August 27, 2015

Adventists Give Scottish City Center a Makeover

What do you do when you see a need for repairs in your city?

Seventh-day Adventist believers in East Kilbride, a city of 75,000 people just 8 miles (13 kilometers) southeast of Glasgow, Scotland, decided to take action after regularly passing by dilapidated railings along sidewalks in the downtown area.A view of the East Kilbride downtown area before (top) and after the repair work. (BUC)

The members of the East Kilbride Adventist Church approached local lawmakers with an offer to spruce up the city center. They quickly received permission — together with free cans of paint, equipment, and even some green shrubs. City workers were ordered to power-wash the area in preparation for the repairs.

Then church members scraped, sanded, and repainted the railings to restore them to their original black and white colors. The team also replanted a small area with the shrubs.

“The weather was awful but the company was good as local residents took time to stop and chat about both painting and Jesus,” said Maggie Robertson, an elder of the East Kilbride church.

Residents from nearby apartment buildings also brought out many cups of tea, slices of cake, cans of juice, and boxes of chocolate for the volunteers.

Adventists from London and Glasgow joined the local believers with the five-day project, which was dubbed “Impact East Kilbride” but was not limited to the city. Teams of volunteers also fixed up areas near the Adventist churches in Glasgow and the town of Faifley during the week.

Rain did not discourage the volunteers as they painted the railings. As the work neared completion, the weather improved and local lawmaker Susan Kerr and her twin daughters joined in.

“An impact was made on East Kilbride both physically and with friendships,” Robertson said. “The members now look forward to some similar challenges in the future.”