Sorry it's been so long since the last update! I'm a terrible procrastinator! Since the middle of December I have been preparing for 20 new faces to join us here at the Seamill Centre to take a journey over the next six months that will hopefully change the course of their lives. A new Discipleship school has begun these last three weeks and I am an "official" staff member on this one! Nineteen trainees have come from all over the US, Canada, England, and South Africa. Our staff team for this school has six people evolved.....again from the US and England. Three members of the staff include our "Leadership" team, Rachel, Greg, and Shawna. These are the ones that have had the vision for what this new school is going to look like, what we will be involved in, rounding up speakers from all around the world to come and give a lecture each week, and of course leading us through these next six months. The other three staff (including me) is Jazz and Eileen. We are the ones that will be in constant contact with all the trainees (seeing that we live on base), giving One on One discipleship, leading small ministry groups, and eventually taking all of them out into the Nations for three months of "hands on" ministry.
After a few weeks of praying our staff team has come to the decision that the majority of our Outreach Phase will be spent reaching the Scots in Scotland. We have felt this is THE TIME to see God move in big ways through this nation. The Scots deal with several serious issues like low self esteem, alcoholism, unforgiveness, worthlessness, anger, hiddenness (not wanting to be noticed at all), and something we call the Clan Spirit. The Clan Spirit is good in one sense, they are VERY loyal to their own clan and would do anything for them. The bad thing is, it's very exclusive, if you're NOT from the same clan they are automatically against you. They assume everyone from an opposite clan is going to in some way betray them, like old history repeating its self. Example, "Clan MacDonald vs Clan Campbell". One thing the Scottish youth deal with here frequently is fatherlessness. Many young children and teenagers grow up with hard examples of what a dad really is. Scotland has a huge percentage of young teenage girls becoming pregnant to move out into there own flat, (if you become pregnant here the government is required to give single mums their own housing). You can see how that can be a problem. Maybe if young teenagers don't like their own situation they just decide to try and make it better by creating their own family, and it's a vicious cycle.
We believe God wants to break all of this. The Scots have a rich heritage of God moving in amazing and miraculous ways up in the Northern Isles of Scotland throughout hundreds of years. God has made these people to be warriors, poets, and prophets! We want stir up these Giftings and see them reaching their OWN nation with the Word of God.
We also feel we are to go into Turkey for the last two weeks of our Outreach to reach out to the Turks. This is still a decision in process, and we have many months before we come into that.
I am so excited to to have the privilege of working on this school. I love sitting in class each day learning about our Father God and what He has called us as a people to do. Some things that we're taught are a nice reminder of what I have learned throughout my time following Jesus, and most times I am constantly receiving new revelation from God about the world around me, what he had asked me to do, or just His nature and character. Week one for the students was all about Hearing the Voice of God, and how we can ALL hear Him, and recognizing the way we each individually hear from Him. It also included lessons about Intercession (praying on another’s behalf, or praying for a nation or a people group). Last week (week two) was all about the Father Heart of God and being INTENTIONAL about your relationship with Him. So many amazing stories were shared by our lecturer Mike, while sitting around on the floor or on couches just listening to him speak from the Fathers heart point of view. I know God has placed me on this school for the students who are struggling with "father issues". So many of them have been hurt by their fathers in some way or another, and God has given me His heart just for them. I know my circumstance with my own dad has placed me on this school to see these peoples hearts healed by sharing part of my testimony and walking these next six months with them.
I want to give you guys a short testimony of what I have see God do lately: (I know this is getting long and there are so many facts, but here is a story),
I went into Glasgow about a month ago to do some street evangelism with a small team. I felt like God had told me to interact with all the homeless people that were out that day. He also told me to buy a few pairs of gloves and hats to give out when the need had arrived. I went from homeless person to homeless person giving out gloves when God prompted me. I would bend down and place them on their hands and try to bless them any way I could. God told me and my team to go to a street called Buchanan Street because there was someone we NEEDED to see there. So we wandered along, and once we got there we just waited to see what we would find. In a moment I saw her. She was crouching down leaning against a wall, smoking a cigarette and crying. I motioned for my team to follow me. I crouched down next to her and asked if she would like a pair of gloves (she didn't have any and it was in the 30's F that day). She slowly reached out dirty hands letting me put one glove on at a time. I asked her what was wrong, she told me the electricity had been turned off in the apartment she had been staying in and she didn't have any money to turn it back on to feed her kids. She had been sleeping outside under a bridge for the last couple of days and had given her kids to someone. Her name was Amanda. Amanda had tiny cut marks on one side of her face near her eye, and deep slashes from a knife on both sides of her cheeks. (She had been in a rough relationship and her boyfriend was in jail). The police had come by and given Amanda some canned food to cook for her kids but she still didn't have the money to turn on the electricity to cook this food. She was at a crossroad in her life, deciding to prostitute herself or not. She didn't quite like the idea, but she didn't know what else to do? I asked if I could lay my hands on her and pray. She started sobbing and was eager for the prayer. A friend of mine and I prayed for her, that God would just bring provision and a way out of the darkness she was being consumed by. When we finished our prayer, she was prompted to ask Jesus into her life all on her own and ask forgiveness for all of her sins. She also was calling on God saying she knew He was the only way she could make it through this. We didn't tell her to do any of this! The Holy Spirit completely lead her. I was only able to give her the 3 pounds on me that I had left, and a small New Testament bible that I had been carrying in my bag. I gave them both as a small gift, and she readily accepted the bible holding it to her heart. Amanda kissed both mine and my friends hands as we left and thanked us for stopping to notice her. Everyone else walked by without even giving one glance.
I continue to pray for Amanda today. I pray that God continues to show her the right path and provide for her and her children’s well being. He needs us to stop and look. To take our time and notice the people around us. Most people are feeling lost and alone, like no one notices. They need to know the truth! We have a God that notices EVERY detail in our life and wants to meet us right where we are at. He loves us! Look around. Even in all the darkness, He loves us.
To be continued.....