07 July 2012

returning to Colorado...

Hello from Denver! We are back. Our team arrived back in Colorado on Wednesday, July 4th, just in time to see a few fireworks. It has been wonderful seeing familiar faces and getting to tell about our experiences in Scotland over the last month. I just wanted to say thank you so much for keeping up with our blog and being interested in reading our thoughts and about our various adventures throughout the country. Your support has meant so much to us and we are so thankful to have you in our lives. Additionally, I think it has been good for each of us to have documented bits and pieces of our journeys along the way. It has been helpful to go back through and read and be reminded of the things we have gone through and all that God has done in our lives and all around us.

We were blessed to have met so many incredible people along the way, including staff, volunteers, and clients at Glasgow City Mission, staff and members of Glasgow Mosaic Church, Re:Hope Church, Queens Park Baptist Church, Carbrain Baptist Church in Cumbernauld, and various others. The amount of encouragement and welcome that we received was completely humbling and really blessed us during our time in Scotland. We were also invited over to several homes to share a meal together, which meant a lot to us all. As well, I know the work at the mission that we were able to participate in was very impacting on all of our lives.

Thank you again for all of your support, thoughts, prayers, questions, and time spent following our trip in Scotland. It has been and will continue to be invaluable to us. And if you would like to hear more about any part of our time, please ask us, as we would be happy to tell you more!

Love in Jesus,
Katie/Eagleslayer :)

Honey, I'm home!

Hello, everyone.

As you probably already know, we have returned from our month-long trip to Scotland. I want to thank all of you who have kept up with this thing over the last month. It's a blessing just to know that you care about us enough to read about what was on our minds and hearts. It truly has been, and continues to be, a great encouragement.

Just as a sort of wrap up of our final days in Scotland, I will share a few things with you.

On Monday night, a few of us stayed up way too late. At face value, this seems like a decision of poor judgment. I believe otherwise. The four of us that stayed up and talked shared more about what God had been showing us. Of course, we had been doing this pretty regularly in our nightly debrief time, but this late night talk may have been even deeper. I know that I definitely shared more about what God has been opening my heart to over the past six months, especially during the trip. On Tuesday, we finally cleaned up after ourselves. After our cleaning fiesta, we went to Wes and Cindy's (Glasgow Mosaic) flat to have a meal and talk with them about their ministry as well as our experiences in Glasgow. We had a wonderful meal, chat, and prayer time with them. It was definitely one of the many highlights of the month. Later on Tuesday, we all went to a pub to say our goodbyes to staff and volunteers from the mission. Talk about humbling. The amount of wonderful people that took time out of their day to come and see us is mind-boggling.

If you did anything to support our trip, thank you.

Please continue to pray for us as we are still processing through the trip and how it has changed us.

I love you all.

In Jesus,

Jerred Olen Powell

02 July 2012

Bitter Sweet

Hello from the Scotland

Well, this is a tough one to write. This was the last day serving at the mission. It has been very sad to say goodbye. But God has been moving even in the midst of us preparing to leave. Today we finished up as much of the construction we could. We were able to get the sewage line ran for the new toilet, and started dry walling the former toilet (New Office). We also had amazing talk with Andrew (Chief Exec, at GCM) at lunch. He has been knees deep in the mud during this construction task. But today during a home made lunch of Chili and Cornbread, he told us his story and how God has brought him through some terrible times, but has blessed him so much. His story was able touch many of us on a very personal level and allowed him to speak into some of our lives. We then went to serve at our final night meal. This was very tough, we have grown to really love the volunteers, staff, and clients here at GCM. There is such a presence of God in this place, its hard to leave. But our final night was amazing, a volunteer John prayed for a couple of other volunteers with shoulder pain, and they were healed. He also prayed John Favara.  He said he felt a weight lifted off of him, and had peace in areas of his life he was struggling with. John also said this allowed him to feel Gods presence in way has not for years. This has been sort of a theme on this trip, at least for me. As God has brought me back to him, and felt his presence in ways I havent in years also. There has been so many prayers answered on this trip. Well agian i am writing this at 1:30am, so i need to get to sleep, we have a long day ahead of us, cleaning the housing site, having lunch with Wes from Mosiac, then we have our going away diner, where people are coming and saying goodbye, well night (well mid afternoon back in the states)

01 July 2012

Miracles and New Family Members

Hi all,

We are now winding down our trip. There is only two days left before we leave to return to the States and its been a flurry of activity. We've been squeezing in every last moment we have with seeing all the people that we've developed friendships with, and all of it has been both wonderful and incredibly sad. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful people who've blessed us so much and have poured so much into our lives with both their experience and their time.

Today I'm going to remind us a little of what this is all about. The church we've been working with, Mosaic, has recently had a new addition to its body of believers. Ali comes from a Muslim background and has been going to Mosaic for about 8 months. But in that time he's had some lifechanging things happen. The first thing he noticed about Mosaic was that one of the pastors was wearing shorts. This was so incredibly strange to him as he's spent so much time witnessing the conundrum of people dressing up for church. But if that wasn't enough he was immediatly enveloped in a big hug when he walked in. Ali is no stranger to hugs, but there was something different about the hug from Mosaic: he could tell that they really cared.

