Times Have Changed

Memorable Moments…A Look Back on 16 Years in Scotland 

I blame Facebook for continuing to take me down memory lane, but it has also been the inspiration for this blog post.

From Facebook, I get multiple “You have memories with… each week”.  

Photo credit: Jacob Chandler

These memories include a wide range of photos and statuses that I have shared over the years. Some are nostalgic, some are encouraging, and some are awesome reminders of how faithful and trustworthy God has been to me and my family with provision, healing, and miracles. During the two years where I had 6 surgeries that included testicular cancer surgery, 4 knee surgeries, and 2 knee replacements, God continued to remain faithful, as always!

A Look Back on 16 Years in Scotland

Here are a few of my favourite memories so far:

  1. Baptism and worship with 60 friends and family in our back garden, including the first Nepalese in our church to give his life to Jesus. And yes, we cooked tacos for everyone. 
  2. Hosting a team of 16 for 2 weeks from YWAM Maui School of Worship in our home.
  3. Friday Family Nights of up to 20-25 international students each week. Great conversations, pizzas and a movie. 
  4. Part of teams planting 3 new churches, and blessed to help lead and pastor each.
  5. Hosting and leading multicultural community (house) groups in our home weekly of 20-25 people from various nations around the world. 
  6. Organising a charity dinner in a local pub for an orphanage in Africa called Naomi’s Village, and cooking with Jacob a Tex Mex meal for 60 guests.
  7. Baptising some very special new followers of Jesus. 
  8. YWAM Shine outreaches in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  9. Leading mission trips to Morocco and Poland, and participating in a Vineyard pastors/leaders mission trip to South Africa. 
  10.  Privileged to continue to be part of an awesome organisation, Bethany Christian Trust as a Deputy Manager for Bethany Homes participating in seeing lives transformed through Christian LOVE IN ACTION as I get to help provide homes for homeless and vulnerable people.

THE FUTURE

  1. Bethany Christian Trust. Confidentiality prohibits me from sharing any of the stories of the people I get to help, but if you knew, you could understand the massive JOY that fills my heart daily serving the homeless and vulnerable in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2. Last May, Debbie had the opportunity to move on from working with Bethany Christian Trust after 11 1/2 years, and since then, she continues to love her ministry post with the Scottish Bible Society.
  3. Our family continues to grow with Joshua and Meghan, Jacob and Stephanie (and the boys). Debbie and I are thankful for our two additional daughters, and are looking forward to being MeMaw and PaPaw to three handsome boys.
  4. Hannah continues to study Film & Media and English Literature at University of Stirling and is in her 3rd year. I am proud to say that some of her films have been award winning.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”.  Isaiah 61:1 ESV

Love, Kent

Something New

  

Something New
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”              Matthew 25:35-40 ESV

One cold and dreary November evening, Debbie brought to my attention the possibility of a new ministry opportunity that she had recently been privy too. During our missionary journey here in Edinburgh, she has worked as a tentmaker for the past 11 1/2 years with Bethany Christian Trust, a Charity working with homeless and vulnerable people whose aim is to transform lives by putting Christian love in action and faith into practice. 

This new opportunity was for me to take all that I have learned over the last year and a half working as a marketplace missionary and Property Manager, and apply to work in ministry with Bethany Christian Trust as a Housing Officer. After a successful interview, I was offered the position, and through much prayer, counsel, & God speaking to me through His Word, I accepted the position. 

As Christmas approaches, I’ve just completed my first week as Housing Officer working with Bethany. Over the past 14 years as missionaries here in Scotland, we’ve partnered with Bethany through the Winter Care Shelter, the Care Van, and various fundraising through the retail shops. After this first week, I can say I’m more and more excited to do my part within Bethany in reaching and helping over 7,000 homeless and vulnerable people across Scotland this coming year.

On the morning that I was to give Bethany my answer as to whether or not I was accepting this position, I’d been praying specifically that God would not only confirm through prayer and counsel, but that He’d also confirm through His Word.  

Before work, I had a doctors appointment, and while waiting, I decided, which I rarely do, to pick up a magazine off the table to read. The one I chose was a small magazine from the Episcopal Church located in our village. When I turned to the back page, the above scripture from Matthew 25:35-40 was the confirmation through Scripture that I knew was from God. 

As we take time to celebrate with family and friends the birth of our Saviour this season, let’s remember those who Jesus draws our attention to, perhaps the homeless, the vulnerable, and the hurting.

Thank you for your prayers, and your continued support in partnering with us to Love others into the Kingdom here in Scotland!

Love, Kent

IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES

imageIT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES

A Facebook friend of mine proposed the following thought for the new year. Instead of making your typical resolutions, why not ask God for a 1 word theme for the year. His word was Engage.

In my efforts to try this for the first time, my 1 word theme became a 7 word phrase instead…IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES!

IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES. As I become more aware of what it means to be a “Marketplace Missionary” which in my case is God revealing more of Himself, and in teaching me new ways to live out His 2nd greatest commandment to “LOVE MY NEIGHBOURS AS MYSELF”, I become more aware that IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES.

