29 May 2009

Why Scum is not currently in Scotland...

In March, the UK regulations for international volunteers changed & now a sponsoring business or charity is required. However, when this changed, Immigration didn't tell any UK charities or businesses, so all kinds of people have been refused entry into the UK: missions teams, students, interns, etc. Needless to say, none of our friends in Glasgow knew about this which is why I'm now in the US.

Over the course of our 12 hour detention in London-Heathrow Airport, we learned this about the new regulations:

A UK Sponsor is needed to get into the country. What this entails is a business or charity that has gone through certain steps to become a registered sponsor which takes about 6 weeks. This sponsor then requests a certain number of slots which they can fill with people who will be entering the country as unpaid workers connected in some way to their charity or business. When the sponsor finds the people to fill those spots, they input the name & are given a number. This number is then given to the person who, in turn, brings that number with them to the UK, presents it to the UK Immigration people & whisks blissfully into the glories of volunteering in the UK.

There is a .pdf with 611 pages of sponsoring organization found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/pbsregisterofsponsors
If you know of any UK businesses or charities & would be willing to see if they are on the list & contact them on behalf of us to see if they'd be willing to chat w/ me about trying to figure out a way to help us get into the UK & eventually to Glasgow, it would be so much appreciated. We would be willing to donate some time to working w/ them if that would be a help to them.

Please be praying for us as we seek to return to Glasgow & figure out what God's wanting to do w/ the us in the midst of all of this. Thanks for reading!

28 May 2009

Dear Friends

So I'm sure your expecting a entry about how our trip went and how great Scotland is but this is not that entry. We are all back in the states. The short version of our trip is that we got to Heathrow England and got denied entry to the UK due to the fact we didn't have a sponsor to do volunteer work in the UK. basically we didn't have the write paper work. We are working on getting that paper work and hopefully we get back soon, we will know in the next couple of days. we are waiting to hear back from the church of Scotland because they seem to be the only ones that might be able to sponsor us.

as far as the trip went it was 14 hours of flying then 12 hours of waiting in the Heathrow airport then the trip back equaling 48 hours of being away and 22 hours of being on a plane. while waiting in the airport we met many very lovely people that we hope to thank in person if we get back (and if we fly in through Heathrow again). We will posting a more in depth blog with details tomorroq but right now we are just resting up since we only had a bed to sleep in for about 4 hours last night.

please keep praying that we will get back and that it's God will we do, also Thank God for his hand in this, we met and talked with many many people that we would have never met if it didn't happen this way and we as a team feel that all of this was Gods doing.

25 May 2009

Trip Contact Info...


Less than a day away from leaving. We'll be getting into Glasgow around 1pm on Wednesday their time. Who knows what time it'll be our time... :) Okay, let's see if my brain's working right: 6 hours ahead of us, so it'd be about 7am here in the States, I believe...

So yeah, a little bit of team info while we're in Scotland:
We'll be staying @ the Sheiling's location of Glasgow City Mission which is found @:

24 McAlpine St.
Glasgow, Scotland
G2 8PT

but WAIT! That's NOT where you should be sending the letters, postcards, cards, cookies, treats (they don't have ranch dressing in Scotland & I can't take more than 3oz on the plane w/ me..), etc! If you want to send stuff via postal mail, you need to send it to:

(whoever's name you're sending it to)
C/O Glasgow City Mission
19 Elderpark Workspace
100 Elderpark Street
Glasgow, Scotland
G51 3TR

Of course, this 'blog is 1 way to keep up w/ what all is happening w/ us & our adventures over the pond. Another is through all our photos @ our flickr site.

In addition to Glasgow City Mission, we'll be spending a lot of time w/ Glasgow Mosaic & VoidAvoidance along w/ a bit of time w/ Friends of the River Kelvin, & the Salt & Light bus.

This isn't the 1st trip Scum of the Earth Church's taken to Scotland. We did 1 in 2007 and another in 2008 so feel free to check them out...

Please be praying for us as we travel tomorrow & Wednesday (we'll be in 4 different airports before we make it 'home' for the month) & that God would be continuing to prepare us for Scotland & Scotland for us :)


.....Because I'm leaving, on a jet plan dont know when i'll be back again.....

leaving tomorrow. almost pack but I'll get it done. I'm starting to get a little nerves but the true reality of this trip hasn't hit me yet I'm guessing that will happen around when we take off or land.

09 May 2009

So soon...


In less than a few weeks, we'll be heading to Glasgow, Scotland & I'm so stoked! It's been almost a year since I was there last & I miss my friends, the green, the cool dampness... Ah! I'm so excited to be heading back.

Only yesterday, I learned that Glasgow City Mission (http://glasgowcitymission.com/) will be hosting us in their building for FREE! Which means that we'll be able to spend a Saturday in Stirling, checking our the town & the castle. I'm stoked for this 'cause I've never been to Stirling before! & we'll be able to spend a few days & a couple nights in Iona again for our holiday. I just bought our 2 nights (16 & 17 June) yesterday so it's becoming more and more real to me each day!

If you'd like to read more about our travels, keep checking back... I'm hoping that this will be the year that we 'blog all the way through the trip instead of slacking off about week 3 :) & I'm hoping to keep this 'blog going for each year after this so that we won't keep changing urls every year! So please check back & see what we're up to...

...ben mercer