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A Dispatch from Edinburgh, Scotland

I am writing today from Edinburgh, Scotland. Aileen and I boarded a flight last night and arrived first thing this morning. It has been twenty three years since I was last in Scotland; Aileen has never been. We are here with a small collection of pastors and church leaders who have traveled from all over the United States or Canada. We are here to visit 20Schemes, a ministry hard at work in a unique mission field—Scotland’s schemes. I will be telling you more about schemes in the days ahead.

Each person who made the journey paid their own way over. Most are here to consider partnering with 20Schemes or even to consider moving to Scotland to lead a church plant or revitalization. I came because I want to see the ministry first-hand and because I’d like to introduce you to it. I’ve met the leaders, I’ve heard of their work, and now I get to see it close-up.

Scotland and Christianity have a long history together. At one time this country was one of the strongholds of the Christian faith. It was once considered a Christian nation. But no longer. Christianity is now an afterthought for the majority of people here. Churches are empty. This is true especially in the schemes, those large areas of the cities given over to government housing and welfare support.

And yet this ministry is in the schemes doing two simple things: getting involved in the community and telling people about Jesus. And the Lord is at work. I plan to go looking for evidence of that work over the next few days, and as I see it, I am going to tell you about it.

(For now, would you pray for me? I’m feeling a little bit under the weather. It might be the jetlag, it might be the big ol’ plate of haggis I ordered as soon as I got here. Either way, I could use the prayer.)