We are over half way through with our all to brief time here in Carloway on the Isle of Lewis. It has been an amazing time! I (Scott) have been kept busy with preaching, visiting, and taking time as a family to see some of the many amazing sites. On the first weekend we were here there were Communion services Friday and Sunday, a wake Sunday, and a funeral on Monday (quite experience which involved helping carry the casket along the road for a ways).
The people of Carloway are extremely nice and hospitable, they have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome during our weeks here. We are staying in the manse (house for the minister) and they have fixed it up lovely and filled it with toys for the boys. Though we had to change our plans a bit just a few days before our flight after finding out that the car company from which we intended to hire and drive to the island from Glasgow was going to charge us a fee each day we had the car on the island, we have been blessed and God worked it all out and were able to hire (rent) a car here on the island.
Our oldest boy, Liam, is able to attend the local school for the weeks we are here as a “guest” and he is really enjoying it, making friends and learning about Scottish history and culture. The wee boys and Karen are enjoying the manse and the lovely area. I keep fairly busy with visiting and sermon preparation. We all try and travel on Saturdays (and occasionally after school on weekdays) to see some of the amazing sites or visit with the wonderful people. Yesterday (Sunday) I had the privilege of preaching three times, twice as usual at the Carloway Church of Scotland, and also in the afternoon at the lovely village of Tolsta Chaolais at a joint service with the Free Church held there once a month.
In short we are enjoying our time here in Carloway and in Scotland in general. We were able to visit several other parts on our way up to the Isle of Lewis. One highlight was being able to visit with the minister Rev Andrew Phillip and his wife at Crieff Church of Scotland. We really appreciated their heart for the community. We were able to see many of the programs going on in the church that day and spend time with them hearing about all they hope to do. On our journey back to Glasgow (and then on to Albania for a Alongside Ministries gathering) we hope to also meet with other ministers and churches who have written us or Alongside asking for someone to come and serve alongside them in the future. Pray that God will help place the right servants in these areas.
Thank you all for your prayers, support, and love. And I shall certainly post pictures on this site in the future, and hopefully we can visit with you when we return in a few weeks to the states. The two included pictures are of the village of Carloway with the Church of Scotland to the left of the Free Church (which is the one with the steeple) and a picture of the manse where we are staying (which is also where the first picture was taken from, so I can “walk to work”)