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

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