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We’re moving to Birmingham!!!! 6th June, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Calling, Life, Ministry, Travel.
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ukmap_birminghamWe’re moving to Birmingham!!!

I’ve not blogged in AGES, but that’s because there have been A LOT of significant things happening in the background. Here’s the brief update and we’ll give you more information later:

Firstly, we’ve just finished a major transition and have joined the ranks of The Navigators. They are an organisation I’ve respected for a number of years, and have always had an interest in being more involved. I am excited to move into an environment that is all about discipleship. We’ve already been having some great conversations with other workers within the organisation, and I just love rubbing shoulders with other people who are as passionate as us about this foundational aspect of the Christian Journey.

Secondly, we’re moving to Birmingham (England, not Alabama!!). When we first started talking with Navigators in December, they asked if we’d be willing to move to Birmingham. Initially, we were very reluctant, but as we prayed and our conversations continued, God confirmed to them and to us that this is what He wants. And so it’s looking like we’ll move down there at the beginning of August to dive in to the work they are doing in the city.  Birmingham puts us in close proximity to leadership team, central for a lot of their training, with easy access to a number of key ministries around the UK. This is even more helpful because…

Thirdly, I have begun doctoral studies in Discipleship. After looking at a very specific discipleship-focused degree for the last couple of years, I have finally embarked on that journey. As you know, I love to read and think and write about discipleship, and want to work out ways to assist the Church to become more effective at making disciples. As part of my new role with Navigators, I have been asked to undertake some large research and writing projects…. Which will end up being the body of my doctoral thesis. The doctorate fits beautifully alongside our new roles and will give some added structure to the projects I’ll be working on for Navigators. Not to mention the ways it’s already sparked thoughts for a thousand other blogs on discipleship!

Since chemo God has been refining me, cleansing my heart, honing our calling and bringing more focus to our lives and ministry. It’s always rewarding to see God brings things together and we’re looking forward to seeing what He does in this next season!

I’ll post more soon, so watch this space!

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I’m allowed to keep my wife!!! 21st January, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Furlough, Married Life, Travel.
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So… we survived our trip to the States, travelling there with a 4 month old and arriving back with a 5 month old!  Travelling with an infant is a very different experience!  (Which also explains the lack of blogging for the last 6 weeks!)  It took us a week and a half to recover from jet lag arriving there, since no matter how well we explained it to her, Ella didn’t quite grasp that 2.30am is not an appropriate time to wake up and be ready for the day.  LoL.

We left the States knowing we’d be arriving home close to Mon’s visa expiry date.  When we moved here she was granted a 2.5 year visa, which we thought expired at the end of February.  We booked our flights coming back on Jan 17th, then, as we were looking into some visa details, we realised her visa expired on Jan 20th?!!?!?  Yikes.

After lots of prayer followed by panic followed by prayer followed by… we managed to get a one-day visa appointment!  So a couple of days ago, we compiled all the necessary paperwork (and lots of extra paperwork, just in case!), and headed to the interview.  The result was the government granting Monica Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What does that mean?  Basically… I’m allowed to keep my wife!  (wooooohooooooo!!!)

Today is the day she would have had to leave the country.

Instead, she just made me lunch to eat as I work!

Love it!

Flying!!!! 11th December, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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united-plane

 

We’ll be arriving in Portland later this evening!  Can’t wait!

South America viii 20th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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So, our time in Ecuador has come to a close.

Today, we hung out with a couple of missionaries here in Quito and now we’re back at the guesthouse resting and packing before we take off at 5am tomorrow morning.  Its fun to be able to chat and sightsee at the same time, so our host, Carlos took us to Mitad del Mundo, the middle of the World… where I got to experience my first time ever at the Equator.

Then we took a trip on the Teleferico (the cable car) here in Quito, that starts about 2,950m (9,700ft) elevation and climbs to around 4,100m (13,500ft).  You get quite a view of the city here from up top, although, we didn’t get a clear view because we rode up into a thunderstorm.  It’s amazing to be up that high watching the lightning over the city (and then we got pelted with hail stones!)

In the morning we fly back to Buenos Aires and then from there we begin the 36hr journey back to Glasgow.  This trip has been great.  Health-wise, I’ve felt so good being in the sun on the days it was out… and my energy level has been great.  I feel pretty tired today, but then so does Stuart and so I guess it’s normal!  (And as you can see from the pics!  I HAVE HAIR!!!!!  Now I need to do something crazy with it seeing as it’s back.  A crazy-hair celebration)

God is so good.  This trip has been incredible in many ways.  My mind, heart and soul have had lots to think about and my journal is full of thoughts from the time here.  Can’t wait to see how God uses it!

 

South America vii 19th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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This morning we said goodbye to Loja.  I can’t believe we were there for only for 4 days.  God has definitely opened our heart to fall in love with this country and the people.

This morning we flew to Guayaquil for the day before leaving for Quito where we spend the last couple of days.  In Guayaquil we were introduced to a local ministry Impacto Mundial (World Impact) which I love.  It’s run by an incredible woman, Julieta, who became a missionary aged 14 and has spent the last 30 years serving God in full-time missionary.  She has so many unbelievable and faith-boosting stories about her time in India which were a blessing to listen to.  Impacto Mundial is a mission sending agency here in Ecuador and right now she has 30 young men and women who have devoted the year to train for the mission field.

We got to meet a group of them before we went home and it was so encouraging to watch them serve and to hear the various ways God has led them to devote their lives to the field.  And they are not looking for an easy journey… they’re choosing some very difficult places to minister!

He’s calling young men and women around the world.

May His Name be glorified!

South America vi 17th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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Me and Stu with Lindsay and Eva Gilliam (the director of SIM Ecuador) and their gorgeous kids Robert Lindsay and Stephen.


