WOW. Even when you leave normal life in America and come live "normal" life in Scotland...it's STILL busy. lol So I am just now finding a few minutes to write out this email, and it has taken me two days to do it!
I'm not going to do a day to day summary, but rather a summary of the past 2 weeks- otherwise it would be more like an essay than an email. So I will give the highlights!
The American Team came over until this past Wednesday, besides my Dad who left this morning- and what a week! God is good... Our full team of 16 people was split up into two smaller teams, one working with the Attic Kids Club, and one with the Hub Kids Club. I was with the Hub team...so that is where my highlights come from. =)
The team arrived on the Sunday (24 May), and it was a full day of them almost literally hitting the ground and running (and on fumes I might add!). Monday was also a full day for the Hub team- we had a Fun Day during the day, as the kids were off of school on a bank holiday. I was a bit overwhelmed at first...the kids were not obeying or listening to anything I said, and were running around like a bunch of monkeys. lol It's funny now, but at the time, I was really struggling...however, Monday night through Friday night we had the Hub every evening, which was much much much better than the start on Monday! Every night began with the kids coming in at 7:30pm and hanging out in one big room where they could play games, or they could go into another room to do crafts, which we had a different one for every night. (One night we painted glasses, one night we drew pictures of things in God's Creation, one night we made bookmarks, one night we made salvation bracelets, etc.) Then the kids got a snack before going into the big room where the music was done by me and Adam Whipple, a drama or two was done, some tricks that gave visuals of the gospel by Darren, and then onto a God Spot also by Darren. The kids really enjoyed themselves in all of these things...especially dramas and magic and music with motions!
On the Tuesday night, I actually was not at the Hub as I went to a tribute service to Doug Haley, who most of you knew. =) He came over to Dundee for years and years being used for countless things for the Kingdom here in Dundee...and he's the reason I started coming over.
Wednesday night was a major highlight- long story short, God lead Misty to give her testimony at the Hub...and it was amazing. I was so proud of her, and God really really used her! He spoke right through her and to the kids... This event then lead to another major highlight... One little girl named Chantel who comes to the Hub, went up to Sarah Bertram at the end of Misty's talk, and said that what Misty had said was really sad. Sarah said, "It is sad, but it's okay now, because she has Jesus, and you can too!" (Or something along those lines.) Chantal looked back at Sarah and said, "But I do have him!" So come to find out...last year some of the kids from Hub were going to Teen Ranch, and at the last minute there was an extra space for Chantel to be able to go along as well. Chantel has a very bad home life like SO many of the kids in Lochee where the Hub is, but Sarah said hers is one of the worst she has seen. When Sarah and Catia went to pick up Chantel to take her to Teen Ranch, she had a crumpled up piece of paper in her hand that had John 3:16 on it, which she had received at Hub for the weekly memory verse, and she said that she could say the whole verse! Sarah and Catia knew that God was working in her life, and they prayed all week that God would move in Chantel at Teen Ranch. So on Wednesday, they found out that she HAD become a Christian a Teen Ranch that week!!! It was so great...and Sarah gets all teared up every time she tells the story because of how God moved in Chantel's life. I think she is only 12, so please be praying for her! Sarah and Catia went to visit her and take a her a Bible and Bible study, and her family aren't Christians...so it's going to be tough for this little one.
Another highlight was a girl named Stephanie, who is probably also about 10 or 12. She was asking a lot, of lot, of lot of questions after Misty's talk, and I think is very close to getting what this Jesus stuff is all about. =) (I was not in the conversations with Stephanie, so I don't have a lot of details...but God is at work in her, and that is such a big deal to have any of these kids responding to God!!)
I was amazed at these kids...generally the behavior was not too bad, but there were a few select kids, mostly boys, who were so hard...more like hard-hearted... It's hard to explain how they were, but basically LOST. They just don't know Jesus, and seem to rebel against it in ways.
