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Team Scotland - Update #4

Team Scotland - Update #4

The Prayer Space

We have loved our time in Aberdeen, our third and final destination in Scotland. Here we have partnered with Sheddocksley Baptist Church, which has shown us the same warmth and kindness we’ve encountered all over Scotland. Our time here has been busy and fruitful, and we have lots of exciting testimonies to share. Sheddocksley has great relationships with some of the staff and administration at Northfield Academy, a local secondary school. As a result, they’ve encountered incredible favor in the school. For the past four years, they have run a prayer space for the students as part of the school’s religious education. This year, we had the honor of helping set up and run Northfield Academy’s prayer space alongside Sheddocksley staff, and it was hands down one of the highlights of our trip.

The prayer space provides an environment where students can come and learn about, explore, and practice praying. We were amazed that something like this would be allowed to take place in a public school, and that church leaders would be invited in to share openly about their Christian faith! Students came into the prayer space one class at a time, heard a brief introduction, and then explored ten different prayer zones. Most of these kids have never stepped foot in a church. During the introduction, they learned that prayer doesn’t have to look like kneeling, bowing their head, and folding their hands, but that prayer can take the form of words, a picture, a conversation with God, a feeling of grief or loss, a simple “thank you” or “I’m sorry”, and much more. We shared that God doesn’t just listen, but he also talks to us, and that if we listen, we can hear what he is saying to us and about us – and that it is always positive, encouraging, and comforting.

Our team ran three of the prayer zones. At the “God’s Good Words” zone, two of us prophesied together over one child at a time, asking God what he wanted to say to them, and then sharing it. Kids were amazed to hear things that were true about their personality, character, and dreams and to think that God might actually see them, know them, and have positive things to say about them. As we shared his heart of kindness, love, and affection toward them, it was obvious that their hearts were melting. Many left with smiles that weren’t there before, heads held higher, and more confidence in their step. Where self-hatred and discouragement was, love and hope seeped in, unknowingly invading their heart and planting seeds of freedom and life.

At the “Picture Gift” zone, some of our team did the exact same thing through art. Each student who sat down was drawn a prophetic picture and given a word that explained the drawing. The students were amazed by the accuracy in these drawings. Madeline drew a pair of ballet slippers for a girl, who later shared that she not only used to be a dancer, but a ballerina! Prophetic art was stretching for a lot of us, but everyone who stepped out in boldness by picking up a marker was given a spot on word for students who walked away totally encouraged. At the God’s Good Word’s zone, we constantly had wide-eyed kids share their prophetic pictures with us in amazement when we gave them similar or the exact same words. This was by far the most popular zone. The kids were all so proud of their pictures, signs that God knew them, loved them, and was wholeheartedly for them. The best part was that they got to take them home as a constant reminder of those truths.

Our last zone was “Listening to God.” At this station, we had the honor of teaching secondary school students how to hear God’s voice, and it was absolutely amazing! We had bean bags set up in a relaxing atmosphere with paper and pens and the four keys to hearing God’s voice displayed on the wall. Someone was stationed there to walk the kids through the keys (quiet yourself down, fix your eyes on Jesus, go with the flow, and write it down) and to make sure they understood that the positive voice that was far kinder than their usual thoughts was God’s, while the negative voice that often liked to criticize was their own. We had them ask God questions like, what is your favorite thing about me? How much do you love me? What do you see when you look at me? Most of the students took this station really seriously, taking the time to quiet themselves down and focus on God, really positioning themselves to hear what he might have to say to them – and they totally heard his voice! Many of them wrote down amazing things about themselves and about how much God loves them, which they also got to take home with them. We reminded them that they could talk to God like this and hear what he has to say anytime they want by practicing these four keys.

Our team was blown away by the possibility of sharing God with students in a public school, but it was so much more than that. We were able to teach students how to hear God’s voice for themselves, empowering them to access his constant, close voice of encouragement and love. There was so much curiosity and wonder in the room. Some of the kids eagerly asked questions about how we were hearing God’s voice, wanting us to break down the process for them so they could try it themselves, but even those who weren’t as engaged left lighter and brighter than how they walked in. They encountered something life-giving in that atmosphere of peace, even if they weren’t quite sure what it was, and countless seeds were planted in their hearts through encouraging words and pictures. What an honor and joy it was to partner with God in speaking life over his kids!

