31 July 2015

Winding Down

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

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

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

By fantastic mercy,
Mike Sares

27 July 2015

Last Weekend in Glasgow: reflection

25 July 2015


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

Matt Kingham

to London

Last Blog from Glasgow
Danae Lammers

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

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

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

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

until next time - Danae Lammers

21 July 2015

hello all,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 July 2015

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

I love Humanities.

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

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

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

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

Let Glasgow Flourish

People Make Glasgow

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

Mary Sares
July, 2015

19 July 2015

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

18 July 2015

Ionan Thoughts (an iconoclast's perspective)

by Mike Sares

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 July 2015

13 July 2015

Hello everyone! I'm on blog duty today, and I'm just a wee bit early (normally we send the blog out that night, but I'm not sure when I'll be at a computer today). I'm very thankful for Kerry at the Caffe Nero just down the street, cause she loaned me her library card so I can get on the internet at the Hillhead Library! She's awesome!
Well, yesterday (Sunday 12 July) was a jam-packed day. Amy and I left the flat at 8:15 to go with Steven Green and Sara Christie to Sara's church in Kilmarnock. Sara is music director there. We enjoyed meeting the locals and hanging out for breakfast at The Coffee Press in Kilmarnock. There is also a cool graveyard with some headstones of Covenanters (people who brought Protestantism to Scotland).
Then we went home to rest, and back to church again, this time at Glasgow Mosaic (3 pm service). I led worship, and Danae played drums and sang, and Mike Sares played guitar and sang backup! It was so awesome to play with these 2! God was definitely present!
That evening, the rest of the team went with Stuart and Lynsey back to the flat and I met up with Rachel Peebles, an old friend from Glasgow 2 years ago. Rachel is a long-term missionary in Bolivia (she just got back from a year-long trip) and it was awesome to hear what she does over there, with women and children, different age groups.
Today is a beautiful rainy day in Glasgow. Sure glad I bought that raincoat! We have today off to connect with people, and then tonight we do the evening meal. I bought lots of snacks and food for the trip to Iona tomorrow (6 hour journey by train - ferry - bus - ferry). I know it will be a restful time on the island for the three days that we are there!
That's it for now. I'm about to get booted from my session at the library. We love you all! Thank you for your prayers! - Matt Kingham

11 July 2015

A scene from a night at the Glasgow City Mission

by Mary Sares

I am a bit concerned by a client who is crying and looks like she is under the influence of drugs as she is escorted into the room. As she settles in a corner, I look her way.

I am under the influence of God's compassion. I can go to her. As I sit by her, she begins moving into me. Before long her head is on my shoulder. As we talk, she struggles to relate how she came from Dundee a couple days ago. She does not want to return because her family is there. She does not want to be with the man she was with last night. Her head slumps on my lap. Within seconds she is asleep.

We are moved into an office. A dispatch comes to interview her for an appointment for the morning. There are no spots at the shelter tonight.
Her face shows disappointment. She says she does not want to be alone.

Trying to eat a sandwich and drink soup out of a cup, she hears the news that seems difficult to me, let alone her in her condition. She should make an eight o'clock appointment at the agency.

It is then that her eyes land on a wooden cross which is leaning against the wall. She stares at it. Her eyes are fixed. "What is that cross for?" The others leave. "What is that cross for?"

"For us to see. Would you like to see it close up?"


Then I am a witness to one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen.
She puts her arms around the horizontal beam so that her face is exactly at the "crux" of the cross. She is hugging the wooden cross. With tears and cries she utters, "I haf nuhin'. I need ya." She is staring at the wood as if Jesus is really there.

It was heartbreaking to watch her head off into the night with a sleeping bag, raincoat, and toiletries - and with prayer for her well-being.

10 July 2015

Are we home yet?

(by Amy Lien)

Last night all the different body parts on my body said, "Stop! No more! We want sleep!" (Namely my the pounding in my head) So, I found myself walking back to the flat (apartment) and speeding past the women and men, some of them clients of the mission, who were asking for money. I felt weary and tired and spent.
After falling into bed, I realized that my body was getting sick and needed a solid rest. I called Mike and told him that I could not make it for the evening meal.
I am glad that God translates our feeble whimpers. Here, unable to turn my longings into words, I knew I was talking with my God.