For a long time Ali spent his time in a strange place. He felt so incredibly different at Mosaic than he felt anywhere else. There was a strange and permeating sense of peace as well as new realization that he just couldn't place his finger on. There was something altogether different that didn't make sense. He spent most of that time in tears, and he didn't even know why. But what he really cherished about this time is that the people of Mosaic left him to figure it out on his own. They helped him up when he needed it, and were friends, and made him feel that it was altogether safe to go about investigating this in his own way.

It wasn't long before Ali found his way into a bible study called 25th Hour led by a Romanian named Ovi. Ovi's passion was to use film, story and art to try and find ways of connecting with the bible. Ovi and Ali quickly became good friends, and Ovi was able to come alongside and help Ali wrestle with many of the tough questions he had. And all the way the realization that this was just a better form of life than he'd ever had, that it was real and strange was growing inside Ali. It was a difficult decision. Ali loves people, and he loves his family especially. The last thing he wanted to do was to hurt them or cause them pain, but he knew the decision he had to make. Today Ali shared that he has given his life to the Lord, knowing fully what it might cost. He's asked for the support of the entire community of Mosaic because of the overwhelming way in which they've loved him.

It was incredibly special to see this event happening in our midst. God is truly a God of miracles. Even on Friday I was myself feeling caught in despair seeing so many people trapped in the bondage of bad decisions, alcohol and even just guilt: unable or unwilling to make any kind of decision that would lead them to a new and better life. To see Ali quickly and powerfully drawn to God just proves that He is still very much active. But it also shows the value that the church has and what a community of love can accomplish.



29 June 2012

Brick, Braun, and Blessings

Hello friends on the intarwebs! Thanks for checking out this blog.

This last week has been a mixture of sentimentality, spirituality, and sweat.

Recap: Saturday we went to Stirling and saw the historic throne of Scotland and the multi-storied, spiral staircased Wallace Monument. Sunday, I went to two church services and met Stuart Weir and his wife Esther. Mosaic church was a meal and talking about the intersection of film and spirituality. Their focus is to reach modern people through the media that they connect with. Next we went to Re:Hope. I was slightly judgemental at first, then the truthful message about unity in Ephesians 4 completely blew my initial thoughts away. I loved hearing about the pastor's faithful and inspiring journey of starting a church in Glasgow.

This week we started working at Glasgow's Child and Family Center doing manual labor. It was a nice change of pace and fond memories flooded my mind of working in Brazil three years ago. Yesterday we had a strenuous day of digging through six unexpected layers of brick under a layer of concrete and rubber in order to dig a trench for a sewage pipe. Little did we know that directly under our noses was a pipe that was covered for over 20 years that was nowhere to be found in the buildings original plans. This pipe was exactly the pipe that we were trying to build already laid in the ground. The chances that the solution we were working so hard to accomplish ourselves was already accomplished in the exact spot that we needed. The work was done for us. It seems too good to be true, but amazingly it is. I can only accept this as a gift from God. Although we spent most of the day digging five feet deep of brick and clay, without first finding what was below the earth, we would never have known about the blessing. Jerred saw how this relates to the Christian experience. We prepare for the worst, bleed and sweat digging in one place when the answer is just under our nose. God's blessing and wisdom is right there waiting for us though we strenuously search in the wrong place. When we find it, it is exciting and makes so much sense but we never would have found it without the hard work.

This is a gift because our time can be used for more things and the CEO of the Glasgow City Mission gets to spend time with his family this weekend. Our team can focus on the things that we need to before leaving.The most powerful person at the mission is covered in mud, sweating in the rain with us, a perfect example of the first being last. Robert, who singlehandedly makes up the maintenence department at the mission, was directing us as well. He has an amazing story of how he came to Christ, overcame an earthly life, redeemed his status as a father, and came to work at the Mission. He is a joy to work with and keeps us laughing.

Its funny how in the last week before we leave I finally feel more confident and comfortable with Glasgow as a city, the mission and its staff, volunteers, and clients. I feel ten times more effective than when I started. I found people to invest in and feel the Spirit leading me to pray for specific people. Leaving reminds me that all good things must come to an end, it's dangerous to become comfortable, and it's time to apply what we have learned at home in Denver.

Thanks for reading about how God has been blessing us even in our last days in Scotland! I'll leave you with this verse from Deuteronomy 6: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on yhour children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

We are praying for rain and safety for families in Colorado!

In Christ,

Ethan Sares

28 June 2012


Hey friends!

Today we began our work project at the Child & Family Center of Glasgow City Mission in the Govan neighbourhood of Glasgow1: We are switching an office for a bathroom and vice-versa! To this end, we broke into 3 teams with a few of us helping dismantle the bathroom, another cleaning out the office and drilling, chiseling, and pickaxing a hole through a double layer brick wall, and the final team digging a trench for the drainage pipe. Andrew & Robert were the Mission staff overseeing us and it was glorious!

I came to love Robert last year when we worked in Govan, Randell and I hearing his story and his infectious laugh and humor and this year is no different! It is so good to get time to work with him and Andrew as well. I've known Andrew since I met him at Lodging House Mission back in 2007 but I believe this year is the most I've been able to work with him and He is wonderful!

Doing physical work projects is much different than most of what we've done so far this trip bit it is nice to see a task completed. Feeling the pickaxe break through the brick and looking up at the wall that's just been taken out per request is a good feeling. And, as a leader, seeing my team working together to accomplish these projects whole singing, chatting, and laughing together is such an amazing gift.

