Goodbye to America

•June 17, 2010 • 7 Comments

What a month it has been! We have said many goodbyes, but with the encouragement that our loved ones support us unconditionally. The above photo was taken on our last Sunday at Fourth St. in Selmer. The children pictured with us, Alma and Lupe, have become very dear to our hearts. We are proud that Lupe is now our brother in Christ, and he exemplifies the vision we have for Scotland: to teach the Gospel to children and their families.

God has blessed us greatly with the opportunity to spend time with our family for the past few weeks. We have been in both Arkansas and Georgia, and it has been a wonderful experience. We are looking forward to our departure in 5 days, on June 22. Although we are somewhat saddened to say goodbye to family and friends, we are excited to say hello to our new life in Scotland!

Advertisements

New Developments

•May 1, 2010 • 2 Comments

So many things have happened since our last post! God has answered our every prayer and we are just constantly amazed! Thanks to all of you that have been praying for us during this past month, which has probably been the busiest of our lives! We have so much to be thankful for. Here are some of the (big) things that have happened recently:

  • Received our UK visas!
  • Bought our plane tickets
  • Met our minimum monthly goal
  • Sold our car
  • Richard finished and defended his Master’s thesis

As we said before, none of this could have been accomplished without your prayers and support. God is SO GOOD! The words of 2 Peter 1:2-4 definitely ring true: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

There are still many things on our to-do list for our last month in Selmer, but we know that with the Lord’s help we can make it! Here’s part of the list:

  • Secure moving company
  • Richard – finish course requirements for graduation
  • Selling (most) of our household “stuff”
  • Saying goodbye to our church family here in Selmer

Blessed

•March 25, 2010 • 1 Comment

We are continually amazed at how good God is. Just last week we weren’t sure if we would be able to meet our monthly budget, even after significant cuts – how quickly things change when God is on your side! This week alone we received word from two congregations that brought us 10% closer to our goal. Which means only a little further and we will be ready to move to Scotland!

We are starting to feel the reality of our decision to move. As our house in Selmer looks emptier, our excitement grows. Things are coming together like never before, and it looks like this once seemingly insurmountable task is nearing completion! So many people have made this possible, but everything points to our God, to whom everything belongs!

To sum up our feelings in one word, we are BLESSED.

Triple Citizenship?

•January 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This past weekend Mary and I were able to travel to Florence, Alabama and visit with the Florence Blvd Church of Christ. We met with their missions committee and I taught the high school/college age class. We had a wonderful weekend! Florence Blvd is home to our great aunt Judy and Uncle Quention Hogan, as well as the family of my second cousin Steve Hogan. We loved spending time with our relatives and learning about our roots.

I learned that Florence Blvd. supported my Grandfather and father in New Zealand and are continuing the work there. I explained to the missions committee that I was grateful for this involvement, because otherwise I would not have been meeting with them for two reasons: One, I would not have been born because my father met my mother in New Zealand. Two, that I would not have dual citizenship. This second point might seem obscure to mention. Of course, all of us in the Lord’s Church are dual citizens (Phil 1:27), so I must clarify – I have triple citizenship.

When I lived in Scotland in 2005 (a preacher intern for Cumbernauld church of Christ) I was invited to return, as some of our readers may be aware. At that time, it was not difficult to enter the mission field as an American citizen. Many missionaries to the UK would travel there on a visitor’s visa and leave the country every 6 months to renew said visa. A law has been passed recently prohibiting Americans from entering the mission field of Scotland with a visitor’s visa. As of right now, a business visa is not readily granted to most Americans. Unless one can prove that he or she is not taking a job from a Scot the business visa will not be permitted. This makes it almost impossible for an American missionary to come and help a struggling work.

This is where my triple citizenship is so vital. Being a citizen of the commonwealth of Britain, I have certain privileges to live in any commonwealth country. Scotland, however, is different. I must be a citizen of Great Britain or related to a citizen of Great Britain in order to reside there (on our survey trip a Canadian was deported from Scotland). My Grandfather (my mother’s father) was born in Kent, England. This allows me to acquire an Ancestry Visa, which is the equivalent of a 5 year work visa! Mary and I are awaiting the final document (an invitation from East Kilbride for the Consulate). Mary will be covered under this visa as well.

God has blessed us with these three citizenships. We are trying to make use of every blessing He has provided for us. Since we are able to go to the country of Scotland with a 5 year invitation, we feel the need – or better yet, the obligation – to go and share the Gospel message there! Paul said it best to the Corinthian brethren:

“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For NECESSITY IS LAID UPON ME. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel (1 Cor. 9:16)!”

Thanks to All

•November 6, 2009 • 1 Comment

We want to say a word of thanks to all those who have supported us in our fundraising efforts thus far.  As we write this post, we are on a trip to Georgia to meet with congregations about supporting our mission. We feel so thankful for God’s blessings so far. Here are some things we are thankful for:

  • Our church family at Fourth Street and elsewhere, who encourage us in our endeavors
  • Prayer works! Thanks to everyone who is praying for us and this mission.
  • All the congregations that have shown interest in this mission by allowing us to come and share our plans with them.
  • The bretheren that have chosen to support our work in Scotland – without you, none of this would be possible!

We are requesting your continued prayers on our behalf during this process. Most of all we pray that God will be glorified and that His Kingdom will be increased! We love you all and God bless.

Scotland or Bust

•October 6, 2009 • 1 Comment
Souls Across the Sea

Souls Across the Sea

If you are just finding our blog you may know a little about us or not at all. I invite you to have a look around and maybe find out a little more concerning our mission and also our mindset. First and foremost the gospel is our aim! We desire to spread this good news to the lost in East Kilbride Scotland.

Please make yourself at home and ask us any questions whatsoever

In Him

Richard Harp