"How long, Lord?
"It sure does feel like plodding along.
I'm tired.
I know you redeem ALL things.
This hurts.
These memories poke and prod at me.
Are you enough?
HOME. I want. I need.
Hold me.
Where is this taking us?"

I can't begin to tell you all the thoughts I had. Yet, here in the jumbly mess of these thoughts, He remained and spoke. It came in the form of me checking my Instagram account and finding that a friend (she is also the daughter of a close friend of mine) had posted a picture of me and her father, Alex, who recently died. In the photo we had re-united after not seeing each other for a long while; he had grabbed me into a big hug, his eyes closed with a face of such love and peace and knowing that it said that we were "home." Alex was someone who "got me." When I was at university (college) in Tennessee, he drove his family and me back there from Mississippi to help me set up my apartment which was off-campus. He turned it into a family vacation. I had no furniture and no tools to set up my apartment—and he had both. He rented a U-haul and got a couch and chairs and a kitchen table and lastly a tool box (which he filled up) and told me that "Every woman needs a full set of tools." He single-handedly set up my apartment and set up a "home" for me.

Since then, I have had many peoples' help in setting up places of refuge or "homes" for me. They have come in the form of people opening up their own homes to me for a time. I have always longed for home. Even when I have had a place with four walls and a roof. Consistently, in every place, God has told me that He alone IS home. Over time, the revelation God has given to me about home has traveled the longest distance that any human can travel—the twelve inches it takes to get from my head to my heart.

Many people will say that we are not home yet. Our home is when we "fall asleep" or die and see our Saviour face-to-face. That is true (as Hebrews talks about that) and yet we have been given a home that far outweighs anything on this earth. It is now. It is in Jesus. He is our bread and our living water. He is alive and well and we can daily come to Him for real bread. Real water. In contrast, we can KNOW in our knower how good He really is. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good." When I come to this table and eat, I am home. I am in this world but not of it. I am home now. My source is not the world, but in something that remains even after I die—Jesus.

We have a home, that has not been set up by human hands, but rather by the maker and giver of all things that are good and right.
Let us set our eyes on things above and not on earthly things, beloved; let us grab hold of what has been set before us and not lose hope. Home is guiding us. And even though we may stumble, we will never hurl headlong, for He holds our right hand.
Alex is home now with the Father and yet he was home even when we embraced back when that photo was taken. Jesus was and IS so near. That picture and expression spoke about what I felt when I was near Alex—when I was near anyone who was or is eating from the Source. It was a recognition of what IS. Home is among us, for He is the head and we are His body.

09 July 2015

Crazy Times

(by Mike Sares)

Thursdays seem to be interesting in lots of weird ways.

I'll mention the most boring part first. This morning was time for me to nail down logistical details for the whole team. Next week, we take a retreat to an island called Iona, off the coast of Scotland. More on that later. I had to make reservations and confirm where we were staying. I also made travel arrangements for the team after we are done here in Glasgow. A couple of us are going to London – that would be the Lammers, who are checking out missionary opportunities with Greater Europe Mission agency – and then the rest of us are heading to Cambridge. Believe it or not, the least expensive method of travel is by airplane.

As soon as I was finished with this, I went to help a young man from the Ivory Coast sign up for an English as a second language class at Kelvin University here in Glasgow. We had some problems with the college's website. There were several failed attempts—and when you're working with a guy who speaks very few English words, each step is a slow one. Tried to save his work as best I could and we will try again tomorrow.

For some team-building, I took the team to a Greek restaurant that I found off of George Square. The food was excellent, except twice during the meal the fire alarm went off and everyone in the whole building had to be cleared out. Fire trucks arrived. Firemen came into the building. Twice. Our half-eaten food was graciously removed by the restaurant and then replaced with whole new plates of food. It was like getting one and a half meals for the price of one. Our waiter was from a village in Crete near to where my grandparents came from.