Tonight, Stuart Gilmour, Graeme Watt, and Jason Crispin came into town to hang out which was a blast! The night covered serious conversations and times you couldn't stop laughing and everything in between. This trip has been amazing as we've had the chance to build so many dear friendships! God has been so good to us :)

Ben Mercer

27 June 2012


Hello everyone!

This is Jerred.

I hope that all is well.

I'm just going to give you a little bit of a recap of my day...

After devotions this morning, we headed over to the City Mission. As soon as we arrived at the mission, I began helping get things ready for URBAN. This is one of the duties that we've all come to be fairly familiar with. I headed downstairs when URBAN began to take part in the over 40 men's club. How well you know me will determine how surprised you may be to know that this club has possibly been my favorite club to be in. (Just to give you a little insight, I have been tagged the "old man" of the group.) After the little piece of heaven that the over 40 men's club is, I, along with Katie and Chad, attended Life Group. Life Group is a church service that happens at the City Mission. This time was truly amazing. Between the worship, prayer, openness, encouragement, teaching, and discussion that took place, I can honestly say that the Spirit of God was present. After church, we headed to a local pub to meet with the rest of the group and Stephen, an American friend of ours who volunteers at the mission on Wednesday evenings. It was good to get this time to sit, eat, and be able to talk with him about his ministry here as well as tell him more about Scum. We pretty much left the pub and went straight to the mission to begin preparing for the evening drop-in. The evening drop-in has consistently been one of the high points of all of my days that we work it. It is simply something that I thoroughly enjoy no matter what role I have on any specific night. After the drop-in, we met as a team to talk about our days with each other. Now, I'm blogging. It's currently 12:15 am on Thursday morning.

As awesome as today was, it had a little bit of a bitter-sweet feel. Today was the last day that we were scheduled to work at the mission during the clubs that take place in the afternoons. Pretty much all day long, the thought of this was in the back and sometimes the front of my mind. It makes me sad that our time here is  coming close to its end. Regardless of these feeling of sadness, I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have been a part of the clubs at the mission over the past few weeks.

Please pray for us as we have to say our goodbyes.

I love you all.

In Jesus,

Jerred Olen Powell

26 June 2012

Some photos from our journey...

Hi all! Katie here, again. I wanted to share some photos I have taken so far from our time here in Glasgow and maybe just say a few words about each one. Hope you enjoy!!


A typical day in Glasgow. Most of us actually love the weather here!

Watching a Christian video during the ladies' bible study with some of clients. This has been one of my favorite activities at the mission.
Me and Julie, a volunteer at the mission. She's awesome!!
Some of the ladies (volunteers and clients) during the dinner service, which is separated from the men who eat downstairs. I have really enjoyed serving and connecting here as well.
Me and one of the clients. Such a sweet person!
Building gazebos for a local festival that Glasgow Mosaic Church participates in and helps out with.
Chad chatting up some of the ladies after church at Carbrain Baptist Church in Cumbernauld, where some of our friends (Stuart and Graeme) have attended and lead worship and preach sometimes.
Clients watching a video during the Christianity Explored class after the young men's club at the mission.
During a church service held mid-week at the mission. It's one of our favorite activities to attend! The clients and volunteers share a time of praise & worship and hearing a message and getting to ask questions about the Bible and Christianity.
During church at Glasgow Mosaic where we attend each weekend and have gottten to know a wonderfully diverse congregation of people. It is such a blessing to be welcomed there.


Cooking class at the mission, peeling potatoes. Not my forte, but we tried our best :)


Jerred connecting with some of the clients during the Urban activity at the mission. It's a time where clients can come in and chat, use the computers, the gym, have some coffee/tea and a snack. 

Hope this helps give you all a bit more perspective on the daily and weekly activities that we get to participate in. Really eveything we are commited to has been a huge blessing and God is so present both at the mission and the churches we attend. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and for keeping up with our adventures. We love you all!
with much love, Katie aka Eagleslayer :)

25 June 2012

Well what to say

Hello in blog land... What to say? Life and God have been amazing here, but there is a feeling of it coming to an end. This is a little tough to deal with. We are entering our last full week here, and all ready we are starting the goodbyes. It is tough starting to build relationships with everyone over here, to only have to leave. But we must return home and use what God has shown us in our everyday lives, and at our church.

Well but a quick recap for you, Sat we went to Stirling Castle. It was great seeing some of the history of this nation. We happen to be at the castle on the 698th aniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. A key vitory during for the Scots in thier war for independance. It also took place within view of the Castle. We also made it to the Wallace Monument. Then we headed back to Glasgow. Some took the rest of the day and watched Brave Heart, but Ethan and I went to see Angles Share with Graeme. This is a movie that was shot in Glasgow, and is about several Glaswegians. In the adds for the film they hail it as the Scotish Full Monty. It is a good film but be prepared for heavy accents. Well its getting late and I need to get to bed, thanks for reading

22 June 2012

There and Back Again - A Scum Tale

There were so many high points from last week. The first was Lindsey's baptism. I have only know her for about a week and a half but I already know part of her story and how passionately she pursues Jesus. Seeing a baptism is always beautiful when it is a genuine promise to the Lord before the body of Christ to forever love and serve him because of His sacrifice.

The next morning, Monday, a long term volunteer, Robin, took us to the south side. Chad wrote about it a little in his last post. I just want to reiterate how loved and served Chad, Jerred, and I felt. It was true foot washing that Robin did for us showing us around the city, feeding us, and introducing us to friends. He truly intended for us to have a heavenly day. We also saw Highland cows! If all the cows had a fashion contest, this cow would win. They're so fuzzy!

