SU Scotland’s Gap Year – Meet Mark

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3 April 2017
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24 July 2017

SU Scotland’s Gap Year – Meet Mark

He has been involved with SU from a young age with happy memories of jumping on hay bales and chasing chickens at Comrie Croft whilst his mum helped on camps.  For the past nine months he has been on the Gap Year programme.  Wait, scrap that! Mark’s Gap Year started a few months earlier on Arran at Basecamp.  It was a ‘phenomenal week’ where his faith grew through the teaching and group times and strong friendships were formed with the other campers.
Not only this, his plans to study music at University was thrown up in the air.  Although he had heard about the Gap Year programme, it was not for him. God had other plans!!! Sound familiar!?!  Thanks to the help from Jackie Ringan and Jo Black, a very late application was submitted and Mark was enrolled on the SU Gap Year.  Then began the daunting challenge of fundraising, amplified by the late admittance to the programme. However, just as Mark was faithful to God’s calling, God was faithful to provide the finances through the kind generosity of others.

What is this Gap Year all about?

The SU Gap year is very varied and tailored to suit the individual.  For Mark, he has spent half his time in Milton Street working with schools across Glasgow doing assemblies, SU groups and church outreach to school children looking at Christmas and Easter.  And of course all the admin that goes alongside these things.  For the second half of his gap year, Mark  has joined us here at Lendrick Muir working with the schools team hosting primary and secondary schools in their busiest ever season.
If that wasn’t enough Mark has helped on Easter camps, will help on summer camps and go on a mission trip to Ukraine! Woven through everything has been the study of Christian writers and various assignments to help deepen his understanding of God.

What have you learnt?

This question was followed by a big pause. LOTS . . . .
Including practical things like working with children, which he never thought he would be suited to, living away from home and working in an office.  Highlights have included getting to know various kids on camps and working with school groups at Lendrick Muir.  Simply demonstrating you care to children opens up the door for many great conversations.

Legacy continues. . .

There is a legacy running in his family as Mark follows in his mother’s footsteps as she also did a gap year with SU, in Perth, as a young adult.  She worked with a local church doing assemblies, SU groups in schools and various local outreaches.  A passion that has continued on as she is involved in SU camps and leads an SU group in Mosshead Primary School. Mark says,

‘Mum is a great woman of faith and a fantastic encouragement to me and in my walk with Christ.’

So what does the future hold?

The plan is to study law after the summer, then who knows but

‘if I had gone into music I think I would be further away from God than I am now.  It has brought me back to having Christ as the focus of my life and helped me to learn the importance of God as the priority in my life.’

Final words

‘The Gap Year has been a fantastic experience.  The prep by the organising people has kept it exciting and interesting.  Seeing God at work in different facets of the organisation of SU has been amazing.  Thank you to everyone involved in my experience. It has been an honour.’

Thinking of having a Gap Year?  Then follow Mark’s advice:-