Gabby and Lissy were interning with us throughout January and here they share their journey of following God’s call to Scotland.
In the fall of 2016, I really felt the Lord pulling me in the direction of missions. I talked to my mom about it and she told me to wait and pray. So I waited. And prayed. And waited… Then eventually kind of forgot about it. Not completely. It was always somewhat there. It just didn’t feel like God was going to use me. Then He gave me the verse, “Here I am, Lord, send me” so that was my prayer. Just simply, here I am Lord, send me. I surrendered it to Him and told Him if He wants me to go somewhere then open those doors and make it clear. I told Him I’d go wherever he wanted me to go.
Then in January Lissy invited me to go to Scotland with her in 2018. It sounded like such an amazing experience. But, I couldn’t do that. I’m not ready to share the gospel. I don’t know enough what if they ask a question I don’t know how to answer and so on. It took me months to realize, but God doesn’t tell us when we’re “ready” to share the gospel then go for it. No, He simply says share the Gospel. And He opened all the doors for me. So I decided to go for it. This opportunity was definitely arranged by God. There is no doubt in my mind that He wanted me to go. And looking back, I see His hand in it all.
Even the week before I left, I felt like I had no idea what I was going to be doing. Yet, I was strangely at peace about it all. Through me not knowing, it showed me He always has a perfect plan for me, and He always knows what He’s doing. That He will give me strength and encouragement when I need it, He will give me words, He will give me knowledge in the moment, and it taught me to trust Him more fully. His grace is sufficient for me, His power is made perfect in weakness. He’s taught me to talk to him about my fears. He is always with me. He’s taught me the importance of retreating into God’s presence and being still and quiet, long enough to hear His voice. How deep His love is for me. Never ending. How He works through my weakness, His arms are always outstretched. He is always guiding me. Jesus is the one who reaches out to those who are forgotten, neglected, outcast, unloved, hurting. And He calls us to love them as well. It’s ok to let my heart break over these things. I’ve learned to stop and listen to broken peoples’ stories. Everyone has something they’re going through.
God has been teaching me the importance of prayer, retreating into His presence, and Christian community. He taught me to be who I am in Christ, no matter what circumstance I am in. I have my own gifts and strengths, and that’s how God made me.
When I left, I was leaving with the intention of pouring into the students lives at Deans High School. But I never expected to be poured into, by students and people we met along the way. Through Gospel Academy with Ian Leitch, meeting with our mentors, spending time with others encouraging their walks with Christ, and talking with the Bells, I have grown so much closer to God! I am amazed at His love!
My favorite part about this internship is how everyone we talked to made it a point to show us how we need to be in a right relationship with Christ first and foremost, how deeply personal it is, and the fact that I came away with some amazing friendships.
Throughout my five weeks in Scotland, God worked in miraculous ways in my own heart and in the lives of students at Deans High School. I was blown away by my time in Scotland because as I was preparing to leave, I was expecting to pour into the lives of the people I’d meet there. I wasn’t expecting the amount I would be poured into during my time there through mentors and new friends. I especially enjoyed our Gospel Academy sessions with Ian Leitch and was encouraged by his wisdom and passion for the spreading the kingdom of God. Another one of my favorite moments in Scotland was the Heralds Prayer Retreat at Dalhousie Castle. I was so convicted at my massive lack of prayer when it came to my personal walk with the Lord. That retreat, I was inspired and amazed at the power of prayer in our daily lives.
One of my favorite parts of the internship was my relationship with a student at Deans. I had met her a year earlier on the Wheaton Academy Winterim trip and we had kept up some throughout the year through social media. During my first week back in Scotland, we were able to share about the gospel. While she had shown a lot of interest and was attending Q Place regularly, there was still something holding her back from accepting Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Throughout our time there we met for coffee, had movie nights, and talked about Christianity. One week during Q place, she opened up about struggles she had been facing at school. Without Gabrielle and I even saying a word, the other students from Deans spent about an hour encouraging her with their own testimonies and scriptures. It was amazing to see the beginning of a community of students at Deans that were willing to encourage and help one another. A couple of days later, Gabrielle and I got a facetime call from her late at night and the first words out of her mouth were, “So how do I do it? How do I become a Christian?” and right then and there we prayed with her to accept Christ. It was amazing to see how God took a friendship that had lasted for over a year to bring Claudia into his kingdom.
My time in Scotland was life-changing. There truly is power in the name of Jesus and speaking the Gospel to the lost. The longer I was in Scotland, the more I became aware of how little I could do to actually impact people. In the end, it is completely a work of the Holy Spirit. Our prayer is that God would continue to grow the seeds that were planted during our time there by the power of His word.