We left for Iona the next day. We traveled for 8 hours but it was totally worth it. Iona is a paradise. There isn't a lot going on and completely remote from any concept of the city. Sometimes we desire an escape in a world outside our own, to a fantasy world. I think we forget how truly beautiful, wonderful, and intriguing God made the world that we live in. There is really no place like Iona. It's green with plenty of rocks, sea all around, and wee sheepies! That night I ate the best meal of my life. I tasted and saw that the Lord is good! We ate like kings, celebrated, and laughed - a perfect symbol of how much God cares for us. The next day, I spent 6 hours wandering the island alone in silence, searching for Jesus Christ. Being honest with myself and God about my doubts was freeing and humbling. I tirelessly searched for him, walking and running the perimeter of the island. It has been a long time since I felt that rested and spiritually sound though I still have many questions for my Lord.

We traveled back and met two strangers on the bus and ferry. We talked extensively and played games. I hope we exemplified Christ in our interactions.

Today was long. Between devotions, Art in the morning, Internationals in the afternoon, organizing tins in the store room, the evening meal, and debrief, we worked for 15 hours. I am sufficiently exhausted but it was so worth it. I shared a message along with part of my story with the women for the evening meal. God truly feeds us when we share our story and the great mercy of Jesus Christ.


-Ethan Sares-

P.S. if you ever decide to grow out your hair and beard, be prepared to be compared by strangers to all iconic people that possess these features including Solid Snake, Jesus, Che, Georgios Samaras, David Grohl, etc.

Thin Places

The following is something that I wrote down Wednesday morning while on the Isle of Iona:

"The views of God's creation are stunning from the top of Dun I, or rather anywhere on Iona. The hike up was more strenuous than I had expected, but it was worth every breath. It's easy from here to see God's creation because it is so obvious. I can see the sea, the islands, the mountains, the rocks, the beaches, the sky. This could not have been an accident or have happened merely by chance. Yet sitting here, I catch myself looking at the small insects crawling on the ground, the grass blowing in the strong wind gusts, the small flowers from moss on the rocks. This too is God's creation! Why do I need to be in a place like Iona to be reminded of the beauty to be found in all of God's creation? Every place in my life should be a thin place."

I want to challenge you to see beauty in things that you may often overlook.

I love you all.

In Jesus,

Jerred Olen Powell

21 June 2012


Dear friends,

As Chad mentioned earlier, we spent the last few days traveling to and from and on the Isle of Iona. Iona is where Christianity first reached Scotland through St. Columba. The celts call it a 'thin place', where the barrier between heaven and earth is thinner than other places, and I believe that it is.

The travel there is a bit rigorous as we took a train to a ferry to a bus to a ferry to the island, but once you step off the boat onto the island, you can feel a change. It's like time slows down and peace descends. We explored and prayed and ate good food while we were there. We spend time with God as a team and as individuals, we laughed and cried out to God together. It was glorious.

Each night, we debriefed outside and talking about our days in the sight of so much beauty was inspiring and so worshipful. The green fields and sheep the first night, the sand and rocks the second night, and the sea forever surrounding us. So gorgeous.

On Wednesday, I hiked up to the highest point on the island, a hill called Dun I (pronounced 'doon ee')' and sat in a cleft of the rock for about an hour or so, talking with and listening to God the whole time. Then later in the day, I walked down to the southern part of the island, found a wee spot of grass on the beach, a stretched out in the warm sun and rested and dozed, very aware of God's presence all around me.

As we enter back into our work with the Mission I am glad that God loves us so much that He calls us into both work and rest.

Thanks for reading!

Ben Mercer

18 June 2012

Mad 1am ramblings from Chad

Hello everyone!!! Hey this is Chad, your monday blogger! So there is always so much that happends over the week end for me to blog about, and i never know what to write... Well first lets start with sat for me, went to Edinburgh, and the weather was incredably minging! But glad i got to see the city. It was totally a tourist day and was not a huge fan.. It was good to spend time with the team, we also met Jonny and his Fiance there and had breakfast, Later Mary Alice meet up with us. It was great to see a familar face over here. Sunday was excellent, John, Ethan, and Ben got up early and went to Carbrain Babist Church to celebrate Stuart Gilmore's fiance Lynsey's babtism. (i wish i would got up for that, i really love the spending time with Stuart, and Graeme from Rodent Emporium). Then we went to Mosiac Church, it really feels at home. I feel i have already made friends there in only 2 weeks. It was a farely relaxing day, but was really good. Monday was a realative slow day for most, Ethan, Jerred, and I had to get up early to meet with Robin a long term volunteer at GCM. He then took us on a tour of the south side of Glasgow. Went to Polluck Park, it was an old Estate that was given to the city to be turned into a park. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! Then we got some take out and went back to his flat and met his sons, had lunch outside in the amazing weather (acutally sunny, but high of like 60ish degrees, LOVE THE WEATHER). Then we came back and served the evening meal. There was so much good conversations that happend, and God moving. It is amazing over here...

Well enough of my ramblings on about our days. I do want to say that God has been so every present in our prayer and times togeather!

Also we will be headed to the Isle of Iona in the morning so we will not be bloging for the next 2 days. We will be taking some quiet time with God, in a beautiful, spiritual place. Thanks and type at you soon ;-)

16 June 2012

Hello Friends, John here again.

