26 August 2014

2014 Scotland team talks now online

The 2014 Scotland team talks are available to listen to online!  Head on over here to hear different people talk about their experience in Scotland this summer!

Thanks again for all your support and prayers!

Ben Mercer

16 August 2014

Come and hear about our trip!

Hey friends

We have the opportunity to share about our time in Scotland this year and we would love to have you join us!

Sunday, 17 August 2014:

Morning Scum:
Breakfast at 9:30am
Service at 10:30am

Evening Scum:
Service 6:30pm

If you're unable to make it, you should be able to find our talks on Scum's website:http://scumoftheearth.net/SOTEC/Sermons/Sermons.html

15 July 2014

Back in the USA

Dear friends

Thank you for joining us for this piece of the journey God is taking the 7 of us on.  It has been an adventure for sure and God, faithful to His promises, has grown us each in new ways and reminded us of things He has taught us in our past. 

Now that we are back in the States:
Chad has started a second week of a new program at Denver Rescue Mission of which he is heading up.  Starting it up is intense so please pray for him to find rest and refreshment during this time, as well as time and people to process his trip and re-entry with.

Jordan is in California, helping his mom move into her new home.  He flew from Glasgow to Newark to Denver to Boise in the course of one 'day'.  Then he jumped in a car with friends and drove to the west coast. Please pray for him as he continues to be transient for the next week or so, that God would reveal His love and truth and the Jordan would have time and space to process all that God has shown him. Praise that Jordan's dad is still doing well but please continue to pray that recover goes well.

Sarah started work as a teacher at a writer's camp for young people on Monday.  She said it was intense but good.  Pray that things continue to be encouraging to her and that she makes time to spend alone with God in the midst of her summer schedule.

Katie was able to stay in the UK for a few more days to spend time with her sister and brother-in-law who live in England.  She returned to Boulder Sunday night.  Please pray that she finds ways to connect with God and others as she is about an hour drive from the Scum community and that she is able to work through her experiences on the trip.

Jerred started work at the Denver Rescue Mission on Friday and has been working every day since. His experiences there have been intense but giving him the chance to 'make the most of every opportunity' (Ephesians 5:16) which he feels God has specifically called him to do. Please pray for him as he has his 'weekend' tomorrow and Thursday.  Pray that he is able to continue to process the ramifications of the trip and how they should affect his life here in Denver.

Tina and I have been able to take a few days off which has been good.  We've been able to enjoy time with our dear pup, Bill, and time together and apart.  It was sweet for us to re-connect with the Scum community and see Sarah and Jerred on Sunday. Please pray for Tina as she continues to seek God's will for her in the coming weeks and months.  Pray that the lingering cough she has will be healed and that Mini Mercer will continue to grow safe and strong.

Finally, please pray for me as I return to my work at Logan Property Management, that I would be able to engage with the residents and continue to be a source of love and help to them. Pray for me as I re-enter work at Scum, that I would slide seamlessly into the time of discernment Scum is in as we look at Mike Sares' re-entry as the leader of our community.

Thanks again for joining us on this portion of the journey God has us on. Your love and care have been much appreciated.

04 July 2014


Today, during URBAN, a young man our team has been connecting with over this last month was sitting off to the side. I sat down next to him and asked how he was doing. He asked if we were leaving him. I had to say yes. He got up and walked away without another word. 

Later, we chatted a bit and he was back to his smiling, jovial self. We ended up playing a few games of UNO which re-established our friendship and ended up laughing and joking. It was good and God answered my prayers for my time with Eric today, but it is still hard to leave these people who have gotten to mean so much to us over this last month.

Please pray for our team to love well as we say good bye.

Crisp Odyssey

Last night, our friend Graeme, Stuart & Lynsey hosted us in Cumbernauld for haggis, neeps & tatties, and stovies.  It was delicious!  

A crew of us took a wee walk to a playground which was much different than those I had encountered in the US. All of the equipment seemed specifically to cause dizziness!