As soon as we went back to the mission, things began happening there as well. There was a client sitting outside on the sidewalk with a cut on his very bloody head and across his nose. It was obvious he had been in some kind of a fight. I entreated him to go to the hospital, but he would not (since he was drinking and probably drugging, he thought that he shouldn't go in). I told one of the GCM staff workers, Simon (on his first night as the guy in charge) who then called Glasgow City "street workers." Two men came and interviewed the man, getting his information. While they did that, they asked me to have a staff member call for an ambulance. When I went back to talk with the client and the street workers, I was directed to get a bag of ice for the man's head per instructions from the ambulance which was going to be dispatched. I walked back over to the mission and looked on a few floors for ice – but could not find any. I ended up grabbing a bag of frozen brussel sprouts, wrapping it in a towel, and then taking that back down to the injured client. Soon after, the ambulance arrived and the EMTs were able to convince the bloody client to go into the ambulance. After a while, they then they left for the hospital.

To top it off tonight, one of the older male clients (a regular) complained to me about being "bullied" by another client—a younger, muscular foreigner—during the meal. He left, angry that this had happened. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. I don't know because I was outside attending to this other situation. Mary says that there are some women clients who will not come into the women's portion of the evening meal because they are not getting along with some of the other women clients who are at the mission as well. So, there you go. We are all the same. It could be a country club, a church, or a rescue mission.

Pictures from the Greek Fire Drill

The GCM staff and volunteers meet before the evening meal.

08 July 2015

The day that a great man was born j/k

Hello all,

This is Michael Lammers today and I'm glad to give you the blog today because today is my birthday. I'm 29 years old today, still wearing the wallet chain like I was 28. (points to people that know where that quote is from).

I usually don't make a huge deal about my birthday but everyone here have been wishing me a happy birthday since I gotten here in the morning. As far as what I'm doing for the day of my birth. well its been what we came here to do. that is to help out with clubs and in the evening the meal at GMC. I was helping out with the club called Urban. It is mostly just a drop in activity time where clients can hop on the computers, work out in the gym, or just hang out. Danae was with me and we had a good chat with a couple of clients about our culture and theirs here in the Scotland. I couldn't think of a better way of spending my birthday.

We have some time off before we start preparing for the evening meal. So the team is out getting odds and ends sorted most of it is just little things but Danae and Amy are getting what they need to lead a cooking class. They will be making a Mac-'n'-cheese. As Mike would say the Scots love carbs and cheese so if they don't have Mac-'n'- cheese they will love it.

I'm looking forward to finishing off the week strong with GMC.

Thanks for reading
Michael Lammers

p.s. Amy even brought with her some decorations and the GMC staff put up a little banner all for my birthday. I feel so blessed today.
7 July 2015

Hey everyone, Matt here. We've been in Glasgow for one week already! Amazing! Today we were off all day until the evening meal. Amy and I visited our local Caffè Nero (coffee shop ) right up the block (which we've done every day, and we know all the employees by name). We chatted with Lorraine and Kerry, employees, and Kerry loaned me her library card so I could access the computers at the library! So generous!
After that, Amy and I parted Ways, and I took the underground to Stereo for lunch. They have a cool eco-friendly vibe, and great healthy food!
Then I went over to the mission to post the prayer requests, and chatted with the staff. Then we met with our mentors. Joe Campbell is my mentor. He's a great guy who I connected with in 2013, and he is such an encouragement to me, as we struggle with similar temptations and we can encourage each other in our Christian walk. I love Joe! Then we headed back to the mission and had devotions and debriefing with the team before the evening service.
The evening service was packed! Around 134 men and 25+ women! We ran out of soup, and seats! I was so happy to see 2 clients I remembered from 2 years ago, and they were so happy I remembered their Names! We had a great team, with Joe Campbell leading, and I chatted with a bunch of folks. My job was "runner" for the door (to-go) orders. Boy that kept me on my toes! But I was glad for the fast pace.
Afterwards, Amy and I relaxed at a beautiful pub called Stravaigin. I'm attaching some photos of our lovely day!

3 photos
Scumkids In Scotland's photos
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06 July 2015


Hello Everyone, Danae here for my first blog post from Scotland.
Today, Monday, was our day of rest, as it is the only day that is completely free and devoted to whatever we wish to do. Mike and Mary stayed in to rest in the suburb of Milngavie( pronounced Mill-Guy)to recover physcially and spiritually and prepare for the week of work ahead. Matt took some time to encourage and meet with his scottish friends Steven and Sara, and Amy, Michael, and I were able to spend the day with Stuart and Lynsey Gilmour and their wee daughter indie, as we got a better view of the city of Glasgow.

