My name is Andrew (Mowgli) Macleod, I am 20 years old and am in 1st year of my degree in Theology at Highland Theological College. I grew up in a Christian home and was taken along to Church morning and evening, Campaigners, Youth Fellowship and Sunday school. I always knew there was a God and so I tried to live as good a life as I could. On primary 6 I had my first real encounter with God while at a camp with the Campaigners. The preacher on the Sunday night told a story; the devil and Christ were in court with God as the Judge. The devil was asked to call in any who would stand up and testify in his defence. There was silence. So God turned to Christ, He called on His disciples, Moses, Abraham and indeed all Christians whose lives have been transformed because of Him.
This simple message affected me and many of the others deeply this night. Some were in tears, and prayer with leaders and campers went on into the night.
Nevertheless, I slotted back into my daily routine fairly quickly and when on 2nd year I found myself totally off the track that I thought I was on and amongst a group of people doing things which I knew were so wrong for me to be a part of. Going out at the weekend with my “mates” and living a lifestyle totally against what I had been taught. It just goes to show how easily one can be lead astray and how on our guard we must be.
It all came to a head one January evening in the village of Tong where I live. We had been up to no good when a Police patrol turned up. I went to hide in the transparent bus shelter while the officers watched 14 young folk casually legging it across the football pitch. Being 3 meters away I was petrified however the more I’ve thought about it, the more I can see how God shielded me from their vision. Once the drama was over I turned my back on this lifestyle and ran, whilst running home I cried out to God to save me from it, for I knew I could not save myself.
I was aware of the serious commitment I was making even at such a young age. I had grown up under the Gospel and knew that I had to surrender my life to Christ. Through experience, trials and tribulations I began to learn what it really means to fully depend on Jesus, for I am quite simply nothing and can do nothing without Him. Only from God do I receive the strength to face each day, now that the eyes of my heart have been opened, I wonder how I ever managed before this transformation.
My life has been transformed, renewed because through Jesus Christ I can and have received the priceless gift of salvation. I certainly do not claim to be perfect, far from it, however no matter how far I fall, His everlasting arms will always be underneath me. God will never let me stray too far, for He has a plan for me and now I am to walk according to His will.
That same year I professed my faith in August 2006. Nine others also professed their faith and became church members in Stornoway Free Church. This was a great encouragement as one of them was my cousin Murdo Campbell whom I thought had no interest whatsoever!!
As a 13 year old Christian there was a lot of maturing and growing up to do. Going through school there were many challenges however I was fortunate in that there was a strong network of Christians within my own year. Leading the Scripture Union was an immense experience on 6th year and to God alone be the glory as we saw the numbers rise from 20 to 100 over the summer break.
I was convinced I was to pursue my love of planes and begun working for Loganair at Stornoway airport. In June 2011 that plan began to change as I was invited to go out as part of the Blythswood team to the Eastern European country of Moldova with our leader Charlie Nicolson and others as part of an Aid/Mission group. This was the best three weeks of my life. Emotionally and physically I was drained but I saw God’s hand so clearly within these few weeks. As was mentioned in prayer one night; “may we be ready for the challenge of the mission”, and indeed we all have to be no matter where we are today. God has a mission for each one of us and we have to rise to it.
I came home with a deep routed desire to do more for the Lord. At first I thought it was the post Moldova blues however as the weeks and months went on I knew it was more than that. I began an Access Course through the Highland Theological College to test if going on to further study was the answer. I thoroughly enjoyed this but because of my 13 hour shifts at the airport I never really found the time to fully focus on it.
In April 2012 my friend Stephen Campbell and I returned to Moldova to do whatever we could. Charlie Nicolson asked me to prepare a talk as he knew Pastor Vitalie would welcome a rest. Stepping off the plane Pastor Vitalie turns to me and says; “Mowgli, you preach Friday, Sunday and Monday ok? Thank you! ”Well that was that. All I can say is the Lord did all the work, He gave me words to say and in a way to say it to His glory and it was an amazing experience. This was Easter weekend and to be standing there in this far away country telling a full room of people all about what Christ has done for every one of us was the greatest privilege.
As we returned home, having spoken further to my dad, he assured me the Lord would make it clear through His word if He wanted me to leave my job and study His Word. I searched high and low for this and through wise counsel from two local Elders whom I had worked (Speedy and Don Neil in Spar) who told me, “the Lord has already walked your path for you, all you have to do is walk in the footprints that He has laid.” Eventually through Matthew 6:33 the words did not jump out of the page but they comforted me and assured me of God’s guiding hand for my life. The day before handing in my notice at work, the doubts came flooding in but again through His Word, 1 Timothy 6:6-16, He gave me a focus and I have to trust and rest in God’s promises.
In September 2012 I began my degree at Highland Theological College. First Semester was challenging but I am really enjoying it and it is a great honour to be studying something which is so precious to me.