Week 1 / 13-20 April 2017
Here we are again in the land of Scots, the land God has planted so deeply within us.
Last year, we were given a prophetic picture of a Scottish thistle with a diamond engagement ring on it along with a prophetic word that God has betrothed us to this land. We were also given a word that there was a pregnancy in progress, that something had been conceived and we would see a manifestation of it within a literal 9 months.
Nine months to the day from receiving that word, we were arriving in California, where God has transplanted us to base in the States for a season. Nine months to the day from when we left Scotland in 2016, we were stepping foot on the land we love so much once again.
This trip is completely different than our previous trips. Whereas we’ve come before on a mission, with an agenda, and a full schedule of events and travel, this year, we are based in one place for the entire 2 months. Our focus is to begin strategic alignments, build relationships, explore visa sponsorship, and allow God to reveal His plan for more long-term ministry here in this country. God has planted this land deeply within us. Now, He is beginning to plant us deeply within the land. This time, have come to a mission.
We’ve kept a travel blog on previous trips both to inform and to document, and although this trip is completely different than previous trips, it still seemed to be a good idea to keep one again.
Welcome to the Scotland 2017 Travel Blog.
We left the States one week ago today. After a smooth and easy flight, and a good nap once we arrived, we got ourselves settled into our wee flat, our home for the next 2 months.
We had no accommodation options here until about 6 weeks ago. After exhausting all of our resources and connections, we had come up empty. But in due time, exactly as He did with our housing in California, God provided a little 2 bedroom flat in the heart of Whiteinch. It is within walking distance to the church, is accessible by foot to just about anything we need, is 3 miles from Glasgow City Centre, and 2 blocks from beautiful Victoria Park which has walking trails, a lake, gardens, and more. The owner of the flat, Jackie, has moved in with a friend for these 2 months (an idea they had been considering before hearing of our need for housing) to give us full use of her home. The rent we are paying her is going toward her fundraising for a mission trip to Madagascar. She is a nurse and hopes to one day minister there full time. I told her on Sunday that it is quite remarkable what she has done for us. Her response was simply that “it felt right.” The blessing of this flat is on the top of our “thankful for” list every day.
The first week
On Easter Sunday, the church had a bring-your-own lunch get-together and we were able to get to know people and have great conversations. We’ve met with Shona, the Director of Pastoral Care and the one who initiated the invitation for us to come. Together, we have explored several opportunities and options to connect here at Whiteinch and with the Transformation team. We’ve met with the church staff and begun building relationships and discovering even more opportunities to serve and minister. We’ve led worship at a Burn 24/7 worship event in conjunction with YWAM in a town about an hour away. We’ve set up meetings outside of Whiteinch including both the Paisley and Seamill YWAM bases. We’ve had proper tea and scones with real clotted cream. We’ve also done a little sightseeing, including some Highland Coos (cows), with the owner of our flat, and also explored the city centre with our friends, Iain and Colette. Colette is the one who first invited us to minister in the northeast of Scotland 4 years ago. They now live near Glasgow.
We feel so incredibly welcomed and embraced here and are already finding ourselves in the middle of community. The opportunities and options for getting involved here at the local church are so many that it’s almost overwhelming - and very exciting. Our prayer is that we will stay focused on what God is calling us to pursue here without getting distracted by the many good things that we could pursue.
We know God has called us to this land. He has planted the land within us. Now He is planting us into a family, building for us a team, a community. We are loving the city, the church, and the people. It feels so right to be here. It feels like home.
More to come as the trip unfolds.