As michael and I are also staying in Milngavie we are about 20 minutes outside the city and walk and take a train into the center of town. after being somewhat exhausted by the week of hitting the ground running and the awesome time of fellowship, I was initially a little skeptical that I would be able to rest today, as I have been pretty tired and walking all over Glasgow did not sound super restful, however I do recharge by being with others who are encouraging and building relationships, so when Amy mentioned she would be hanging out with Stuart and Lynsey, I wanted in!

The day proved to be a time of incredbile rest and soothing to the soul. Because of the relationship that the Scum teams have developed with the Gilmours, we instantly feel like family, or childhood freinds that have grown up together. God truly blessed our time as we shared how we came to know Jesus, the struggles and triumphs we have and where we think God might be leading us.

Something God has been showing me since we have started working at the mission and spending time with christians in ministry in Glasgow, is that God calls each person to serve with their life, but the outpouring of that will always look different for each brother and sister. I think as christians we are too limited with the thinking that things have to be done a certain way,we worship a certain way, pray a certain way. we often have checkslists, or benchmarks for when we may be ready to do certain things in ministry or a a perstitant idea of the way church should look.

God has begun to show me just how creative and diverse he is, and that when we submit to him and his timing, and look to his strength and not our own, we uses us in a way that is unique to our calling and our place in the body. Too often we get hung up on having certain titles or reaching a certain point in our walk. I know I often suffer from the disease of comparison, comparing my journey to someone else's, but what I am learning is that the uniqueness of our experience of God is what makes this whole body of christ thing work. I need to remember that I serve a diverse and creative God, one who turns my expectations upside down on a daily basis.

Not only did I see that today in our converstations and sharing our stories, but in our time in Glasgow, as I expected it to be draining and physically tiring, and God made it to be a Sabbath, a point of rest that was much needed.
Whew! That was a long post! thanks for reading and continuing to pray for the team!

- Danae Lammers


May God the Father who has called us
to be one human family
Fill your hearts with deep longing
for peace and harmony.

My first impressions consist remarkable of peace among
God's children.
As brothers and sisters we work among the poor at Glasgow City Mission.
As brothers and sisters we travel and have communion with
brothers and sisters in Cumbernauld.

And again we commune at Mosaic Church.
We eat, drink, and are merry at the McKenzie home.

We are weary.  The Lord refreshes us.
We need each other.  The Lord makes us one. He is Gracious.
We enjoy each other.  The Lord enjoys us.  He is Delight.
Our provision is at hand.  He is our Provider.

P - E - A - C - E

Let us lay all our needs in the merciful hand of God.
Grant us peace.

You are a helper close at hand in times of distress:
 - grant peace of heart to all why are troubled and afraid.
Grant us peace.

Peace be with you.


05 July 2015

Independence Day

(by Amy Lien)

Freedom: 1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants
2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved

The Lord has a way. Since He IS the way He talks about desisting from ones own ways, or speaking your own word or seeking our own pleasure. (verse 13) Doesn't that sound different than the definition above?

Isaiah 58  (NASB)

Observances of Fasts

58 “Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
“Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.
“Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
“Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
“Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
10 And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
11 “And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Celebrating the 4th of July here in Scotland made me think upon what freedom actually looks like. We were given a pretty amazing day going to Stirling Castle with Graeme Watt. Graeme is Stuart's best friend. I had no idea what the day would hold and as it unfolded I feel like we were all given unexpected gifts along the way. At the castle we all got separated and Graeme and myself walked along the castle wall and we looked out upon the William Wallace Memorial. It struck me how many people died and bled in the spot I looked upon. And for what? What is our hearts cry? Why do we desire freedom so much?
 Since being here in Scotland I have felt pretty open to whatever/whomever/however the Lord will unfold. I literally feel agenda free. Free from forming anything or creating anything or giving anything or taking anything. He has given us a freedom to do what is right. To proclaim freedom to the Captives (Isaiah 61) and exchanging things with what already IS. As we abide He IS these things for us all. The whole body is tended to and fed.

04 July 2015

The Third Day Here at GCM

(by Mike Sares)

We came here to work. We arrived on Tuesday, visited the GCM for a couple of hours on that day and then went to our host homes. Wednesday and Thursday were 13 hour days serving at the mission—with a couple of hours break in between. Friday, Mary and Danae spent a few hours helping to teach English as a second language. It seemed that most of the clients were from countries in Africa or the Middle East. They did really well with the teaching, according to staff members who were there. Meanwhile, others of us were helping clients with job searches, resume writing, music appreciation, physical fitness, etc. at what the GCM calls “Urban."

The thing that strikes us all the most about the mission is not the work of caring for the poor and the homeless (which is something that we have seen even in Denver at our own rescue mission). It is the beautiful and intense spirituality of the staff. These people love Jesus and it is apparent in everything they say and do. Prayer is taken seriously. In fact, we've already been invited to participate in a regularly scheduled prayer time for all those associated with the Glasgow City Mission. Spontaneous prayers come easily to all those staff (and even volunteers) that we have encountered. I got a chance to spend some time with the director of the GCM, Grant. He was a pastor before this. He brings that gifting and caring accessibility to his job here in the heart of Glasgow. Of course, he has the strategic side he must attend to, but Grant brings the personal touch as well.

I met a special client, his name is Scott, a man who—by his own account—“had no time for religion" until five months ago. Diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, the doctors at the hospital gave him just six weeks to live. The staff at the GCM was intensely concerned about him, going to the hospital with him. At a GCM-sponsored "Alpha Course" introducing the Christian faith, Scott was prayed for with the laying on of hands. He felt a sharp pain inside of him during the prayer, so much so that he cried out. At his next hospital appointment, the doctors declared him "in remission." He told me that he can't stop thinking about Jesus now. Scott loves the name of our church because he was called that so many times in his life.

Here is our first Scottish to American Lexicon for you:

Pavement means sidewalk. Bins, not trash cans. They're not potato chips, they are potato crisps. Chips are like fries (hence fish and chips). Plasters are what we call Band-Aids. Adverts, not commercials. It's the toilet, the cludgie or the loo, not a restroom. (Bathrooms are in yourhouse). Substitute the word, "brilliant," for the word “awesome." Roll your letter “r” when speaking. In Glasgow, use a glottal stop whenever there are two of the letter “t” together (as then butter becomes buh-errr).

02 July 2015

Second Day at the Mission

Hello all,

This is Michael L. here for todays blog post.

Today was the first day that Danae and I were on our own to get down to the mission form the suburb we are saying at. That involved walking down to the train, buying tickets and making sure we took the right train but it was strait forward and now that we done it once we are confident we wont have any trouble.

During the day at the mission we spend most of it just helping with clubs and getting to know some of the clients who some we meet yesterday. In my experience most were very willing to chat with us but some are still wondering who we are and why we are there. I helped out with a under 40's mans club which consisted of just moving about the room talking to with clients and getting to know them and them getting to know us. I met one guy who just started coming to the mission today who has had a lot of ups and downs in his life. after that I went to help with a club that was for helping find a job and filling out applications. There wasn't that many clients that came to that and the staff said that was some what normal when its nice out (it was sunny and a little worm). So I got chance to talk to some of the staff and volunteers. I had a good chat with one volunteer about how Scotland has become more of a missions field. I was wondering how nationals felt about being seen like that, particularity from the Christians who live here. He told me that it is a missions field and he isn't upset that other countries think that, he is more sad that it was true.

After the clubs finished up for the day the Team went out for a quick bite to eat and chatted a bit about how things were going. After Danae and I popped into Poundland (the UK's Dollar Tree) to see if I could get a coin pouch because it is getting more difficult to manage all the coins they have here. They have about twice as many coins ranging from 2 pound coin to a pinny.

Over all I'm not getting too over whelmed with being here. Actually I was telling Danae its not really different at all from a city in the US. but that's just in the feel of it walking down the street. But as I write this I'm going off in my head what is different and I'll share that with you now.

-the money, the smallest paper money they have is £5 the rest is coins so when ever you buy something you have to look through the hand full of coins you have.

- The amount of sun light hours they have, the sun is just now setting and its 11:15 and it rises at 4ish in the morning

- The accents, I have heard a wide range of accents Glasgow's accent is the hardest to understand but there is people from all over the UK so some are easier to understand.

- The slang and phrases they use for example they way the communicate time is different instead of saying 1:30 its "half past 1" or 2:15 its "quarter past 2" and so on.

