Sunday, July 7, 2019

Friday, Beach Day!

We had a great day at the beach today with the girls from CIPI.  It was extra special because this is a center that does not get to leave the grounds very often for various reasons.  They absolutely loved the ocean!  Their laughter was contagious!  Today was about loving and laughing with these friends.  One of the girls did not know how to swim and just sat at the edge of the water and let the waves hit her. Then we moved to the pool and she sat on the side. Slowly she got in and floated on a life ring.  We were playing volleyball in the water and I kept trying to get her to join us but she was afraid.  After about an hour she got off and joined us. More laughter! We shared lunch together and then the girls all wanted bead braids in their hair. 
It was a perfect way to end our week!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Thankful Thursday

This is my only picture for today but it speaks volumes!  In America we have freedom and opportunity that is far greater than most of the world. When we look at the differences with an earthly view our countries and cultures seem so different.  This is my seventh time to visit El Salvador and what i have found is there is one thing that ties us all together.  We are born a void in our hearts and we are all searching for what we need to fill that void. We sometimes try and fill it with many things. Sometimes it’s drugs. Sometimes it’s material things. Sometimes it’s worry and control.  Sometimes it’s a longing to feel loved and we look in al the wrong places. Sometimes it’s joining a gang. The way are endless!  Sometimes we have to reach a breaking point to realize we need a total surrender.  It is then that God starts whispering in our ear and our heart begins to soften. Each one of us is called to give testimony for what God has done in our lives and how we came to that point of total surrender.  Today was a very emotional and very powerful day.  The power of the Holy Spirit was so strong and we saw several teens that were impacted by the power of Jesus. It is only when we can still ourselves long enough to hear Jesus whispering in our ear and become strong enough to surrender our complete lives and everything in it that change begins to happen. I am so thankful that God has given me a heart for mission work.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Wonderful Wednesday...

Move In Day! 

 This morning as we prepared to move the family we built the house for yesterday into their new home, I reflected on a conversation I had with another missionary. We discussed how this house was built on cornerstones, much like a life for Jesus must be built on Him, the Precious Cornerstone. We discussed that a house and a life built on cornerstone is strong and does not easily crumble.


 As we moved the new beds, dining table, a rocking chair, and personal items into the home, we watched the family respond with an enormous amount of gratitude to God! It was easy to see that these lives were built on Jesus, the Precious Cornerstone, as well!

 We prayed for the family and the home and then the home was dedicated all to the Glory of God! 
   After the dedication, we ate lunch, prepared items to give out to the surrounding community, and went to visit another site where Sus Hijos was building a concrete duplex for two more families.

  We returned to our building site where we were able to bless 35 other families with food, glasses, clothes, bibles and treat bags. We laid our hands on these families and prayed for specific prayers they had along with health and protection. 

  The families were very grateful and the children lit up when they saw what they were being blessed with! We were grateful to be just a little hint of hope for them by being obedient to God and letting Him work through us!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tuesday in El Salvador

Building day! 

On this beautiful morning in El Salvador, our team prepared to build a home for a family a few hours away. The family consisted of grandparents and and a grandson/son.  
As we prayed and prepared our hearts and minds for the day at hand, I was reminded of this verse. 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice
 is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24 NIV

When we arrived we were greeted warmly. 
The family had worked for quite some time to prepare for the day.
The team was introduced to the family and we prayed over the day and home and family. The family was very moved and grateful. Then it was work time! The foundation and walls went up quickly! 
There were lots of smiles and laughter along with hard work. 
It is amazing to see Gods blessings and provision in action! 
We were even able to paint the house in the same day! 
The family often came to watch with excitement and anticipation. 
It was amazing to see the home come together so perfectly for them. 
The grandson/son of the family was eager to help and be a part, as well as another older son of the family. It was a great day! Tomorrow the team will return to finish the house off with furniture and other necessities to make the house a home.
 Thank you to everyone who helped this dream become a reality for this beautiful family!

Monday in El Salvador

Today we started our day at the warehouse and loaded supplies for the house we will begin construction on tomorrow.  We then traveled to visit children in a special needs orphanage.  Kimberly shared a story about how God’s spirit is like the wind. We can’t see it but we can feel it and it is always with us. After that the kids colored a pinwheel and we helped them assemble them.  It was fun watching their faces as they figured out how to blow on the pinwheels to make them spin.  We helped the tias feed the kids before we left and of course passed out treat bags.

It was then back to States Diner for lunch where we had fish tacos, steak tacos and chicken tacos. We recommend all of them! They were delicious!

We then went to the adult special needs center.  This is such a fun place to visit because they are always happy!  We had a big dance party and Kimberly shared her story again.  Victor prayed with the residents and one of them prayed for us. As I stood there watching, it was easy for me to see that God is in their hearts!  It is always very emotional because I know they don’t get to leave the facility often, and for some of them never, but this small time allows us to bring the outside world to them.