This week was better than last week. Already things are starting to feel more comfortable. The staff has been so good and accommodating to us, so willing to bring us along side and not only share with us their own experiences but bring us into new experiences as though we we've always been a part of their volunteers. I've already made several friends who I feel are old friends, and I've only known them for almost two weeks. One example of how this has worked is that one of our leaders names is Joe, and he will frequently turn to me to talk about specific incidents that have happened with clients, either the previous week or that same day. He often times is either processing how he's handled the situation, trying to see if he could've done something better, or else just remarking on it. The openness with which he, and a good deal of the rest of the volunteers, share with us without even really knowing us is fairly extraordinary, and makes me just want to contribute more. Ironically, we are continually getting praise both from the staff members and even occasionally from the clients. I've had numerous times when I've been told very authentically that I'm making a difference, when the truth is, I don't even know what I've done. Most of the time i feel like I'm just showing up. I suppose the lesson is that God uses people even if they don't see it or feel like it, but the condition is they just have to show up.

Perhaps the greatest moment I had this week was in our Internationals Club, which is a place for people from other countries to come, get food, have community with each other and then either have an English class or a Bible Study. I talked with a man named Aala from Libya who was a Muslim, and had some of the most interesting and best conversation I've had in a long time. He only started learning English a year and a half ago, but is already fluent. He was sad about how hard it was for him, and it made me think that there should be easier ways to help people who are trying to make new lives for himself. Because of war in his country everyone has lost at least one person in their family, if not more. He also will never go back. He's moved on. He's a Muslim, and it was fascinating for me to get an inside look into what he thinks as well as the surrounding countries. The conclusion I've come to about him is that he's very much like a young Christian. He firmly believes in God, but doesn't feel like he can prove it to people who ask. He doesn't really know much about what Islam teaches or believes from deep study. He feels like Christianity and Islam have a lot in common because we both serve one God. He didn't go so far as to say the same God. I don't know if he's thought that far or not. But he very much feels like we have more in common than not, and thinks that in general people are either good or bad, whether their Christian, Muslim, political or not. You find the same contrasts everywhere. Please pray for him. I'm excited to continue talking with him since he seems very open. But I will only see him once a week, so the amount that I can actually show him about Christianity without overwhelming him is limited. He's in the right place thought. City Mission is the perfect place for him to feel safe and loved, and have the truth of Christ continually preached and lived out.

Thanks for all your support and prayers. This has been amazing!

15 June 2012

Thank you for stopping by the blog amidst all the feeding you could be doing on Facebook. We truly appreciate it. Without further ado...

I will never forget the day I almost saw the Olympic torch. We were standing just outside a Wetherspoons when suddenly two giant parade trucks went by with people waving flags and police motorcycles everywhere. They said "it's going to pass in five minutes!" So we waited. And we waited. It had been ten minutes. We asked the fuzz blocking traffic in the intersection where the torch was and he said it passed and it was three blocks down on Buchanan street. Shoot.

My favorite club is Internationals. All clients who are foreign to Scotland are welcome. I have met people from Uganda, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and many others. I love hearing everyone's stories - some are exciting and some are tragic. There is always an amazing meal cooked by Gabrielle. Then we teach English to them. It is easy to develop friendships here and high potential to show the love of Jesus. I was also able to speak Portuguese with Jose who is from Portugal!

The Spirit is so strong at the Mission. For the first time in a long time, I feel that I am exactly where God desires me to be. Very often during school and while I am working, I feel that most of my time and resources are being spent on myself and isn't furthering the kingdom. Here it is so obvious that the Spirit is moving through me as I serve. Though I am in a foreign environment than my own and not working, I don't think this feeling can be ignored. I talked with John and Jerred. They encouraged me in my feeling and that I should pray about it. They also advised me to take in as much as I can while I'm here and not worry about what I will do when I get back. I wait on the Lord to direct and lead.

Continuing to serve meals at night, I am learning all the different roles to play in the service. After being in existence for almost 200 years, the Glasgow City Mission, the night is a finely tuned machine. However it is not micro-managed at all. The Spirit leads and helps us have an immense compassion for the clients. I wonder if this is how the disciples felt as they were directed to feed the 5,000? I love working every night. I can't get enough.

We are growing as a team and bonding. We have suffered many spiritual attacks by the enemy and we pray over each other vigorously in the name of Jesus Christ. Many prayers have been answered. One example: For the last week, I had chronic physical/emotional fatigue. I couldn't be fully aware and alert to be used by the Lord. We prayed and today I feel as if the Lord has combated the enemy for me and the team. I have energy and I am able to give myself fully to serve the least of these. It is such a blessing!

I am looking forward to some opportunities to use my artistic talents for the kingdom through Mosaic. This is one of the reasons why I came to Scotland so I am glad that my hope is coming to fruition.

Thanks for reading this update! I hope it was a good use of your time to hear about our adventures in Scotland.

-Ethan Sares-

14 June 2012

Hey friends! As Jerred mentioned in our last post, today we experienced haggis. Not only did we get to experience haggis, but our dear friends, Stuart, Graeme, Jason & Lyndsay made us a full Scottish meal with haggis, neeps & tatties (mashed turnips & potatoes), stovies (sausage cooked with potatoes and onions), irn bru (the national soft drink of Scotland), and pickled beet roots. It was so incredibly delicious! And it was so humbling to see the 3 guys slaving away in Graeme's kitchen, cooking up the food for us while we chatted with Lyndsay. I was seriously blessed by our friends' love tonight.

