Posts in Team Blogs
The Nursing Home team has been assigned to one specific bus driver all week. He is a quiet and reserved Scottish man in his mid 50s. He was always with us during our outreaches, observing the group but not participating in the activities.
Today we went to Brisbane Evangelical Church where the group worshipped and shared testimonies. One of our team members shared her testimony on how she made a choice to obey the Lord in sharing the gospel despite her own struggles in life. After she shared, our driver told us that he was moved and challenged to share his testimony and the Gospel to people.
As the week went by, we saw a change in our driver. He used to be tired and quiet, but now he had boldness in him. He took a step of faith and shared his testimony on how God changed his life. He said, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” (2 Timothy 1:7). The locals were encouraged to hear him share and the team was blessed seeing how God gave him power and boldness. It showed us how God can transform Scotland to be covenants of God once again.
The Haven is a Christian residential program to help young men overcome addictions which is located on a beautiful farm in the rolling green hills above Greenock Scotland. The business team had the privilege of worshipping with about 15 of the men staying at The Haven. The sweet songs brought down a powerful presence of the Lord. We could have spent the entire day singing and praying basking in the preciousness of the Holy Spirit.
We shared a meal with the young men and got to hear their personal stories. They were each a miracle; lives that had been raised from the dead. One of the men who had been there for nine weeks told us his story: he had been doing heroine for 15 years and one night he had a medical emergency. His leg turned black after shooting up into a vein in his groin. He called every relative and friend he could think of to pick him up and no one would come. A man from The Haven had given him his card and in desperation he pulled it from his back pocket and dialed the number. Much to his surprise the man answered and dropped everything to pick him up and bring him back to his home. He was stunned and amazed that a total stranger could care about him to that extent.
He now lives at The Haven, 31-years old, free of drugs, living a life he never knew was possible. He said that he has never been so happy in his life and the changes that he is experiencing now as a Christian are almost surreal. He said if his life has changed this much in nine weeks, he could hardly imagine what his future could hold. His eyes danced with wonder, joy and expectation.
Appropriating these experiences of God’s glory for our own is addictive. While we were there visiting, two of the lads who were newcomers to The Haven prayed to invite Jesus to be Lord of their life with the members of the business team. Indeed whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
On Tuesday evening at the Town Hall meeting, some of us from the Primary Schools team sat behind a young couple. They looked weary and heavy laden. The young lady joined in the praise and worship, while the young man remained despondent. At the end of the service, I introduced myself and asked the young man if we could pray for him and thankfully he said “yes!” A teen challenge graduate who sat next to us joined us in prayer.
On Wednesday evening, we sat in the 3rd balcony and saw the young lady responding to the altar call. She saw us and we exchanged hellos by waving our hands to each other. We saw joy written all over her face.
On Thursday evening, we sat a few rows behind the same young couple. During the altar call, I felt moved to ask the young man if he was ready to respond and surrender his life to Jesus and he responded “yes.” This time both of them walked up to the altar to respond and receive Jesus into their lives.
The day got off to a great start when an older man walked in to the Healing Room. They had been praying with him since April. He came in and told us that he gave his life to Christ last night. He had been coming in for prayer for his own healing and for the healing of his two sons. Both of his sons were drug addicts. One of them has graduated from Teen Challenge and the other is still in the program. A short time later a young man came in asking how he could receive Jesus in his life. He told us that he had been struggling with drug addiction and wanted to get clean so that he could be a good father to his daughter. We prayed with him and then allowed him to pray himself to ask God into his heart. We introduced the two men to each other so that the younger man could find out how to get into a drug rehabilitation program and learn how to live his new life.
Later, another young man who gave his life to Christ yesterday brought his friend in to receive Christ into his heart. His friend felt guilty and condemned, He didn’t feel good enough to attend church. We read him scriptures and prayed for him. He prayed and asked God to change and save him. Afterwards we gave him a bible and showed him Psalm 34:12-14, “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” He asked us to put a star next to that verse and said he was going to gather up a group of his friends to go to the Town Hall. Praise God!
Something that our team leader reminded us before coming to Scotland, and which was reiterated in our workshop training sessions, was that each of us should remain flexible throughout the trip. The focus and direction of our team was changed from being a Bookstore to an Information Center.
The Information Center is located in Oak Mall. It allows people to come in to get information about the Town Hall meetings as well as information about Times Square Church. As it is not a typical ministry type, we have been able to meet and serve the Scottish people in a very special way. The best part was to see the people we met at the Information Center arriving at the Town Hall. The Scots are so nice and polite to us. As we spoke to them, we cannot help but notice the special spark in their eyes. We listened to their story and you can’t help but thank God for the work that He’s doing in their lives.
God has been showing Himself faithful and giving us a bigger picture of what this Information Center is to Him and His plan for Scotland. Our willingness to be obedient to His direction has allowed us to meet some really great locals, and we’re truly grateful for the opportunity to be on the front lines!
While we were doing door-to-door evangelism in Alexandria, one of our team members decided to follow a particular man, whose path led her to a bar. An older man later came out of that bar to smoke and they struck up a conversation. After about 10 minutes of chatting, she said: “you say you know God, but have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and your savior?” He said that he hadn’t but he was so excited that he wanted to kneel. They prayed together and his whole countenance changed, even his “smoker’s hands” appeared different.
Our team member admitted she originally did not want to volunteer to go out to Alexandria that day, but did it only out of obedience. And even though she initially thought she would be ministering to the guy who ended up walking into the bar, God had a different plan. It’s always exciting when we just follow His lead and are willing to go where He desires.
Another group from our team went to The Haven. They immediately felt the presence of God as residents had join them in a worship service. One of our team member later said she was brought to tears by God’s presence in this place. Then each of the team members gave their testimony which opened doors for deeper sharing and bonding. The residents appreciated their openness and saw that people who may not have had serious drug addictions or a “really messed up life” still need the Lord and their life had still been changed powerfully.