23 Jun 2014

RP Mission Team – Update on Week 4

The fourth week?  Already gone?  How is that possible!

Last week was busy as usual.  Monday, as you will remember from our previous post, was our arrival home from Stornoway.  We spent the evening unpacking, eating, and generally  unwinding from the trip, and several of us gathered later on at the church for an impromptu Psalm singing session… a very fulfilling day indeed.  Tuesday morning was Patrick’s and my first day in Glasgow.  We got up early to take the train into the city and walked to the church from the station.  We quickly got started preparing leaflets and heading out to the houses and flats to invite people to the events at the church that week: a Wednesday afternoon drop in (just some food and conversation with the members of the church and two Americans), a
Thursday night question and answer session, and another Q and A on Friday afternoon.  Once the morning’s work was finished, we had lunch at the church with the minister, his wife, and several members of the congregation.  It was good food and better fellowship.  Patrick and I spent that afternoon in a little park a few blocks away from the church, reading and discussing Spiritual Disciplines, our team study book.  They were a fruitful couple hours, and I returned to the church feeling fairly refreshed.  We had dinner that night with the people attending the last Christianity Explored class, which consisted of a video explaining God’s grace, and a subsequent discussion afterward.  It’s always good to get back to the basics and
hear about things like grace in simple terms.  It left me in awe, thinking of our unworthiness, and God’s incredible love for us in spite of that.   I felt as though I was learning about it for the first time all over again.

Wednesday morning was another early trek to Glasgow and another few hours of leafleting.  We had the opportunity to speak to one particular Glasgow resident, who had been married in the church building where the Glasgow RP church is now located, and had been recently talking about going back to church more regularly with his wife.  We were so encouraged to hear that, and invited him along to a service.  I really hope he comes!  That afternoon was the drop in, and we spoke to several members of the community surrounding the church over tea and home-baked goods, which were amazing by the way.  For several reasons, the conversation in which I was involved was quite challenging, and I definitely learned a lot from the experience.  That night was the midweek service, where we heard about what it means to be pure, with regards to the Sermon on the Mount.

Thursday night was our first question and answer session.  We sent two people out on the streets to pass out invitations, but it was England vs Uruguay in the World Cup that night, and few people were out and about.  Unfortunately, no one ever came, and we eventually prayed and said our goodnights earlier than we had expected.  It’s easy to be discouraged in a situation like that, but we knew that it was God’s will at work, and we still had another session the following day.

The first thing on the schedule Friday however, was a visit to Buchanan High School.  Our experience there was truly lovely.  The staff was very friendly and open to hear our stories, and the students were thoroughly engaged and ready to ask questions at the end of our presentations.  We love it when people are ready with lots of questions, because it allows us a glimpse of our audience response.  The Q and A that day was much more successful.  Four or five visitors did come in to listen to Kenneth’s talk about the basics of Christianity and the Bible, and though only one or two of them were not professing Christians, it was one or two more than we had seen on Wednesday.

After the meeting, Patrick and I headed back to Airdrie for Kids Club and the Covenant Youth activity, which was roller skating.  We had a good time with both groups, and I was  reminded all too often that I would not be at another Kids Club or CY activity the following week, as people asked me when I would be going home and whether they would see me again.  “Too soon,. I keep telling everyone, because I don’t want to leave!

Saturday was a day off which I took to go hike Conic Hill with friends from the Airdrie congregation.  That night, the weather was beautiful, so we had a barbecue before the prayer meeting at 7.  We attended church that Lord’s Day in Glasgow, had a wonderful Sunday dinner and afternoon with the Stewarts, and attended the evening service and church fellowship time afterward.  Patrick and I were given the opportunity to share our testimonies at the fellowship, and talk a bit about our experience on the mission team here in Scotland.

Yesterday morning was back to the normal schedule of team worship time and Spiritual Disciplines discussion in Airdrie, followed by our last school presentation at Saint Margaret’s Highschool.  The presentation went smoothly, and Patrick and I headed back out to the car feeling a bit numb.  Our last school presentation was already over?  Where did the time go!
I’m still feeling that way, as we make preparations for these next two days.  I am leaving on Thursday, unless my friends’ plot to steal my passport and keep me stranded here succeeds… and how pleased I would be if it did succeed.  Either way, our work here has come to an end.  Thank you again for all of your hospitality, and prayers, and friendship.  We were so incredibly blessed to be part of this, and I can only pray that others were blessed by it as well.

Shea Welch