The highlight of Graeme and Jordan's night was the Crisp Odyssey where we were able to sample a plethora of different flavored and consistency of crisp (those in the US, think potato chip).  It was marvelous!

To top off our night, we got to watch a couple videos that Graeme had directed and produced which were wonderful.  StreetLoaf  is absolutely amazing! 

It was a brilliant time connecting with friends who have become dear to us over our time here in Scotland.  

After an amazing night and days of realizing that we are saying goodbye to so many dear people, our team is wearing down with the understanding that our trip is wrapping up.  Please pray for us: that God would give us the energy and ability to continue to connect and engage with God, our team, and our friends here.

28 June 2014

One full week left....

It is hard to believe that we only have 1 full week left.....

Well this is a Check in from Chad.... Today has been a good day, a nice relaxing day. We had a free day today. It was good to have a relaxing day. Most of us spent time catching up on laundry, and basic things that we don't always have time to do during the week.

Tonight we plan to go to Cumbernauld, and spend the night with our friends Stuart and Lyndsey Gilmour. Then in the morning we are going to Carbrain Baptist Church in Cumbernauld. It is always great to visit them. The Church is so welcoming to us. I remember feeling at home there, and having a great time talking with everyone over coffee and tea  after the service.

Well talk to you later, thanks for reading and your prayers!!

leaning into Gratitude

hello lovely Friends and Family!

    Speaking of gratitude, we are so thankful for all of your love and support toward our team in our time here in Scotland this summer. As I (Katie) may have said before, the trip so far has been filled with many highs and lows for all of us, as could be expected of any cross-cultural experience. God has been teaching me, for a while now, about being grateful in all situations. Jerred did a devotional for our team this morning and shared a passage from Ephesians that resulted in a really great discussion. 
     Part of the passage that struck me regarding gratitude, was in verse 20. "...Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." I think this idea of giving of thanks in everything is quite counter-cultural. We are taught that it is normal to complain and vent when things are rough or frustrating and we console one another when things don't go according to our plans. While these things aren't terrible, I have felt more and more convicted of my bad attitude in these circumstances- especially since coming back to Scotland. And I think that a better reaction would be to point ourselves and one another back toward Jesus and His omniscient perspective over all things.
      Over and over again, God has been gently reminding me that He is with me in all things and that everything can be used to glorify Him. That I need to thank Him not only for the many blessings, reunions with wonderful people here, happy times, laughter, but also for the rough days, the times when I don't get to do what I want to, for when it's pouring down rain and I want to sit outside, and for the times it's roasting outside and the sun is shining and the rain is what I would prefer. There have been so many times that I can remember when I wasn't looking forward to a particular activity or volunteer duty, and God's presence was so apparent and surprised me in such unexpected and amazing ways. As well as times when I had so much hopeful expectation in specific things or people, and I felt let down. 
    My intentional practice is now to try and remember to seek God and thank Him for and in whatever circumstance I find myself. For the tears and the laughter, for the ups and the downs, for the expected and the unexpected. And most of all just to expect Him. For He will never let us down and He will never leave us or forsake us. 

Thank You Jesus for Your faithfulness to us. 
and thank you all for reading and for your love and support. 
You will never know how truly blessed we are to have you with us.

love, Katie. xoxo 


Children of Light

Hello, all.

This is Jerred.

This morning in our group devotion time, we looked at Ephesians 5:8-21.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:“Wake up, sleeper,    rise from the dead,    and Christ will shine on you.”Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Our time talking about this portion of scripture was good. I feel that God has been speaking to me personally about the value of being filled with the Spirit and letting that fullness guide my conversations and interactions with others. We can so easily fill our time together focusing on things that don't have any substance, but we have the opportunity to glorify God together if we just follow and focus on the Spirit that we as believers have been given ("And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14).