At the Mission, a few of us helped out with URBAN and Next Steps while the others were a part of the Young Men's Club, Xianity explored, & filling bags with tins (tin cans of food) for tonight. It was fun to watch one of the clients at the Mission who was a barber before he ended up on the streeet giving Katie a lesson on cutting men's hair and it was wonderful to have one client join me in speaking to another about Jesus and forgiveness as he was struggling with anger towards those who had wronged him.

Thank you so much for your prayers for our team & our time here! A few nights ago, our team had an amazing time debriefing as we shared some of the struggles we were having and were able to support each other through prayer. And the team initiated all of it! As a leader, I was incredibly proud of my team and so grateful to God for the way He is growing my team toward Himself & more into the people He is calling them to be!

Thank you so much for your support of our time here in Glasgow, God is doing amazing things & I can't wait to see what He'll do next!

Ben Mercer

13 June 2012

man vs. himself

Hello, everyone! This is Jerred.

I hope that all is well with you. So much has happened since I last blogged. I'll do what I can to give you a little bit of information about what has been going on, at least from my perspective.

After arriving in Glasgow just over a week ago, it has been interesting getting familiar with the city as well as our roles at Glasgow City Mission. Although it's been only a week, I feel like I am getting into the swing of things. The staff and volunteers that we are working with have shown us so much grace!

I figured I could share a couple of short stories about events that have happened only in the last couple of days...

First off, last night a gentleman asked me to pray for him at the evening drop-in. He has been in rehab, and had given into temptation to drink last night. He asked me to pray that he would be able to stay away from tempting situations and for God's protection on him. He came into a club today and told one of the volunteers that has known him for a long while that he had slipped up last night. I found it so encouraging to hear that he was willing to share his shortcomings with fellow believers, so that we may encourage him and keep him accountable. I would like to ask you to join me in prayer for this gentleman.

The second story that I would like to share with you happened today in church at the mission. To begin, church is awesome! Today there were about 15 of us. It's such an encouraging environment! After a time of worship, we were invited to share prayer requests with the group. One man said that he had a praise. He continued to tell us that he has been clean of alcohol for a year, and is experiencing stability in his life for the first time in over five years! Later, I had the privilege of praying over this gentleman and praising God for His protection, provision, and presence in his life.

These are only a few things that have been happening. It's been an awesome experience to be a part of what God is doing here. Thank you all for reading this and supporting us through prayer!

We love you all.

In Love,

Jerred Olen Powell

P.S. Tomorrow we get to experience haggis!

12 June 2012

Greetings from Glasgow!

Hiya! This is Katie :) It's my turn to say hello and share with you a bit of my experience so far in Scotland. It is honestly just a huge blessing to be here and see how God is already working in and through our team. I guess I had some expectations or ideas as to what Glasgow would be like, as well as the people we may encounter and work with, but the Lord has far surpassed anything I could have come up with on my own. The Glasgow City Mission is an incredible place where you can really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, as Ben mentioned before! The staff and regular volunteers that serve there have amazing hearts that resemble Christ Himself and have been so welcoming to us being here for the month. I will say just trying to understand people through their thick Glaswegian accents can be a challenge at times, but I think they are used to the confused looks and nods that we give them. They are very gracious. 

The clients who come to the mission for services, clubs, and meals are an interesting mix of individuals. It has been such an honor to get to know many of them already! I'd say that I probably know/recognize at least 20-25 people that have been a part of activities over the last week, and many remember our names already too! It's really humbling and encouraging to be a part of God's work here.

One different perspective that I can share from the rest of the group would be regarding the women who come to the mission and especially the activities like ladies' bible study and the women's evening meal that have been just us girls so far. Linda is the main staff member connected to the ladies here and God is doing an incredible ministry through her! She knows the history and stories of so many of the women and is not afraid or hesitant to speak into their lives and to remind them of what God wants for their lives. One huge highlight so far was being a part of the ladies' bible study this past Friday. We didn't know if anyone would show up, but after some encouragement, three of the women came. Linda asked me if I would lead our time together and I agreed to do it. It was humbling for me to even try and think of what I could share from my life or small knowledge of the bible that might be helpful or relevant to their lives and all that they have been through. God was faithful, as He always is, and I shared a little from Galatians that I had been learning in my small group at Scum. The Holy Spirit was present with us and we had a really heart-felt discussion about living in the freedom of Christ and the peace He can bring to our lives. I was blown away by how God lead our time. We finished up with a very powerful time of prayer for the ladies that were okay with it. 

Beyond our expectations! I'd say that all of us would attest to that so far. I am so looking forward to the rest of our time here and hope to savor every minute. I have also been taking hundreds of photos so far (as many of you who know me will not be surprised to hear) and will hopefully post some after this update :) Thanks for reading! And for your prayers! God is with us every step of the way and we know that full well. Please add any comments or questions for us! We love you all! 

love, katie aka eagleslayer :)

11 June 2012


Hello from Scotland, its Chad by the way. Well everyone has covered most of what i was going to say, but i will add my 2 pence... ha get what i did there ;-). Well first i have to say i reall7 love the people here. Everyone is amazing and nice. I could feel very at home here. I really enjoyed going to Glasgow Mosiac on sunday. Im looking forward to helping with them. We also visited Cumbernauld Babist, had coffee and tea afterwards and of the ladies reminded me of my Grandma. Made me kind of home sick, i am just so used to everyone being just a phone call away... Cant just pick call from here, but still loving every min here. Anyways thanks for reading and post any questions you guys have for us thanks!!!

