I wonder what, years from today, our Inspire teens will remember from their journey and work in Shetland?

They’ll probably recall the multiple running jokes during the week, the loud dance parties with the Bluetooth speaker they weren’t allowed to bring, and a number of antics they’d prefer I not share but suffice to say that there was a lot of laughter. New friendships were made while older ones became more tightly bonded, already evidenced this week.

No doubt they’ll recall their exhaustion of it all, too, and the challenges of helping 30 unknown children hear about God’s love for them. They’ll surely never forget the very rough seas and seemingly endless delays due to Storm Babet, alongside fond memories of Bertha the minibus winding along single-track roads.

My prayer is that next time they sing the lyrics of My Lighthouse, “I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore” it’ll be hard not to think of that very experience in the North Sea and God’s daily ongoing faithfulness to them. I pray that they’ll remember those new friendships are because of a common love for Jesus, a network that exists worldwide wherever they are. And I pray that they remember their church family who prayed and donated generously to make it possible, and to cherish that intergenerational treasure we have through Christ. Those many testimonies they heard of how God can surprise and delight when we are listening to his guidance – I pray those sit with them too.

Perhaps we have some unforeseen blessings yet to come, like seeds planted in fertile ground. That’s often how it works with faith formation – all these memories are like a trail of breadcrumbs reminding us how much joy is in following Jesus together.

It is a tremendous privilege to be journeying alongside them.


Inspire’s reflection on Psalm 100 – created at Shetland during the ministry trip