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The group in Tobermory. Lewis is fourth from the right.
The group in Tobermory. Lewis is fourth from the right.

Youth column: 'A Spiritually Fulfilling Experience'

Friday November 10 2023

Lewis Park, of St John's and King's Park Church, Dalkeith, reflects on the power of a summer mission trip to Ardnamurchan.


I’ve never had an experience like our Church mission to Ardnamurchan.

Our minister, the Rev Keith Mack, has been visiting the area regularly for ten years, specifically the town of Kilchoan. Through many conversations and even more emails, Keith agreed with the small church there, that taking St John’s and Kings Park’s annual Holiday Club there from our home in Dalkeith was an excellent mission opportunity.

Lockdown delayed things for a while, but in 2023 the youth-led mission trip took place. On August 5, 12 of us drove four-and-a-half hours to Kilchoan, meeting the remaining seven members of the group – in total eight adults and 11 teenagers. The youth pitched tents while the adults drew straws for the manse, which sleeps six.

All throughout our time there, we had so many thrilling experiences. The views were unmatched, especially the sunset over the ocean. Even the horrid weather was mesmerising, as we heard the heavy rain hit the ocean and watched its veil sweeping west, until it hit our tents.

We made sure to include activities around Ardnamurchan each day after Holiday Club, visiting stunning beaches and taking trips on speed boats. We saw seals, dolphins and minke whales, held a photography challenge and a barbecue, followed by a bonfire on our last night. These activities really made our trip something special. It was a real bonding experience, something very important, as a few of us would be leaving for university soon.

The heart of our Kilchoan Mission Trip was the impact on local children and what that meant for the wider Ardnamurchan community. Day one brought the attendance of three quiet and uncertain children. Next day we had more kids who were even more shy, however, the end of the week saw an amazing difference in the children, who were far more engaged and open; some even wrote letters and drew pictures for us unprompted.

One of the highlights of the entire mission was when one family waited on the coast of Ardnamurchan, until we disembarked the ferry from Tobermory, just to see us one last time.
Each morning we read a missionary devotional, and through reading and discussing this, we agreed that we had planted seeds in the small town of Kilchoan. Through our presence we had drawn attention to ourselves with the hope that any locals who were curious about what we were doing might discover faith. Of course we had also shown the children at Holiday
Club the love of Jesus Christ.

In summary, our Ardnamurchan mission trip was a highly enjoyable camping  expedition, where we got to really spend time and bond with one another, with faith at the centre of our trip. In and out of Holiday Club, it was such a spiritually fulfilling experience, as we included
devotionals and prayers throughout each day and showcased Christian values to all
that we met.

Truly a trip where we felt so blessed to be doing God’s work that we are going to find it hard not to return next year.


If you are under 30 with a Church of Scotland connection, and would be interested in writing for this column, please email us on magazine@lifeandwork.org