naidheachd (Gaelic for “news”)

Well ’tis been awhile since our last posting (apparently some three months). This is mostly due to waiting to hear from a mission we are seeking to join. But I feel that it is way pass time to update our blog. Recently I was able to attend a missions committee meeting at a local church and the dear ladies (I was the only male there) were discussing how they seldom hear from many of their missionaries. We hope to get prayers letters out more, and also work at posting more on the blog and Facebook.

A summary of the news of the past months is: we are expecting our fourth boy in July, at the moment we are thinking of naming him Ewan Elijah; as noted in our last post we have tickets to fly to Scotland in September (I am already booked to preach at churches in two islands); I went in for a part time job at a local Walmart and got offered the department manager position for Dairy and Frozen, so we are better able to save for our move to Scotland (all support that comes in goes directly to our missions savings and we “live” right now on my paychecks); and as I stated above we are looking to join a mission in Scotland.

This mission is Youth With a Mission (YWAM), we had the privilege of attending a Discipleship Training School (DTS) for 6 months in 2014. This enables me to apply to work on the staff of one of their bases. Recently they opened a base in Oban, the “gateway to the isles” and a place that God has laid on my heart for many years and a key place to work (I have been their many many times and we stayed there as a family several years ago for over a week making good contacts with churches in the area). We had originally planned to be sponsored by a baptist church in Paisley (Glenburn Baptist), however they recently decided they were not in a position to sponsor anyone. God began to stir in my heart the idea of joining a newly formed team of YWAM (I had met many of the staff on my trip last Fall) that  is based in Oban with the stated purpose of reaching out to the Highlands and Islands region and especially helping out local churches (the very things I believe God is calling me to do).

So we are looking to join with them and waiting to hear if we are officially accepted. This will have many blessings: 1. It will allow us to work with a team, thus making us more effective, giving us support, encouragement, accountability and the other benefits, 2. It will make getting a visa MUCH easier and probably much cheaper, 3. It will provide housing and already made contacts, 4. It will give us the chance to disciple and work with young people not only in Scotland but from around the world, and many more blessings.

As always we thank you so much for you continued prayers and generous gifts, it amazing how much God has blessed us in the last few months with more and more churches and individuals giving to us! My wonderful wife has informed me that we already have much of what we need to visa, moving, and other expenses already in our missions savings. Again thank you and praise God!


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We have tickets! What now?

boys bagpipesThe Lord is good! I had decided to get online to get a general idea of ticket prices for our flight over next September. I was amazed to find a deal for a flight to Glasgow from Indianapolis for just over $2000 for all (soon to be) six of us! This is an amazing deal, about half of what we expected to pay. After showing Karen, we decided to snatch the deal up, and so our tickets are bought!

The next stage is to push for support, either one time gifts or long term. Whatever we get is entirely going toward our serving in Scotland as I am continuing to work at a local grocery store. As the new year begins it is our hope that more churches and individuals will consider giving toward our ministry. We would love to simply share at churches even in a one-time meeting briefly. It is a pleasure to simply share about the need in Scotland and what God is doing and how we intend to be a part. It is amazing how much God blesses even brief visits, love offerings, and simply sharing with people; not just in financial terms but in prayer, fellowship, and encouragement. And of course a BIG thank you to those of you who have prayed for us and given of your time and money! It is due to your love and faithfulness that we are able to go, and we will do our best to keep you informed on how your investment in God’s ministry in Scotland is bearing fruit.

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Any questions?

DSCF0360.JPGOften people are curious about Scotland, they may have heard something, or wonder about something (such as do people really wear kilts all the time) and never had the chance to ask anyone. Well now is your chance, if there are any questions you have about Scotland, us, missions in general, or anything else for that matter just go ahead and ask. -Oh and most people in Scotland do not wear kilts, some do often for formal occasions or if your busking (trying to get money). So ask your questions, about haggis, Nessie, kilts, bagpipes, islands, money, sports, weather, or anything you can think of, and if I don’t have the answer I can get it (or just make it up in Gaelic).

