Meet Elijah and Jessie! They are taking part in our two year training programme, and they arrived in the UK at the end of the summer. We placed them in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland and have asked them to describe their new home to you…
My wife Jessie and I would be lying to you if we said we did not have a secret desire in regards to where we would be placed. When we were waiting for our placement from AT3, we secretly hoped that Scotland would be the place where we would spend our next two years, all the while praying that the Lord would place us where He wanted us. You can then imagine what a surprise and joy it was to hear that we were on our way to Edinburgh, Scotland to be a part of the congregation at Cornerstone Church in the neighbourhood of Morningside! We are truly excited to be in this place and with these people, which is why we wish to give you a snapshot of our new home and the beloved community, which we are honoured to be a part of.
Edinburgh is a lovely dichotomy of both old and new. You cannot help but wonder and its past and reflect upon the many great and historical things it has seen, while at the same time, acknowledging that while ancient, it is not in any way archaic. Edinburgh is bursting with life and creativity, energy and excitement. As someone who’s home country is only beginning to creep up on its 300th birthday, it is almost unbelievable that Edinburgh has experienced everything from ancient peoples of the Bronze Age, to the Romans, to the Protestant Scottish Reformers, to the creation of what is already the most beloved book franchise of our time, Harry Potter. In this sense, Edinburgh is truly a wonder to behold and sometimes we still cannot believe that we have been blessed with such a wonderful place to live.
I could go on and on about this beautiful and at times, seemingly enchanted city. But in truth, the truest treasure and the greatest joy of our experience in Edinburgh thus far is without doubt our family at Cornerstone.
Cornerstone is located in the Morningside neighbourhood of Edinburgh and is a church plant of St. Columba’s Free Church, which is located in the city center. If you were to go on their website (cornerstone-edinburgh.com) you would find that the church’s mission is to “offer a clear message about who Jesus is and why he matters.” while at the same time, “also offering a place of belonging and friendship”. In short, to teach the Gospel and serve their community with the love of Jesus Christ.
We cannot state this enough, but this is truly what this congregation does. Immediately, when we first walked in on Sunday morning, we were struck by the hospitality and love that these people have. We learned that they had been praying for us for months and now were genuinely excited to have us there. I am not exaggerating when I say, and I know that each person would say there is more work to be done, but this body of people truly understand the Gospel and take their mission to heart.
That is not to say that moving to a new land has been perfectly easy. Adjusting to a new culture and way of life is difficult at times. Not only are we far from what is familiar, but we have to get used to the fact that cars park on both sides of the road and face in opposite directions (which is ok, since we do not have a car) or that most everything closes around 5pm, or that sometimes we cannot understand what someone is saying, and that sometimes they are not able to understand us! Yet, while we face some difficulties and trials, we are constantly blessed and uplifted by the people around us. The Lord has been merciful and gracious in placing us loving and gospel-centered community at Cornerstone.
Theologically speaking, if the Lord has adopted us as His children, then if we are in Christ, we are truly brothers and sisters.
While this is something that Jessie and I both believe, sometimes it is hard for that head knowledge to affect our hearts. I think a lot of us would find the same to be true. Yet, in light of this, we would both say that in the people and community of Cornerstone, we are experiencing this firsthand. The work they are doing in service to the Lord for their surrounding community is infectious, as is the work I have witnessed from other churches within the Free Church of Scotland. Jessie and I cannot be thankful enough for where we are and the people with whom God has placed us.
We ask you to pray for the work being done here, as well as the work being done in churches all over Scotland and the UK. Pray for the mission of AT3 as well as they seek to help and aid these churches in spreading the Gospel.
Elijah and Jessie Brook
Written in 2018