Friday, May 8, 2009

@meintweet goes to Scotland

This all started with me going to morning prayer and then breakfast with our associate pastor Nathan and some Master Commission students. While I am hanging out with them, I was asked once again to go to Scotland. So to stop it, I call my supervisor figuring there was no way I could just take off two weeks of unscheduled leave in the middle of an audit. He tells me go ahead and my wife also gives the green light. So after a day of caffeine, I get hyper and say I am in. So about a month later I am heading to Scotland...did I mention I normally don't fly unless I have to?

We depart OKC early April 22 to make our journey. After 3 flights and some horrible sleep, we finally make it to beautiful Scotland. Even as I am nodding off, I know this will be a wonderful experience.

Our missionary friends in Scotland, the Blairs, live in the country near Lilliesleaf and rent a beautiful home. It made missionary life suddenly seem appealing to me. The home was actually built in 1865 and on the property there is actually a memorial tower. The missionaries son plays the fiddle and goes up in the tower sometimes to play. Exploring the area was a nice way to stay awake when your body is screaming for sleep.

Our first day in country we actually had the youth group over. Now here in the States we get spoiled with large youth groups and sometimes whole activity centers. But in Scotland the youth consisted of a few young men that don't even attend the same church. They just come together on Wednesday nights to worship via accoustic guitar and the fiddle.

What greatly impressed me was I thought we would have to pump them up but they came ready to sing and you could tell they were worshipping with their hearts. It was awesome. The missionary, John Blair mainly wanted us to just hang with them and "be real." Well with me he got more than he bargained for as this video shows - a combination of jet lag and the fiddler got to me.

Our first project was a clean up project. Right away we were making an impact on our community. Couple of Scots walking by said we would be there all day. I wonder what they thought of the Americans all the way in Scotland picking up their trash.

The ministry we were assisting is the Gala Christian Center in Galashiels, Scotland, UK. The small church was having an impact on the community. In October they started collecting bikes to send to Africa. The local newspapers advertised it and it got to the point they had to turn down bikes. They plan to continue this project in the future. Our part was loading the bikes into a container which was a huge relief to the missionary pastor!

Ghana Bike Project from John Blair on Vimeo.

Following the bike project we spent the next two days in Galashiels. First to meet folks and invite them to the Sunday service, and then we attended a Church of Scotland service and shared in the Gala Christian Center service. During my time wandering around I wound up in a historic house for some cappuccino. While in there I noticed Christian artwork and it turns out the artist was a manic depressive who was diagnosed in the States and came to know Christ as her personal savior. She expresses her walk with Christ and struggle with her disease through her art. We exchanged a few e-mails but unfortunately we could not meet.

While over in Scotland we took some time to see Edinburgh, Sterling, and I took two bike rides with the missionaries son (@thefiddleman). Here are some pictures from the castles, the streets, the parks, and the scenic bike ride. I loved it. If the Scots spake German I'd be at hem.

We even got to meet the local superhero - the Blue Cross Defender.

Although there weren't massive conversions, we were a help to the missionary family, the associate pastor and his family and the church. Plus we cleaned the place up a little :) What I took away was the sense of community the church had and how they reached across denominational lines to do touch lives in Galashiels, Scotland, and far away places like Ghana.

Finally, I want to thank countrygirlie and IJ for their huge support in my getting to go.


  1. there is nothing that draws you close to god than serving...and steve, if i can say one thing i know for SURE about is that you have a servant's heart. it inspires me and challenges me to do more.

    thanks for being the hands and feet. you and judy are amazing ppl...and you made (and are continuing to make) a difference.

    thanks for your obedience. YOU with the help of God, changed ppls destiny

  2. I love it! I think it's awesome to follow God, and Judy rocks for being so supportive! I am so glad you got to go on the adventure of a lifetime!