As you may remember, we just finished leading the first Married For Life course here in Scotland, and it was a wonderful experience. One couple in our class had been separated 4 months, taking the class as a last ditch effort to save their marriage. They were our best students and ended the class back together again with a stirring in their hearts to minister to other couples! Angela and I were challenged weekly to deal with negative life patterns that have sprung back up during this transitional time in our lives. Our “leaders- in-training” couple were from our church here, and I believe they blessed us more than anything we did for them! They’ve become our first real Scottish friends, and we will really miss our weekly social / prayer times together! They’ve also given us a lot of cultural insight that has been invaluable, as well. As we go on to teach an MMI class as part of the FDTS, they will begin another class at the same time as group leaders w/ LITs of their own. We’ve multiplied! It’s this involvement in releasing people into life-changing purposes that is so incredibly satisfying to us. We look forward to attending the first UK/Europe MMI conference in the south of England at the end of November. We hear they may be looking for English speakers to teach the course in France to missionaries there! We could do that a lot quicker than teaching it in French!
And now that the class is over, our attentions are focused on preparations for the Family DTS. We are running this school with 4 American staff families and a few young singles. Our family is focusing on the family and children’s program, worship, and administration/finance. In order to involve our kids in this, all 5 of us are making a handmade card together each week to send to each family to encourage them and introduce ourselves before they arrive. Rachel is thrilled to start hearing God’s voice as she picks out a scripture for each child. Noah also hunts for good verses, and Olivia contributes her artwork!
We’ve gotten to meet a couple of the British families already, who have come up to check us out, and they leave with an inner confirmation that they are supposed to come. That’s encouraging, considering we feel that most of our students, based on their applications, are as qualified to lead a school as we are! (Almost all of them have had mission experience and/or leadership roles in the church.) They are a mix of American, British, & S. Korean, and 2 are single moms. Some are here to stay, some are heading directly to the mission field, and some are just trying to figure out what their future holds. This is a special group of people!
On the surface, there is a GREAT deal to do and tasks threaten to consume us. (Do you remember us saying this a year ago?) We all have a strong feeling, however, that God is birthing something quite significant here and that the enemy would like nothing better than to see us SO divided in our activities that our unity as a team is crippled. As we “divide and conquer” the To Do List, the devil would love to “divide and conquer” US! This is even affecting our marital unity! We’re not a team with a long history, so we’ve much iron-sharpening yet to experience before we’re really cemented together. This is a crucial, formative time for the team and we really want to battle against this tendency to separate.
Here are some prayer requests while we’re on the subject: * Provision for a bigger car – we need something with at least 7 seats to minister easily to families without transport and to provide leg room for our growing children! * Wisdom to discern creeping FDTS Staff team dis-unity, humility to yield to each other, and a genuine growing love * Wisdom for integrating MMI into this Family DTS – this is a POWERFUL ministry combination but there are some logistical hurdles to overcome * A blanket of grace for the student families who are in MAJOR transition to prepare to attend our school. * Grace to yield to God’s solutions for the large list of FDTS preparations * Deep, intimate time with God when our task list screams the loudest * Beginning today is Rachel’s first ever week away at a Christian youth camp in Edinburgh – pray that she will meet God in new & wonderful ways! * Olivia graduated from pre-school/K today. Angela is now officially home-schooling all 3 and staffing the FDTS all at the same time! Need we say more?
We understand, that if you support us financially, you’re just about out of address labels for sending in checks to our church. So, for supporters not attending our church, more mailing labels are on the way! (If you do attend our church, and still want address labels, just reply to this newsletter and let us know!)
Much Love from your Scotland team, David & Angela
P.S. – By the way, the UK Television licensing guy FINALLY came (they made good on their threats). He just asked if we had a TV…we said no…and he left…didn’t even come in and snoop around. All bark and no bite! P.P.S. – Top 5 Reasons to Live in Scotland: 1. Only place you can buy a batter-fried Mars Bar with your fish & chips 2. Small washers & dryers in the kitchen make it easy for the kids to do their own laundry! 3. The grass is so fine that you buy lawn mowers that “hover” without wheels and cut with small plastic blades!! 4. Potato chips come in about 10 different flavors, and they don’t include American flavors! 5. Window washers come thru the neighborhood every 6 weeks with their ladders and do all your outside windows for $3!