One evening in late August, I was sitting in the Kilpatrick Room at Lendrick Muir with 53 trainee leaders reviewing their summer of serving on SU Holidays & Missions. During the worship, they were given an opportunity to stand up and say one thing they were thankful for over the summer – these were some of the things they said:
- “I’ll never forget the delight in the face of a boy when I gave him his first Bible.”
- “There was a boy at my holiday club who said he hated God, the Bible and Jesus, and he hated holiday club, but by the end of the week he was saying it was the best week of his life!”
- “Every day my Team Leader had to phone a girl’s dad to persuade her to stay at camp – she’d been like that last year too. But on the Thursday this year she came to faith in Jesus –then she didn’t want to go home!”
- “At the second Bible talk I’ve ever given, a girl who didn’t even want to be at the camp put her faith in Jesus”
There were lots of other stories of children and young people coming to faith for the first time, or growing in faith. And as I sat there, I thought “This is why I work for Scripture Union Scotland!” Both those stories of new faith, but just as much these 16, 17, 18 year old trainee leaders having the formative experience of being part of it all.
I’m sure it’s the same for you – this is why you support SU Scotland, and we’re so grateful for you. Young people like these are central to our new strategy. Our number one priority for the next three years is “growing the SU Scotland team” – young people, volunteers, staff and supporters. That means investing in senior pupils to lead SU Groups in high schools, seeking to grow the number of volunteers involved in our ministries and better supporting them investing in staff training, and growing the numbers supporting the work through prayer and finance.
It’s an exciting time: imagine 100 new S5 and S6 pupils leading vibrant secondary SU Groups across the country, 300 new volunteers supporting them or leading new primary SU Groups, staff growing in expertise in their field and 500 new supporters praying and giving to enable it all. It’s a big vision, but we have a bigger God, and his heart for the children and young people of Scotland is much greater than ours. If you could be one of those senior pupil leaders, new volunteers or a financial donor, we’d love to hear from you!
It’s such a privilege to work with the staff team in the Edinburgh, Lothians, Borders and Falkirk areas, and support the schools work in West Edinburgh. The team are incredibly committed and talented people who love helping children and young people explore the Bible and respond to Jesus.