Juliana

I do not know how to express my sadness in leaving Scotland.  This semester has been the best, and I am so blessed to have had such an amazing time here in Scotland.  I wish it would never end,  and I wouldn’t have to leave, but tomorrow I fly home.  I am excited to see my family and friends back home, but the Airdrie church has become like a second family to me, and I will miss everyone so much.  I have so many memories of my time here that I will always cherish.  Some of my best memories involve spending time with the young people.  I have loved being involved in Kid’s Club and getting to know the kids.  They are so much fun and I’ve enjoyed singing with them, playing games with them, and teaching them.  I was so encouraged to see their eagerness to learn about God, hear them pray, and witness their kindness and friendliness.  I will miss them all and the serious as well as the fun times at Kid’s Club.  The CY events have been such an amazing time for me and I have really enjoyed spending time with the young people.  Everyone seems to accept and get along with everyone else and treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is so encouraging to see Calvin and Jess and others in the CY having such an enjoyable time and to see the many ways in which the church is investing in their lives.  Everyone at the church was so kind, friendly, and hospitable and showed they really cared and wanted to get to know us, and I will miss them.  One of my favorite parts of being here was going to people’s homes on Sunday afternoons for lunch and spending time hearing their stories and getting to know them.

I have really loved the classes as well and have learned so much through this semester.  I have looked forward to studying in Scotland ever since I started going to Geneva four years ago, and it has exceeded my expectations in the ways in which it has transformed my life and convicted me of my sin and lack of devotion to God.  I have been encouraged to strive for holiness and to desire to know God more and more.  Throughout the semester, I have appreciated the many opportunities to reflect on what we are learning and apply it to my life.  I have had times of such great growth in my prayer life, Scripture reading, and meditation, and my personal devotions have been transformed by a renewed desire for God.  I pray that God will continue to give me a desire to know Him and seek after Him through reading His Word, meditating, and praying.

Traveling around Scotland with Jimmy and Helen Fisher to see many different sites involving the Covenanters was eye-opening and was very convicting.  I have always loved learning about the Covenanters and their amazing faith and determination to obey God no matter the cost. They suffered terrible things for Christ, and I was moved by their constant trust in God and devotion to Him.  Standing  by the grave of those who had been brutally killed for just reading their Bibles helped me to understand that they were just like us and did things that we do such as meeting their fiancé for lunch, teaching little children about God, or going to a worship service.  Jimmy and Helen were great and it was a lot of fun traveling with them to Covenanter sites as well as other historical sites.  Some of my favorites were visiting Wigtown where the two Margarets were executed, exploring abandoned castles, visiting St. Andrews, seeing ancient Cairns, and traveling up into the Highlands.  I will really miss their teasing, the joy they take in life, and their willingness to answer all our questions.

I loved getting to know Tim Donachie through our British Humanities class with him.  It was very sad when he was unable to travel to London with us, but I loved having Carla and Stephen Steele take us to London.  I had such an enjoyable time with them taking buses and subways and seeing the historical sites of London as well as our chats in the evening around the dinner table.  I loved getting to know them in that time and have many great memories from that trip.  Our Systematic Theology class with Kenneth Stewart was really helpful and thought provoking, and I learned so much through it.  I enjoyed getting to  know Kenneth Stewart through that and loved meeting his family and visiting the Glasgow RP church where he is the minister.  I loved my evangelism class with Stephen McCollum and have a lot to think about as a result of our classes.  Stephen and Brenda were very kind to us and I loved spending Thanksgiving at their flat and enjoying their hospitality on other occasions.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Quigleys through my time here.  Andrew’s classes and sermons were very convicting and encouraging, and I have grown so much in my Christian life through them.  The Quigleys were so good to us, and I loved spending time with them, chatting and having fun.  I will miss them and the fun times at their home, going to the play park, and hanging out at the church.

I have loved getting to know Beth Bogue, the church’s secretary.  She has blessed me in so many ways, and I have loved the times in which we have laughed together, discussed deep issues, and received advice from her.  There are many others who have invested so much in us students, and I am so grateful for the ways in which they have blessed me and will miss them.

Lastly, I will miss Bethany, Jessica, and Castine whom I have come to know so well through spending the semester with them.  I have loved getting to know them, traveling with them, and studying with them.  I have fond memories of the crazy times when we have laughed hysterically and the serious times when we have discussed deep issues and spiritual matters both in class and outside of class.  Each of them has encouraged and blessed me in many ways, and I love them all deeply.

Through my time here, I have really come to love Scotland with its gorgeous scenery, majestic hills, and misty Highlands.  But more than the scenery, I have come to love the people I have met and have developed lasting friendships with many.  God has used this experience in amazing ways in my life to give me opportunities to serve Him, grow in my holiness, and draw closer to Him each and every day, and I will never forget my time here in Scotland.  Saying goodbye to so many that I have come to know and love has reminded me that a day will come when we will no longer have to say goodbye but will spend eternity together in God’s presence, and I look forward with great joy to that day.

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