extra lift when you experience growth and see the power of love. Tuesday will be on our minds for me for many days to come. You will see why as the days progresses. God is good.
We started this day off with a devotional led by Jake and beautiful songs of praise to God. We then went into our HBC morning session of lesson on Feeding of the 5000 and songs led by Isaac. Olivia challenged the team by a word search focusing on the price of about compassion and the feeding of the 5000.
The group then moved to crafts where baskets were weaved out of construction paper and paper plates. The team then used a local fish and chips snack to represent loaves and fish delivered in baskets to the 5000+. Alexis, Rebecca and Rachel did a great job leading this session.
The group then moved to our activities team led by Jake and Noah where we had a relay race caring boiled eggs from point a to b to represent the careful carrying of compassion to all. Then a toss of the boiled eggs to instill trust in each other. After the activities some of the Perth youth ate the boiled eggs.
In the and HBC was another great day teaching 8 with 2 new girls attending about compassion.
After our group lunch, we headed to the city center to conduct Bible studies where we still continue to have different people inquire about what we were studying but no one attended yet. We're not discouraged because we know that people are recognizing us and what we are doing.
After the Bible studies we broke into 4 teams for a treasure hunt competition in the city of Perth. The hunt allowed us to spend more time with the youth club members as many have been staying with us from 9:30am to 10:30pm everyday or 13 hours. All love it and many bonds of friendship have formed.
After the treasure hunt we all loaded up and headed towards a local Perth Council park for a BBQ. 6 from the Cumbernauld congregation cooked for us at the BBQ and enjoyed the fellowship. The sun came out and blue skies for about an hour and a half or so, perfect timing for our BBQ. We threw the frisbee, walked the trails, played in the rubbing brook and spent time getting to know each other even more all in the great outdoors. Even the people of Perth said the day was one of the greatest weather days they had this year, it was great to be outdoors talking about God and laughing and just having fun.
What came next was icing on the day as we hiked Kinnoull hill, a 800 feet hill over looking the river Tay valley. The hill has spectacular panorama views of Gods creation where you can see for miles and miles and miles. The clouds were separated enough to see a beautiful sunset touching and coloring the sky and landscape. All explored the ridge and an old ruined castle before just sitting and reflecting on the beauty that we were witnessing.
Katie, Calvin and Laden from the youth club had just recently spread their great-grandparents ashes on this hill, so it was an emotional time them. However at the same time they had all of us to encourages them and to show them love, they were amazed by the love shown by people they had just met only days before. Katie even mention that she felt like she has known us forever and was wanting more of what we had in love for each other, love for Jesus and just in general very very happy people. Katie, who is 15, has been studying with Scott the last few months about baptism. She brought about being baptized as she knows the importance of it, wants to think really hard about it in the upcoming days and keep talking to us about. What a great opportunity this excursion gave all of us to discuss such an important subject. Continue to pray for Katie and her heart. On top of this, Calvin was a big encourager to his big sister in time of need plus to his little brother who wanted to hug his great-grand parents. Calvin is 9 and has the heart of gold, he gets what real compassionate love is all about.
We also remembered many who have lost loved ones recently or in the past, reflected on how we have been touched by them and for our brother Michael Ilardi who is having digestion issues and was going to the hospital. As we began to sing praises to God watching the sun set colors paint the spectacular landscape and having caring/compassionate hearts, we sang with much deeper purpose.
Our lessons on compassion since Sunday was being demonstrated on this hill by everyone for all those in need, we sang for 20+ minutes as the sun disappeared. May all who were encouraged on this hill be strong and courageous and may the glory be to God!!!
Compassion for Christ with action in your life like we experienced Tuesday will make life changes happen.
In Him, Todd for BYG Scotland mission team
July 4th, Monday
Scotland day 3 started off with all of us getting to the community center around 9am in the morning. We all had a good nights sleep at our different host homes or hotel and were ready for the day to start HBC. We wished each other happy Fourth of July and talked about the weather being 58° and rain. Isaac started us off for the morning with a devotional study on tychrtid, a servant and friend of Paul for the Lord. Isaac reminded us of how important fellowship, friendship and encouragement is for someone working for the Lord.
Around 9:30am 7 youth showed up for HBC and we were so excited about having these youth to work with us and study compassion!!! Isaac brought us the lesson on the meaning of compassion and we all sang songs. Olivia then handed out word searches and other study tools to apply and remember the lesson on compassion. It was so great to see all the BYG team getting involved with the Perth youth. Of the 7 youth who came, a girl named Abby, who is 14, had just moved next to Morris and Polly who invited her to HBC. Abby's family had just moved to Perth and they really knew only a few people. So Polly invited her to HBC today where she totally enjoyed HBC and being with all of us. Abby liked it so much that she went to the city centre coffee shop Bible studies and went on a side trip to a local waterfall. Somewhere during the day I talked to Abby about her religious background which she informed me she did not have much interest at all or her family. However she stated she "might have a go at it" because she really liked what she had heard today. Plus she liked reading the Bible and being able to talk with other girls who like God.
