We have definitely “struggled” being over in the UK the last few months. I do use the word struggle in a loose sense. I clearly understand that my struggle is nothing compared to those who are being slaughtered, beheaded, and tortured for being a Christian and heroically and graciously not denying Jesus’s name for their life. Our issues have been more in the line of being homesick for our boys and other family and friends, spending a lot more money having to pay for 2 households, living a very quiet, uneventful life, and just not being in our comfort zone. I hope I am not sounding petty because I really don’t mean to.
But, in all things good and bad, God teaches us. And I thank Him for doing that in all of us. Today, I wanted to share about the biggest blessing He has let me be a part of over here in Scotland. I don’t want to bore you so I may split it up in 2 posts, and if I have already shared this with you personally -sorry!
About two to three years ago I felt God asking me to get out of my “Christian bubble”. All of my friends and my activities revolved around Christians and the church. I love the church and the security it brings. I love studying and being around like- minded people. I didn’t want to leave it and honestly I didn’t try to.
When we got to St. Andrews I was ready to once again get involved and find out how I could serve over here. We found a church and I kept checking the program for ways I could do it. There was nothing there. Ever. I thought all churches listed different areas where members could serve. Even in Chile, I went to the orphanage once a week. Nothing.
Some friends came over for lunch one Sunday after church, and we were discussing this problem I was having. When they were about to leave, Sam said something to me that changed my thinking. He told me I wasn’t going to find a list of places to serve over here. He told me I needed to pick my hobby and find a group that did that hobby, join the group, and minister to people there. I didn’t like that at all. I’ve been a mom so long I didn’t know if I had any hobbies! I didn’t see how my hobbies of reading a book or exercising was going to do this.
At the same time this was going on I met my friend Carrie. She and I became fast friends and had the same desire. We used to drive over to the Costco in Edinburgh and ask the Lord how He could use us and what we could do. We didn’t understand how it could happen. So, first we decided we would have our Smile Ministry. Whenever we would go out somewhere we would smile at people. I know it seems mundane but we weren’t seeing people smile at all. We thought we would start there and just see what would happen.
This is me and Carrie.
Carrie invited me to start going to yoga with her. I had only gone once many years ago and I didn’t like it. I thought it was too “mystical”. I was a little scared of what was going to happen. But, I thought about what Sam said and went with her. I loved it. It was a great class and I was getting stronger and more flexible.
The teacher of the class is Madira from Croatia and she is a gifted teacher. She is so good that to get in her class you needed to get there early and wait in this small narrow hallway that leads into the room. We were getting there 30 minutes before the class which gave us plenty of time to smile and start conversations with lots of people- ex-pats, students, etc. There are people from all over the world living here so there is never a loss for questions to ask. I would ask about where they are from and what it’s like there. What there family is like? What kind of foods they eat? What is the religion of most people that live there? I now know that I hope God keeps putting people from different countries around me to meet.
The next post will tell who we met first and what happened…..