Love & Serve - Scotland Missions Trip (Part 1)
Updated: Nov 16
I'm back from Scotland! Thank you all so much for your prayers; God answered them in a wonderful way! In this post I want to recap what God did during this ten-day missions trip. The team's theme was "Love & Serve" and our theme verse was 2 Corinthians 4:5 "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
I traveled several hours to the States by car to meet up with the missions team at their connecting flight in Boston. Already the Lord was showing his goodness in allowing me to fly over with the team. He also provided all the funds I needed just in time! I met the rest of the team at the gate. It was my first time meeting them in person. We flew out at 9pm and had a 6-hour flight. I was able to get some sleep and woke up to a beautiful sunrise. Because of the time difference, we arrived at 8am on Thursday.
We had no problems whatsoever at the Edinburgh airport, and Pastor Shore, the missionary pastor hosting us, and his son met us right on time. They took us straight to their church where we met Mrs. Shore and three other of their sons. A couple who had flown ahead of us met up with us at the church. That made ten team members in all. As we talked, the wife, Mrs. Lorraine, said something that I haven't forgotten. She said "We told someone here, 'God bless you' and they answered 'What God? I'm not even sure there is one.' and I thought, 'Oh...that's why we're here.'" That short story helped bring into focus the goal that we had to reach the lost in Scotland.
Despite our jet lag, most of us headed out to do some distribution late that afternoon. We canvassed two neighborhoods with flyers for the Bible club we would be running the next week. Pastor Shore warned us ahead of time to not stick our fingers through the mail slots because of the dogs. I had one dog rip a flyer through the slot as I pushed it through! We were also able to give some flyers directly to people who were out and about.
Each morning that we were able, we gathered at the church to discuss a chapter of the Bible and pray in small groups. Friday we read Romans 15. The verse that stood out to me was verse thirteen: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." I would have to rely on the Holy Ghost in order to be effective on this trip. The prayer time really encouraged me, and I was excited to get to work!
We spent the morning distributing flyers in two other neighborhoods. I went with Mrs. Lorraine, and we had a very interesting experience. Pastor Shore had told us that when we distributed in the flats to start at the top and go to the bottom so that if anyone was mad about the flyers, they were above you and not below you! However, we somehow forgot to do that in this one flat. I put a flyer in the door slot on the first floor, went up, came back down, and as Mrs. Lorraine opened the door for us to leave, a lady came out of the first door and asked us, a bit forcefully, "Are you the ones that left this flyer?" As Mrs. Lorraine put it, "I think to begin with we both just looked we had the 'deer in the headlights' look." Mrs. Lorraine answered that we were the ones, and the lady answered, "Who is the God of this church?""Jesus Christ""His name is not Jesus, it is Yeshua." The lady continued to question Mrs. Lorraine for several minutes, mostly about Torah, the Sabbath, and such things. She obviously had a lot of knowledge, but it seemed she might have been missing the point of eternal salvation by faith alone.
I didn't personally engage with the lady, but rather let Mrs. Lorraine answer her questions. This was mostly due to timidity, and I pray that next time I will be more courageous. This encounter did have an impact on me, though. It challenged me to know my facts more to be able to give a defense for my faith when the time comes, and it also demonstrated the grace of God in giving Mrs. Lorraine the words to say. I later learned that being questioned on the spot like that is one of her biggest fears in evangelism, but I couldn't tell by the way she calmly answered this lady. This gave me courage that God will enable me as well whenever He gives me a gospel opportunity.
That afternoon we worked on the church building. It had been purchased earlier in the year and was in need of a lot of love. In fact, it used to be a bar. A lot of the men worked on taking wallpaper off the walls in the sanctuary while the ladies worked on cleaning. There was a sweet spirit of service and joy as we worked. Several were even singing as they worked (see the video).
That evening we drove down to the Firth of Forth. The restaurant we were going to eat at was unfortunately closed, but there were some beautiful views!