The next station of HBC was crafts and led by Alexis, Rachel and Rebekah. The station made para cord and friendship bracelets, one for them and one to give away to a friend to show compassion. We all worked hard to make bracelets from different colors with the USA color para cords being the most popular, we all we were celebrating USA independence. In the end, the youth and adults all made 2 or 3 brackets.
The next station led by Jake and Noah consisted of activities outside about compassion and then a big game of ultimate freebie. The rain held off just until lunch. Continue to pray the seeds we planted with the Perth youth and especially Abby will grow this week.
Soon after HBC & lunch, we went into the Perth city centre where we split up into 2 teams for coffee shop Bible studies. One of the studies was based on the meaning of fellowship and had 2 locals inquired about our study. We gave them a Perth Church of Christ business card and invited them to join. The other study was a continuation of compassion discussion and other topics. As a side note about these coffee shop Bible studies, in 2014 while the 1st BYG mission team to the UK was conducting one of these coffee shop Bible studies a lady named Annette, who was a Christian worshipping on her on in Perth, saw us, inquired about were we really from the church of Christ and broke into tears hearing a new congregation was about to be started in Perth. Annette has not missed a worship service since 2014 with the saints and for this trip is hosting Alexis and Olivia. So, please continue to pray that the people of Perth will except us and maybe even join us soon.
After the coffee shop Bible studies we headed to a local park to advertise the HBC and the Gospel meeting. Our goal was to meet local families and let them know about Perth Church of Christ. We spent an hour or so in the park advertising and we hope that some of these families will show up at the HBC or Gospel meeting services. Continue to pray that the seeds we planted will turn into fruit for Him soon.
Around 3pm the team headed out for a couple hour sight seeing excursion at one of Scotland's National parks near Perth called The Hermitage. Here we took about a mile hike along a raging stream to a wonderful and magnificent waterfall. The kids were able to climb on the rocks around the waterfall, as all kids do, enjoyed being outside in nature and just getting to know each other in a different setting. We were able to take all 7 from the Perth youth club who had a the youth from the Perth youth club who had wonderful time. The icing on the excursion was singing praises to God for 20+ minutes in a small building called an obelisk. There were many tourist of the park who listened to us and stared how beautiful we sounded as our singing could be heard out and around the waterfall viewing area. Some even walked through the middle of the small round room we were in saying please don't stop, it is so beautiful sounds like angels. Even with the "Scotland mist" or spitting rain, the excursion was a great visit to the local National park, walk through the forest, experiencing one of Gods beautiful creations and singing praises to Him.
At 5pm we we were invited to Morris and Polly's for dinner at their flat (2 bedroom, 1 bath house with kitchen, living room and a study). They live in a small community called Stanley near the old Stanley Mills where cotton was milled in 1,800's (We all said hey, we know a Stanley Mills who goes to Buford). A proper English Chicken Stew, green beans, mash (mashed potatoes) and salad was our meal. It was very savory and warmed our inner core after being outside for the afternoon. I remembered why the English and others like hot tea because your core is heated up. It was so great to spend time in their home, a show of hospitality and sharing great experiences of how we all became Christian into One Body.
Finally we headed back to the community center to have the second night of the Gospel meeting. We had about 30 in attendance tonight with three from the youth club plus one friend invited. It was encouraging to all of us as we already were seeing some fruit of our labor on Sunday and earlier in the day Monday, so continue to pray for this work and more fruit for the week. Landen brought us another excellent sermon on the passion about how Jesus came down from heaven because of God having so much in him compassion for us. That Jesus, be royal, gave it up to serve His Father, save us and to die on the cross for each and everyone of us. We all look forward to Landen's lesson on Wednesday. Again, the singing was spectacular but only with 30 it was like 200 singing wonderful praises to God. We ended the night with tea, cakes and biscuits for our fellowship, a pure joy because of the Scottish people who have so much so joy and fullness for life. And to know these friends are our Christian brothers and sisters, it just makes it so much more sweeter. We all finally did turn in for the night as we had another full day of making great memories.
We are so excited for day two of HBC and a BBQ in the local park tomorrow that we're going to invite everyone we come in contact with to join. We covet your prayers that the people of Perth will come out and hear more about the Lord through the efforts of the Church of Christ meeting there. Continue to pray for the work at Perth.