09 June 2012

Hi everyone! This is John.

Nearly a week has gone by and today was the first time we saw full and bright sunlight. However an hour or so after this miraculous unveiling we were once again caught in a downpour. So far it has rained fairly consistently every day. But even though it’s continually raining, the temperature is fairly mild, and only rarely is it ever a serious downpour, and more often only a slight, consistent drizzle. The more unusual thing is that it is still well lit outside until 10:30 pm, and then it suddenly shifts to night until about 4am. So far this hasn’t been too disorienting.

It’s been interesting to note the differences in Scotland to America. For one thing, since America is such an incredible melting pot and has been since its foundation, we have people of all shapes and sizes and looks. Yet one of the first thing I notices about Scotland is the incredible homogenization of the people here. There is an incredible common look both is shape, size and facial features to most people here, which is not surprising since they never have had much immigration until recently.

I have to say that Scottish people are far more friendly than just about anyone I’ve ever met. Anyone will talk to you and give you directions to wherever you need to. One example of this was we were in a book store today. Ben was trying to find a peculiar book store he remembered from a previous visit, and asked the shopkeeper who immediately pulled out a map and gave Ben precise directions to the exact spot where he needed to go. Additionally, the clients of the mission themselves have always been friendly and talkative. One might actually think that these are people who are not down on the luck with the easy manner in which they talk and smile. They are very grateful when we are serving food and polite when asking for specific things (for the most part).

It’s been an incredible experience working with the staff of the mission, who are wonderful, friendly, loving people. Watching them work with the homeless, direct activities for them, remember all of their names and what’s going on in their lives as well as well as consistently apply Christianity and talk about salvation with them has been inspiring. That is perhaps the thing that’s been most amazing to me. While there are numerous differences between our cultures, and even in our ways of speaking, when it comes to talking about the Bible and God, it is exactly identical to everything we hear and teach ourselves, proving beyond all doubts that Christ transcends all cultures. I have to say that the brotherhood that comes from the global church is something unlike anything I’ve really experienced before, and creates such an incredible sense of belonging that I feel can’t even really be mirrored by having a home community of believers.

I’d also like to share something very personal that God has shown me since arriving. Before leaving for Scotland I’d been in a very stressful place in life, constantly running and trying to determine God’s next step for my life. I was desperately trying to figure out what to do and felt extremely pressured. Many people tried to encourage me that for this moment in time I needed to just rest and relax, even have fun. The verse my mother felt was meant for my life was “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10. Simply be still. During the first day at the mission, after church service we were to turn to the person next to us and pray for them. After praying for this person, she asked me if I needed prayer, and I told her very simply that I just felt like I’d been trying to figure out God’s will and I was stressed about not being able to be determine it. She said she understood completely from her own life. And without any other words she said: “You need to just relax. You need to spend this time on yourself and having fun. Be still.” Sometimes you need to go halfway around the world and have a complete stranger tell you what God’s been trying to tell you all along. But if that’s what it takes, God’s going to be faithful. He’s going to wait for you to get there, then He’s going to tell you again.

08 June 2012

Hello! This is Ethan. Or "Samaras" as I have already been nicknamed by the Scots at the mission. I bear a similarity to Greek football player who plays for Glasgow's Celtic team. I didn't realize that Ben had already summed up much of our trip in his post, so I apologize if I repeat him. I'll start at our first day at the mission. Everyone showed up for the URBAN club. I, however, was needed to supervise two guys who wanted to use the recording studio. The mission has a fully functioning recording studio for any client who wishes to use it. Right away, I was paired with Kevin because he had time booked to use the music studio. I didn't do a lot of teaching because I have only been using Logic Pro (the recording software) for only a couple of months. I do know enough though to help out and catch some of his mistakes and give musical advice. Kevin raps. He puts together a simple beat, dons the headphones, and stands in front of the mic. I punch the record button and words fly from his mouth about God the father being a redeemer and a strength. It's freestyle. Freestyle may be the most genuine lyrics.       Mick is a Logic wizard. He immediately starts working on a new dance beat and within minutes he has the beginnings of a pulsing musical phrase. He did audio in college for three years. He was quite open about his past and how he fell by the wayside in the music industry. He lost a lot of weight, presumably from drug use. Before he knew it, he was homeless and struggling. He is conversational and is super charismatic.  After, John and I led I.T. class. Tutors from the local college come by and give the clients a basic course in using computers in order for them to gain the skills they need to be accepted into college. After a short break, it was time to prepare for the meal. I am called to lead some worship songs about 20 min before our meeting. I don't know what songs they know nor have anything prepared. I search the huge library for songs that I know, which are not many. We worshipped before the meal. The staff were grateful because it has been a while since they had anyone to lead musical worship. The meal went great but it was not without it's hiccups. We served 153 clients in two hours. The number of clients moving through was more than usual so we felt a "wee" bit of chaos. I heard a client cuss out a staff member, but the staff member responded with grace. Grace was very present and Jesus' salvation proclaimed in a short talk afterward. Before I knew it, it was ten thirty (it gets dark very very late). Even though it was demanding, I loved serving what Jesus calls the "least of these." It feels energizing and humbling to be a leader in God's kingdom. It is overwhelming how true Jesus' words are and how fulfilling it is to fulfill his desires in my own life. I am excited to see what more God has here in Glasgow. Here are a few cultural observations of Scotland: The juxtaposition between new and old meshed into one city became increasingly apparent. The facades of historical buildings are preserved while the interiors are revamped to accommodate modern structural needs. Cars are tiny and colored in greyscale, primary, or secondary colors. I found it difficult to pry myself away from the notion that Glasgow is a modern city that progressed much like London or European cities and not the Highlander or Brave Heart paradigm I previously possessed. A medieval Scotland was all I ever knew. When talking to a Scot, it is not unlikely that Scottish history will come up in conversation. Scots have a huge sense of pride in their country and it's history. If you're a Scot, there is a lot to be proud of. Thanks for listening! Also here is a link to some pictures so far! There are not many pictures of us at the mission here yet because it's very busy and I haven't found an appropriate time yet. https://www.icloud.com/journal/#4;CAEQARoQS-C1Bm1803npqi7ZLngcOg;C182FF33-9164-45E5-BAA6-E5256B1055F5 Love you all! Ethan