First off, Ecuador… is stunning!  We flew into Quito (pronounced Key-Toe) on Friday night, and flew from there to here… Loja (Lo-Ha) on Saturday morning.  The drive from the airport to where we are staying was breathtaking… the most beautiful mountainous terrain.  We’ve arrived in “rainy season” but have been lucky to get lots of sun which makes everything look even better.

There is some great ministry happen here in Loja, but this is such a tough spiritual climate.  The people here are brought up in a very distorted form of Catholicism, where the Bible is not trusted and where many superstitious practiced are blended into and alongside Catholic doctrine.  This form of religion is cultural… being Ecuadorian and being “Catholic” are synonymous… but that doesn’t mean they are really Catholic, and it most often means they may occasionally attend a mass, but they clearly have no relationship with Jesus.  We’ve heard weird things about going to mass and burning black candles to curse people, or taking a white candle and burning it upside down.  We’ve heard about witch doctors and strange practices waving eggs over a baby to dispel sickness.  The people here are VERY LOST.

This is a tough place to minister.  Many of the missionaries have explained how hard it is to develop good relationships with people because the family structure is very insular.  It’s hard to disciple because the people don’t like to read, preferring spoon-feeding, and don’t have the greatest culture of follow-through when tasks are assigned.  And people are persecuted, shunned, their shops boycotted… if they appear to walk away from the accepted form of Catholicism to embrace Christ.

We’ve loved spending time with a number of the team here, hearing their hearts for the Ecuadorians, listening to the challenges of life and ministry, and being able to pray for them and encourage them in the work they are doing here.  God has definitely stirred up something in me and Stuart for the people of Ecuador and we’ve found ourselves praying like crazy against the powers of darkness at work in this place.

We’ve only got a couple more days left in Ecuador.  Tomorrow morning we fly to the coastal city Guayaquil (Gwa-ya-keel), then the next day we’re in Quito (Key-toe), the Capital, before we start our journey home via Buenos Aires.

Pray for Ecuador.

South America v 14th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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The trip so far….

Glasgow –> Buenos Aires (vía Cardiff and Paris)
Buenos Aires –>  Montevideo (by boat)
Montevideo –> Buenos Aires (by boat)
Buenos Aires –> Santiago
Santiago –> Quito (via Guayaquil)
Quito –> Loja

 

South America iv 13th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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Goodbye Montevideo.  😦

We left Uruguay this evening, taking the boat back to Argentina.  We’re here to sleep for a few hours before we jump on a plane to Ecuador.  The way things work out we have an 8hr layover in Santiago, Chile… so we’re planning to jump out of the airport and check out the city for a few hours.

I’ve loved the time we spent in Uruguay.  We spent this morning with Myron Loss, the pioneering missionary who started SIM Uruguay.  He retires from the field in a few weeks and it was great to hear things God has taught him in his numerous years in Latin America.  The pic above is of me and Stuart with Andres & Sonio Corrales (the new director of SIM Uruguay and his wife).  We’ve had a such a great time getting to know them, hearing about the vision God has given them for reaching Uruguay.  We are blessed to know them and look forward to a chance to work together in the future.

Anywayz, gotta leave for the airport in about 5hrs so best get some sleep!

South America iii 12th April, 2012

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I’m loving this place!  With only 3 days here were cramming in as much as we can and connecting up with as many of the team here as possible.  We have met some amazing people!

This morning we went down for breakfast to find a jug of coffee and some cut up french bread.  Annoyed at such a pitiful breakfast we went in search of some good grub.  Well, it turns out that breakfast is not a common meal here.  We found plenty of shops selling coffee and small pieces of bread… so we made do!  Actually, what we ended up with was delicious and more filling than I was expecting.

We were picked up and taken down town for lunch by the new director of SIM.  It was fun sitting in the back of the car with his wife and kids.  They speak VERY little English and so for the first time I was forced to use the Spanish that I’ve been learning.  I was surprised at how much I understood.  I love languages and get such a kick out of understanding what was once foreign to me.  I was so excited to get to use it and to hold my own.

This evening we went to a Bible study and got to meet some of the young Uruguayans.  We were invited there to share and it was such a blessing to be amongst them, hearing some of what God is doing in them, and seeing God encourage them through what He’s done in our lives.

We’ve both fallen in love with the place and the people.  I sure hope to make it back here someday!

South America ii 11th April, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Travel.
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What a day!  We got up around 7am and just got back to our hostel at 11.30pm.  Today was wonderfully busy.  We were picked up at 8.30am and taken to the SIM team prayer meeting at 9am.  It was a wonderful time hearing what God has done in this team through it’s leaders over the past years, and we watched part of the passing-of-the-baton to the new director.

Uruguay is a tough mission field, nicknamed “the cemetery of missionaries”, because of the hard toll it takes on those who serve here.  In many ways, their descriptions of this country are remarkably similar to descriptions of ministry in Glasgow.  The intellectualism, the skepticism, the apathy, the self-sufficiency, the perceived irrelevance of the gospel and so on…  This country needs Jesus!  And maybe this country needs YOU to bring them Jesus?!

One of today’s highlights was meeting up with Ricki Anne!  Mon and I studied at Multnomah with Ricki Anne when I was there my first year.  She is such an incredibly godly woman, and I was so excited at the thought of being able to catch up with her.  When we arrived at the church she burst out in a flow of Spanish before I reminded her I don’t speak much Spanish!  We chuckled about that.  It was encouraging to see their ministry here… so much of what they do is right at the heartbeat of our ministry in Glasgow.

There’s so much to say, but I’ll save it for later!  We met so many great people today!  Can’t wait for tomorrow!