- The really surprising one is the Keyboards are different, the letters are all in the same places but the shift key is smaller and next to it is the \ key and the " key is shift + 2. its something you have to experience before you understand that its quite hard to type your normal speed when you go to capitalize a letter and just end up typing a row of \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ instead.     

Thank you for reading this I know its a bit of a long one. I talk to you in about a week in the mean time enjoy all the other team members points of view on Life In Glasgow.

- Micheal \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\lammers (shoot I did it again, lol)
1 July 2015
Hey there! It's Matt here. We arrived in Glasgow safely Tuesday morning, and met Susan Tulley, Jim Coleman, and Paul G. at the airport. They were so gracious to us and chatted with us over coffee as we tried to wake up. We then went straight to Glasgow City Mission for a brief tour and met many wonderful folks. I was excited to see some folks that I knew from 2013! Shortly afterwards, we retired to our homes and rested. I went out for dinner with Amy to Old Salty's, a new restaurant in the West End.
Today, Wednesday, was our first day at the mission. We all met at the mission for devotions. Susan Tulley and Susan Robertson gave us a run-down on the mission procedures. Then we went to clubs. Mike and Mary went to the Over 40's men's club, where they play pool, ping pong, and have trivia. Danae did intercessory prayer. Michael and Amy did Urban drop-in, which is where clients can come use the computers, gym, showers, music room, and hang out for encouragement. I went out with Paul to Morrison's (a large grocery store) in the Greenock neighbourhood to get some canned food Donations for the food bank. It was great to see Callum Robertson, Susan's husband, who is a manager at Morrison's. What a nice surprise! He helped us load the cans onto the truck. I was grateful for the time to chat with Paul, he's a wonderful man!
In the afternoon, we went back to Ewan's flat and Mary took a nap while the rest of us went to the Squid and the Whale for dinner. Great Mexican food!
Then we headed back to the mission for the evening service (meal served to the homeless). They really have a great system there, with everyone on specific duties. The meal runs smoothly and efficiently. Mike S. gave the homily, a little 7-minute wee "sermon", and he spoke about the name "Scum of the Earth" and why we chose that name. Very engaging and spot on! One client asked me afterwards about Scum and I was able to give him a pamphlet from Scum so he could prove we were real! !
Such a wonderful day meeting (and reconnecting with ) wonderful people. I love how the staff at the mission have such cheerful spirits, and even if they're overwhelmed, you wouldn't know it. Their joy spills over to those around them, and makes all of us more comfortable.
Peace out! Heading to bed!

18 June 2015

2015 Scotland Team News

18 June 2015

Hello internet!  The 2015 Scotland team is getting ready to embark in 11 short days!  Our team consists of these 6 wonderful people: Mike Sares, Mary Sares, Michael Lammers, Danae Lammers, Amy Lien, and Matt Kingham (myself).  We are very excited (and a bit overwhelmed) to serve in the UK to the people of Glasgow City Mission, Glasgow Mosaic Church, and friends (Stuart and Lynsey Gilmour, Graeme Watt, Steven Green and others).  Monday, June 29 is the day!  Please pray for us as we gather our remaining finances, and last-minute shopping for items to pack!  Pray that God would give us rest and joy, even during this busy time.  Mike and Mary Sares and Amy Lien will be taking a 3 week extension in Cambridge, and returning to the US August 17.  Michael Lammers, Danae Lammers, and myself (Matt) will take one week extension in London/Cambridge, before returning to the US August 4.  Pray that God will keep us safe, and speak his word through us to encourage those in Scotland/England!
Tomorrow night (19 June) is our last fundraiser, our Fish Fry at Scum, with a showing of "God Help the Girl" a musical movie set in Glasgow.  Please join us if you can for a night of fun!  Suggested donation: $10. 
Baby news:  Danae Lammers became an aunt yesterday, June 17!  Her niece Eliana was born in New Mexico.  Also, my 2nd nephew is due to arrive Saturday, June 20th (no news as of yet)  I'm hoping he is not more than 9 days late so I can meet him before I fly across the pond!
That's it for now!  Stay tuned everyone, for daily blogs starting June 29.  And please pray for us.  We love you all and can't wait to share our adventures with you!
Matt Kingham