Tonight we're looking forward to sharing God's love with the homeless 

as we pass out food to those living in the streets of San Salvador. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Sunday in El Salvador

We started our day at church. We are so blessed to have a church that welcomes us with open arms. They have a strong community in the church. One of the members was not able to attend because she was ill, and the pastor asked that we pray for her. What an encouragement to visit a church family that is so close-knit!
At church we got the opportunity to work with the children. We talked about faith. Just like the wind that we cannot see or describe well, but can feel and see it move things... we have faith in God. 
We can’t see His face, but we can feel Him and see Him move.

After lunch at Pollo Campero, a local favorite restaurant. We then went to visit an orphanage for boys ages 11-17. These boys LOVE to play sports, and they play with everything they have. Basketball is a full contact sport! When we arrived at the center, the boys kept their distance and didn’t warm to us immediately. After playing soccer, baseball, and basketball we were all much closer. When it began to rain, it was the perfect time to go inside and share a message with them.

To finish our day, we led bible study with the kids in the transition houses. We shared with them that they can move on from their past, and be secure they have a future.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Beautiful Love in Brazil

Brazil is one of my favorite countries. The places where I go in Brazil, they don’t seem to care at all about what shade your skin is or where you are from. Everyone is treated the same way.

The people that we have met have been SO hospitable! They want to feed you, and they are wonderful cooks!  No one eats ANYTHING without sharing it. John and I don’t drink coffee! Never, ever! We even drank coffee for the first time. They make it SO strong here, that they serve it in these little tiny cups. It’s often served with amazing flan. I am so happy to be sharing this experience with my husband! This is his first time in Brazil.

The organization that we work with here goes directly into the favelas many times every week and works in the poorest areas.  Their # 1 objective is sharing the gospel. #2 is meeting the next deepest needs of the children of these communities.  The ways that they help these children are both creative and endless!  
Today we helped as Nate (a Missionary from the states who lives here), picked out ingredients that the mothers in the favelas, could make with expired produce, that they can get easily for little or nothing.  
He then teaches them to use these items!
One of the things they can get are bananas that are over ripe. Nate asked me to wash some clusters of bananas. I thought it a little odd, but I have told John, “Nate always has method to his madness!”  I washed the bananas. Next he asked me to peel them. Then it got more strange! Nate asked one of the summer interns and I to take a fork and shred the banana peels.  This made the peel look similar to pasta, dark, slimy pasta. Meanwhile Nate was heating some butter, peppers and onions on the stove, and dancing between that and mixing some concoction in a bowl. What he did next blew our minds. He fried the banana peels in the skillet, adding his homemade BBQ sauce. Then he mixed cilantro with his homemade mayo. He took a bun, put the banana peel mixture in the bun, then topped it with the cilantro and mayo mixture! What came out was a beautiful sandwich that looked like what you would find in a super trendy restaurant. It was a pulled pork sandwich (looked and tasted like it) but made with banana peels that would have been thrown away!

Nate is an organic gardener, and he takes produce cultivated from his garden into this community every week, but that is one or two days a week. He came up with an incredible idea to find out what foods they can get, then teach them lots of ways to use them. 

This is just one example of small things that make a big difference in the lives of these children. This group that we are working with, they do countless things every day to make life better for children here, starting with their spiritual well-being. 
We are honored to be working with this amazing group of people!
If you are interested in coming on a trip like this, please give us a call!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Friday with Sweet Friends...

Today was a divide and conquer kind of day. Brother Martin left the mission house early with Eric, the Sus Hijos spiritual leader, and some translators to visit a men’s prison. 

The rest of the team started out on a different adventure.  We loaded up 2 vans and 1 bus with adults, kids, wheelchairs, walkers and other assorted equipment  The excitement on those precious faces as they got on the bus was a sight to see!  We paired ourselves up, 1 adult and 1 child. We enjoyed the museum through their eyes. It was a simple place but through their eyes it was a place of wonder. The girl I was with didn’t want much to do with me when we started. If you know me that became a challenge. At our last exhibit, the Planetarium, she laid next to me with her head on my shoulder stroking my hair and me hers. As much as our hearts are filled with love for them, Jesus loves them so much more.

The next stop was States Diner for a good ole hamburger and fries. They LOVED those.  I’ve never seen burgers disappear so quickly! One girl was having her 15th birthday. We sang and had cake. She was giddy with all the attention. All too soon it was time to load up and go our separate ways. Hugs all around and shouts of Adios!  
One day I will greet those precious souls when we get to Heaven. Where they will run without walkers or wheelchairs. They will see Jesus face as clearly as I do. Their lack of understanding will be gone. Their silence will forever be shouts of Hosanna!