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Christmas and beyond

We pray you all have a very blessed Christmas time and are able to enjoy it with your loved ones. We should be able to spend it with Scott’s family in Indiana, as we are living near them as I (Scott) work part time at a local Kroger’s so that we can put all the money we receive for support toward getting to and serving in Scotland. As many of you probably already know we are already booked to serve at Mull Baptist on the Isle of Mull for four weeks next year beginning Sept 23. It is our hope and prayer to have all the support we need to move over with a long term visa by that point! The other big bit of news is that around July of next year we are expecting our four child (and yes maybe this time it will be a girl, we are fine with whatever the Lord choses to send us).  Naturally we will be traveling less in the winter time, but we are seeking to visit a few churches near Indiana as the weather permits. God bless. BagpipeSanta

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Scott’s update

I should have waited a couple more days to post on our blog to get Scott’s words. 🙂  Here is what Scott posted on Facebook today:

It has been an enjoyable and hopefully profitable trip to Scotland. I have been able to visit many friends and contacts and make many new ones as well. I especially felt the time on the Isle of Mull was a great blessing, I made some great contacts, preached the Word, and began what I believe will be great friendships. I can not wait to take my family back there, in all sincerity if I had them with me we would be heading there now. I also enjoyed reconnecting with the wonderful people on my beloved Skye, it was wonderful to see the Tinks and stay with them and attend Uig Mission church and also visit the Church of Scotland that I served at long ago and reconnect with the people there. Thanks as well to all the other friends and connections, YWAM Paisley and Glenburn baptist especially for the kind hospitality. Tomorrow I head back to the States, landing in Chicago and then driving toward New Mexico, before going further west -more details to follow. Thanks for the prayers and support!

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Scott in Scotland

Scott flies back to the U.S. on Wednesday after a three-week trip in Scotland.  We weren’t sure this was the best time, but as we were thinking and praying about it in June, within a couple hours God brought several contacts and details to come through that we specifically asked for. Scott was able to visit various islands, learning more about the areas, praying and seeking God’s direction for specific places and contacts for future ministry. One of his first stops was preaching at Mull Baptist Church on the isle of Mull – something there was an opening for last fall when we were in Scotland but the timing didn’t work out.

On Thursday we head west to continue raising financial support for moving to serve in Scotland.  (We would love to be able to do this by the end of 2016, but we will see how and when God brings everything together.)  Our first primary stops will be in New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  Our various locations are included on our calendar, and we will continue to add specific “events” as those details are finalized.  If we will be near you and haven’t already been in touch, feel free to contact us to connect during our trip!

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The most common questions

Here are the answers to the 10 most common questions I am asked as I visit churches.

1. When are you going back to Scotland? As soon as I win the lottery, no, actually as soon as we can get the support we need. Legally we must have a certain amount in BOTH our savings and pledged to come in monthly. I love taking short trips over, but our desire to go over long term . . .which leads to the next question.

2. How long do you intend to stay in Scotland? I always want to answer, for the rest of my life! But the idea and call of God, we believe, is for the long term, until God leads us elsewhere.

3. How is the support raising going? Like many things in life it goes in spurts. We have had a lot of verbal commitments for support after our recent travels and we are trusting God will start bringing in the support in His timing.

4. What language do they speak in Scotland? The teacher in me wants to state 3, English, Gaelic, and Scots (which is generally similar to English). Of course some might say the people of Glasgow have a language all their own. Most people simply speak English.

5. Do most people wear kilts? Nope, not so much, some do, I have preached at a few churches where some men wear them.

6. What will you be doing Scotland? The short answer is seeking to build up the church, by working with existing churches (preaching, teaching, serving where needed) and ultimately working with Glenburn Baptist to plant churches.

7. How was Ireland? -this is from wonderfully well-meaning people who get confused, and in all seriousness is one of the most common questions I get, which is not a problem. Ireland is wonderful, beautiful land, and certainly needs workers; and as far as I know it’s great!

8. Can I come and visit? Certainly, and I would be honored to show you around and even design an itinerary to meet your interest. I LOVE Scotland and would delight in showing it off to you. So if ya want to see Nessie, castles, gardens, churches, islands, or anything else you can think of just come on over after we are there (or if you can’t wait buy me a ticket to go with you now!)

9. Is Scotland mostly Catholic (Muslim, Pagan, etc.)? A little over half the population claim to be Christian (53% in a 2011 survey), the bulk of those claiming to be part of the Church of Scotland or other Presbyterian church. Some islands have a large percentage of Catholics but on a whole less then 16% of the whole population is Catholic and other then when the Rangers {the ‘protestant’ team} and Celtic {the ‘Catholic’ team play there is no fighting between the groups (again this is not Ireland). Most other religions are growing but make a very small percentage, for example Muslims are about 1.4%. The bulk of the population are not concerned about spiritual things, and certainly few are sincerely seeking to follow God.

10. What do they eat? Haggis, blood pudding, ‘neeps, and Irn Bu. Like anywhere there are regional dishes, but generally they eat meat and veg, similar to the states.

I  have truly appreciated the questions and discussions I have had, fill free to ask me any more you can think of.

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