glasgow’s an eclectic place, a mix of old and modern, hip and depressed, industry and craftiness, parks, treeless roads of crowded stone, church spires and addicts. it has the feel of other large european cities, similar smells and architecture, but has its own identity, something beaten, but looking up, hobbling away from ashes, burdened, hopeful. and rainy.
with the blessing of paul and emma, our team leaders, to get settled before we really engage in ministry, our days so far in the city have been somewhat unstructured, punctuated by periods of focused wanderings. apartment viewings mainly. we are waiting currently to hear about when we might be allowed to move into our chosen apartment. it is not terribly far from the university, on a main road laced with convenient bus routes, near a grocery store, near a library. around small bits of productivity we have been learning, learning streets and public transport, phone plans, mental currency conversions, glasgow slang. we’ve seen tourist thoroughfares and alleys and back roads through the hills, churches, museums, cafes, bookstores, parks, plenty of apartments.
and since our days in an airbnb ran out and we realized the entire region’s hotels were booked for games and festivals, we have also seen the homes of some very gracious acquaintances. we have shuffled around in the last couple days, from glasgow to stirling to milton of campsie, staying with friends of paul and emma’s who have spare rooms. it feels a bit like being homeless, but perhaps more like being a part of a larger, very welcoming community. we’re heaving luggage around we hoped would be unpacked by now, sleeping in strange but cozy beds, and making great connections, having great conversations.
and before the madness hits again, before grad school and ministry and all the time-defying extra-curricular activities those terms entail, we are thankful for this time of strange rest. these days are creating a distance between the busy last year, and setting up for the year ahead. i have to say that moving to another country this time feels oddly normal. even though little feels settled in this time of waiting, we are less unnerved than we could be. maybe that’s because of rwanda, maybe because we have begun to accept the tiny, persistent ways that God provides when we don’t expect. we are here, we are there, we are moving forward somehow; we make plans, plans change, we are moving forward. we embrace necessary fluidity. we celebrate steph’s birthday. we wait for john mark mcmillan’s new album to come out. ivy gets more steady on her feet everywhere we go. i can’t say i’m angry about how these first glaswegian days have turned out, but we readily welcome being handed the keys to our next little home.