(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).