April and I traveled to Pittenweem this week for her work. Pittenweem is a small coastal village known for its active harbor and simple beauty. We went to attend a coffee club at Coastline Community Church, a fairly new church replant that serves much of East Neuk. Though they are not as popular as they once were, coffee clubs are a means of outreach here in the UK. They are opportunities for people to invite their friends and neighbors to an event that features coffee, conversation, and an interesting speaker.
April and I were the “interesting speakers” on this day. I was to talk about my research and what brought us to Scotland; she was to talk about her work within the local schools. When we arrived, the host of the event told us to not be shy about explaining the role that our Christian faith plays in our lives and to explain openly how a person can become a Christian. She even spoke of the need for people to become “born again,” language commonly used here in connection with the Evangelical Revival.
We did our best to present the Christian Gospel in a respectful and accessible way. We discussed our time in Scotland—particularly the work we are trying to do and some of our reflections on the country and its people—and also explained how each of us became a Christian and why Christianity is important to us
We felt a tremendous sense of encouragement when we left the meeting. It was wonderful to see people older than us still working to bring their friends and neighbors to Christ. Also, the people there were so friendly—they promised to pray for us and expressed genuine concern in the work we are doing. They took particular interest in April’s job with Scripture Union and even made a flower arrangement to celebrate her and her labors! As you will see below, the uniform is that worn by the school children here, the Bible represents April helping the pupils to explore Scripture, and the floral arrangement is an assortment of American and Scottish flowers to show the union between the two countries (there is even a small American flag!).
After leaving the coffee club, we went to the Cocoa Tree, a restaurant that specializes in making homemade chocolate. I think I need to say nothing else—that fact alone reveals that the place is fantastic.
After a chocolate heavy lunch, we walked to St Fillan’s Cave near the Pittenweem harbor. Legend claims that a monk named Fillan lived in this cave during the eight century. It also claims that he spent much of his time in the cave reading and writing and that his arm glowed—presumably by the power of the Spirit—to assist him so that he could see in the dark. The cave today contains a memorial to St Fillan and a running stream.
On our return home we stopped at one of my favorite spots—the hill on the Crail road that overlooks St Andrews. There we were able to capture St Andrews in all her beauty—her beaches and harbor, the ancient buildings that shoot up into her skyline, and even the snow covered hills that presently surround her (click on the pictures to enlarge them).
It was a great day, and we express gratitude to all of you who help to make our time here possible.