In 1980 I spent almost three months with a team of teenagers just outside Catrine, Scotland. Our work included building a block & brick kitchen and dining facility for Teen Missions at Daldorch Estate (which is today a home for autistic children). I have often wondered if our dining hall is still there and being used. It was a great experience that I repeated by traveling to Italy in 1983. Throughout the years, my wife and I have led many teams to various parts of the world to work alongside some of God’s greatest servants and our greatest heroes – missionaries.

I celebrated my 14th birthday in Scotland and learned a great deal about the Lord, the world, and life in general. I have determined that in some ways my first Teen Missions experience was a rite of passage for me. As a team member I became accountable – to carry supplies, to wash my clothes, to dig a trench, to lay blocks. I was responsible for myself and others. 28 1/2 years ago I had my friends write their names and addresses in a small book so that we could “keep in touch” when we returned home.

While cleaning recently I found that book and fondly flipped through the pages of names and numbers. Yesterday converting some slides to digital format I tried remembering names and faces. A quick internet search turned up a few interesting leads…and then a Google hit read “Deb Pugh/Heather Duffy.” This was no coincidence or mistaken identity. In my mind these names could only be connected in one way – Scotland 1980. A link and a jump later, I received the confirmation I expected – including a photo.

The challenge has begun. A few more names led to a few more leads. We’ll see what the wonders of the internet hold for reaching back and connecting with a bygone day. To my teammates from Scotland Dining 1980 I say “Thanks for the memories.”