One of our dramas of the week, we referred to as "The Screaming Girl," which was me...but probably better referred to as "Heaven's Gates." Basically a few people walk up to "Heaven's Gates" where the angel is standing, and it is announced by one of the angels that there has been a car accident, and they will soon be receiving some souls. As each person walks up the gates, the angel looks to see if their name is written in the Book of Life. Everyone's is, until the last girl, me, who then start to go ballistic saying, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY NAME IS NOT IN THERE?!?! .....WHY?!" And then as she starts to get violent, two angels carry her off SCREAMING and out two doors to hell. I literally screamed like murder....and at the end was shaking and just had to sit for a while and cry. That drama really gets to me...and just seeing how lost these kids are made it even more real...I think I did well by really trying to get into the part, but at the same time it wrenches the heart...
We also did a few other dramas...a variation of the Good Samaritan, the Everything drama, and a couple more I think.
During the day throughout the week, there were a few bits of free time where we did some sight-seeing, then we also got to go into a couple of primary schools to do assemblies! This was great, and the kids really seemed to enjoy it...even the teachers! Basically we can go in and say what we believe "as Christians" while presenting the gospel through songs, dramas, and a talk!
Also, this past Monday night, those of the Americans who were still here did the Attic, which was great!!
I think that summarizes the week pretty well....there is loads more that I could say...but I need to move on I think. =)
As it turns out, there has been a slight change in the plans of this summer...Attic Camps have been cancelled this year. (Did I already put this in my last update? I don't think I did...) Bruce and Carolyn have had SOOO much going on and they've been so stressed out, that they just need a "God-induced break" as I like to call it. There is also a leader-shortage, which makes it difficult to do camps...but the main thing is that they need a month off to just be a family and with God, and to get over the stresses of lately (for instance...their house has just been renovated, and the builders vanished and left their house in SHAMBLES)...so a break is much needed I think! I was pretty disappointed, but it seems that God is just taking me different directions this summer!
...Sunday at morning at church (Elim) I helped lead worship with Bruce...and it was amazing. It was not our hoarse voices (we were all at a big Christian Music Festival on Saturday called Frenzy, and everyone's voices were shot after screaming and talking so loud! lol) and it was not of our own doing...but it was Spirit-lead worship, and I don't think I've really experienced what I experienced Sunday morning before. I'm used to worship that is organized and we always know what chord changes will lead to the next song, etc, which is not a bad thing I guess, but today was just free worship...we sang unexpected songs, sang unplanned melodies and harmonies that just seemed to flow out of us...and it was just amazing...and it was GOD! That's basically all there is to say about it I guess...but I have been put on worship now for nearly every Sunday while I'm here...mostly singing with whoever is leading worship, but I'm also doing 3 Sundays of me actually leading...oh dear!
Last night was the Hub again, and it was really good! We had "Hub's Got Talent," and split the kids up into 6 teams to come up with a talent, then Dad, Catia, and I were the judges. Good fun! And the talents were funny too! Then after that, Dad did a talk about using our talents for God.
After the Hub last night, Iain and I went up to the Law, which is the highest point in Dundee. I just needed to be outdoors a little, and see the beauty of Scotland, which is all around, and literally up the street from Bruce and Carolyn's. I experienced something strange while I was up there though. As we looked out over God's Creation, from a mosque somewhere below, you could hear an amplified middle eastern sound of music in worship of a false god. It made me so sad, and I started to sing out a bit of worship to my JESUS over the city...however I'm losing my voice, so it was only for second, but it just made me sad. This city is right on the front line of a spiritual battle.
Anyways, so now I'm staying at Bruce and Carolyn's house, and yesterday I spent time with Dad before he left out this morning to head back home, and then today I've been helping Carolyn paint their bedroom. It's been busy, like I said, but so good, and I love living with these boys...Ewan was complaining that I've not been around for him to see...and yet I only moved in on Sunday night. haha He's like a little brother! (Although I do miss my real little brother back home like crazy!)
I think I have rambled enough, and although I've said so much, there is so much more I'm sure that I could have written. Please keep praying as I'm just trying to serve wherever I'm needed- even if its just painting walls. =) Also pray for Dad's safe return home as he is on a plane right now.
Thanks for listening/reading!
09 June 2009