Here is the letter I mailed out this week. Please take time to read it.
(And I promise, as I continue to defeat this dreaded cold, my blog world will return to normal. But honestly, I’ve been meaning to put this up- tonight just seemed like a good night.)
I can’t believe that it was 7 years ago (May, 2000) that I went to Scotland on a mission trip with the Wesley Foundation at UGA. To this day, I consider it one of the most influential and life-changing experiences for me. I saw God move in amazing ways in the lives and hearts of children and teenagers- and I was forever changed. In fact, if someone would have invited me to stay, I would have seriously considered not coming home!
But I did return to UGA (I just love Georgia football too much! ?) with the promise to myself that if the chance every came around again, I would return to Scotland. And I am excited to say that it has! July 11-25, 2007, I will be in Scotland with a team from Riverstone Church. We will be working with several churches around the district of Kilmarnock right outside of Glasgow, Scotland, to lead a Youth Camp. We’ve found an overnight Scout camp to rent out for the week where the students from the churches can come and get away from their daily routine and hopefully experience God in a unique way. The camp can house 100 people, and other places offered facilities nearby in case we have an overflow of youth sign up… which is our prayer! For the Youth Camp, along with other planning responsibilities, I will also be one of two camp speakers (Tom Tanner being the other). I know what you’re thinking- that’s way out of my league. I agree!! ? But that seems to be where God likes to drop me to remind me that He is made STRONG in my weakness. I wonder if it is proportionate… in which case, He will be made REALLY strong.
My primary reason for this letter is that I DESPERATELY need your prayers- even now, 3 months before our trip. There are no words, jokes, or stories that I can come up with on my own that will show these students the love of God. I need Him to lead and guide me. I need God to go before us and prepare the way. We are anxious and excited about what we feel that God has for the people of Scotland AND for the members of our team. But I know that I need YOU praying for me as I go. As the trip gets closer, I will send another letter letting you know other specific ways to pray.
Also, I have to raise about $1500 to go. If you feel like you would like to help me financially, please make/send your check to Riverstone Church (2005 Stilesboro Road, Kennesaw, GA 30152). Please do not write my name on the check- just attach a note saying “Annie Downs/Scotland Mission Team”. Though important, the need for money is secondary to the need for prayer. God has never let me down before; He has always provided all that I need, so I believe He will do that again. If you feel that He wants to use you to meet that need then that is excellent. Your financial contribution will be greatly appreciated, but your commitment to pray is what I desire most.
I’m very excited about this chance to return to Scotland. I haven’t been on a mission trip in a couple of years and I have felt my selfish heart expand while my self-LESS heart shrank like the Grinch. I’m grateful for the opportunity to reverse my heart condition, serve our living God, and see Him move around the world!
That all may know His LOVE,