This is something that I'm learning to do more, and I hope that it can be an encouragement and challenge for you as well.

I love you all,

Jerred Olen Powell


It's been awhile since I've blogged. Our time in Iona was a much needed Sabbath and also an opportunity for God's Truth to shine brighter through the expectations we had to let go of through placing our rest in Him.

Expectations have been something I feel many of us have been struggling with while on this trip. I know I had many expectations that God is challenging me to give to Him. One of those more surface level expectations has been the weather. I fully expected it to be the rainy Scotland I had heard others speak of, only to find that we came in the midst of a rather dry spell. I prayed and prayed for rain. Our allergies have been rough and it was just something I wanted to experience in Scotland. Well, God gave us the rain, just not when I would have wanted it.

Back to expectations. Expecting God to work on a time table that is similar to ours. Expecting God to answer prayers with a simple "yes" or "no". Not a "wait". The rain came to us while on Iona. The day we were to explore God's presence and trek around the island soaking in His love and warmth. That rainy day in Iona God choose once again to remind me of how little control I have. He had different plans for our time there and if I had solely relied on happiness and contentment being based on my expectations being met the way I had wanted them to be met, well you see where I'm going which this. God gave us what we needed in that specific time in our trip. He continues to do so and I am so very grateful for it.

After everything has been said, our time on the island was pretty awesome. God is good and continues to be so. I'm sure there be more expectations ahead that I will have to let go of, but I can rest in the fact that He is Abba and He is in control.

27 June 2014


Late last night, after a day of travel, we arrived back in Glasgow from our time on Iona. We had a wonderful time of rest and reflection in a place full of peace and quiet.  

Wednesday was raining but yesterday was beautiful!  Even with the rain, we were able to spend time thinking about our time here in Scotland, ways that God has revealed Himself to us, and what God is calling us into here in Glasgow and back in Denver.

Some of us sat in the church or tea shop, others climbed Dun I (the hill in the middle of the island), Chad spent time in the Catholic Prayer room and went to mass, others of us went to the chapel service at Iona Abbey.  

Wednesday night, we took time affirming each member of our team, speaking out the ways that we see God growing and using them. It was a powerful time as we spoke God's love to each other.

Yesterday we travelled by ferry, bus, and train to get back to Glasgow for a sleep and now we're back at the Mission doing clubs and the evening meal!

If you're a pray-er, please lift up the health of our team as Tina has a sinus infection and others of us have touches of the Scottish flu which is very similar to a cold in the US.

22 June 2014

Stirling, plus some...


This is Jerred.

Yesterday, we were able to go to Stirling to do some touristy things, but it ended up being much more than that. We went to the castle first and got to have some fun and learn some history. After being tourists, we met up with Ewan (GCM), Stuart, Lynsey, and Graeme and got a bite to eat. After lunch, the girls went to the Wallace Monument while the boys (plus Lynsey) stayed back at the restaurant and hung out. It was great to get to spend some time just chatting and seeing where our conversations would lead. Our friend, Rab, even came to the restaurant and joined us! After the girls got back from the monument, we all went to The Haven to get tea and coffee and continue our talks.

The night continued back in Glasgow with dinner still accompanied by Ewan, Stuart, Lynsey, and Graeme. Throughout the day, I got to speak with Ewan a good bit about what I do back home and what I see myself moving toward. It was a pleasure to get to speak with him outside of the mission and just get to talk about struggles, frustrations, and the incredible blessing it is to be offered the grace of God and share that with others.

This is just a reminder of how large our family is. It is so encouraging to have people here care about us so much that they want to hear what God is doing in our lives. I can't wait to have more conversations like this.

Please pray that we are intentional with taking the opportunities that we are given to encourage and be encouraged by those that we are connecting with this month.

I love you all.

-Jerred Olen Powell

20 June 2014


Last night after a day of clubs at Glasgow City Mission, we all piled on a city bus out to Bellahouston Park to visit our English friend, Callum Male, at his granny's house.  We had burgers and dogs and cole slaw and malteezer bars and loads of good food and even more glorious chats with Callum, his cousin Kara who has grown up going to an American school in Chang Mai, Thailand; his Uncle Roy who has been a missionary to Viet Nam; and his granny who was a missionary to Thailand.  It was wonderful to hear stories and talk about the world of missions and the church in all these various places.  Again, I am reminded of how vast God's family is, reaching to all the corners of the Earth!

We ended up watching England vs. Uruguay much to Callum's dismay.  It was entertaining to see Callum so animated by the game and we were sorry for our friend when England lost.  In all, it was a wonderful time full of fun and laughter and it was capped off with an update from Jordan that his dad is definitely on the mend and the breathing tube was taken out yesterday!  Praise Jesus!

18 June 2014


     Over the past week here in Scotland I have been very convicted of the fact that I highly lack intentionality in my life. I knew I was missing something but simply tried to fill the void by moving about and keeping busy rather than allowing myself to truly experience what a life centered around Christ could feel like.
     A few nights ago in debrief I was reminded that we are called to serve and live out Christ's calling as a "24/7 kind of gig". Following Him and praising Him is not just a Sunday ritual.
     While here in Glasgow God has begun to open my eyes to what this kind of God-fearing life can look like. He has allowed me time to rest in Him as well as time to talk about all that He is doing in the world. He has blessed us with community that prays for and with us and walks alongside us. He is constantly near to us, all He asks is that we draw near to Him.
     Continue to pray for this aspect of the trip. That our time spent will be intentional and directed towards giving God the glory He so rightly deserves. Pray that we can speak Christ into the clients at the Mission and that we can engage with the people He has placed in our lives.


Please pray


Please pray for Jordan and his family:
"My dad is less than an hour from going into surgery yet again for his heart. Doctors in Seattle didn't do anything they should of done and the doctor in Portland is very confused at why they didn't in the previous surgery. He has to have his aorta valve and mitrol valve replaced along with two holes in his heart repaired. They will be taking veins from his legs to help repair the damage. He is basically getting a whole new roof to his heart. This is a very intense risky surgery so could you all please be praying. 

My family is very tired and upset about this whole thing and I'm not to happy being around the world when my dad is going through such a risky surgery. I know it's all in God's hands but my dad needs our prayers. There is a large group here in Scotland that will be praying so if all you in Denver and the Boise areas please be praying, he goes into surgery at 7am ish Portland Oregon time. Thank you everyone who has been keeping him and my family in your prayers. The only way we can get through this is with God."

15 June 2014

Toilet Key

Hello, all!

This is Jerred.

What a blessing it has been being back in Glasgow. It has taken a little while to get reacquainted with everything, but I feel that we have settled in well. Working at the mission has been wonderful, and it's great to see that God continues to work here.

Yesterday, we were able to spend some time with our friends Rhoda and Ross. It was fun getting to see them and talk about what has been going on in their lives. After grabbing tea and coffee with them, we took a train to where Stuart and Lynsey live. Graeme and Stuart picked us up from the train stop and took us to Stuart and Lynsey's home. There, we spent a few hours hanging out, eating, talking, and hearing the vision of the ministry that they are looking forward to beginning. I think this time was good for all, filled with both joking and serious conversation alike. I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.

As it is Sunday, we will be going to Glasgow Mosaic this afternoon. I'm excited to see how similar or different things are in relation to two years ago, when Katie, Chad, and I were here last.

-A little story-

Friday evening at the mission I was assigned to toilet key duty. I absolutely love the being assigned the toilet because as I need to be in the same place for most of the evening, I am able to observe the love of God being poured out on the guests. It's a blessing to be able to witness first hand how much love and grace is visible as volunteers and staff interact with the guests during the evening service, as well as the daytime clubs.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue to grow as a team.

Thank you.

I love you all.


