Love & Serve - Scotland Missions Trip (Part 2)
Updated: Nov 16
Read part 1 here.
Read about how God orchestrated the events for me to go on this trip here.
Our Bible passage for Tuesday was Revelation 1. This was a great passage to get our minds on an eternal perspective. During our study and prayer time we ladies also shared some testimonies from street evangelism the day before. We were still so excited about what God had allowed us to experience.
This was our second day of Bible club and we had a few more kids come than the previous day, praise the Lord! He was also giving us beautiful weather for the outside games we were playing with the kids. For craft time each day, there was a "colors of salvation" theme. I helped with the younger group. On Monday they had made foam sticker butterflies and now on Tuesday they made sand art. Everything went very well throughout the club, and then I rode on the bus again to take the kids home. I had fun with the two girls that sat with me. They tried to teach me how to sing "This is the Day" in another language, and I tried to teach them "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" in French.
After dropping the kids off we had a quick lunch and then went to Craigmillar Castle. This was my favorite of the castles that we visited throughout the trip. It didn't look very big on the outside, but once inside it was a maze of stone staircases, halls, and rooms. The largest room was a sort of dining hall. It was impressive! There was a medieval muscian there who played for us. We also got to sing "It Is Well With My Soul" as a team in that room. The acoustics were amazing, and singing together there became one of my favorite memories from the trip.
Pastor Shore took the scenic route back to his house. We stopped by Dalhousie Castle, but didn't go inside, and we also walked around Newbattle Abbey. When we got back, he took us on a walk behind his house down to a beautiful viaduct and river.
We had haggis for supper and then enjoyed a relaxing evening.
Our Wednesday Bible passage was 2 Corinthians 1:1-14. As I read, I thought of the purpose that Christ has given those who believe in him--that He has given me. This is why we went to Scotland: to share the good news of redemption with these people so that they too can find forgiveness and pupose in Christ.
This was the last day of Bible club, and the most energetic one by far! We had about sixteen kids. Things started getting a little chaotic after snack time. We needed all the help we could get with craft time, since this craft turned out to be a little more complicated than the ones before. Then one girl came inside from game time crying, and some other little kids were just very hyper. God was gracious, though, and all of us workers were able to stay calm and handle all the little situations that came up. Once we got all the kids settled for the missionary story, they listened well, and when Pastor Jennings asked if there were any kids who wanted to dedicate their lives to be a missionary in Scotland or abroad, three of the older kids raised their hands!
That afternoon we visited Tantallon Castle. One of the men from the church, Mr. William, came with us. I think one of the most fun parts of this castle was the incredible wind at the very top (listen in the video)! the dungeon was also very interesting--and dark. We were right on the North Sea and could see Bass Rock, an island that used to serve as a prison.
That night we were going to have a pizza party and film night at the church. It was an opportunity for all the kids who had come to the Bible club to bring their parents. While Pastor and Mrs. Shore went to run the bus route, the rest of us had a prayer meeting at the church. We asked God to bring the kids and their families and to give us the chance to minister to them and
share the gospel. The bus got back about the same time as the pizzas arrived. Not as many kids had come as we had hoped, but we were excited anyway. Then others started arriving... and others...and others! The room was soon filled with kids and their families. There ended up being about forty-six of us in all. God is good! we watched an animated film about Bible translator William Tyndale and afterwards Pastor shore gave a salvation message. On the return bus ride, one girl's aunt who had come said that she would like to start coming to church. When we got back to the church, we took some time to share testimonies and praise the Lord for what He had done.
Thursday morning we got up early, ate a quick breakfast, and headed out to pick everyone up in the mini bus. We were going to tour the Highlands!
It was about a two-hour drive to get up there. Many of us fell asleep, including me, but I tried to stay awake as much as possible so I could see the sights along the way. We saw the Kelpies, huge metal horse heads, off the side of the motorway. Our first Highland stop was the Loch Tulla Viewpoint. The Lord had kept the worst of the fog away, and the view was amazing! The wind was too; when Mrs. Susan opened the door to get back in the bus, a bunch of papers went flying! We had a good laugh trying to chase them all down.
We made a short stop at a small waterfall and then continued to The Three Sisters, a trio of mountains. The wind was the best there. When we took a group picture, we held on to each other so we wouldn't get blown away!
We stopped in a town called Fort William around lunch time. We ate sandwiches in the bus and then did some shopping. We stopped at two more shops on the way back that afternoon. We had an enjoyable and delicious supper at a restaurant. Pastor Jennings was able to witness to our waitress and found out that she is actually Mr. William's son's girlfriend!
