Wow! This has been a very busy week for the Scotland team. All week we have had small groups of four ministering on the Black Isle. The Black Isle is a peninsula directly north of Inverness. Each day Elaine from Youth For Christ would take the small group on walks through the villages of Cromarty, Fortrose, and Avoch (pronounced ‘awk’). They would look for youth in the village and begin conversations with them. Meanwhile the rest of the team
would go out into Inverness and find people to talk to who were walking along the river, or shopping downtown. Each day the team would come back with stories of hard questions from some, or searching questions from others. We talked about the many seeds planted in the minds and hearts of these strangers.
Back on the Black Isle the groups began to connect with some of the young people. Each day the Black Isle youth would ask about what time the next day our team would be out and about. Several of the young people were out day after day wanting to build relationships with those on our team. We heard many conversations about “the Americans in Avoch”. John, the pastor of the church in Avoch, and his family joined our small group on Wednesday. We all
went down to the park to seek out the young people and try to have some good conversations with them. We ended up playing soccer and attracted 5 or 6 because of them. Elaine explained that just seeing young people not using curse words and encouraging each other on the field was a big thing for the Black Isle youth.
On Thursday, we took the entire team out to Avoch. John had invited several young people they have connected with to his house. John and Julie provided a meal for us before beginning our evening of ministry. We began by doing a presentation for those he had invited to his home. They loved hearing the testimonies shared. In Avoch, and Scotland in general, we have seen the lack of youth in the church. John and his family shared with us that it is such an
encouragement to them to see young people who love the Lord as that is rare in the Highlands. After sharing this presentation everyone went down to the park. Several of us had set a time to meet with some of the girls we had spent the week talking with. The rest started a game of soccer to attract some people. By the end of the game, there were about 30 people out at the park – a huge number for a village like Avoch. During the break in the game, our team did a presentation. The young people watching were really interested and it sparked several great conversations. It even prompted one of the girls to ask us to explain the drama Battleground more in depth. We went with many of the youth back to the pastor’s house for tea. It was a wonderful time where ministry continued. For me (Lindsey), this night of ministry was the highlight of the trip, watching as our team shared about their passion for the Lord and
engaging the youth in Avoch with some great questions. One small group of girls wanted to continue their conversation over fish and chips the next evening. We agreed, so a small group of us returned to Avoch on Friday afternoon to continue our ministry. We received questions like, “Why do you believe in God?” and “When did you begin believing in God?” and even, “Have you ever seen God?” Hearing these questions from the girls who had clearly stated the did not believe the night before was so encouraging. They are processing and really listening to what they are hearing. They have recognized that they see something different in those on our team. They have begun to recognize that the difference is Jesus Christ in our lives. God is clearly working in the hearts of the people in Avoch. What a joy it has been to see this firsthand!
On Saturday we took the team out in Inverness for one final chance to shop for gifts and souvenirs. As we walked along from shop to shop it was neat to see all the people in Inverness who knew the team from meeting them on the street before. We even saw familiar faces from the Black Isle and Stornoway. The witness that these team members have brought to Inverness is very noticeable. Many of the believers here have commented on how powerful their impact has been on the surrounding area. I am so thankful so see how much each team member has grown through all these experiences, and I am thankful for all the parents who gave their child up for a summer to come take part in this work.