Final Reflections


When reflecting upon my time in Scotland, the old adage comes to mind: “time flies when you’re having fun.” Yes, yes, I know, that’s a cheesy line, but it’s true! As I look back on the past four months, all I can really think about is how thankful I am. It feels like I just arrived at Scotland, but also feels as if I’ve been here for forever. These four months in Scotland will not be forgotten. I don’t know how to begin to convey everything I’m grateful for, but here’s a few things:

Our classes: the readings, the instructors, and the lectures.

People: well, a whole ton of people. But special mention to the Airdrie RP Church for welcoming us with loving and open arms! (Special mention goes to Beth, who was basically my replacement mom, friend, chauffer, tour guide, etc.)

Time set aside in the program itself for spending time in the Word and prayer every single day.

Our week-long Reformation tour and Wednesday trips with Jimmy and Helen.

The opportunity to serve in Kids Club and CY every Friday—I’ve learned so much about God, the kids, and myself through this!

The prayers of so many here in Scotland, and also of friends and family at home.

The beautiful, fairytale land of Scotland.

Whether it be traipsing through the Highlands, listening to lectures, or enjoying Sunday fellowship, I firmly believe that every aspect of this program has been beneficial to my sanctification. This has really been a time for me to reflect on who God is, and who He is to me. Although I am so sad to be leaving Scotland, I am looking forward to finishing off my college career and beginning a new phase in my life! So long Scotland. You and your people have been good to me, and God has been steadfast throughout. Until we meet again!

Julia Lodder

Goodbye for Now


Four months have come and gone in a blink of an eye. It is hard to believe that as I sit here writing this, it is already mid-December and in four days I will be on a plane back home. The people here have been so welcoming, and with the right attitude, Scotland can easily become a second home, like it has been for me. I just want to give a special thank you to everyone who I had an opportunity to know and interact with while here. Everyone made an impact in my life since my arrival. These last few days have been busy in finishing all my work for the courses but also from trying to spend the most time possible with my friends here in Scotland. The opportunity to travel to Scotland and learn about the things of God have made an everlasting impact on my life, and I could not be happier to see my spiritual growth since my arrival. This program has done an excellent job in helping me grow spiritually and as an adult. Being in a foreign area requires an amount of independence that you quickly develop from being in a different environment. There has not been a single moment that I have regretted on my journey. I am torn to have to leave my new family but excited to see my friends and family back home. I am optimistic that I will return one day to Scotland. This program has changed the course of my character for the better. I would recommend this program to anyone! Once again, I am so grateful for the opportunity to come and be impacted by this program and the wonderful people that have come across my life in the past four months. Just as everyone has impacted my life, I hope that I left the same impact in their lives. So, this is goodbye for now, Scotland, until the day comes when I can come back.

Jordan King

urqhuart castle

ice skating

loch lomond


Trip to London (Part Two)

Prior to our week in London, I had a very romanticized view of what the city would be like. I often have done this before I visit cities: I read about them, watch movies or TV shows about them, and see Instagram posts about them. These pictures never live up to reality. Much to my delight, so much of what I had pictured and imagined London to be was real. It is a city rich with history and it really is a bookworm’s delight!


The history of London as an established city goes back to the Roman occupation of their client-kingdom, Brittania. Small tribes dwelt on the Thames for millennia before this period, but London wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the Romans. Around 43 AD, London became a central port for the Romans. It was strategically located on the River Thames (pictured above) and at the center of several Roman roads. London has grown into a city of 8.8 million people and its significance has only grown over the last two thousand years.

Although Jordan’s blog post was about our first two days in London and our day of Oxford, I thought I’d include a few of my favorite pictures from these days.


Westminster Abbey


One of the Horse Guards


The British Museum


The West End at night


The Radcliffe Camera at Oxford




The dining hall at Christ Church College, Oxford


Christ Church College, Oxford

On Thursday, we braved the Underground and made our way to the Tower of London. It was a brisk and sunny day. We began the day with a Yeoman Warder (Royal Bodyguards) tour, which proved to be highly entertaining.


In 1066 William the Conqueror, a Norman, became King William I of England. He built a royal palace and fortress in the east of the city, now known as the White Tower, on top of an old Roman fortress. For the subsequent 500 years, this building was expanded upon and dwelt in by the kings and queens.


