Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Glasgow - Week Two

I updated everyone pretty regularly for the first week. That's partly because I had more time because the events were less well attended than the ones for the second week. It's partly because I was more tired, and partly because I had other things on my mind that kept me from making the time to update.

This will be an update for the second week of my travels in Glasgow, followed by a prep-update for Slovakia (which starts tomorrow! Yay!).

Monday - Spanish Night
Tuesday - Pancake Night
Wednesday - Day Off
Thursday - Ceilidh
Friday - Café and Music
Saturday - Birmingham

The Spanish night went very well and I led a Bible study in it with 25 or more people, many of whom had never attended Bible Study before. I led the study on Thursday as well with a similar turnout. I was asked by someone from Sri Lanka if I was a pastor, and had to disappoint him by telling him I was a student. Someone else told me to present for the BBC. I think I missed my calling as a con artist. Or maybe an out-of-work actor.

We had a lot of great discussions each evening. There was a new team for week two, with the loss of one girl and the addition of three more. What is it with women in world mission? You just can't get away from them.

During the days we had devotions and training sessions, followed by lunch and contact time as per usual, and in week two we saw a lot of people coming to the events who had received a flyer. That was encouraging. I had a long chat with a Muslim fellow who was a judge in Libya for 10 years and is now doing his PhD in International Commercial Law. He was fascinating, and we sparked a conversation about the Bible after I told him my name. I guess I have mum and pop to thank for that one.

The end of the week was so encouraging. The café and music night was relaxed and fun, even if they did make me sing in front of everyone...twice... The atmosphere was good, we had a good turnout, relationships were built, and I think everyone felt like it ended on a high.

I met people from dozens of countries around the world, learned to interact with innumerable cultures, led Bible Studies, started conversations with strangers, built a friendship and community with a team I had never met, made relationships in Glasgow that will last and bring me back either for GIO next year, or even with Relay to live. It's such a wonderfully multi-cultural city, and for the first time I'm not saying that with any kind of grievance. Nationalism breeds subliminal racism, and if there's anything God hates it's racism in any kind. It makes a mockery of what He did on the Cross, and should be cut out of the church so deep there is never any chance of its return. Our citizenship is not on earth, and therefore our loyalties should lie with no country or nation based on the proximity of its headquarters to our place of birth or upbringing. There will be no argument.

I have spent the last three days with Jo in Birmingham preparing for Slovakia. I will embark early tomorrow to hire the car and set off for Antwerp, Belgium which is our first destination. Pray for safe travels, a smooth hiring of the car, and alertness for one driver who is unused to British roads and British cars. (That's me, by the way.)

I will do my best to update often in Slovakia, but do not know the internet availability where I will be so panic not if you do not hear from me. It is unlikely I have been taken by bandits.

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