Where the purple flowers bloom

On Sunday nineteen women from Refuge gathered back at Mugdock Park

On Sunday nineteen women from Refuge gathered back at Mugdock Park

…They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.
— Isaiah 61:3

This past weekend was a significant one in the life of the church as Refuge celebrated its sixth birthday. On Saturday, the girls enjoyed an excursion to Mugdock Country Park, and after the service on Sunday the church family shared a meal together.

Below, Rachel shares some personal reflections on God’s steadfast love and faithfulness and the vision He gave her for Refuge…

In June 2011, I boarded a flight to Glasgow with my family. We had been feeling God stirring our hearts for the country of Scotland and decided the best next step was to visit again and to seek God’s heart and will for our family. We spent three weeks praying, meeting with people and seeking God. Whilst on a walk in Mugdock Park, God spoke to me in a profound way.

I decided to break away from everyone as we were exploring the old castle and walk along the far side of the castle wall. The castle was in ruins. Rock, weathered by time and the elements, was broken all around me. What used to stand as a mighty fortress was now laid low. And yet, something caught my eye. Covering the walls of the castle were sprouts of purple flowers. Tucked into the cracks, new life was springing forward.

tucked into the cracks, new life was springing forth

tucked into the cracks, new life was springing forth

As I looked in wonder at this new life amongst the ruin, God drew my mind back to Isaiah:

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
— Isaiah 61:4

Love for Scotland

God loved Scotland. She had once been strong and majestic, rich in Christian history and mission. But this country had fallen into ruin through the forsaking of the Word of God. God desired to bring life into this country again. Amongst the brokenness, He wanted to stir up new life. And He was calling little me into this great big story. He was stirring my heart for a people that weren’t my own. He was moving my heart to pour my life into planting a church in Glasgow. Life from ruin.

Exactly two years later, on the first Sunday of June, 2013, Refuge Church was born as six of us gathered to pray in my new living room in Glasgow. God had faithfully carried us to Scotland. He had opened doors and provided in miraculous ways to deliver us home. And here we sat, praying, seeking God, committing Refuge to Him. Life from ruin.

Back to where it all began

On Sunday nineteen women from Refuge gathered back at Mugdock Park for a Day Away. We had a time of teaching, personal prayer time, lunch together and a group debrief. We spent the day working through the story of Mary & Martha found in Luke 10. We remembered the call of Jesus to choose the better option of sitting at His feet in worship and relationship.

Following our time of teaching, a large group of us set out on a long walk around the park. We rounded a corner and my breath caught in my throat. Here were the castle ruins where God had so clearly spoken to me, calling me to Scotland to join Him in the work of planting Refuge Church. And how like God to bring us back in June—the month where the purple flowers bloom and cover the castle walls! Here I stood with women who have become sisters to me. My Church. My family. God has done a faithful work before my eyes. He has brought new life. He has brought salvation. He has increased faith. He has planted a family in Glasgow. His goodness and kindness knows no end. His promises are sure and His plans prevail.

where the purple flowers bloom

where the purple flowers bloom

Happy 6th Birthday Refuge Church! You are a gift of God’s grace in my life. You are a daily reminder to me that God is our faithful God, and that I can trust Him with my life. You are the new life that God ordained to grow in this broken land. Hallelujah!