The White Tower

In 1220, 13 towers with inner defensive walls were built around the white tower. Then, in 1280 an outer defensive wall was built with 6 more towers. A 120-foot-wide moat was built all the way around, using the tidal flow of the Thames, by an expert from Holland.


The Tower of London is fascinating because it’s been a royal mint, a royal armory, and a royal zoo, among other things.

This palace complex became a well-known prison complex, and between the 12th and 18th centuries there were a lot of executions.

Thomas More was held in the strongest tower because he didn’t acknowledge the king as the head of the church. He was subsequently executed, in 1535.


The Yeoman Warders and their families live in the tower complex and are locked in at 10pm daily. The Crown Jewels of England are held in the Tower to this day.


Tower Bridge


Caitlin and I exploring the Tower

After a wonderful time at the Tower of London, we made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral.



Taxis are realllyyyyyy long in England

Pictures were not allowed inside, so this is the only picture you’ll see from me of St. Paul’s. Pictures wouldn’t even begin to display the majesty of this structure, so I was okay with not taking any.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is Christopher Wren’s masterpiece of church architecture, built after the Great Fire. It was designed as an Anglican cathedral in the shape of a cross. The dome, as you can see above, is the natural heart of the building and the center of worship today. This is actually the only dome on an English cathedral. The quire, where the clergy and choir are seated, is where worship through music is centered and is positioned in front of the high altar, which faces the rising sun. The mosaics on the ceiling above the quire portray God’s creation and the fall and redemption of humankind. They were done in the Byzantine style, and have a glorious shimmering effect when hit by light. We got to sit in the quire when we went to an Evensong service, and it was a really incredible experience and something I’ll cherish for a long time.

One of the things I found interesting about the cathedral was a video illustration called “Martyrs.” This is the first video illustration in any cathedral, done by contemporary American artist Bill Viola. Fascinating, as it uses art as a shared language and slows down video to deepen our perception of who we’ve become. Here’s a link to the video if you’re interested in seeing what I’m writing about:

On Friday, we began our day at the National Gallery.


Here, we saw the art of medieval, renaissance, and baroque masters. The collection was extensive. We were there for two hours, and I felt like we barely scratched the surface! My favorite pieces I got to see were by Klimt, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Monet.


We then made our way in the cold to Covent Garden, which was all decorated for Christmas.


We made it back to Scotland safely on Friday night, and the next morning it seemed as though winter suddenly appeared!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends on Saturday, and indeed have so much to be thankful for!


Julia Lodder

Trip to London (Part One)

Hey everyone!  Sorry that I have not posted lately, but I am still trying to grasp our amazing week in London that was part of our Humanities class. This was a great week all around, but I just want to talk about the busy first three days. Day one, we took off from the gate, and as soon as we got off the plane and got into London we went to the British Library and the Museum of London. It was so fantastic to see many original manuscripts such as: The Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, and Shakespeare First Folio to just name a few. The Museum of London was amazing! They had an exceptional Roman section that you can just get lost in. This was a great way to spend the first day, allowing us to dive into the rich history of London. Day two was no different. Up early, we hit the streets of London as we adventured into the Underground. Peak time plus the Underground equals mass confusion as well as mass people! We eventually all were able to pack onto the train as we headed to Westminster. We were able to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament. This tour was great in allowing us insight into the political status of London. The building…no words could describe, much like numerous buildings we were in this week. After we had our tour and witnessed the entrance of the guest speaker for the House of Commons we ventured across the street to Westminster Abbey. What a magnificent architectural structure! It blows you away to think that this building was built in 1097!!! We took an audio tour seeing the burial sites while learning of the history of the Abbey.

After leaving the Abbey we walked from Trafalgar Square down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. This was a great walk seeing many buildings and sights London has to offer. The palace itself was a fascinating building. Afterwards, we made our way to the British Museum. This place was massive and filled with countless major historical artifacts. To sum up hours spent there observing all it had to offer, some major highlights were: the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, Lewis Chessmen, countless sets of armor and weapons throughout the ages, mummies, Oxus Treasure, Hoa Hakananai’a, and many Greco-Roman artifacts. Needless to say, if you get a chance to go to London, even if you are not a huge fan of museums, you need to make sure you put this on your list of places to go. Just to do a brief recap of the past two days in London, they were jam-packed filled with exciting cultural immersion in its history and architecture. On our third day, Wednesday, we took a day trip to the one and only, Oxford. There was so much to see in Oxford you could practically spend at least another full day there, especially if you are a Harry Potter fan. Once in Oxford, we took a bus tour to get a great overview of the history and scenery. We were able to explore: the Oxford Museum, the Bodleian Library, and Christ Church College. The Bodleian Library and Christ Church College were my highlights of Oxford. The Bodleian Library was so enriching to learn about and explore! Then going to Christ Church College was spectacular, seeing the history and buildings. Without a doubt these first three days were exhausting, with recording walking nearly thirty miles! I was so happy and excited to see everything that I would have walked another 30 miles if needed! I think everyone enjoyed their time in London just as much as I did.

