Friday before our women’s conference here in El Salvador we were discussing how our men would need to watch the children for 6 hours during our conference. This was not something that we had planned for. It was a last minute, oh by the way, you may have 80 or more children to entertain for six hours. One of our ladies said, “Maybe the it will go quickly and it won’t seem like six hours.” To which we all exploded in laughter! And to top it all off, our men don’t speak Spanish and the children don’t speak English. We did believe that there would be a pool, so the guys just decided they could all play in the pool. One of the guys said at the end of six hours in the pool we’ll be returning the children to their mothers all wrinkly and I added and broken! Here is your child – or at least I think this one is yours. We did our best. He’s a bit wrinkly and broken. I think that is the outfit he came in. Oh goodness. What a mess we could have had!
We had so many unknowns about the location, what would be available for a sound system, how noisy would it be being outside on a beach, would we be too hot, would we be sunburned, how will the translators do with our testimonies, will we take too much time or not enough.
We placed all of these unknowns in the hands of the only One who did know. Our great God had it all covered. There were several El Salvadorian men who played and helped to watch the children. No one ended up broken but several were wrinkly from the pool time! Other than one of our guys pulling two boys out of the water keeping them from going under, there were no tragic mishaps! God was good.
The women listened intently under a shelter with a good ocean breeze. We had a sound system to help us hear. We had an abundance of female translators that did a fantastic job! We could not have had our conference without them! Lunch was wonderful! We had nearly 80 women at the conference and God was moving powerfully in all of our hearts. We ended our conference with a foot washing ceremony. We were able to wash the feet of every woman there. And then to our great surprise, they wanted to wash our feet too! To God be the glory!
So we had nothing to fear. Even though we didn’t know all of the details, we were able to rest in the assurance that God had everything covered and then some! This entire trip has just filled me with love and peace. What great blessings I have received. I’ve received more hugs this week than maybe all of last year combined!
One of my sisters in Christ said it best. We always leave part of our hearts in El Salvador. This is the hardest part of the trip. Saying good bye to the people who have done so much for us. We love to spend time with them and just treasure their company. Maybe one day God will allow them to visit our church in Illinois.
If you are ever in a position to participate in a short term international mission trip – TAKE IT. I guarantee it will change your heart and your life. Be encouraged. Serve the Lord where you are. Go and tell the good news about Jesus Christ! Press on.