Our Saturday passage was Psalm 115 and verse one was on my mind a lot during the trip and afterward. It says, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."
Two church members joined us for distribution Saturday morning and we canvassed hundreds of homes around the church. One of those members told us the story of how she came to be in this particular church. She was already a born-again believer when she came walking past the building one day and realized that it was no longer a bar, but a church. I wish you could have seen the excitement with which she explained her reaction to us! These Scottish believers are full of the joy of the Lord.
I don't remember if it was Friday or Saturday, but we had prayed before distribution that the flyers we put out would bring children to the Bible club. Not long after we got back to the church, Pastor Shore received a phone call that some kids who had received the flyer would be coming. God didn't have to, but He chose to let us know that our prayers had been answered!
We spent the afternoon touring Edinburgh. Pastor Shore was a great tour guide and showed us many fascinating historical sites. We also looked around the National Museum and walked up to Edinburgh Castle, but didn't pay to go inside. Some of the most interesting information to me was learning about the Scottish Covenanters who fought for religious freedom.
That evening we had a really sweet prayer time in preparation for the services the next day. The way the ladies of my group prayed was an example and encouragement to me.
Sunday morning I was tired. I was also anxious because I knew that I had to be ready to give my testimony. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when the service started, but once I began to listen to the others' testimonies, I felt that "joy and peace" from the Holy Ghost, and was even eager to share what God had done in my life. All of the team members, including myself, were able to share our salvation testimonies during the Sunday school hour. The team and I sang "May the Lord Find Us Faithful" before Pastor Jennings, the leader of our team, came and preached on the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4 and how she was great in God's eyes.
We had a wonderful fellowship lunch at the church and then most of us rested during the afternoon. That evening we sang "A Passion for Thee" and Pastor Jennings preached from Joshua 6:12-27, "Time to Shout and Let the Blessings Come Out." One quote that he gave us by Warren Wiersbe was this: "The way to grow your faith is to accept new challenges and trust God for the victory." We were seeing the proof of this already.
Several people stayed to have supper with us afterwards. One lady invited me to sit with her and two young girls who had come. I had a good time talking with them. I went on the bus route afterwards and sat next to one of the girls. She talked to me the whole way to her house and I learned a lot about her. She has lived through some pretty hard things and I felt burdened to pray for her.
We had a lot to do Monday morning but we made sure to take the time to have our prayer groups. The passage that day was 2 Thessalonians 2. The thought I took away which I wrote in my journal was this: Jesus is coming--stand fast.
A few people went on the bus route to pick up the kids while the rest of us made sure everything was ready for Holiday Bible Club. We had about a dozen kids come that first day. God provided a guitar through a church member so that I could help with song time. We had a Bible lesson, snack time, crafts, games, and a missionary story. Everything went really well!
That afternoon we headed back into Edinburgh, this time armed with hundreds of gospel flyers and a speaker. Pastor Shore, Pastor Jennings, and Mr. Christian took turns street preaching. Two of the missionary sons played their bagpipes farther down the street and the rest of us spread out along Princess Street to hand out flyers to the passersby. I think this experience was one of the most memorable for all of us. For one, it got us way out of our
comfort zones. Second, it allowed us to really see the lost and get a burden to share the gospel more. Many of us shared later that we had a visual of these people just walking towards destruction as they refused the gospel. Thousands of people poured down Princess Street during those two hours. Most ignored us, a few were receptive, and a few were rude. The wonderful thing was that it seemed as though every time we got really discouraged, God would send some encouragement. Mr. Thomas shared that at one point he told his wife, "I wish someone would just come up and say 'That's interesting! Can I have one?'" He said that not two minutes later a lady came up and took one from them! I was encouraged when a man asked what the flyer was, and when I answered "the gospel"
he said that he too was a believer. The experience was such a blessing and we continued to talk about it and praise the Lord for it the rest of the trip.
Thank you for reading and praying! Keep living for the gospel's sake!
Read part two here.
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