14 June 2014

Getting a Feel for the Mission

Hey everybody! Thanks for reading our blog :) It is amazing to be back in Glasgow again. I will say, for the record, that it has had it's ups and downs, but overall it really is a blessing to be back in Scotland. Being at the Glasgow City Mission and volunteering there once again, it is clear that God is at work.
     We are experiencing a variety of the different clubs and activities at the mission in our first week here. Today, I got to help out and participate in the Internationals Club, which is an activity that God is really blessing and bringing so many new people into over the last couple of years. We had over 50 people that came in this afternoon from so many different countries. For example, I got to talk with men and women from Sudan, Russia, Greece, Poland, and Kenya, just to name a few. We shared a meal together and then got to help out with some English lessons as well as a bible study discussion for the more advanced speakers. I really feel like this ministry is such a blessing for these people to come to and it was wonderful to get to chat to them and hear a little about their lives.
     Another highlight from today was running into a friend that we know from Mosaic church, that we attend on the weekends. Jerred and I were walking down the street and hadn't seen our friend in about 2 years, but I feel that God had us cross paths and it was such an encouragement to see him. I also got to chat briefly with one of the girls that we got to visit last year, when she was living in a rehab facility. I was so glad to see her and to be reminded to be praying for her on her continued journey.
     Thanks for joining along with us. We so appreciate your love and support and encouragement!
We love you lots!
---Katie/Eagleslayer xoxo

13 June 2014

Stuart, Lynsey, & Graeme

Yesterday, we had devotions over Acts 1:7-8 and what it means to be a witness. From there, we went to clubs: Younger men's club & Women's cooking where they learned how to make lasagna!  Jerred and I did Next Steps/Jobs club where I was able to help someone email their CV to themselves so they can pass it on to potential employers.

Last night, we got to see our dear friends, Stuart and Lynsey Gilmour and Graeme Watt.  It was glorious getting to see long-time friends who we've been praying for and connecting with through yearly visits, email and facebook through the years.  

It's funny to me (Ben) how much life Stuart and I have lived alongside each other from across the pond, so many big life changes in both of our lives since we met in 2006. It is so awesome to see how God draws a family to Himself from every corner of the globe of which we are a part!  Truly, 'God puts the lonely in families!'

After we got home, we had an early debrief and then decided to pray through the building where we are staying for our stay. It was a new experience for some folk but it was a good, bonding experience.

11 June 2014

Hey there, Sarah here. It's nearly 1am and I should probably be sleeping after the whirlwind of a day we have had. To say the least "jet lag" is not just a myth. We spent Tuesday in a bit of a caffeinated haze filled with Scottish Breakfast and plenty of good ole fashioned rain. Today was our first day back at the Mission. During our time there we got to participate in one of the clubs fittingly called "Church". This time was spent as a reminder of our extended family here across the pond. The ability to raise our hands and call upon the same God that they too cry out to in their day-to-day. While our stories might be different, the originator of those stories is the same. I look forward to seeing what God wants to show us on this trip and what pages He wants to ad to our very own books.


05 June 2014

Jordan update: more good news!

Jordan & I have been catching up via txt because his phone carrier got confused and he was 'out of pocket' for a few days :(.  But he's back online & doing fine!  He's heading back to Denver tonight and getting ready to go.  Please pray for peace and protection for Jordan and the entire team (+ Tina who will be joining us for 2 weeks!) as we pack and prepare to leave.

In even better news: Jordan's dad is still in Seattle but he's out of the hospital and he flies home to Idaho on Monday! Praise Jesus for His provision and healing power! Continue to pray for Jordan's dad's recovery.

We are so close to our fund-raising goal! Just another $999 to go! If you're interested in helping with that, you can do so via paypal here.

If you would like to join our prayer team, please email us.

04 June 2014

Be thou my vision - (with lyrics)

As a team, we chose this song for it's celtic roots and it's focus on our absolute reliance on God.  If you hear it or it pops in your head over the next few weeks, please pray for us!

