Short Term Mission Trip – El Salvador

Having been there last year, much of the unknown anticipation of last year’s trip was absent this year.  There was a much larger comfort factor in returning, yet there were still many “what ifs” running through my mind.

What if something happens to both of us? (my husband and I were both going on this trip)

What if we get terribly sick there?

What if God’s plans for us include failure?

The bottom line is trust in God.  Are you willing to answer His call on your life regardless of the circumstances?  Do you trust God enough to carry you through whatever comes your way?  When the answers are YES, you are free to be used by Him for His glory.

This trip was only for 7 days (two of which were travel days).  We ministered there for 4 days and had Sunday as our worship and relaxation day.

Thursday – Travel from Aledo through Atlanta to San Salvador.  Just a small delay when our plane to El Salvador had to be replaced due to a bad engine, but other than that, we had no difficulties.  Here is my facebook post at the end of the day:  Left the house at 3:30am. Wrapping up the night at 10:30pm. Two plane rides and two van rides. A great reunion with some brothers and sisters here. A wonderful chicken/mustard sauce and veggie dinner. A couple hours to relax this afternoon. An evening of prepping bags and supplies and BIBLES for distribution to the children tomorrow.

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Friday – Izotes with Pastor Anselmo.  This location required a long van ride, followed by a long truck ride up the mountain, followed by a short climb to the church.  Wow what a view up there!  Here is my Facebook post at the end of day 2:  We started the morning before 6am. Breakfast. Devotionals in the morning, and then we were off to Izotes. It was about 1 hour drive in the van/truck followed by a very interesting drive through the mountains in the back of a large truck up the mountain to our location, followed by carrying our supplies up the rest of the way to the church. Then we painted the church, sang some worship songs, played with the children, ate lunch, took a hike, then performed our children’s program for around 50 children. It was a laughter and praise filled day today. So far it hasn’t rained. Rigo says they are having a drought and that many around are losing their crops and their hope. What a beautiful location today! Back to Santa Tecla for supper and then to the hotel for evening devotions and packing up more bags for the children for tomorrow. Preparations done for day 3. Posting updates and photos, heading to bed. Thank you God for today!

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Saturday’s Facebook posting:  El Salvador Day 3: Breakfast, morning devotions, preparation for sharing my testimony at the pastor’s meeting, pastor’s meeting, lunch, hotel, then off to El Achiotal for the children’s program. A quick 30 min trip to the beach, back to Santa Tecla for dinner, a rain storm, car trouble, back to hotel for devotions and now wrapping up day 3. We had such a sweet time of fellowship with the pastors/ministers/wives this morning. We sang many worship songs. Lonnie Maynard and I shared our testimonies with the Pastors group. We were able to see Jaime (our driver from last year) again. Those are terrific times of God’s blessing. Luke shared a wonderful message about Noah.

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Sunday’s Facebook posting:  Day 4 El Salvador: morning group devotions, then off to church. Worshipped in the van on the way there practicing our song for the service. Got to hang out in Children’s Church which was so sweet. Spoke English with the 20 children there as they are learning it in school! Got to worship in the new church at Villanueva (Pastor Manuel)! That was such a great blessing. Time to relax in the pool for the first time today. Then we went zip lining! And we climbed to el puerto del diablo… Such a beautiful view! Pictures do NOT do it justice. Dinner at McDs and then evening devotions about trusting God. We have two children’s programs tomorrow and the gents begin building tables for the churches.

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Monday’s Facebook Posting:  Day 5 El Salvador: morning devotions then off to Majucla for our first children’s program. 35+ children there. Lunch at the small church there and then back to the hotel for a brief time to restock our supplies of bags and Bibles. Then we headed out to Sunza where the guys had been building tables this morning. To our great surprise the new bridge was open and the guys had 7 tables built by 3pm. We held our 2nd children’s program there and had over 70 children at this location. Dinner at Santa Tecla was ham, potatoes & onions with bread. Evening devotions back at the hotel. We seem to get better with our skit the more we do it. It is a lot of fun. Brad is fighting a stomach bug… fairly mild at the moment but he also has a fever. Please lift him up in your prayers. The men are heading back to build more tables in the morning while the children’s program crew are headed to a new mission church at San Julian (Casarios Los Venturas – Pastor Santos Cuellar). We should have 30 to 40 children there too. Our heart continue to grow toward our brothers and sisters here! They work tirelessly for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

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Tuesday’s Facebook post:  Day 6 El Salvador: We requested to work at another mission today rather than taking a shopping/rest day. We were blessed with over 50 children at San Julian. The guys built 6 more tables. Morning devotions were wonderful as usual. We pray we have been a blessing to everyone here. We know we have been very blessed by all of them. Rigo gave a Bible to one of the policemen guarding a gas station that we’ve been frequenting during our stay. When we left, we noticed him reading it! God works in ways we can’t anticipate. The pastors here really have a deep heart for our Lord and for the people they serve. This afternoon we stopped by a lava field on the way home. Then we were blessed with some down time. Many of us played in the pool for a while. Brad is not feeling well and is resting in the room. Tonight we’ll be treated to pizza here at the hotel with our El Salvadorian family! They are so dear to us. We have been so blessed to have ladies cook for us all week! The food has been wonderful. We joke about working hard in the heat and not losing any weight! Tomorrow morning we’ll leave the hotel around 9am and get home around 10pm. We’d appreciate your prayers for safe travels.

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Wednesday’s Facebook post:  Day 6 & 7 El Salvador: Our pizza party ended up with a large wind, rain and hail storm Valmori shared his testimony with our group. What a story he has! I wish you all could have listened in. He is a wonderful brother! We said our goodbyes to Frank, Elizabeth, Anthony and Amanda, Claudia and Marianna, and Carolina. Then we had our evening devotions. Our final day is always difficult. We face packing and leaving such a beautiful country and our El Salvadorian family. All of us will continue to process this trip and how God is changing our hearts and our minds because of our experiences there for quite some time. I pray you will all consider what God would have you do as our church will be returning, probably on two different occasions, next year. Is God calling you to go and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ? If he is, you will be blessed if you answer His call in faith and obedience. Trust Him for He alone is faithful.

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Because of the generosity of our church family in Illinois, we were able to be a blessing to our El Salvadorian family.  We left gifts for all of the pastors, money for current and future church projects, extra Bibles and childen’s supplies that we didn’t have the opportunity to distribute, and a piece of our hearts with our brothers and sisters there.

I don’t know if God will call me back to El Salvador, but I do know that there is much work for His kingdom to be done there, and our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ can use our encouragement and support for their ministry.  Many workers are needed.

Seek God.  Trust Him.  Answer His call on your life.  He has many blessings to pour out on you in your obedience.

Be encouraged.  Press on.

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