Looking back over my time in Scotland, I miss the smiles…the familiar walks…the passion I saw for seeking after Christ. I long to go back, and I’ve only been home for a mere two weeks. I’ve made it clear to many of the congregation…I have come to love them: they always were my family in Christ, but I have been so blessed to form such deep bonds with such a godly group of people. Everything about my experience brought me a step closer to Christ, and that was something I hadn’t felt with such clarity before my stay in Airdrie.
The classes–which in reflection–were packed full of the knowledge of Christ and that which concerns His glory, did not even seem like work: I do not mean there was no work…every day was a journey to wrestle with a new perspective, or to enrich a perspective already held. What I mean is that the atmosphere was one of truly wishing to imbue in us a greater desire for Christ, and to see us discipled and that made it enjoyable…I am forever grateful, for such concern not resting solely on getting us to “pass”, but rather to see us become more like Christ. The priorities were right.
Even our trips around Scotland with the members of the congregation were a wonderful discipling experience: I came to befriend Christians of all ages, and it was amazing to share stories with the older members and to teach the youngest members. One thing is sure: if you seek to become part of the body of Christ, Airdrie is a place I have been welcomed like no other place…It is a place, a people seeking after their Saviour. Of that there is no doubt.
The worship life of this church was Living Water to my parched soul. The Word and prayer are held high, and it is an encouragement to see such a passion and desire for the Lord. Young and old gather together before the Holy God of our Salvation, and I cannot tell you how the Lord has used the preaching of the Word, the prayer groups, the Bible studies, etc. to draw me to Christ. The Lord and King Christ is in His rightful ruling place within this place, and I thank Him for placing me somewhere where the food given to the congregation is solid, and the foundation built is started alone on the cornerstone. I have returned home with a firmer foundation in the Word, and with a greater passion to know Christ.
I have had no church background whatsoever growing up, and the care and respect I was shown regarding my lack of Reformed knowledge was encouraging; I was not forced to accept all that they believed, but the way it was presented and the true reliance on Scripture I saw in their perspectives gave me a true desire to seek after Christ as He is revealed in Scripture. I will even venture to say that I have been convinced to pursue the ministry, and even then within the RP church. It will be seen where the Lord will have me go, but He has used Scotland in such a way that I have come to know Him better and deeper. Once again, I praise the Lord that He gifted me with the experience, and thank all in Airdrie and all of the Scottish RP church for their contribution to my experience.
There is no amount of writing that could ever cover all I have learned, or have taken from this program…this chapter of my life. I have been discipled, come to know Christ better, and fostered relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ across the ocean. I saw new churches take root, new members taken in, and Christ working amidst His Church in Scotland. To all considering this program, please take a step of faith and give this place a chance…offer your gifts to this church, and you will not leave without more deeply knowing Christ. To all involved in the program, I thank you dearly and miss you all already. To Christ, I give glory for all I have learned, all those I have come to know, and all that He has imbued into my heart through this place, these people, this short time.