One simple but beautiful example of this came a couple of days before Christmas. I had gone to a flat for a lease signing where a single Mom with 3 young daughters & a teenage daughter arrived to sign the lease. It was a very cold flat as no heating had been on while it sat empty, but as I would later discover, it offered the prospect of a warm home and a fresh start.

I didn’t realise the full depth of the situation, I only knew that they where having to escape a very bad situation, and move to settle into a new home over the Christmas holidays. The 3 young daughters were not only excited for Christmas, but also seemed very excited that this flat would become their new home. I can only imagine what they must have been escaping. I did my best to help make this difficult transition a little bit easier for them. I even put on a Disney movie for them to watch on my iPad while we signed all the papers.

At the end of our time, my heart was warmed, and my thoughts focused on how MUCH God loves & cares for us. The 3 young ones with big smiles on their faces, each took a turn in giving me a big hug and said, “thank you for our new home.”

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2esv)

Love, Kent

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Come Follow Me, Celebrating 12 Years as Missionaries to Scotland

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Come Follow Me, Celebrating 12 Years as Missionaries to Scotland

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

On this day, the 28th of August in 2001, we arrived at Edinburgh Airport, jet lagged and bleary eyed, nervous yet excited to begin an adventure-packed journey with God.

We thought we were too old, at 40, for Youth With A Mission. But after 6 months training in Paisley, we were staffing a school with YWAM Scotland in Edinburgh.

To our surprise, there were other families, just as crazy as us, who joined us for the training at the YWAM base, Stanely House in Paisley, Scotland.

It was there at Stanely House, where we began our Family DTS (Discipleship Training School) with a total of 12 staff/student families with 35 children. That’s right, 35 children, and 20 of them ALL in the same house. An experience NONE OF US WILL EVER FORGET!

And today, we celebrate 12 years as being missionaries in this beautiful, historic capital city of Edinburgh, and in this rainy, but gorgeous, country that we have come to call home.

“To follow is to love.”
(Barclay Card Advert) http://youtu.be/zdg8uSQ4tvw
please watch this 1:31 minute video posted on You Tube.

When I recently saw this advert from Barclay Card, I thought the theme to be quite profound. The emotions, the drama, the reality of the situations that were portrayed, were all too real and engaging.

The tag line stated, “to follow is to love.” I thought to myself, there is something more to this, beyond the message that the company has presented or intended.

After seeing this advert several more times, I began to think about the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and compare those words to the Barclay ad tag line,”to follow is to love.”

COME FOLLOW ME
Jesus proclaims on numerous occasions “come follow me,” so I decided to do a search on my You Version app, and the following words of Jesus were the most commonly found and repeated in the Gospels.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34 ESV)

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” ( Mark 10:21 ESV)

To FOLLOW is to LOVE. I believe there is a Kingdom principle found here.

The words of Jesus, “come follow me,” not only require us to deny ourselves, but to daily take up our cross (which is a whole other blog post on its own), and to follow Him.

I am daily trying to live this out as I seek to draw closer to God, to hear His voice, and to be obedient as I intentionally pursue to be His hands and His feet.

When I reflect back on the past 12 years as a missionary, I can honestly say there has been a lot of denying of self, and dying to self that has come along with the obedience to following Jesus.

STARTING YEAR 13 in Edinburgh, Scotland:
For the past 12 years, we have been focused on:

• reaching the lost with the Gospel
• training and discipling the next generation
• church planting

Our focus and passion remain the same today:

Our FOCUS: Reaching the lost with the Gospel here in Edinburgh Scotland and beyond its borders, and helping them become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Our PASSION: Making Disciples, Equipping Ministers, and Mobilizing Missionaries.

SEEKING PARTNERS
As we begin this 13th year as missionaries, we are looking for a few more people to partner with us, and to help us advance the Gospel in Edinburgh and Scotland.

If you would LOVE to Follow, and be a part, you can go to my Supporting Our Ministry page on this blog for details on how to do that, or email me directly at: lovefromkent@gmail.com

Love, Kent

A MidSummer Night in Edinburgh

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A MidSummer Night in Edinburgh In the beginning of July, on a typical chilly summer eve, the city centre streets of Edinburgh were busy with tourists and locals alike taking advantage of the northern night sky which is illuminated till close to midnight this time of year.

It was on this evening that I joined my friend James, and our Mosaic Edinburgh team, as we took our turn once again in serving the homeless with the Bethany Christian Trust Care Van. Bethany is the Scottish charity that Debbie, Hannah and Jacob all work for and that serves the homeless and vulnerable in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. http://www.bethanychristiantrust.com

The Care Van is manned by a number of local churches year round, and travels around to several key points within city centre each night. At different stops the Care Van serves homemade soups, rolls, tea, and coffee, and when equipped with donations, provides socks, hats, gloves, coats, and blankets.

Before we headed out this July evening, I was praying with our team, and prayed specifically that God would give us divine appointments and that He would use us to be Jesus’ hands and feet. I don’t know why it surprises me when God shows up on the scene when we ask Him, but it still does sometimes.

