Jason and JasonAs I sit in our flat reflecting on all the memories that I’ve made during this semester, I realize that there is no part of me that wants to write this blog post. There is no part of me that is ready to step into Glasgow Airport on May 11th.  I know that when I step on the airplane, I’ll be leaving part of my heart in Scotland.

I’m not sure how to begin this blog post, so I think I’ll start by thanking everyone that has made this experience possible and everyone in Scotland that has made this experience the most memorable and enjoyable experience that I’ve ever had in my life.  There are so many people back home, at Geneva College, and here in Scotland that deserve many thanks.

To my family and friends: Thanks y’all.  Thank you for helping my raise the money to afford to come to Scotland.  Mum and Dad, thank you for all your support during this semester.  Thank you Nick for supporting me when I was feeling a little homesick.  I also owe many thanks to the Dunlap and Tubbs family, I can’t thank y’all enough for all the support and prayers, and I’ll always consider y’all to be my second family.  Thank you to all my friends back home in Pittsburgh and at Geneva College for supporting me and praying for me while I’ve been in Scotland.

To the people at Geneva college: Thank you to everyone that works at the Crossroads Office for making programs like this possible for the students at Geneva College.  Thank you to my adviser, Dr. Byron Curtis, for helping me schedule my classes for the fall semester even though it was difficult due to me being in Scotland.  Thank you to everyone who either prayed for me or helped me sort things out.

The Airdrie Reformed Presbyterian Church is the most amazing congregation that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of even though it was only for a few months.  Thank you for the all love that y’all have shown Joey and I during our time here.  Thank you Andrew for being a loving man of God, preaching the Gospel weekly, and for allowing us to sit in the seminary classes.  Thank you Beth for all the hours of work that you do to make this program possible, and thank you for taking us on road trips.  Thank you to Jimmy and Helen for taking out to visit places around Scotland every Wednesday and for taking us on our Reformation Tour.  Thank you to everyone in the congregation that has shown us love and hospitality.  Thank you to everyone that fed us on the Lord’s Day after the morning service.  Thank you Andrew, Stephen, and Jimmy for teaching our classes.  Thank you anyone that I have not listed.

Studying in Scotland has been the most enjoyable and challenging experience that I’ve ever had, but I’m so thankful that the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to come here to study.  Before I came here in January, I’ll admit that I was absolutely terrified.  I was afraid about being in a foreign country, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t fit in here.  After my first worship service here in Scotland, I realized that all my fears were just silly fears.  The people of the congregation are some of the most loving people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I wish that I would have had more time here in Scotland to get to know everyone in the congregation better.  There are no words that I could use to properly describe the amount of appreciation that I have for the Airdrie congregation.  I’ve had my own theological beliefs challenged, and I’m extremely thankful for that.  Being able to interact with the children of the congregation and teach them Bible lessons has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this entire semester.

Before I talk about everything that I’ve learned while in Scotland, I’d like to thank Andrew again.  Thank you Andrew for making me work through questions on my own when I didn’t know the answer or when I was confused.  Scotland has been the biggest learning experience of my life both in the classroom and outside of the classroom.  One of my favorite things about the Semester in Scotland program is the way that the classes are designed.  In my opinion, reading and then discussing is the best way to learn.  I think it’s much better to read and discuss instead of studying to memorize information for an exam.  My favorite classes during this semester were the class about Paul and our Systematic Theology class.  I learned so much valuable information from those two classes.  I don’t want to go back to regular college classes next year!!  Can I just stay here and study here?

There are so many things about this semester that will stick with me.  The beauty of the Scottish wilderness and mountains will always stick with me.  If you want to really appreciate the beauty of God’s creation then you should buy a plane ticket to Scotland and visit Glencoe and the Isle of Skye.  One of my favorite things about Scotland is the food.  Everything tastes better here, and everyone needs haggis and Irn Bru in their life.  The friendliness of the people in Scotland will also always stick with me.  It’s a wonderful experience to be stopped on the street or in a store because of your American accent, and then have that person ask you how you’re enjoying Scotland or ask what your favorite part of Scotland has been.

The memories that I’ve made here are memories that I will never forget.  Thank you Airdrie Reformed Presbyterian Church, and thank you Scotland for giving me the best adventure of my life so far and for all the wonderful memories.  I’ll be back some day to visit y’all and to eat haggis and drink some Irn Bru.

I love y’all so much.  Thank you.

Jason Buchholz