On the first Sunday that the Uist Mission was posted, Belinda and I went home, prayed over whether we should sign up and felt the Lord say.... yes.... go!
As someone who joins 8am prayer each morning, we took the opportunity on several occasions to pray the Lord into the mission. The team also had a couple of Monday evening prayer calls, and we prayed God's hand over every aspect of our time on Uist, and with the North Uist Community Church (NUCC.) Also, I felt prompted to write a prayer for the mission, which I prayed daily for a few weeks — that's the way my brain works — I find structure helpful.
Two days before departure, a notification came from Caledonian MacBrayne about our three ferry crossings from Mallaig being liable to cancellation due to weather. Immediately, we asked the team to pray. The Lord looked after us, because we managed to secure alternate crossings at very short notice from Uig to Lochmaddy; this was provision indeed.
Each morning on Uist, we began by committing the day to the Lord as a team, which was such a blessing, and a testimony to how our shared faith brought the teams from Re:Hope and Portland, together in the Lord. These were powerful times of prayer.
On two evenings, we joined in services of worship with the NUCC, during which, we had prayer ministry times. The first evening we arranged ourselves into small groups and structured our prayer around Bible verses and prayers for the church, re-awakening, salvations and the young people in the church community. The following evening, I had been asked to share some personal experiences of God in my own life, so I chose to speak about how the Lord has answered prayer in my family. This then led into a time of prayer ministry with people from the church, in the same way as we do at Re:Hope. This was a moment of great blessing and privilege and it brought us into a close sense of fellowship with the NUCC folks.
During the three afternoons when the women's group was meeting for arts and craft work, I found myself in the church hall with time to pray for their time together and all the activities taking place at the school with the young people. One afternoon, I felt prompted to simply lay hands on each of the four walls and the chairs, praying God's spirit into the sanctuary.
On the final evening, I had previously been approached by a member of the church family, asking me to speak to a young man, who wanted to speak with a Christian man, about a recent and deeply troubled event in his life. I spoke with this young man who I had never met before, hearing about his situation and the circumstances which had tragically impacted his life. We spoke for an hour and then I offered to pray with him, asking the Lord for his help and blessing. That time was humbling and a privilege.
Being part of the Uist mission team was such an honour. There were times of personal struggle though, for me, mainly because of being in almost constant social situations. Being Autistic, means that social settings for me, are very exhausting, which is why I would often retire to our pod for quietness. Or I would get busy washing the dishes as an activity break — away from all the conversation — to allow my brain the chance to power down.
As I reflect on the Uist mission, I realise how much God met me in that week, and how he answered so many prayers. He knows exactly how my brain works, so he provided quiet places for me to just be with him and pray, he helped me to be part of the team, he helped me to work with people whose brains work very differently from mine, he used my strengths and equipped me with what I needed to serve him.
The Lord is a powerful God, who looks down and sees, and His ears are open to our prayers — praise Him.
Re:Hope West End
When it comes to making disciples of all nations — where has God put you? Pray for opportunities to reveal Jesus in your context today.