07 June 2012

Hey friends!

We arrived safely in Scotland on Tuesday morning at around 7:30am to find our friends, Stuart and Graeme, waiting for us!  They drove us to where we'll be staying for the month and then Stuart had to go to work but Graeme was able to stick around while we picked up various things we needed to around town as well as acclimating ourselves to the brilliant grey weather and the city.  We saw the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street before heading home to bed.

Wednesday was a first full day at the Mission which started out with meeting Robert and Wee Joe as we headed to the Mission.  We met Linda who took us for a full Scottish breakfast, complete with fried tattie scone and black pudding, mmm-mmm! :)

We all helped out with URBAN, the general afternoon drop-in, and then split up to help our with various activities such as the over 40s men's club (which Jerred loved), the IT class (where Ethan got to use the knowledge he's gained through working at the Apple store), and Life Church (which Katie really enjoyed). 

Last night, we got to help serve the meal to 153 men and I don't know how many women alongside Glasgow City Mission staff and weekly volunteers. Taking around rolls + sausage, juice, teas & coffees, sandwiches & salads, scones, and cakes, it was grand to get to chat with the guys and we look forward to getting to know them better over the coming days and weeks. 

Today has been more of the same with afternoon clubs being URBAN again, young men's club, exploring Xianity, and Next Steps.  Katie also go to go with Linda to visit a few women in rehab and Chad, John & I got to wander the streets looking for people begging to tell about the Mission.  It is grey and drizzling so we didn't find a whole lot of folk, but it was a good time getting accustomed to the city.

Tonight, we're having dinner with Rhoda, and old friend of mine + the former assistant director of the Mission.  Should be a grand time!

Before we left Denver, Susan and Linda has told me that there were quite a few staff changes at the Mission and a lot of the folk I knew from there wouldn't be around this year.  I wasn't sure what being a the Mission would be like without friends like Daniel, Big and Wee James, and Mitch who were such a part of last year's trip, but God is so good and so present in this place!  The Spirit of God rests on the Mission is such a special way and that hasn't left.  It still feels the same: permeated with grace and truth and peace in a way I've never found elsewhere.  It's so good to be back. 

It was so rad open the door to find Robert pulling up yesterday morning, and see Wee Joe just a bit later, and Linda and CarolAnne.  And some of the volunteers are still the same!  It was so good to see Robert, Paul, Maureen, and Jim.  God is here in a wonderful and blessed way and I am excited to see how He moves in and through us while we're here.

Thanks for reading, dear friends!

Ben Mercer

04 June 2012


Hello! This is Jerred. So, the time has come. We're sitting in the airport waiting for our completely booked flight to Philadelphia. We got here at about 8am this morning, and fly out of here in a little less than an hour from now. This is actually going to be my third flight ever. Ben literally had to coach me when I checked in this morning. We're all super excited about this opportunity to serve our awesome God for a month in Scotland! I want to thank all of you that have shown us support, and ask that you will continue to pray for us. You all mean more to us than we could ever show you! We love you all! PS I typed this on an iPod Touch. Please forgive any typos. :) -Jerred Olen Powell

20 May 2012

2 weeks to go...

Hey everybody! Thanks for checking out our blog!

Katie, here :) I decided that the blog should be started up again for the trip this year. There are six of us (from left to right: Ethan, Ben, Chad, Jerred, Katie, and John) going on the Scum trip to Glasgow this summer. Actually, we leave 2 weeks from Monday. Wow! Can't believe that it is so soon. Hopefully, we will be posting many more updates on our trip before, during and after.

We just had another fund-raiser last night at the church with some of our favorite Denver musicians. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out in so many different ways. Any bit of support has been so appreciated and is such a huge blessing!

We are currently in the process of applying for our visas. The U.K. has somewhat strict requirements as far as the paperwork/visa that is necessary for us to spend a month volunteering there. We will be partnering with the Glasgow City Mission (www.glasgowcitymission.com) and Glasgow Mosaic Church (glasgowmosaic.com). It has been great to be meeting as a team over the past few months, getting to know each other, and hearing more about what we will be doing while we're there. Our trip is from June 4th until July 4th. A whole month!

Please pray for our preparations, for our visas to be processed and returned a.s.a.p., and for the Lord to keep bringing the financial support we are hoping for. We still need about $7,000 to come in. Thanks for joining with us!

We are really getting excited! And I'm working on crossing things off of my to-do list as we speak. Hooray!

love, katie