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

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