Blog written by Jessie Risman

Team Scotland - Update #3

Team Scotland - Update #3

Stopping for The One in Scotland

This past weekend, the Scotland team made a quick trip to Edinburgh with the one and only Quinn. That’s right, SOSL alumni – we got to hang out with Quinn all weekend in Scotland. If you aren’t already jealous, then you must not know Quinn. He is an SOSL alumni and former small group leader, who lives in Edinburgh, where he helps lead the Edinburgh School of Supernatural Ministry. Quinn was our lovely tour guide for the weekend. He is absolutely amazing, and we had a blast hanging out with him in Edinburgh.

Quinn came all the way to Glasgow to drive us to Edinburgh. When we arrived at our Edinburgh headquarters, which happened to be a penthouse flat with a killer view of the city – daughtership has its perks, y’all – his precious mother was cooking a fantastic feast for us. While she continued cooking, we got to meet Christy, SOSL’s #1 Fan. This is no exaggeration. Christy is only fifteen, though her maturity, wisdom, and dreams would tell you otherwise, but she reacted to meeting a team of SOSL students like most fifteen-year-old girls would react to meeting One Direction.

Christy was glowing with excitement from the moment we walked in the room. She has wanted to attend SOSL forever and plans on going after she finishes university in 2022 – mark your calendars, because it will be a year for the books! She knows more about the school than we do, after studying the website and everyone’s social media. She even asked some of us how many absences we had, knowing graduation was coming up and having memorized our graduation requirements. Christy is obsessed with SOSL in the most beautiful way. Her iPhone background is the SOSL logo, and she nearly lost it when we gave her an SOSL pen and highlighter as a gift. Christy is a firecracker whose heart is unbelievably hungry for more of God.

We had the opportunity to prophesy over her while we waited for dinner. All of us gathered around Christy on the couches and shared God’s heart for her. We could have prophesied over her all night, and we really wanted to. Prophesying over Christy was easy. The excitement she feels for SOSL is nothing in comparison to the excitement God feels about her and her future. We got to know her over dinner. Over and over again, Christy said it was the best night ever, the highlight of her life. 

The next day we joined an outreach team from Bethel at the Edinburgh School of Supernatural Ministry (ESST) which meets every other Saturday. There was something so special about having students from California, Tennessee, and Scotland all worshipping together in one room. The Bethel team ministered to ESST students in the morning, sharing some stories and prophesying over some of the students. After lunch, Carlee gave her amazing sermon on Ungodly Beliefs. Students were taking pictures of her slides and sharing them with friends on Facebook. We also had the opportunity to prophesy and pray over the ESST students during some ministry time.

ESST does community outreach in the afternoon. We split up into groups to join them for street art and treasure hunts. The street art group drew prophetic pictures for people and delivered them with an encouraging word. We thought this was brilliant because they were able take something tangible home to help them remember the word. Our treasure hunting teams went to the park and some local shops, where we got to pray and prophesy over people. Shelly and I were paired with an ESST student named Emily. Just as we were about to run out of time, the three of us found a man who matched nearly all of our clues – brown shoes, green jacket, grey hair, sitting on a bench, near a river. Mike had a lot to say about religion. Much of his life had been defined by disappointment and loss, and it was obvious that he had built some very sturdy walls to protect himself from encountering any more of it. We had what some might have left thinking was a discouraging conversation with Mike. He spoke very negatively about religion and people of different faiths, blaming them for many of the world’s problems. Mike expected us to push our faith on him, but instead we gave him space to verbalize what he was feeling. He expected us to argue with his strong opinions, but instead we listened. Shelly shared a bit of her story with Mike, connecting with his experiences of loss, and then we honored Mike, his intellect, his passion, his heart for justice, and his resilience. Without being weird, we loved Mike through listening and spoke life over him through honoring the person he is. After we left, we prayed elsewhere in the park for God to continue loving on Mike and calling him to life. Sometimes planting seeds simply looks like listening well and pointing out positive characteristics in someone who may not be able to see them. God is faithful to water and grow those seeds, no matter how small they seem.