After that we went straight back to our houses for a good night's rest before our last full day.
Our passage for Friday was Luke 10. The story of Martha and Mary is one of my favorites. I have found in my life that it is easy for me to get "cumbered about much serving". This story reminds me to focus on "that one thing"--my relationship with Jesus--first and foremost.
After breakfast we picked up the rest of the team from the places they were staying. It was Mr. Derek's birthday, and when he got on the bus we sang him the most off-key "Happy Birthday to You" I have ever heard! We all had a good laugh and then headed for our last tourist attraction of the trip.
We were able to board Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia as soon as it opened. It didn't look so big from the outside, but once inside there was so much to see! We all got a handheld device to be able to listen to an audio tour as we walked through. This used to be Queen Elizabeth II's personal royal yacht.
The room that impressed me the most was the dining room. There were artifacts from around the world on the walls.The audio tour said that it takes two hours to set the tables because it is done so meticulously.
After the tour, several of us went to the royal deck tearoom for scones, teas, and mochas.
After a quick stop at the gift shop we headed to the church for lunch. We then spent a few hours cleaning and continuing work on the sanctuary. Praise the Lord for the progress that was made during our trip!
After that, we split up until supper to get our things packed. At the house Mrs. Shore taught me how to make shortbread. It was delicious!
We got fish 'n chips from a restaurant for supper and took it to the house where several team members were staying. We had an enjoyable supper and then gathered in the living room for a testimony time.
That was a very encouraging and blessed time of opening our hearts and sharing how God had worked in our lives throughout the trip. Pastor Shore shared with us a few stories of how God has been at work in Scotland to encourage us that God is able to take our seemingly small contributions and use them in a great way for His kingdom. We all took turns praying, thanking God for His work and asking that it would continue both in Scotland and in our lives. We then all sang "To God be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done".
Afterwards we had birthday cake, and since we had sang so terribly before, we sang a dramatic "Happy Birthday to You" to Mr. Derek. We spent the rest of the evening talking and joking until we finally said goodnight and headed back to the house.
Saturday morning I ate breakfast and then talked with the missionary kids until it was time to load up the bus and leave. We picked up those who were staying at the church first. Mr. William showed up and told us that his son's girlfriend had told him about talking with Pastor Jennings and that his son had proposed to her and now they were engaged! It was a blessing that God let us know the "next part of the story".
We loaded up the rest of the team (except one couple who had left a few hours earlier) at their rental house and headed for the airport which wasn't very far away. When we arrived, we prayed together one final time on the bus before unloading, saying goodbye to Pastor Shore and his son, and heading in.
We made it through security in good time and then waited at the gate until we boarded. We left Scotland around 1:35 pm. Our flight went well, and we arrived around 4 pm Boston time. Our flight had been seven hours long, so I can honestly say that was the longest day of my life! We made it through customs, claimed our bags, and then I said goodbye to the rest of the team, who had to catch their connecting flight. My family arrived not long afterwards and picked me up.
This missions trip was so blessed by God, and I am eternally grateful that He sent me on it. It's hard to sum up the inmpact it had on me, because there was just so much that happened, but one of the main things is that it enhanced my perspective of the mission field and passion for missions. I was able to visit another field and live with another missionary family, and through that I saw many similarities with my own experience in Quebec, but I also got a new perspective in a new culture.
I believe 1) God increased my burden for souls, 2) He showed me an abundance of examples of how He can use what we might consider a "small contribution" for a greater purpose in His plan, and 3) He gave me an increased sense of urgency for missions work. There is so much to do and time is short; we must be ready and available when God calls us to do something, whether that's to pass out a tract or travel to another country. He also increased my trust in Him through this trip. God helped this introvert do a lot of things that I know were only possible through His strength. 1 Thess. 5:24 says "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." God showed Himself faithful.
One more thing that I want to share is that I experienced the power of prayer. One thing that I loved about our missions team was that we prayed all the time. We prayed each time we headed out in the bus, we prayed in our study groups every morning, we prayed each time before distribution or evangelism, and so many other times as well--and God answered! From protection on the roads, to energy for the day, to a full auditorium for film night, we saw God answer our prayers. I know people back home were praying for us as well, and their prayers were answered. Don't underestimate the power of prayer.
To those of you who prayed--thank you!
"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake." - Psalm 115:1
"This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." - Psalm 118:23
Your sister in Christ,