30 May 2014

Update from Katie

Hey Friends! I cannot believe that we only have about 9 days left until we leave for Glasgow! Thanks so much for all of your support so far. We have definitely been feeling your prayers and encouragement. I think at our last count, we are down to only needing about $2,800. [Not bad from our grand total of over $24,000] I am confident that God will provide whatever we will need for this trip, including our finances. Thank for you joining with us in this journey. 
       If you would like to be added to our prayer list (for email updates that will be sent out from Glasgow), please either leave a comment with your email address or send it to one of us on the team and we will add you. 
        We are having our official send-off at church a week from this Sunday. It will be at Scum's evening service on June 8th (the night before we fly out). If you can join us there and say farewell, we would love to see you! 
       May God bless you in whatever season of life you are in! We are grateful for you!

                                  love, Katie (aka Eagleslayer)

29 May 2014


If you haven't heard, Jordan posted this on his facebook page a bit ago:
"My dad is sitting up and can walk short places now! He is still in the ICU but may get out of there today! Only day two after the surgery! Yesterday (day 1) was very rough and painful for him! But today they have his pain under control and he is being his joking sarcastic self! Praise God and thank you all for your prayers, it made the biggest difference!"

God is good!  Please keep praying :)

27 May 2014

Praise God!

Just got this text from Jordan: "My dad just got out of surgery! The doctor said it went as well as it could.  Now it's just recovery time. The doctor said they have to keep a close eye on him because there's a possibility of stroke or other problems but he is doing okay! 

Thanks to all who have been praying.  God worked a miracle here! We just gotta to keep praying that the recovery goes as well as the surgery did!"

Also, Jerred's infection is healing well, praise Jesus!

& I just received all of our visas in the mail today

+ we only need to raise another $3300!  

It is so awesome to see how God answers our prayers :)

20 May 2014

Update on Jordan & Jerred

I talked with Jerred today and the tests came back negative on his infection. He just needs to take anti-biotics and wait for the healing to happen.  Praise Jesus!

I heard from Jordan today as well: they found a specialist in Seattle.  Jordan is there now with his dad. The surgery will take place either Friday or Tuesday.  We're so thankful to God that they found the doctor and are able to do surgery so quickly. Please be praying for the surgery itself and recovery which may take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months.

19 May 2014

6th time across the pond!

Dear friends

Once again, there is a team of folk from Scum of the Earth church heading to Glasgow, Scotland for a month to work alongside our dear friends at Glasgow City MissionGlasgow Mosaic church & Stuart Gilmour + crew!

Four of us have been on previous trips, myself: Ben Mercer, Jerred Powell, Katie Eglsaer, and Chad Merchant from the 2012 trip; plus Jordan Tinklenberg and Sarah Anema.  We have been meeting bi-weekly since February to prepare for our trip and get to know each other better.  Please join us in praying for increased growth in team unity.  

We have also put on three fund-raisers: a fish fry, a tea party, and a rummage sale which helped us work together as a team.  With the funds raised from those fund-raisers plus donations from friends and family, we currently only need $4,568.34.  Pray for God's provision for the remainder of the necessary funds.  If you would like to contribute financially to our mission trip, you can do so by mailing a check made out to 'Scum of the Earth' with 'Scotland 2014' in the memo line to 935 W. 11th Ave./Denver, CO 80204 or online via paypal. 

Finally, if you think of it, please pray for Jordan and Jerred: Jordan's dad is currently in the hospital for his 3rd open heart surgery & Jerred is recovering from an infection. 

Thanks for reading and check back here for regular updates!

Addendum: Just heard from Jordan: The doctor has cancelled today's surgery and is looking in Portland and Seattle to find a more experienced surgeon for the operation. Please pray that a doctor will be found, the surgery will go smoothly, recovery will be quick, and there will be no complications.