The Lamas’ journey to Edinburgh is more than academics. It is a mission that is twofold. First, Mark desires to further his knowledge and tools of critical engagement with the New Testament, specifically Jesus studies. A major prospect for the future is to provide academic resources for those inside and outside of the church.  Secondly, the Lamas’ hope to influence a culture notorious for rejecting faith by showing peers and colleagues in academia the love and power of Jesus.  Mark and Leah’s impetus is, and always has been, to show genuine compassion towards people. The move to Edinburgh is about fulfilling this vision. Over the past several years, the Lamas’ have had the opportunity to love on thousands of youth and young adults wrestling for faith in a world vying for its dissolution.  The University of Edinburgh has extended to Mark a place of study for a PhD in religion and theology. As the sixth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, the university provides Mark and Leah the opportunity to influence the same campus of notoriously outspoken religious skeptics like David Hume (ca. 1711-1776). The Lamas’ are excited to see how God will provide for the success of this journey that God has taken them on.

Leah and I (Mark) are asking for support in numerous areas:

1) Interaction / Community: In the midst of so much change prior to and after arrival in Edinburgh, Leah and I desire to be in community. While we are still in town, we would love to share a meal, grab a coffee, or just hang-out. We are going to deeply miss our friends and family and want to connect as much as possible while we are still in Bakersfield. Once we’ve left, we hope to stay in contact through this blog (go “subscribe” to get regular updates), skype, and other electronic means. Please, continue to call, text, and pray for us.

2) Prayer: Without the prayers of our family and friends, Leah and I know that our vision is dead in the water. We are asking that people join with us in praying for Edinburgh, the university, and the people we encounter. Also, feel free to send us any encouraging words or wisdom.

3) Financial Support: Leah and I are thankful for those who have supported us and our ministries over the years. We know that without the prayerful and financial support much of our success with the Shindig, GCC youth group, and Anchor would not be possible. As we endeavor into this new adventure, we are asking that you prayerfully consider partnering with us financially. The University of Edinburgh will cost Leah and I £13,000 (roughly $20,000 USD) yearly. Though we hope that scholarships we be available during our time at the university, it is not secured at this point. We thank you for your consideration in supporting us. The Garden Community Church has, graciously, opened up a missionary channel for Leah and I that will make contributions to us tax-deductible. Contributions can be made as a one-time gift or monthly recurring support. We thank you in advance!

Click the link below and follow directions to give:

1) Click “Give Here”

2) Click “Select An Account”

3) Scroll to “7501.21 Mark and Leah Lamas Love Offering”