Our first YWAM Family Discipleship school just finished a short mid-term outreach that started in our own neighborhood. Our focus was to try and meet people to begin the process of building relationships.
In the Skaines’ neighborhood, we did some yard work and landscaping for an older neighbor who struggles with alcohol, like many in this town. We also spent some time prayer-walking the neighborhood. In our neighborhood, Angela had an idea that challenged me a bit
: have a yard sale to get rid of stuff we’d shipped from Colorado that we didn’t have room for and stuff left by the previous owners. The problem is that yard sales don’t exist here. The closest thing we could find to that was a "car boot sale." (the boot being the trunk of the car, out of which people sell things in parking lots in an organized fashion.)
Well, using that as a jumping-off metaphor, we held a "Yankee Boot Sale," distributing some flyers to the neighborhood and opening up the garage door and keeping off the perpetual drizzle with a tarp. We got a bunch of curious kids and a few parents. We had some great conversations and made all of 3 pounds! I’d say we probably know about 4 different households by name at least. Building relationship is so important but it isn’t our strong point. We really need the grace of God, but I’m enjoying starting that process. Probably the biggest impediment will be the coming winter weather that keeps people inside with their cups of tea.
The the following week, we traveled to some of the islands and highlands of Scotland. Our goals were to pray for Scotland, learn about Scotland’s history and Christian roots in the islands and highlands, and practice traveling and living together as a team. The bonus was that we did all of it in abundant sunshine lighting up breathtaking scenery… simply magnificent!
We began by driving to Oben early Monday to catch a ferry to the Island of Mull and a tour bus drive across Mull and then a "wee" ferry over to the island of Iona where Christianity began in Scotland in 563 A.D. with the monk Columba. We spent only a few hours there, but it was long enough to sense that it was definitely a "thin place" surrounded by water so clear that made us think of the crystal sea in Revelation. Back in Oben, we drove north to Ft. William to spend the night.
We got up early on Tuesday to catch a ferry at Mallaig that would take us to the island of Eigg. The drive (on single track roads) to Mallaig was incredibly beautiful with amazing terrain near Glen Finnin and white sandy beaches. We had to walk a mile to our guesthouse in Eigg. This was a beautiful location where we spent the next two days. We had times of learning about the history of the island (which was quite incredible for such a tiny island!) We spent a good deal of time praying and learning how to pray. We also did some team-building exercises and had long discussions about discipleship, team and communication. One definite highlight was the day when the whole group took a long hike to the top of a "sgurr" or rock mountain that was 1200 feet high. It was a team challenge to make sure everyone made it, as there were some tough spots for families with small children. The view was worth every step and we prayed together before heading back down with rest stops in the bouncy heather!
On Friday, we took the ferry to the island of Skye, where we heard an amazing speaker who challenged us all about coming into a location and serving the people, rather than looking to serve our own agenda. This will be our mandate during our impending outreach in France.
On Saturday, we drove back to Paisley taking a slightly different route. Part of the route took us through Glenn Coe (southeast of Ft. William) and I drooled over the majesty of the highest part of the highlands in an awesome cloud cover. It was other worldly.
Since then we’ve had more speakers at the school speaking on brokenness, boundaries and the father heart of God. We’re focusing on what God is trying to do with our motley crew of 4 families, 2 single moms, and a single gal, from 4 different nations, to mold us into a team. I’ve never been in a process quite like it. It’s not always pleasant, but at times it has been quite satisfying to see God at work and to see progress (of the 3-steps-forward-2-steps-back variety.)
We leave for France on Oct. 16 – Thank you in advance for praying for logistics, finances, etc.!