In Him, Todd for BYG Scotland mission team
July 3rd, Sunday
Scotland day 2 started off after a good nights rest but waiting on a mini bus company to pick us up, they never showed up.
So Adam, Graham and Scott had to team up to get us to Cumbernauld for morning worship by 11am. Once at Cumbernauld, we enjoyed meeting the brethren there, greeting friends from previous mission trips and our worship where 75 was in attendance, it was standing room only.
After the morning worship we loaded up in the church mini van, stopped at a local market to buy lunch for the road during our hour drive to Perth for afternoon worship. Perth worship started at 2:30pm where a total of 24 attended. 4 in attendance were youth from the weekly Perth youth club Scott leaders, Katie, Calvin, Leon and Lathe. They have been coming for about 2 months without their parents and Katie, 15 years old, has gone on youth weekends with other church if Christ congregations. This is awesome and showing growth for Perth and efforts by Scott and many to share The Lord!!!
Landen Wright brought us the message on the meaning of Compassion, which he did a great job and is a fine preacher. His excitement and passion to preach was very evident and immediately gained respect. After worship, had tea and biscuits as we fellowshipped together for the afternoon.
We continued our fellowship at Scott's new apartment for dinner where 20 of us had Dominos pizza, it was awesome. After dinner, we went to our host homes/hotel to drop off our luggage, freshen up and then back to the start of Perth's 2nd annual Gospel meeting at a local community center.
There were 5 different congregations who came to support the Perth Gospel meeting with s total of 65 in attendance. Landen Wright brought us the message again showing us from the Bible us examples of positive and negative compassion. Another fine lesson and he got many ayes and amens from those attending. The worship was led by the BYG boys and the singing was simply amazing (listen to a snippet of one of our songs). As the custom in Scotland, we had more tea, cakes and biscuits as we fellowshipped together one more time, I love the passion of the Scotland people and their willingness to fellowship.
Finally, our day of worship with the saints in Scotland was so uplifting and encouraging. Were we tired, yes as we were still recovering from a long travel day but our spirits were so high from 3 worship services, making new friends and obtaining our strength from our Scotland brothers and sisters. Plus the scenery was spectacular. We finally retired to homes away from home somewhere around 10:45pm Scotland time. However, we are so excited to start our day tomorrow leading the Holiday Bible class with the youth of Perth. Sharing the story of Compassion will be perfect after we have seen it demonstrated by the Body in Scotland for us with passion. Pray for all of us as we venture into our week for HBC working with the youth of Perth, surveying in the city of Perth, holding coffee shop Bible studies and conducting the Gospel meeting through Thursday.
In Him, Todd for BYG Scotland mission team
July 2nd, Saturday
After about a 10 hour flight we landed in London at 12pm today London time (7am Buford time).
After going through customs and security in London airport we were able to sit for about 4 hours before Glasgow flight. Weather in the London was 64 and partly cloudy with rain in the afternoon but way better than 95 and rain in Buford. After a 5 hour layover, we boarded our flight to Glasgow to meet Scott and Graham McDonald, usually about 1.5 hour flight. However, we sat another hour in the plane waiting for a "push truck" to move us from the gate. In the end we arrived in Glasgow after 20+ hours of traveling with 11 hours on a planes. The team has held up great to this stage knowing we had to stay up all day Saturday to get on UK time (5 hours ahead of Buford) and getting to see Scott in Scotland!!! Reunited with Scott and Graham: Scott and Graham picked us up at the airport and took us to a fish and chip place close to our hotel for the night.
The fish and chips were excellent and the weather was a relief to us coming from Hot Atlanta!!! Currently it is 53° and partly cloudy with a little crisp in the air or "broadening" as they say in Scotland making it fun and exciting. After we ate at a local park to enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes and the fellowship, we toured Kelpies monument. Kelpies are mystical Scotland horses who supposedly livers in the water, feared/respected by all and many kings/queens/knights seeked to own or control them. Some might remember in the first Lord of the Rings movie where the Kelpies saved Frodo from the dark lords on a river as he was taken into Riverdale by the the elves.
We finally arrived at our hotel around 10pm Scotland time. We are all tired but a good tire as we are excited about our work for The Lord starting tomorrow. We will worship with the saints in Cumbernauld in the morning and then head to Perth in the afternoon to worship at 2pm and then again at 7pm to start a gospel meeting. Yes, we will have 3 worship services together tomorrow, awesome! Plus we will get ready to run the HBC Monday through Thursday. Thank you for all your prayers and I'll send more updates tomorrow.
In Him, Todd for BYG Scotland mission team
July 1st, Friday
10 of our Buford Youth and adults headed out to Perth, Scotland to work with Scott Tominey and the congregation there.