As there was no American mission team in Scotland this year, we had a week-long GO team from 24th - 31st August. The team was made up of 5 people from Scotland and 6 people from Ireland, with another 3 able to join us for the bank holiday weekend.
The team arrived on the Saturday evening, spent time with some of the congregation and watched ‘Logic on Fire’, a recent documentary about God’s work through Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
On the Lord's Day there was a further opportunity for the team and congregation to get to know each other over a church lunch. In the afternoon we went into Thorney Croft care home, which one of the members of the church recently moved into. We held a brief time of worship with the residents, singing some familiar psalms.
On Monday the team made the most of the glorious bank holiday weather to give out leaflets inviting people along to five upcoming special services. A number of good conversations were had. Following a BBQ tea, the team spent time doing some practical work around the manse. We finished the night off with a discussion of the opportunities and challenges small churches have.
The Tuesday morning and afternoon were spent finishing off leaflets in Stranraer itself and doing some of the surrounding villages. In the evening the team went to the Halls’ home for dinner and some games - and a chance to spend time with some of the young people in the congregation.
On the Wednesday morning the team finished off the surrounding villages (Stoneykirk, Sandhead, The Lochans, Leswalt, Kirkcolm, Castle Kennedy, Glenluce, Dunragit and most of Newton Stewart). In the afternoon we opened up the hall and invited people in for tea and coffee. We were encouraged to have people coming in and opportunities to share the gospel.
On Wednesday evening one of the congregation very generously took the team out to the Sun Kai restaurant, before we returned to the church for the first of the mission services, where Stephen spoke on the question ‘Is this really all there is’?
On the Thursday, following a time of prayer in the morning, the team went on trip to see Covenanter sites at Anwoth (where Samuel Rutherford was minister) and Wigtown (where the Two Margarets were martyred). In the evening the team were at the houses of various people in the congregation for tea, before the second night of the mission, where the topic was ‘Are we all going to a better place?’. We finished the night off with a discussion about some of the encouragements of being part of a small church.
On Friday morning, after a time of prayer, Stephen did a seminar for the team on the theme ‘How to listen to a sermon?’ The team then did some more practical work, including some painting in the balcony of the church. In the afternoon, we again opened up the hall and invited people in. Despite the wet weather, we were glad to have more opportunities to share the gospel.
A few of the team also went to Stair Park (home of Stranraer FC) to do some practical work. The team then split up for tea in two separate homes before coming together for the last of our special talks, entitled: Are they looking down on us?
The team departed early on Saturday morning. We are very grateful for their help and fellowship this week, and look forward to seeing many of them again soon!