The RP Mission Team arrived last Thursday and Friday. Here is Elia Kingswood’s description of what the Team has been doing so far:
“Since arriving in Airdrie last week, our team has already had several opportunities to labor alongside the saints in Scotland in their work of spreading the Gospel. Straight away on Friday evening, we were involved with the Kids Club and CY. I was so encouraged to see the evident concern that this church has for the younger generations and the amount of love and prayer that is invested in them. In God’s providence, over thirty young people from Glasgow and Airdrie gathered together for CY to sing psalms, pray, and hear the testimonies of the mission team members. I really enjoyed getting to know many of the people there and immediately felt welcome and at home.
On Saturday, we all piled into the minibus and headed for Edinburgh to do a leaflet drop with the members of the North Edinburgh RPC. We were blessed with great weather and were able to distribute about 2,500 leaflets in the neighborhoods around where the church meets. The leaflets gave people information about the church and invited them to come out to a service. I found it a great blessing to witness the earnest desire that the North Edinburgh church has to be present in their community and share the Gospel. Throughout the day we spent time praying that this ministry would bear fruit and in God’s providence, our prayers were answered by a woman coming out to church the very next day after having received a leaflet.
The Team with those from the North Edinburgh congregation.
We worshiped in Airdrie on the Sabbath and participated in their Bible class and prayer meeting. Having heard so much about the work that the Lord has been doing in the RP church in Scotland, it was amazing to get to see and experience it firsthand. I think it would be accurate to say that we were all blessed by sitting under the ministry of Pastor Quigley and enjoying fellowship with the members of the congregation.
Over the past two days, our main focus has been preparing a drama that we will be presenting in several primary schools over the next few weeks, Lord willing. Monday night we were treated to a delicious dinner by the Glasgow CY group and were able to get to know them all a bit better. One of my favorite things about this trip so far has been meeting new brothers and sisters in Christ and hearing the stories of what God has done in their lives. On Wednesday we will be heading up to Stornoway to do mission work and spend time with the RP congregation there. We are all so appreciative of the love and prayers that we have received since arriving in Scotland, and I pray that God will use our time here to His glory. ”
What is the RP Mission Team?
RP Missions is the Short Term Mission Organisation of the American RP Church. Every summer they send teams of university age young people to RP Churches around the world and within America. For 14 years they have sent a team to Scotland during the month of June to work with the RP Church here. For the last two years, due to various reasons, there has not been a team in Scotland. But this year we have the joy of welcoming this team of young people from the American, Canadian, and Australian RP Churches to visit and work alongside of us. The RP Mission Team provides a fantastic opportunity for the churches in Scotland to learn and hear and feel connected to their brothers and sisters in the global RP Church, and it also facilitates these young people learning about what Christ is doing in the RP Church in Scotland and returning home to share this with their congregations who have been prayerfully and financially supporting the Scottish RP Church for many years.
The Team this year will be with us from the 24th May to the 26th June. They will be visiting, helping, and worshipping with each of the 5 RP Churches in Scotland during this time. While in the central belt they will be living in Airdrie in the dorm accommodation, but involved in helping Airdrie, North Edinburgh, and Glasgow, and then they will have two long weekends away, first in Stornoway and then in Stranraer. The Team will be distributing leaflets about the churches, visiting highschools and special needs schools, sharing their testimonies with young people, visiting nursing homes, helping with youth work and practical work, learning about Reformation and Covenanting History, and spending time with those in the congregations.
The Team will be led by Stephen McCollum, the summer intern in Airdrie, with his wife, Brenda, assisting him. Here is a brief description of the Team:
Stephen & Brenda McCollum – I am Stephen McCollum and my wife is Brenda. I am Northern Irish and Brenda is American and we live in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, while I study at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. By the time I arrive in Scotland I will have finished my second year. Brenda works as an admin assistant at RP Missions and also babysits two days a week. We are looking forward to being in Scotland this summer, although it is not our first time. Brenda has been on several RP Missions teams to Scotland and studied in Airdrie on the Semester in Scotland programme. I studied at the University of Glasgow and was a member of Airdrie RP Church. We are coming to be on the mission team and are looking forward to staying on for two extra months so that I can intern in Airdrie. We are excited to meet many of you who were not in the RP Church when we were last in Scotland. You have been in our prayers. In a similar fashion to how Paul writes to the Colossians, most of whom he had never met, though we are absent in body from you in Scotland we rejoice in the news that we hear about your faith in Christ Jesus and in the progress of the Gospel.
Hollie Cloherty – I’m Hollie and I’ve from Australia. I live in Melbourne, close to the beach with my parents and 2 younger sisters and I have 4 older siblings. I’m a member at Frankston RP Church, where Ed Blackwood is the minister. There are 2 other RP church’s around the city of Melbourne, so we’re a small denomination here, for the whole of Australia. I have one last 4 week placement at a Preschool before I finish a Diploma in Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care). I’m excited to work alongside the RP Churches in Scotland with you all and serve my Savior in this way.
Elia Kingswood – My name is Elia and I live in Ottawa, Canada. Right now I am just finishing up my first year at Carleton University where I am taking a Bachelor of Journalism. My dad is a pastor at the Russell Reformed Presbyterian Church which we have attended since 1997. In 2007, my dad preached at the Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland for three months and our whole family had the wonderful opportunity to live there during that time. We visited Scotland briefly while we were there and I have always wanted to go back!
Jake Terpstra – I’m Jake and right now I’m finishing up a mechanical engineering degree at Geneva College in Pennsylvania. I’m originally from Wichita Kansas where I am a member of Trinity RPC. I’ve been trying to pursue missions for all my years in school but paying for each semester has made it financially unwise, until now. I hope someday to serve the Lord as a long term church planter in Israel. I want this to be a turning point from self-preparation in college to selfless service to God’s people for the rest of my time on this earth. I can’t wait to get to know you all better!