Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gracious Hospitality Scotland with Chrissy Vick

Offering hospitality is one of the biggest ways we can show Jesus' love to the Scottish people. We have found that opening our homes to people here is one of the most effective ways to build a relationship that opens the door to sharing Christ with people! I didn't realize until I started this ministry just how impactful it could be to share a meal or even just a cup of tea with someone. In this culture, having a cup of tea and a 'biscuit' (a sweet cookie) is a big deal in relationship-building and sharing, so we've had to incorporate that into our daily lifestyle. As one minister in Ireland tells all of his new missionaries, 'You have to build bigger bladders to be effective in ministry here!' The same is true in Scotland!!   :)   Ministry happens in our living room, in the living rooms of our friends and contacts, and in coffee shops around the area.

So far, I have been able to provide hospitality through inviting families and individuals into our home for lunch or dinner, hosting small group studies, ministry meetings and Bible studies in our home and inviting our contacts and friends over for tea and dessert. We also love to invite people out for lunch or coffee, especially the younger generation who love that. Even if I don't have the time or money during certain times of the month to do a full three-course meal for someone (which is so fun to do when I can), I find it just as impacting to invite someone over for tea and a biscuit in the evening (store bought will do when you are too busy!). It is also a huge part of our ministry to go to coffee shops and share fellowship and Bible studies over a cup of coffee. We have actually based an entire part of our ministry around reaching out to people in coffee shops. We now have 6 coffee shop Bible studies a week in 4 different cities! We have also incorporated a meal into our Sunday night small group outreach effort, as we decided that sharing a meal is such a big part of sharing Christ. Each of the families on our team take turns hosting the meal and study -- we try to keep it fairly simple, though we do always serve dessert and coffee afterwards! It is such a special time each week, and people are really drawn into it! We also always offer a cup of tea and biscuit after our Sunday morning service to encourage fellowship afterwards and get to know visitors. We even have made it a regular part of our team meetings to share a meal together!

I have also found that a big part of the ministry here is doing simple baking for people and events -- a home baked cookie or cake is a small token of your time and love that can go a long way! Even our visitors from the community at our outreach events have commented on that. In this culture, we have also found it very important to accept the hospitality of others, as much as we give it. The Scottish people love to have you stop by for a visit, and a cup of tea and a sweet is always going to be offered at any time of day. Often in this culture you are given an open invitation to come over anytime, and they really mean it! In fact, we've known a few people that have felt upset if we haven't dropped by unannounced! That is a huge example to us of true hospitality -- having your home open and available to people at any time! God works in such mighty ways through simple hospitality!

Lunch with Taiwanese students in our Friendspeak studies

Sunday night small group at our home

A baby shower cake made by Pamela McAdams. She makes the most amazing cakes without a mix. They don't have boxed cake mixes in our stores here in Scotland!


Please remember Robin and Chrissy Vick in your daily prayers. You can read their current mission news at:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bean and grains are a staple food in every country around the world.  Learning what to do with them can be a bit daunting. When faced with all these choices and varieties I believe it is really OK to play with your food.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nothing sweeter than working with your sisters in the kitchen.

It is awesome to work alongside sister in Christ. A bond in immediately formed in each of our hearts as we improve our "serve".

A new Hospitality class begins.

It is always so much fun to begin a new school year. Gathering a bundle of every kind of the herb in the herb garden, placing them in a large basket, and loading them into the car for the short ride to school. The herb scented air on the ride to school is enchanting. What would it be like to live or work in an herbery? (No, I did not make that word up.) Surrounded by the smells of the fresh herb all day would be therapeutic for sure.  God has blessed us with so many varieties with flavors from delicate to intense. I have my favorites. Among them are thyme, rosemary, lemon basil...... I still believe fresh sage smells like a sweaty horse, but, it delivers the most delicate and tasty flavor to vegetables and dressings.  So yes, be brave. Try them all regardless of what they smell like. You will be delightfully surprised.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gracious Hospitality in Scotland with Jenny Aaron

The blessing of hospitality:

Since arriving on the field a little over a year ago we have been able to use our home (and the homes of our teammates) to extend God’s love to others. Over the last six months we have been meeting in small groups on Sunday nights and rotating homes on a monthly basis. So I have been putting my gracious hospitality training to good use and cooking for 20-25 people on a Sunday night! We have also been using our home to have our neighbors over for dinner and church members from the Stirling Church of Christ as well. God has shown me that when we open our home to others He will open their hearts to us and what we have to share with them. We are praying daily for more opportunities to show God’s love with not only our homes but through the way we live our lives as we strive to serve Him here in Scotland.

In the photos:
Our small group meeting in the home of Robin and Chrissy Vick

Jeremy, Jenny and Lucas Aaron serve with the Scotland Mission team in Falkirk, Scotland.

Please keep them in your prayers and read their current news at: