Our Pilgrims' Progress
Over a year later, previous pilgrims reflect on the impact of Fusion Y&C's summer mission intensive, 'The British Pilgrimage of Hope'...
"My most vivid recollection had me sitting behind a large boulder where the waves of the Atlantic were crashing onto the shores of Iona where St Columba once walked. I was asking God to show me what He wants me to dedicate my life to. The three weeks of our pilgrimage took us through the lives of some of the greatest leaders of Western Christianity--including John Wesley, William Wilberforce, and St. Columba. After seeing just how much I live in the cultural remnants left by these great heroes, you can't help but ask yourself what God will do with you in this culture and where your mission field will be? Still now, almost two years later, I see God silently piecing together the teachings that I took home with me after that trip. It's nearly impossible for one to leave unchanged...even if the effects are felt much later on. " Kristy St Louis, US, 2015 Pilgrim
"What I remember most about the pilgrimage was learning how you can be the most effective in changing the atmosphere around you when you are true to yourself and who God made you to be. Learning about William Wilberforce and being able to sit and reflect at Columba Bay in Iona, Scotland were my highlights. I was able to see how the Lord used Wilberforce and apply that to how God wants to use me in the future. The pilgrimage did not just change me, it changed the atmosphere that I set around myself and others. If you don't do it for yourself, go on the Pilgrimage for what it can do to others through you." -Matthew Serrato, US, 2015 Pilgrim
"When I think about the Pilgrimage I think about crossing the causeway to Lindisfarne and how difficult but beautiful the journey was. It is a perfect picture of life with Jesus and the Church. I had the privilege of walking a portion of the way with Skye and not only was our conversation encouraging, but she helped me fare the wind. Life is hard, but we are better prepared to face it with others at our side. Since the Pilgrimage I've been reminded of how vast the Church is in her entirety, and that each person needed two things: Jesus and community. That rings true for all of us. I'm learning to lean on others for help and prayer when the going gets tough, realizing that when we lean in, we honor the model of community that God created us to have." -Celeste Brown, US, 2015 Pilgrim
"When we camped out in the cliffs of Iona, secluded on a small island with nothing but open terrain and sheep, I felt the most alive and free then I've ever felt in my life. Because I felt the most connected to God… While I was there I felt as though nothing could hurt me, all doubt and fear left and I lived three days there without any burdens. I felt so free! We were given the opportunity to roam off by ourselves and I took that as the perfect moment for me to speak with God, I found myself sitting on the edge of the highest cliff I could find over looking the sea. I felt the spirit's presence there the strongest, I felt God's hand on my shoulder and he communicated to me through the birds, the wind, the mist of the ocean and the soft touch of the grass. I will never forget exactly what I felt at that moment, and what God spoke to me. Now when I think of what heaven might be like, I picture Iona, and remember what God showed me while on my pilgrimage there.” -Jo Helton, US, 2015 Pilgrim
'Throughout my time spent on pilgrimage I've learnt and discovered new things about myself that I didn't quite know before. As well as picking up on the importance of community that is needed to impact individuals. One thing that will always stay with me is the time we spent on our placements because it was there where we were able to really put into practise everything we had been learning as well as the opportunity to work alongside another community is also special. There are serval things that still impact me today; a lot to do with discovering who I am in Christ and his plans for me. But, one of the biggest impacts is remembering just how significant it is to make sure we allow ourselves enough time just to reflect on the things going on in our lives and where God is during these times but also just allowing that time to wait upon his presence to see if there's anything he wants to say." -Christine Godwin, UK, 2015 Pilgrim
Finally, here's a reflection from Alex, who journeyed with us two years ago...
"The landscape of Scotland overlapped with the inner landscapes we were discovering inside of ourselves, wrestling with the light and dark places. We spent ample time exploring the land and new cities while also meditating on new thoughts about the Father and Psalms. One of the most compelling experiences for me was going to a Scottish Ceilidh for the first time. It was symbolic to me because of the initial fear I had of dancing in front of so many people I did not know. However, once we all started dancing together and forgetting ourselves, we laughed and spun in circles. It was a dizzying experience I never wanted to end. Similarly, I learned that life in the Spirit grants freedom to join with others to celebrate what glory is still to come!" -Alex Franks, US, 2014 Pilgrim