22 Jun 2015

RP Mission Team – Week 4

This year we have created a Scotland RP Mission Team Facebook page.  The Team members have taken it in turn to write about the events of each day for us to post on Facebook.  Here are their summaries from the last week of what they did .

On Monday the team spent the morning in private and team devotions. They also had a chance to debrief with Andrew about the last couple of weeks. The afternoon was spent in a variety of activities. The day was finished off with delicious lasagna. – Abigail Parnell

Tuesday – Today (Tuesday) was another day with little scheduled. After regular team time and practicing the Good Samaritan skit, we dispersed to pursue some of our own aims… these included laundry, church cleaning, reading, and one of the team went with some of the Airdrie congregation to an art show. It was a lovely, relaxing day, and gave us a chance to prepare for our weekend in Lewis. – Shea Welch



Wednesday – It was an early start yesterday as we left at 8:00 am for Sunrise Christian School, where we would be working most of the day. I say working, but it wasn’t really work at all. I have immensely enjoyed every day that I have spent in Scotland, but I think Sunrise has been one of my absolute favorites so far, at least with regards to the actual work we were doing.  For the first hour, the team retreated to a separate room to do team and personal worship, and allow the students to get their morning lessons finished. The school is very small. There were five girls there yesterday, and there are only a few more students in the school that are not there on Wednesdays.  We met the girls during their first break time at about 9:30am. They were very chatty and full of energy. After a few minutes getting to know them a bit, the students took their seats again, and we started our presentations. Similar to our Buchanan presentation last Friday, we started with Psalm singing, then performed our Good Samaritan skit. We sang a bit more after the skit, and I got the opportunity to teach the girls a new Psalm!  My team leader asked if I could give my testimony, so I told my story and the way God had used my blindness to bring me near to Him. The teacher (who is our friend and a member of the Airdrie congregation) had also requested that I talk a bit about Oleta, despite her absence. Sunrise is sponsoring a guide dog puppy for her training! I know, how perfect! She is a yellow lab called Angel! I explained a bit about what exactly a guide dog does and showed the girls two videos of Oleta, one with her booties on working in the snow, and the other of her playing hide and seek in one of our music buildings at university. They loved her, which only warmed my heart further.  After our bit, we sat down in the girl’s chairs, they stood up at the front, and showed us some of the things they had learned over the year. First they sang a version of psalm 25, “Unto You Oh Lord”, then recited at least 20 questions of the Presbyterian catechism by memory. They were so earnest, and I was absolutely enchanted. I know it took work to get there. I know teaching is a difficult job, especially when you are not only teacher but administrator, secretary, disciplinarian, finance manager, and occasionally transportation, but after seeing some of the things they have accomplished, after witnessing first hand the way a teacher might guide their pupils along a path of faith, I want to be a teacher myself. I never thought teaching would be the life for me, but my heart longs for nothing more than to be back with those little girls, guiding and instructing them to develop their talents, and live a life full to bursting with prayer, fellowship, song, and the Joy of Christ. I suppose I may experience something similar as a mother, but who knows… primary school teaching may be in my future as a profession.  We spent lunch with them, which was wonderful, and then went to a park for a sponsored walk to raise money for the school. We played in the park for a bit before the walk. I got to be a train conductor and save several of the girls from certain destruction, ride a zip line, and be a pirate in the crow’s nest of a flying ship. We were going to Las Vegas, so the ship had to be flying otherwise we would have a really long walk to get there. Our ship was actually a rope pyramid, that one of the girls and I climbed to the top of and wove our story as we swayed in the breeze. I also built a sand castle with another of the children in the park’s giant sand pit. Seriously, I am 20 years old and this park was epic even for me, and playing pretend with these precious girls was just amazing.  For the walk, I linked arms with one of my team. A student walked on either side of us, one to my right and another to my team member’s left. We sang Psalms, marched to the Ant’s Go Marching, picked flowers, commented on the geese and dogs and ducks we saw, and when it started raining near the end of the walk, dreamed of tea and a hot meal when we got home. It was cold, but I’d be hard pressed to think of a more enjoyable afternoon. At the end, we hugged the sweet girls farewell. I gave one of them the flowers others had picked for me along the way, and we climbed into the car to a chorus of goodbyes, well wishes, and hopes that I would say hello to Oleta for them. How my heart swelled to hear them, and to hear them speak of Oleta, whom they haven’t even met. That’s it, I decided, I have to bring her back to see them next year. – Shea Welch

Thursday – Hey everyone, the Mission Team spent all day Thursday traveling to the Isle of Lewis in order to be with the RP congregation in Stornoway for the weekend. A big thank you to Stephen and Brenda McCollum for driving us the five hours through the eastern highlands to catch the ferry. The drive was beautiful regardless of the dreary weather. We much enjoyed what a wonderful creation our God has made. We had a smooth crossing that took just under three hours. For many members of the team it was the first time on a ferry, and they found it very exciting. Safe and sound on the beautiful island, the team is excited to be serving Christ here in Stornoway and to be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters here. – Emma Moore

At Lewis Christian SchoolFriday – We woke up well-rested. In the morning we visited a lovely Christian school that started in someone’s home years ago. After we spoke to the children we took a small tour of the island and then met with others from the church for a prayer meeting. – Dudley Yacinthe







On the beachSaturday – We woke up in Lewis and went to worship with the patients at the Bethesda Nursing Home. This Christian-run care home is the only hospice on the island, and it is run purely on donations – no one who goes into this home is charged for any of the professional care they receive. After that we were taken to Callanish – the location of Scotland’s ‘Stonehenge’ – and then went to Tolsta beach, were heartily fed, enjoyed fellowship with local Christians, and closed the day with worship. The Lord blessed us abundantly both temporally and spiritually making our island experience wonderfully memorable. – Joseph Dunlap

Lord’s Day – Hello again! This Sunday the Mission Team was in Stornoway, on Lewis, one of the islands of the outer Hebrides in the north of Scotland. This Sunday was our last day on the island and our last official Sunday as the Mission Team, so a little bittersweet. The Reverend David Karoon preached in the morning and evening services over Judges 20 and 21 respectively. He was finishing up a series that was 6 months in the making. He urged us to remember that forgiveness is found in Christ alone, and we all stand in need of our Savior. For lunch the Karoons kindly hosted the team, and we visited over roast chicken and warm banana bread. In the evening after the service, we all went to the MacDonald’s home for fellowship. The ladies of the Mission Team plus Mrs. Brenda McCollum shared our testimonies, and the people of Stornoway shared a bit of the Gaelic Psalm singing which they are famous for. Truly an unforgettable evening and one of many this past month I will treasure. We have been so blessed by the people we have met and the places visited! Thank you all for reading these posts and for praying for us! Please continue to pray for us as we will be finishing up and heading to our homes.
With much love and many prayers,
Alissa Terpstra