25 Jun 2018

RP Mission Team – Week Five

Greetings! It is truly a delight to be writing to you about our week in Stornoway, Scotland, a unique and special island town. The Reformed Presbyterian congregation there is relatively small and new in comparison with other local churches, but it certainly does not lack for kind brothers and sisters in Christ, or a dedicated minister either! We had a much slower pace in Stornoway, which was a nice relief from the busyness of much of this trip. The congregation distributed about 700 leaflets door-to-door with us this past week. In Stranraer and Edinburgh, we just slipped leaflets through people’s letter slots; in Stornoway, we actually knocked the doors and invited the folks personally. The Isle of Lewis is determinedly bilingual, and in most of the smaller communities, Gaelic still takes precedence over English, so for leafleting, I teamed up with a local church member who speaks Gaelic as his first language. It really helped “break the ice,” and I enjoyed picking up on a few simple phrases here and there! We got some mixed responses to our invitations. The Western Isles, and the Isle of Lewis in particular, have a strong reputation for being very religious. They have, in fact, experienced many amazing revivals, but the environment is now lukewarm at best in many homes. While, in the rest of Scotland, it may have been 4 generations since some the average person’s family were serious, church-going believers, here in Stornoway it’s more like 1 or 2 generations. This actually makes it much harder in a way– a common refrain we heard as we knocked on people’s doors was, “Oh, I’ve already done my time in church.” We invited local folks to come to evangelistic services held this past Sunday. To the surprise of some (and the delight of all!), there were visitors at both the morning and evening church services, where they heard solid, Biblical preaching! Please pray that God will be pleased to change their hearts by the power of His Word. We enjoyed fellowship with the congregation, and were treated to several scenic drives around the island. We also had opportunities to serve hands-on, doing practical work at the minister’s home, cleaning at the YMCA where the church meets, painting and varnishing at a local Christian school, and helping to do some organizing at a charity shop that supports a Christian school in Gambia.

The previous Sunday, we were blessed to worship with the Reformed Presbyterian church in Glasgow. It is always a real treat to fellowship with the saints there and hear their gifted minister, Kenneth Stewart, open up God’s Word.

The Americans on our team are travelling back to the USA this Wednesday, Lord willing. Please pray for safe travels for us. Please also pray for the visitors who were at the evangelistic services at Stornoway RP church this Sunday. As well, please continue praying for myself and my teammates. God doesn’t do things without reason, and we would all appreciate your prayers that those lessons God has shown us or brought us through would not be lost on us, but that rather, because of this trip, we would grow in our faith, our boldness, our love for the Lord, our delight in serving His church, our submissiveness to His will, and our understanding of His Word.

Many blessings to you.

–Matthew Latuche