Until next time,

Jordan King


Day 1: British Library


Day 1: Museum of London


Day 1: St. Paul’s Cathedral at night


Day 1: Globe Theater


Day 2: Fixing up Big Ben


Day 2: House of Parliament


Day 2: a section of Westminster Abbey


Day 2: London Eye (got you taking a selfiem Julia)


Day 2


Day 2


Day 2: Buckingham Palace


Day 2: British Museum


Day 2: Rosetta Stone


Day 2: Hoa Hakananai’a


Day 3: Oxford


Day 3: Entrance for the Bodleian Library tour


Ceiling at Bodleian Library entrance


Day 3: Oxford Museum


Day 3: (left to right) Diskobolos of Myron c. 460-440 BC., Syon Aphrodite, first c. AD.


Day 3: part of Christ Church College


Day 3: Dinning Hall, Christ Church College (model for the dinning hall used for Harry Potter)



Saturday Sightseeing

Although there have been so many things to write home about this semester (it’s true, ask my mother), some of the biggest blessings have been the most unexpected ones. I know Jordan will agree when I say that God has blessed us so richly with the gift of friendship with people here in Scotland! Everybody has been so welcoming and inclusive, and we really feel like we are part of the church family here in Airdrie. One of the ways we get to enjoy this gift of friendship is on Saturday trips with Beth. We get to enjoy God’s beautiful creation, good food, and scintillating conversations. We went to Crieff, Killin, Ben Lawers, Aberfeldy, Loch Tay (and some other places along the way).

Julia Lodder


Our first stop, Loch Earn. It was the perfect day to be outside!


We spent some time at the Falls of Dochart.


We drove up the mountain (Ben Lawers) and enjoyed lunch with some beautiful views


Jordan at Ben Lawers, with snow in the distance!


Jordan with his friends at Loch Tay


Loch Tay


Coffee time after a cold day!


Falls of Dochart

Moments to be Cherished Forever

About a week or two ago, Julia and I just finished our Humanities modular class with Professor Tim Donachie. This course was as intense as they come. However, I was able to gain much insight and knowledge on Scotland and England throughout their extensive history. During this week with Dr. Donachie, we all went on a trip to the Robert Burns’ birthplace museum. This was a fascinating museum! There were a lot of objects displayed and interactive areas within the museum. We were also able to explore the gardens, his cottage, his monument, and the Brig O’ Doon. Overall, this week with Dr. Donachie was exhausting but impactful.  The following week we were back to an almost normal routine of classes. With Beth and Ian being away for the week, Julia and I stepped up to run Kids Club and CY. Both went well, and it seemed that the kids loved it. Playing a role within this congregation like we have been –  for me has been great. Not only does it allow us to impact the lives of the youth and adults in the congregation, it really opens you up to be equally impacted by every individual. So much so that you have a marathon of movies, deep discussions, or even the silly ones where people cannot stop laughing. These past few weeks have been filled with an abundance of knowledge, sightseeing, and moments that will stay with me forever.

Until next time,

RB memorial

Robert Burns’ Memorial


Brig O’ Doon featuring Julia walking away


Robert Burns’ Birthplace Museum. Front to back: Jimmy, Helen, Dr. Tim Donachie, Mrs Donachie, myself, and Julia

Julia’s Autumn Break

Over the fall break, my friend April visited. We had a very busy week, seeing and experiencing many things in Scotland. Although we spent lots of time in cities, one of the highlights for me was our mid-week trip to Dumbarton Castle. The train ride to get there was pleasant and the rain held off for our outdoor adventures. It was so refreshing to be outside and experience a sliver of Scotland’s history.

