31 July 2015

Winding Down

We are all in Cambridge, England now. Michael & Danae just got in by train from London where they were spending some tome getting to know missionary opportunities there; but they also were celebrating their anniversary by touring around the city.

I sense a real need for the team to now decompress from intense ministry in Glasgow during the week before we left. The spiritual oppression and the human needs could, at times, appear daunting—but they saw it through to the end in a way that made me proud of them. And our relationships with staff and clients at the Glasgow City Mission will definitely continue through social media, email and texting! The staff was so great to us as we left, celebrating our time together on more than one occasion. I really think we helped them out—there were days that the GCM was so understaffed without volunteers that they had to just hand out bagged lunches at the door for supper.

Here are some photos from the GCM website, which obviously have all been cleared with permission from the clients in them.

By fantastic mercy,
Mike Sares

27 July 2015

Last Weekend in Glasgow: reflection

25 July 2015


This blog is 2 days late but here it is anyway!  We had a jam-packed weekend in Glasgow.  Friday night Ewan made dinner for Amy, me, and Alastair Duncan, his pastor (from the Tron church).  We had a great time laughing and chatting late into the night, and it was relaxing for me.
Saturday we slept in, and took the train to Larbert to meet with Stuart, Lynsey, Indie, and Graeme one last time.  We had lunch together, sat and chatted, ordered pizza for dinner, and chatted late into the night, praying, encouraging, laughing, and just being the body of Christ.  Stuart and Lynsey were deeply encouraged; they said they look forward to the Scum team coming every year, and that we are truly their church.  I pray that God brings them more people to sustain them throughout the year.
Sunday, Amy and I went to Joe Campbell's church, The Refuge Scotland, pastored by Matt Settlife from Tennessee.  Matt preached a wonderful sermon from Psalm 23, and the worship was intimate and authentic.  Then Amy and I grabbed lunch and headed over to Mosaic, where I lead worship one last time.  Lorna from Mosaic did a presentation and discussion on Christian iconography and art.  Very interesting!
Sunday night was our goodbye party, because the Lammers are headed to London today, and the rest of us to Cambridge on Wednesday.  We had a good turnout, and chatted with people late into the night (seems to be a theme here!!) Amy and I walked back to the flat with Joe Thomson, Susan Tulley, and Simon Noble from GCM.  We chatted more over cups of tea.  God has truly blessed us with lifelong friends here.
Today has been a lazy day of laundry and reflection.  Don't have plans for tonight - maybe I'll see a movie or something.  I am just resting in the goodness of God, and his provision.

Matt Kingham

to London

Last Blog from Glasgow
Danae Lammers

coming home from the GCM on friday on the train was different. I looked out the train and saw the rain coming down and thought about how comfortable I feel here and how easily I felt I could integrate into life in Glasgow. As the rain dripped down the windows, I looked out feeling a sad tug in my heart, not as if I would never see this place again, but that I am not ready to leave just yet.

I know by now that God has us back in Colorado for some time, time to center and enjoy life and say goodbye in some ways to life in the U.S on our own pace, without having to rush towards doors or hit certain benchmarks that we feel we ought to be at by now. So in a way I am looking forward to going home, for these reasons, but the sadness of leaving Glasgow for an indefinite amount of time still lingers.

So we are off to London in a few hours by train, and will take some time to reflect and pray over what is waiting for us when we get there. Throughout this trip God has been speaking over me a message of freedom. working towards life in ministry for us over the past few years has been a series of missed marks and closed doors, and lists of what our lives ought to look like before we can be used in ministry. It has been disheartening at times, but God used this narrow path and the lists and profiles to measure up to that have been given to us, to bring about so much growth. 

Now I feel like God is calling me to release seeking to check things off the lists and seek approval from people. He wants me to see that not all ministries and missionaries look the same. He wants me to see that He is bigger and more creative with his plans for us than all that we could ask or imagine. He is calling me to a to a wide coastline of incredible beauty and freedom, after walking a narrow path through the steep hills and marshy valleys. But I think the best thing about where I am right now, is that he is telling me to taste and see, and sit and enjoy, not plan and worry and try to figure out and Map. That is what I will be praying over our time in London, even as we meet with ministries we may potentially work with in the future, that we would not be swept up in figuring out whats next, but just find enjoyment in embracing the freedom we have in Christ.

until next time - Danae Lammers

21 July 2015

hello all,

It has been a while since I have been on blog but I'll try to keep it somewhat short.

As for what Danae and I have been doing, we have been trying to spend as much time in the city as we can, so often on our days away from the mission we have been exploring the city of Glasgow.  I have gotten good at figuring out the fastest route to a place via trains/subway and I am hoping that there will be very little of a learning curve when we go to London. 

When we get back I'll be open to talking about our adventures in depth but I wanted to focus this blog on what God has been showing me/Danae and I.

As most of the people that know us know, Danae and I have felt like God has called us to do long term missions in Europe. We have spent a lot of our time pursuing that vision. But in the past it seems that we hit more closed doors than open ones. 

So this trip for us was partly (after GCM) to learn and see what ministries are happening here in Glasgow as well as London. While we are still doing that we have felt that God is telling us that we need to follow his timing. Meaning that instead of always trying to get to the "goal" we need to focus on where God has us now. That for us is going to be in Colorado for a while longer with us focusing on listening for God to tell us when and not ourselves. 

