Swansons share Scottish traditions

| November 18, 2013

COSHOCTON – Andy Swanson left Scotland to learn how to be an aircraft maintenance engineer, but after three years of training he is leaving America with much more than an education. He and his family have made lifelong friends that they will not soon forget.

The Swansons were involved with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) here is Coshocton, but now that Andy’s training is complete they will move to Uganda in Africa. While there, Andy will continue to work for MAF, a Christian organization that flies and maintains small aircrafts that are used to deliver help to developing countries.

“This has been an amazing journey,” said Heather, Andy’s wife. “We are Christians and truly believe that God called us to do this.”

The family wanted to thank Coshocton for its kindness before they leave by taking anyone interested on a cultural adventure.

“We really settled here and since we didn’t have family here, they (the church) became our family,” Heather said. “This was our way to give something back to them.”

The Swansons invited the public to the Coshocton Church of the Nazarene on Nov. 16 to hear some Scottish trivia, music and literature.

Heather, who is a music teacher, singer and songwriter, also shared her musical talent with students at Keene Elementary. The couple’s oldest two children attended school there. Abi is 7-years-old, Matthew is 5-years-old and they also have Eilidh, who will be 2 in July.

“In 2012 I taught music with percussion to kindergarten and first graders,” she said. “In Scotland children get instruments at age 5 and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything like that here.”

That was just one of many difference they had to adjust to while living in America. They also noticed that there is a lack of public transportation and that everywhere you need to travel is much more spread out than in Scotland.

“Everyone here though is so friendly,” Heather said. “You can’t just quickly run into the post office or bank. It takes a lot longer to do things.”

They also noticed that a lot of people in the United States have some sort of connection to Scotland.

“Americans all come from somewhere else and it seemed nine times out of 10 people had Scottish in their family tree,” Andy said. “That made us feel at home here.”

The people at the Nazarene Church also helped make Coshocton feel like home.

“We made friends for life there even though when we arrived they had just said good-bye to a mission family and were heartbroken,” Heather said.

Keene also has been good to Abi and Matthew.

“Abi has already come home from school with letters from friends saying they are going to miss her,” Andy said. “She has a teacher that wants to stay in contact and there has been talk about doing Skype calls.”

The Swansons plan to at least spend the next eight years in Africa.

“I don’t see myself working for anyone else unless God prompts me to,” Andy said.

The Swansons will start their journey to Africa Friday, Nov. 29. You can follow their adventure and learn more about their involvement with MAF by visiting, www.maf-uk.org/swanson.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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