At our first stop, we were busy serving when a very weathered, middle-aged man came up and asked if we had any socks. Unfortunately, we only had a few hand-knitted hats in colours that were more suited for women than for a man. We told him this is all that we had for the night, but he begged and pleaded with us to please give him some socks. He said his feet were in terrible pain and all torn up from being soaked from the rain and not having any dry socks or any socks at all for that matter.

We exclaimed once again that we were very sorry, but these hats were all that we had. And he said, “please just give me two of the hats and I’ll put them on my feet.” At that moment, both James and I looked at each other with a belief that we were having the same thought about giving him our own socks.

Perplexed but not confused, I was still contemplating the fact that I only had ankle socks on. At that precise moment, James had decided, and boldly stated to this very desperate man, “I’ll give you MY socks.” And to my excitement, the weathered looking man said, “Oh, would you please?”

As James proceeded to take off his socks, and give them to the man, he did it with such a love, with conviction and compassion that I have not witnessed in a long time. The man received the socks with tears in his eyes, and was ever so grateful for such a kind, loving act that was reminiscent of what Jesus would do.

In fact, as I’m writing this today, I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 5 just before he spoke about loving our enemies. Jesus said in verse 42 “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Thanks be to God for this example and for answering our prayers for divine appointments. We are blessed and humbled to know You, God, and to be used by You.

Chandler Family Fund:
Trip to America
As most of you know, we are in the midst of raising funds to purchase 3 airline tickets (Kent, Debbie & Hannah) for a much needed trip back to see family, friends and partners (it’s been 4 years). We might need to raise a bit more, as Jacob is not getting as much work as he needs in order for him to pay for his entire airline ticket.

Travel Needs We are currently looking at travelling on September 11th or 12th, but are considering me going sooner, either into Dallas or Springfield, MO, and are needing to then meet up with Joshua who is in Arkansas near Debbie’s parents.

In addition to the airline tickets, we need the following:
*Car or van to borrow for 3-4weeks to travel between Texas, Arkansas & hopefully Colorado
*Lodging
*Funds for food, gas & maybe a few nights in a hotel

This Weeks Goal We have a goal this week to have enough for 2 of the tickets. As of now, we only need £259.00 to have enough for the first 2 tickets. Can you help? If so, you can donate directly on our PayPal at chandlerfamily5@gmail.com or donate on our Go Fund Me page at http://www.gofundme.com/34cqts

Thank you!
Love, Kent

A Note From a Small Island

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A Note from a Small Island

Recovery Update
Some of you have been asking for an update on my recovery. Firstly, let me say how much I have appreciated your prayers and encouragement during this long journey. Since my last total knee replacement surgery, I have been diligent in pushing through the physio and rehab and God continues to work a miracle in expediting my process. I’ve done everything asked of me at a much quicker pace than previous. On the challenging side of things, I continue to struggle with pain and consequently some not so pleasant side effects of the pain medication. I’m working with my GP on slowly decreasing what I’m taking and the dosages.

Confirmation Written in the Sky?

On a recent sunny afternoon, I decided to take a break outside, and spend some time praying, seeking, waiting & listening to God. After all, my theme during this rehabilitation time was to seek God for Himself & for what’s next. With so many different ways to schedule my time, I felt like God wanted me to press in to Him in order that I might know what I am “to set my hands to do.”

With my face set gazing toward the rare, warm Scottish afternoon sun, at the very moment I opened my eyes, I saw two jets passing in the sky which were forming a perfect “X” pattern. My eyes didn’t just see an X in the sky but God spoke to me! He showed me that it was a replica of a Scottish flag.

Finished here in Scotland?… I say not!

There is much work to be done and so we will continue to:
MAKE DISCIPLES. EQUIP MINISTERS. MOBILIZE MISSIONARIES.

Psalm 138:8 ESV
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

ANNOUNCEMENT
We are really excited to have Meghan Johnson (Joshua’s pre-fiancé) to come join us as an intern with Mosaic Edinburgh. She will be living with our family and working with us for at least the next 2 years. This is a great opportunity for her to learn as well as carry on with some of her and Joshua’s previous ministry they were doing when she was here for 6 months before.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
Can I be honest with you? We really need a break from here! We need to see family! It has been 4 years since we have seen family (3 since Joshua & I have seen my family). Still, 3 years is a long time. And, 4 years since we have had a break is a very long time!

Again, honestly, our income currently from jobs and partners who support our ministry work does not allow us to save for airfare and the expenses needed to travel back to America to see family, friends & partners.

In faith, we are beginning to plan for this trip! We would like to travel in August-September unless we have the funds or tickets in place beforehand.

Our plan would be to fly from Edinburgh to Dallas-Fort Worth Texas.

Would you please consider helping us get home to see family, friends & partners and to have a much needed break?

We need to get there & we will need a car for transportation.

WAYS TO DONATE
1. If you have a PayPal account, you can donate directly & securely at chandlerfamily5@gmail.com
2. You can donate on our GoFundMe page, securely http://www.gofundme.com/34cqts
3. You can donate by providing air miles.

Can you help with a car for our transport needs?

Thank you so much for your love, support and encouragement.

Love, Kent