Do I feel like missions work is never going to happen for us? No, just that God is preparing the people/place/the organization that we go with while we prepare our selves. 

One thing that keeps popping up while I'm here is that God is good and God has something greater for us even if there is something we want now.      

19 July 2015

Glasgow City Mottos (posting this blog a little late—sorry)

I love Humanities.

I love the way one can trace the beliefs of a people through their politics, socio-economic values, visual arts, music, literature, etc.

I love the way a time can be described by its moral code.

Here in Glasgow, the city mottos through the ages describe the shifts in belief:

Lord, let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name

Let Glasgow Flourish

People Make Glasgow

How can one get back to the times of glorifying God as a conscientious motto in Glasgow?
This is a different time.
This is a new time for Our Lord to pour out His ever-loving favor on Glasgow.
This time is a time of resting in the Lord and obeying His commands, following as a disciple.

Mary Sares
July, 2015

19 July 2015

Hello everyone! Matt again. We had a wonderful 3 days in Iona, got lots of sun (unheard of!) and 3 of us came back with a bug (virus)! For me it started with a sore throat, then sinus pressure, and coughing today. My body needs more rest. Thankful for today and tomorrow and Tuesday to rest until we have to report for the evening meal Tuesday at 6:30.
Iona was lovely. I relaxed a bit more, since this was my 2nd time, and I had seen the Abbey, Heritage Centre, Bishop House, and all of the "touristy" places on the island. I walked around the first day to the west shore and promptly got lost traipsing back across soggy swampland and sheepy meadows. I was about 30 minutes late to dinner, but at least I made it! The next day I decided to take it easy. I just wanted to find a cave. And I did! That was a wonderful moment. Then I napped and came back for dinner. I had an allergic reaction at dinner to something (I have a peanut allergy) but I was able to use my EpiPen and Benedryl and drink tons of water to make it go away.
Friday was a full day at the mission, plus evening meal. Saturday was a wonderful time meeting my mentor, Joe Campbell, for a very late breakfast and walk around the city centre, and we also met with Linda Abbott from the mission. Last night the Scum team were treated to a gourmet meal of haggis, neaps, and tatties, prepared by our friend Graeme Watt.
Today (Sunday) I played keyboard at Carbrain Baptist church in Cumbernauld (where Graeme is the worship leader). He tried to take me to Loch Lomond, where Mosaic church is having baptisms, but we didn't get out of church in time, and I still feel crummy. Oh well! Maybe I'll get a chance to see Loch Lomond sometime. Now I'm off to my room to rest up and feel better! Drinking lots of hot teas with honey! Cheers! - Matt

18 July 2015

Ionan Thoughts (an iconoclast's perspective)

by Mike Sares

I'd like to be a Christian mystic, but I am not.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon, the 14th of July, onto the Isle of Iona. This is where St. Columba started his monastery. Born in Ireland in AD 521, he came to Iona in 563 AD with twelve other monks. By the time of his death in 597, Columban monks began to spread the word of Christianity all over what is now Scotland. At the community’s zenith, the monks on Iona produced The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels known as a masterpiece of the Middle Ages.

There are stories about St. Columba’s miracles and visions. I figure that some of them are true. Jesus is supposed to have told the saint about his impending death days in advance, and Columba is reported to have seen the angels coming for him. As a result, this island has been known for centuries as a "thin place” — somewhere where the boundaries between heaven and earth are paper-thin. I doubt that this island is more holy than anyplace else on the earth; but then, I am no mystic.

As I toured the Abbey and listened to the pre-recorded tour guide, what struck me the most was how superstitious people became after St. Columba’s death. Warriors and kings wanted to be buried on the Isle of Iona because it was deemed “holy ground.” Columba’s bones became relics and were used as good luck charms by armies going into battle. I don't get it. Jesus goes with his people wherever they go. Whether he is with Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta or the staff at the Glasgow City Mission, or with St. Columba on the island of Iona – it is Jesus who makes a place or a task holy. It is His presence in his followers— “his temple, or his Body" (1Corinthians 3:16, 12:27) which causes something to be set apart for His righteous purposes.

Iona has become the home of the Iona Community which appears, from its literature, to be more concerned about social justice and world peace than faith in Jesus Christ. The island has also become rather touristy. I have seen people from several different countries walking about the island, going from the Abbey to the museum to the shops which sell everything from religious jewelry to sweatshirts. Still, Iona is a stunningly beautiful place and we’ve had two glorious days of clear weather with plenty of sunshine – a rarity during our time in Scotland. The beauty of this island is not lost on me. Inside the hotel as I write this, I praise God as I look out my bedroom window at the blue-green ocean and the hills of the Isle of Mull across the small channel which separates it from Iona. Even sailboats and ships fill me with wonder as I watch them gracefully move, their white foamy wakes fanning out behind them.

I am grateful for the time of rest away from our taxing schedule at the Glasgow City Mission. I am grateful for the loveliness that is this part of Scotland. I long for closeness with Jesus in both places. May my expectations match his will for me in both places. May I see him in the disheveled faces of the clients at the mission as much as in the rugged allure of this Scottish island.