The next day Quinn gave us a little tour of Edinburgh before we headed to Aberdeen. It was a fun and restful day of exploring a beautiful city. We saw some incredible views, Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Mile. Our time in Edinburgh flew by, and to most of us, it seemed like we didn’t do much while we were there. We had been praying that God would do just as much in 24 hours in Edinburgh as He did in a week in Glasgow, and he absolutely did.

We did a lot of ministry in Glasgow, especially pouring into the leaders who pour so much into others. In Edinburgh, we learned that stopping for the one looks different everywhere, and it brings more fruit than those doing the stopping ever get to see. We’ve been hearing testimony after testimony about how impactful our quick visit to Edinburgh was. My favorite example is an email from Christy’s mom, sharing that after our visit, Christy prophesied over some of her friends at school – friends who are not believers, in a secular environment. This was her first time ever to prophesy. Here is what Christy’s mom had to say:

It seems to me that you were able to 'call out' things which we have known were in her, but which she hadn't yet been able to fully step into. Hearing the Father's heart for her has released a grace in her to be what He sees. One of you had described her ability to naturally speak Jesus to her friends, and to draw them to Him without them even realising what was happening. She had been chatting to these girls at school about Friday evening - just still so excited about it - and had talked about the prophecies she'd received. They asked what a prophecy was, and she said 'It's when someone listens to hear what God is thinking about you, and then they tell you'. She let them hear a couple of the prophecies you'd given her, and her friends thought it sounded so good that they asked if Christy could 'do it for them' - and she said yes!! She said to me that she wasn't sure she'd 'done it right', but I am so confident that God honoured her boldness and her faith in that moment. Her friends loved what she spoke over them, which seems like a win!

I wanted to let you know this little story to let you see the impact of what you are doing. I guess one of the difficult aspects of a ministry trip is that you have to move on, and don't always get to see what happens next! Your visit has been so significant for Christy, and at such a critical point in her personal and spiritual development. We are so grateful to God for this blessing, and utterly amazed at His hand in the intricate network of connections over many, many years which led to your team being in Edinburgh this last weekend, and to Christy being able to spend time with you. 

Blog written by Jessie Risman

Team Scotland - Update #1

Team Scotland - Update #1

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Hello from Glasgow!

The Scotland team arrived yesterday, and we brought the sunshine with us! Folks here said it was the prettiest day Glasgow has had in weeks. Those of us who have traveled internationally before were blown away by how smooth and efficient our travels were. We made all flights without experiencing a single delay, had plenty of time to get to our gates without rushing, and never had to wait long for a connection. Hats off to Charlene for booking a fabulous itinerary! Upon arriving in Scotland, getting through customs was a breeze and all luggage was accounted for. 

We found favor on the first flight with a sweet flight attendant who had just been to Scotland for a wedding. After finding out we were headed there, he told us all about his trip. Later he returned and dropped a huge Delta bag stuffed full of snacks on my lap. “These are for your travels! I hope you enjoy Scotland!” Little did he know he had delivered them straight to the team foodie. After he found out there were ten of us, he ran back to gather more snacks and brought us a second bag.  Our love tanks were full after this surprise snack attack!

We were greeted at the airport with the warmest welcome. Our lovely hosts had already memorized our pictures and greeted us each by name. We went straight to Queen’s Park Baptist Church (QPBC) for lunch with some of the staff. The church looks more like a castle and overlooks Queen’s Park, which is the lush green you would imagine a park in Scotland to be. After coffee and tea and an overview of our week (our shapers were well loved with the detailed schedule and information packet), we walked up the hill to take in the view of Glasgow. This city is breathtaking, and the people are warm.

We ended our first day with a beautiful meal prepared and served by volunteers at QPBC. To say we were well fed would be the understatement of the century. Some of us grabbed seconds of dinner and thirds, yes thirds, of a variety of homemade Scottish desserts.  

The Scotland sweethearts are already falling in love with the incredible QPBC staff, our welcoming host families, and the gorgeous city of Glasgow. We’re so excited to see what God has in store for our time here!

Blog post written by Jessie Risman