25 Jul 2014

RPCNA Reformation Tour

A group of 20 from the RPC churches in North America and Australia came on a Reformation Tour the week before the Irish International Conference at Gartmore House, Scotland.  The group toured the cities and towns of Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and Stirling as well as visiting many of the rural Reformation and Covenanting sites including the spot where the two Margarets were martyred in Wigtown.  Here are some comments from those who were on the Tour:

Jimmy’s knowledge and passion about Covenanter history made the book accounts come alive in a way that communicated to my soul!  He and Helen are an extremely personable couple who went out of their way to meet our needs.  The Tour was well planned and executed.  It was a highlight of our lives that was worth far more than its cost. – John and Kathy Duke, Colorado, USA

This trip helped me get Scottish Reformation history more fixed in my mind both in getting ready for the trip and in the wonderful recounts of it by Jimmy.   Covenanting enjoyed much more popular support for a period of time in Scotland than I realised with the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant.  But then the torture of God’s people in the Killing Times was as severe and ruthless as any we have known.  Certainly living for Christ resulted in great suffering.  Thank you for a week in which everything was well-planned out for us.  Thank you, Jimmy, for your enthusiasm in sharing the testimony of Christ’s people during difficult times.  – Rich McMillan

What a lovely, lovely tour for our first trip to Scotland!  Every detail was well thought out and planned.  We were graciously taken care of in mind, body, and spirit.  The story of lives lived for Christ, some familiar and others not, were entwinned with Jimmy’s enthusiastic presentation of the Covenanting history of Scotland.  How delightful to be taken to so many out of the way places with such a knowledgeable guide!  Every day was varied and crammed with interest.  There was something special about each day: worshipping with the Airdrie church, singing Psalm 100 together in St Andrews, running on the beach, seeing where 1200 Covenanters were imprisoned, Stirling Castle, the Church of the Holy Rude, the Falkirk Wheel, a thirteenth century chapel, climbing many, many steps for a spectacular view, and more.  Helen sweetly made sure we had a packed lunch of our choosing, a wonderful dinner, bathroom and shopping breaks, and that we all got back on the bus!  It was wonderful to have all of our transportation taken care of.  Hats off to our expert bus drivers!  It has been a time of renewing friendships and making new ones.  We would love to do it again!  – Linda McMillan

This was our third Covenanter Tour, and it just keeps getting better and better. Each time we learn something new, are reminded of what we learned before, but most importantly challenged to live our lives the way the Covenanters of old did: reading our Bibles, praying, and attending the true worship of God, even if it meant giving up their lives for Christ. Jimmy and Helen were such a joy to Tour with – Jimmy with his vast knowledge of Scottish and Covenanter history, and Helen with her watchfulness and care of us. Both displayed a great Christian love and a wonderful sense of humor – both of which are absolutely necessary when travelling with a group of 20. Last, but certainly not least, is Beth, who worked out the logistics behind the scenes, so that from the time we were picked up until the time we were dropped off we had everything sorted for us. – Kathy Gladfelter