IMB workers see Light break through Scotland’s gray skies

IMB workers see Light break through Scotland’s gray skies

Patrick and Erin Schwartz have become accustomed to the darkness that often clouds Scotland’s beauty. According to the World Weather Information Service, Scotland only has around 100 days of sunshine each year. That leaves most days rainy or cloudy.

Patrick says their family has missed the sunshine they enjoyed in New England, but after a few months back in the U.S. on a stateside assignment, they are ready to return to Glasgow this spring.

Having lived there for three years, it now feels like home.

Patrick explains that one of the biggest blessings from their first term as International Mission Board missionaries was connecting to a local church in Scotland — Refuge Glasgow. This family of faith has provided a church home for them and their two daughters, McKinley, 6, and Rowen, 1.

“While we were certainly glad to come alongside them in the work of the gospel, we felt like we received the greater blessing,” Patrick said. “The church has become a backbone for what we are trying to do in our community. It is a visible expression of Christ’s love.”

Erin has focused much of her ministry on connecting with other mothers at McKinley’s school and in her neighborhood, which she describes as very diverse.

“We didn’t realize how diverse Glasgow would be. Half the kids in McKinley’s school speak Arabic and come from Muslim backgrounds,” Erin says.

One mother Erin met is Meiying. Their friendship in Glasgow grew, and though they often talked of spiritual things, Meiying was not interested in Erin’s initial invitation to study the Bible. However, after asking Erin why she always looked so peaceful, Meiying asked if she could visit their church.

‘Faith in Jesus’

“Over the course of the year, Meiying grew in her knowledge and understanding of God and what it means to follow Jesus,” says Erin. “I had the privilege of watching the Lord work in her heart and life and walking alongside her as she repented of her sins and placed her faith in Jesus.” In December 2019, Meiying publicly confessed her faith in Jesus and was baptized.

Patrick and Erin are grateful for Meiying’s involvement at the church and are hopeful that others in her family will come to faith as well. They also feel very blessed that they have been able to see the fruit of their work in a country where people do not often respond to the gospel.

Drug use and violence in Glasgow remain on the rise, and the dark skies of rainy days reflect the spiritual darkness of the country. But Erin and Patrick see the light of Christ penetrating the darkness. (IMB)