The castle is situated on a large volcanic rock and overlooks the River Clyde. When we were there, we learned that recorded history of occupation on the rock (as a fortress) goes back 1,500 years, to occupation by the Britons beginning in 540AD. The castle was used as a military fortress up until World War II. Although it was quite cloudy, the view from the top of the rock was magnificent! Climbing 500 steps was definitely worth it. It is one thing to read about medieval fortresses in history books, but quite another to experience them for yourself.

Julia Lodder


Hitting the Fast Track

Everything has been moving so fast, it is already October! With two of our module classes ending, Julia and I are busy working to finish papers and readings. One paper down and another to go before the week is up. However, though we are disciplined in our studies we still can enjoy our new friends and environment, in Scotland.


Memorial at the Battle of Bannockburn

Our weekly trips with Jimmy and Helen have recently taken place, allowing for Julia and myself to see more of Scotland. Last week, Jimmy and Helen took us to Bannockburn. Here, Julia and I got to go through a 3D tour involving the historical facts of the battle. It did not stop there, however, at the end of the tour, they divided us into two groups as they lead us into the battle room. Inside the battle room, I was honored to be crowned King of Scotland, for this virtual battle. My opponent was none other than the Queen of England, who just so happened to be Julia. My defeat, to Queen Julia in the Bannockburn battle simulation just proved the strategic mastery of Robert the Bruce.

antonine wall

Remains of Antonine Wall

After visiting the battlefield, Jimmy and Helen took us to a section of the Antonine Wall, the furthest North point of the Roman Empire. Unexpectedly, the ruins of this wall is not really anything to resemble what was a wall, however, it resembles a large ditch. There is believed to be a wooden fence at the top of the ditch.

With traveling and homework our schedules seem to be packed, however, we manage to always fit time into fellowship with our new friends in the congregation through gathering together, Kids Club, or CY. This past Friday, CY went to the go-kart track! That was a rush! Overall, I placed 7th out of 18, and Julia finished right behind me.

Until next time,
Jordan King

Kids Club

For the past few weeks, Jordan and I have gotten to help out with Kids Club. With the help of others, Jordan usually does the games and I do the craft. This past week, because Beth was gone in America, Jordan told the story. This week the kids learned about the angel Gabriel and his appearance to Mary, proclaiming that she would have a son. The kids really engaged and answered questions well. Helping with Kids Club has been really good, but it really struck me this weekend how beneficial it has been to me. Going into Kids Club every week, I usually had an attitude of “What can the kids learn?” but I have come to realize that it’s just as important for me to ask “What can I learn from the kids today?” One thing that really stood out to me was the seeds of faith being sown in the lives of these young kids. Many receive these truths with open arms, and clearly grasp some really big concepts. Something I’ve noticed is that kids are a lot better at trusting. They have a seemingly easier time in trusting God, His Word, and those who tell them about the truths of God. It is encouraging to see people accepting the truth of God without always having to ask “why?” While doing the craft with the kids, they asked really good honest questions about angels. It’s always good answering questions of children, because you have to articulate what you believe very simply. I am so thankful that we are able to partake in a vibrant church body, with activities throughout the week!

Julia Lodder







​Wow, this past week was a handful! It all started, on an island far away from home with two people who I do dare call my new friends. The three of us set off on a wonderful adventure! So, we gathered ourselves and away we went, to Loch Lubnaig. On the way, we stopped and observed these majestic creatures. Everything they did was astonishing! That is right, you guessed it… Highland Cows!!

With our journey continuing we stopped at Loch Lubnaig for coffee, food, and to enjoy the nice scenery.

Everything was going so well until Julia took “shotgun” on the way back. At this moment, I ripped my shorts! However, this was child’s play in the realm of bad news compared to what was to come later that week. Yes, the day, unfortunately, came when one of my friends left, gone for two weeks on holiday. Sad, sad times to come upon Julia and me. This, however, was counteracted by the guest appearance of our Life of Paul professor Rev Stephen McCollum. Let me tell you, that this man knows his stuff. Julia and I were engaged in an intense three-day session of long hours with Stephen on the life and works of Paul. I have not been disappointed at all with the classes here on the program! To cap off the week Julia and I took another adventure with Jimmy and Helen today to Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

I have loved my time so far here in Scotland, especially with the people that are surrounding me within the church and the program. Needless to say, this week was INTENSE!

Jordan King