Birthday and Beaches

We celebrated Ewan’s second birthday this week.  More and more he copies our words and actions and is also developing his own “antics” that make us laugh.  He loves to jabber, sing, and is a great little helper, especially to mommy.  He is growing in his independence – sometimes good, sometimes bad.  All in all, a typical two-year-old. 🙂

I (Karen) recently started going for a walk in the morning before the boys are up, and I head toward Mill Bay (pictures above) which is less than a mile from our house and a lovely view from our windows.  Being on a small island, we are in close proximity to several sandy beaches.  The reality of that doesn’t fully sink in a lot of the time – I think partly because we are in a farming community and the weather doesn’t generally get above 60 degrees Fahrenheit – not the typical picture that comes to mind when I hear “beach”.  But it is lovely, and I love getting close enough to hear the waves on the shore!  I’m thankful that God has placed us in such a beautiful location, and sometimes I need to pause and remind myself to be more thankful.

We also enjoyed Rothiesholm Beach (pronounced something like Rosum; or Bu Sands as it seems to be known locally) one sunny morning this week as a family, making a sand castle kingdom, collecting rocks to border our corn patch, and the boys playing on the sand dunes.  (I should take some of the pictures so Scott shows in the photos….) Family times and memories!

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Summer Nights

I (Karen) posted this on Facebook, but for those who aren’t on Facebook….These were taken around 1:30 am last week (awake after Ewan fell out of bed 🙂 ). It doesn’t get completely dark on these longest summer days here in Stronsay (north Scotland). Pretty cool! Though I wouldn’t mind extra covering on the window when I wake up at 4:00 and wonder if it’s time to be getting up because the sun is coming up.  🙂

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Settling in on Stronsay

We have now been living on the amazingly beautiful (pictures could never do it justice) island of Stronsay for about two weeks. The house (manse) is truly a blessing, the wonderful people of the community have fixed it up wonderfully for us, it very comfortable (we have a spare bedroom so if anyone wishes to visit just come on!) and just perfect for our family.

I (Scott) have taken two services at Moncur Memorial, the church on the island, right next door to our house. I am still seeking to get the “flow” of the service down, as every church in Scotland has their subtle differences, how many songs they do, whether you give a children’s address (and when), how many prayers (and when), and so on. At least this round I know how to give intimations (announcements) and benedictions, though I am still making a few more mistakes then I like. The people are wonderful, it is a fairly peedie (smallish) congregation but then it a fairly small island, though plenty big enough for us. The people of the island are incredibly nice and welcoming, we are already starting to feel a part of the community. The two older boys (Liam and Colin) attend the local primary school (less then a mile from our house) and Declan attends “nursery” (pre-school) a few days a week. There are two stores on the island, one in the main village on the island (Whitehall) about 3 miles or so from us, and the other next door to us. Both carry a good amount of items. Last Saturday we made a “stocking up” run to the “city” as it is called, Kirkwall on the biggest island of Orkney, to buy a few items. It takes about an hour and a half by ferry to get to Kirkwall, then we shop for several hours and catch the afternoon ferry back. Fortunately we won’t need to do this all that much as we really are well provided for here on Stronsay.

I hope to keep you all updated further as we continue to learn, enjoy, and serve the Lord on this amazing island here in Scotland. And truly if you have a desire to visit this gorgeous little “isle of the bays” and meet the loving people then just buy yourselves some tickets and let us know.

Blessings from Stronsay

-pictures are: Vat of Kirbister (natural arch over the sea on Stronsay), the sanctuary of the church, the manse (home), and on the beach at St. Catherine’s Bay near us

 

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A peedie thanks

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It has been a very long road, as many of you know. But we have our visas and tickets to serve in a church (Moncur Memorial) on the island of Stronsay in the Orkneys. In fact we fly out on the 24th of this month (April). It will initially  be for six months, but as our biggest struggle in the past was  finding a place to serve that could get us a visa I believe this is a promising start. If nothing else it is a wonderful opportunity to serve a loving community that has been without a minister (pastor) for many years, to preach and teach, encourage and strengthen, and grow together. We are hoping and praying that we will either be able to serve on Stronsay longer or this will help lay the ground work to do similar work in other areas of Scotland. There is such a big need as many areas especially on the islands are without a “under-shepherd”.

I want to express my extreme thanks to all who have been such a blessing to us over the many years we have traveled sharing about our call to Scotland. We could not have made it for so long without so many praying, giving, and encouraging! It is amazing to look back and think of all the struggles and discouragement, yet all the times that people have blessed us, often without even knowing it. On occasion our “struggle” to get to the field is used by preachers and teachers has an example of faithfulness, I always think it is those who lovingly support us that are the ones who are faithful and special. To all who even think and pray about us, we are sincerely grateful.

 

Peedie = Orkney for small or “wee”

Oh and of course we will try and keep you all updated from the “field” and get some photos of the lovely Stronsay “isle of bays” on here once we are settled. And if you happen to be in the north of Scotland and we are there come and visit.

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BIG changes! Please take note!

Hello, we are excited about a new direction (well really the one I have had for years, just a more direct way of serving) we are taking. Recently to my surprise I received an email from a church on the Orkney Island of Stronsay asking me if I would be their new locum (essentially an interim minister). My heart has truly been burdened for years about the many churches in Scotland without a minister, and now one was calling out to me to come and serve! So we are planning to go this May and serve for an initial 6 months and then if the Lord leads and there is still need perhaps longer.

What does this mean? It means that several things will be changing for us and those who support us. First we are no longer going to be with Alongside Ministries, we still care dearly for them and have many friends with them, but we feel our path is moving away from them and will be working instead more directly with the local churches in Scotland. Secondly, since the church on Stronsay is providing housing (and possibly a small salary) we will not need to raise as much support. We should be able to go over in May relatively easily, as that is when they will be expecting us and have the house (the manse) ready for us. We will update all of you who do want to support us where to send the money in the very near future, as well as sending out more information about all of this.

 

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Interning and traveling

Greetings from cold Minnesota! We are hoping to have the visa to work with a lovely church in Crieff, Scotland in a few months. As we wait for the paperwork and other things in the process we are staying with Karen’s family in Minnesota. During this time I am serving as an unpaid “intern” with a local church in order to serve them and get some more experience helping local churches. Among my duties are helping set up the web page (check out the links and resources section to see it), leading small groups and adult Sunday school, preaching, visiting, and in general helping the pastor.

In the coming weeks I will be traveling to Kansas and Washington to share at various churches and other gatherings. You can follow my plans on the itinerary link . clover picture.jpg

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Wee blather on current plans

It has been a few months since our last post, so what are the Daily’s up to now? Well Scott was able to travel to Scotland this past June/July and meet with a few of the churches that are looking for people to serve with them. It was great to spend time with men and women of the various congregations who are seeking to faithfully serve God throughout Scotland. We are hoping to start the process of getting a visa to work with one of these churches in the very near future. Currently Scott is getting ready to travel west to share at various churches and individuals in the US. The need in Scotland is great, and we long to be there building up His church.

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