From the 13th June to the 10th July the Airdrie RP church had a short-term mission team sent by the American RP Church. The team was in North Edinburgh for one week, and in Airdrie for the rest of the time. The team was comprised of Zuri Cassell, Richard Torelli, Solomon Van Vlack, Rachel Mack and her brother, Nate Mack.
During the first week the team painted the yellow wall in the church hall light blue, and did some deep cleaning was done throughout the church building. They also began the work of distributing a parish newsletter to the 4,000 homes immediately around the church building. The newsletter had articles presenting the Gospel, a testimony from someone in the congregation, a bit about the Covenanter history of the area, an update about the Drop In Café that we ran over the winter, and ads about our upcoming Holiday Bible Club, Conventicle, and Evangelistic Service as well as offers of Bibles and Bible studies.
The team also did a variety of outside work at the manse, including brush removal, rubbish removal, weeding, and cleaning of the garage.
The team was really fun and easy to work with. Even though we had all just met it felt like we had been friends for a long time. The craic within the team was mighty and being able to share this experience of serving together and having that same goal was special!
On Saturday they had a Reformation Tour of St Andrews. That Lord’s Day we had a Congregational Lunch and Psalm Sing in the afternoon which was a wonderful time of fellowship.
The second week the team finished the parish newsletter distribution with the help of the congregation on Monday night. On Tuesday they put up posters advertising our upcoming Conventicle service at Bothwell Bridge in the towns of Bothwell and Hamilton. They also handed out Holiday Bible Club flyers to parents picking up their children from the three closest primary schools.
On Wednesday the Team travelled to North Edinburgh and spent the rest of the week distributing 7,000 invitations to their Mission services the following week. The week finished with a congregational BBQ.
The time spent in North Edinburgh was a real highlight for team member Rachel Mack “[One of] my favourite times was praying in Peter and Emma Loughridge’s home before going to distribute leaflets to the community. “
This time of prayer was very rich and fervent especially as things had not gone according to our plans, but God’s hand was so clearly in all the circumstances.
Week three began with the team in Edinburgh again for the North Edinburgh Mission on Monday-Wednesday nights. They also had a Reformation Tour of Edinburgh and some time to visit the Castle as well. It was encouraging to have some visitors out each of the nights of the Mission.
The Team returned to Airdrie on Wednesday evening, and Thursday and Friday were spent preparing for the Holiday Bible Club the following week. They used their artistic skills to transfer the church hall into a desert island in keeping with the Holiday Bible Club theme. This was another real highlight for team member Rachel Mack: “Some favorite memories from our work were getting ready for and having the Holiday Bible Club in Airdrie. This brought our team together and it was great working with the children in the church and the community.”
On Friday night they also helped with our end of term Kids Club Party. Saturday afternoon they joined with other young adults of the denomination for a Young Adults BBQ.
Their final week began with worship on the Lord’s Day and that afternoon we had our Conventicle (outdoor worship service) at Bothwell Bridge. We were encouraged to have 12 visitors there.
One of my favorite things about the trip was learning about the Covenanters and being able to learn a lot from Stephen – whether that was in a tour setting at St Andrew’s or Stirling to just the wee chats at night at the manse.
Monday-Friday was our Holiday Bible Club, we had 12 children there throughout the week including a couple of children who live in the street behind the church who we first made contact with at our Drop In Café in the winter. The Team did a wonderful job in helping with the Holiday Bible Club. On Monday evening Rachel also met with the Girls Group and gave her testimony.
The Team had one final Covenanter Tour on Wednesday afternoon, and then on Friday afternoon they visited Stirling Castle. On Saturday they handed out flyers to the evangelistic service planned for the Lord’s Day evening to those watching and participating in an Orange Walk through the town, and then in the evening there was a congregational BBQ at the manse.
Just working with and spending time with some of the congregation was a really fulfilling time.
This team was such an encouragement to us in their hard work, maturity, and godliness, and it’s safe to say that we miss them very much!
Here’s what some of the team had to say about their trip:
As my first longer mission trip, this was definitely an amazing and blessed opportunity that was worth taking.Nate Mack
Zuri Cassell says: “I enjoyed working with this mission team. I’m thankful for the variety of skills and personalities that contributed to rich conversations, new friendships, and a productive trip. There were many memorable moments, but it’ll be hard to forget the day with two lunches!”