This is a video that I took on the last day that our mission team were in Edinburgh, Scotland. After a week of renovating and restoring Henderson Gardens. Centrepoint Church invited the community of Cables Wynd House to church. The children played an instrumental part in helping us restore the park. The church had a special program for them and invited them to sing in front of the church led by Dixie Forbes.
05 Aug 2008 Leave a comment
I just came back from an amazing trip to Edinburgh, Scotland! In 10 days, myself and a team from North Carolina was able to visit the sites and renovate a park in Cables Wynd House, a small community within the city of Edinburgh.
When I arrived I was taken back by the beauty of Scotland, the rolling green hills and the beautiful castles we visited in LinLithgow and Edinburgh. There is so much history in the city, but I was amazed at how dark it was spiritually towards God and Christianity. There is a church that was next to the hostel that we were staying at and it is now a nightclub called Faith. We passed by several churches that experienced the same fate.
However, God is moving in Edinburgh and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to go to Edinburgh and serve. Our team was briefed on the culture of Scotland the first day we arrived (8/26) and after our briefing we went to Cable’s Wynd House and Henderson Gardens (The park that we restored.) The park was so overgrown that you could not see inside it and there was trash everywhere. The play area had graffiti and trash everywhere. It was certainly not safe for kids to even play in. However, there were some kids playing. I thought to myself, we have our work cut out for us.
Sunday (8/27) was the kick-off to restore Henderson Gardens. At first it was just a few people there but before I knew it. I turned around and the park was filled with people just helping cleaning up trash. That evening, a woman on our team fondly known as “Miss Dixie” led 3 people to the Lord. After hearing the testimonies, I knew God was going to do something very special.
As the week progressed, we started building friendships with the community and the children. The children were getting involved in painting and cleaning up the thorn bushes. I could see the walls of mistrust coming down and their hearts being open to Jesus.
The weather cooperated with us since it does rain a lot in Scotland and the only night we were not able to work was on Thursday (8/30). The amazing thing was the kids and the moms were waiting for us in the rain just to talk to us and there were certainly great conversations that went forth. We were able to finish painting and cleaning up the park on Friday.
On Saturday, we had our Gala day, where we celebrated the restoration of the park. We had grilled hotdogs and had a bouncy castle, face painting for the kids and I had my face painted “I ❤ style=”font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;”>”The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.”
It so simple, love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. That is exactly what we did in action. I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and I will admit that the second part is more difficult that is to love others as I love myself. But I had an opportunity to love on these people and I believe that they saw Christ in us as we loved them by serving them and restoring this park.
As I get acclimated back to life in San Diego, I am challenged and to love others and to serve others in my church and in my community. I realize how blessed I am and Jesus came to be a servant and He had so much compassion, mercy and love. He lived a life of service and died so that we can live. It so easy to get distracted by the cares of this world and focus on the areas that we are lacking in or struggling in. I believe God has called me and every Christian to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit and as we focus on Him, our needs are met, our problems are not as significant and we are able to pour into others.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to be used by God and I encourage all to ask Him what He has for you to do and who to love.
Below is a slide show of the transformation!