19 Jun 2014

RP Mission Team – Update on Week 3

Our third week here in Scotland has come and gone all too quickly.  It began on Sunday with a morning worship service with the Stirling congregation, followed by a lovely lunch and time of fellowship with Donnie and  Karen Mackinnon and several members visiting from the Glasgow church.  We also took part in the evening service and subsequent prayer time.

Monday, after our team worship time, Andrew and Patrick took off for a couple days to go to the Irish Synod, while I stayed behind working on some transcription for Andrew.   They were peaceful hours, spent with my computer in the church, listening to, and writing down, Andrew’s sermons.  I’ve realized that there are few better ways to get the most out of a sermon than by listening to it, writing it down, and reading over it.   I quite enjoyed the work.  Tuesday was another day of transcription and journaling.   That evening, we attended the Tuesday night MET, where we finished our discussion of Esther.  Wednesday morning, I touched up my transcription work, read some of our Spiritual Disciplines book, and packed for our  impending trip to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.  Patrick arrived home in the early evening, in time for our meal and Wednesday night MET.  Each MET is a different group of people, so they each discuss the same passage and commentary every week.  Attending several meetings that are discussing the same topic is really fascinating, as, although the subject is the
same, we always discover new angles and insights that we hadn’t previously considered, or heard in the earlier meetings of the week.  The same was true that Wednesday, and we had a stirring conversation in the car on the way back, exploring one of those new details.

Thursday morning, we left bright and early for the Isle of Skye and then Stornoway.   The drive was beautiful, or so I hear.   We made several stops on the way for brief sight seeing and
picture taking, and eventually got up to the ferry due to take us from Skye to Harris.  The ride was smooth as glass, and we arrived in Harris without incident.   After another pretty drive, we got to our hostel.   Of course, we were greeted there by the famous D.R. Macdonald, an elder at the Stornoway RP Church, who graciously provided us with some breakfast “basics”, as he called it, which turned out to be a bounty of meats, breads, biscuits, condiments, and liquids that could easily take us through the next week of breakfasts, snacks, and extra meals.
That was our first taste of true Lewis hospitality, and we were overcome with gratitude for their kindness throughout the entire weekend.

Friday was full of activities, with three school visits, a visit to the hospice, a delicious dinner with D.R. and Katie Macdonald, and a beautiful walk on the beach.   Everyone in the schools, two primary schools and one secondary school, were extremely welcoming and attentive.  It was really an honor to see, from the response of our listeners, that God really was using our stories, the work He has done in our lives, to serve as a testament to His amazing grace, power, and love.  Saturday was another opportunity to do the same, as we went out on the streets
to pass out leaflets, and talk to people about where they were with God.  I was rather wary at first to approach people so directly and personally with the gospel, but most people were quite willing, even desirous to have a conversation, and sincerely consider where they stood with God.  It was truly an incredible experience, and I am glad that my first door to door work was so positive.  How could it be otherwise in a place like Stornoway?

Saturday evening we had the opportunity to see some of the sights in Lewis: the Callanish standing stones, the black houses, and the whalebone arch, and we had some marvelous meals with M.D. and Dolina Maclean and Scott MacIver.   Sunday morning was worship, which was wonderful, and lunch with David and Shirley Karoon, followed by the second service, fellowship, and prayer meeting in the evening.  Before long, it was time to say our goodbyes and pack for our departure early the next morning.  I feel so blessed to have been able to serve in Stornoway and spend time with the Godly people there.  I pray that our contacts and conversations we  made there will bear fruit, whether we ever hear about it or not.  Our work
is only possible through God’s grace, and your continued prayer.  We have one week remaining here in Scotland, and I know God will be moving in powerful ways throughout these remaining days, as He has done in all of our time here.  Let everything we do be for His glory, and the spreading of His Holy word.  “Soli Deo Gloria.”

Shea Welch