It’s amazing what a good night’s rest can do for a person! Our team was exhausted from our travels yesterday, but with a solid 9-10 hours of sleep, we had a bit more energy and life today. We needed it! Our friends in Alness have embraced our request to put us to work as these first two days are packed!
Today, we had the privilege of worshipping with our brethren from Alness Baptist Church. it is a small congregation of about 50-70, but they are mighty. You cannot walk through their doors without feeling the genuine love and grace of Jesus. Their sincerity of faith is as reliable as rain in the Highlands. Our team, with a wee bit of a nudge, spread out to mingle with the local believers to get to know them before the service and afterwards. We, as leaders, were very proud of them.
I was asked to preach Sunday morning and shared about my wonderful family and the journey of adoption that we have taken these past few years, making the spiritual connections with how we are adopted into God’s family. After the main service, the church had a special lunch for our team and any church members who wanted to stay and it was a packed house. The main “auditorium” was quickly converted to tables with chairs and we had a fine meal of sandwiches and tea. (Honestly, I dislike tea, but the Scottish tea here is excellent, so I may be softening my views after this week).
After lunch we changed clothes and hiked up Fyrish, a local mountain/hill with a little bit of history to it (of course, everything here has a little bit of history!) The climb was steep at times, but breathtaking. At the top, we were greeted by a stone monument that was put there by the Monroe family of the late 18th/early 19th centuries. The very same family as our fifth U.S. president, James Monroe, who was from this area of Scotland. We were accompanied by Pastor Mike and his wife, Carla and some of the teens from the church.
Our descent from Fyrish was far more rapid than our ascent and we returned to our homes to clean up, change and grab a bite to eat from a local cafe in Alness that we seems to be building a welcome with. Pray for an opportunity to share more about our team, our school and our Lord with the workers there.
Once we had our dinner, we progressed to Alness Baptist Church for the evening service which started at 8:00 p.m. local time (remember we are five hours ahead of you!). Samuel, Jake, Ryan and Alissa did an outstanding job of leading the congregation in six worship songs and we were able to hear a message from a representative from the Slavic Gospel Association – it was incredibly inspiring! Sam, Keith and Cody were also able to do the sound and video work tonight and they did an excellent job.
Tomorrow is an early start. We will have three different teams going separate ways for three VERY diverse jobs. Team #1 will be with me as we head to a town nearby, Invergorden, to work in a church cafe for the day. Invergarden is one of the deepest port cities in the world and is a main hub of cruise ships and oil tankers. The church there will provide free WiFi for the sailors in port who are merely looking for a cup of coffee and a chance to connect with their families back home. For some sailors, this is the first time they will have to communicate with their families in months, so my team and I will be serving coffee, doing dishes and cleaning tables so the church members can make connections with the people there and hand out Bibles.
Team #2 will be with Lincoln working at the local community center spreading out about 30 tons of mulch. Team #3 will be with Mrs. Urquhart leading a special assembly at the local public elementary school, which is a pretty special privilege as we have been given permission to talk about our faith there. So, please pray for these opportunities, that God will open doors for the Gospel and to simply be a light by serving others.
Well, it is midnight and I need to go to sleep. Have to make the porridge tomorrow morning! Good night!