Thursday, June 7, 2018

Day Five... Beauty in the Aftermath

(Photography was not aallowed inside the facilities the team served in today.)

Today our team visited two very special places. We spent the morning at the girls corrective detention center and the afternoon at St. Vincente de Paul (the orphanage for teen moms and their babies). 
I first came to El Salvador three years ago. As soon as I heard about the opportunity to spend time with girls in the corrective detention center, my heart has longed to spend time with them and speak to them. You see if I have learned anything as a Christian it is that there is power in spoken testimony. Today I finally had a chance to share how Christ transformed my heart and allowed me to overcome my past mistakes. I was able to share the power of redemption. I was able to share that the God I serve is a God of 2nd chances. I was able to share that the ugliness of my past did not determine my future, and the their past mistakes do not have to determine their future. I was able to tell each girl how much Christ fiercely loves them. 
I'm grateful God used someone like me to speak to these beautiful young women. I could see God moving in their hearts. Several of them accepted Christ. Several of them asked questions and were curious. Our team was able pray with them. To share the love we have for Christ with them. Even one of our translators was able to share her personal testimony for the first time as the Holy Spirit touched her heart as well. 
In the three years I have come to El Salvador this day may top them all. As Christians we are not perfect. We are simply forgiven by the grace of God. My heart aches for the girls in that center and the mistakes they have made. The guilt they hold onto. The unworthiness they feel. And as it aches my prayer tonight is that through the power of my testimony and the messiness of my life, some seeds were planted. I pray lives were changed. Hearts were transformed. I pray they receive and believe that their lives were created for a specific plan and purpose. I pray that long after our team leaves, these girls will remember that with God there is always beauty in the aftermath. 

I always come here to give and in return I always receive more. I will never forget some of the eyes I looked into today. We come with our own agenda and God always, always shows up exceedingly and abundantly above what we can ever imagine. 
I'm in awe of my God. I'm in awe of His power, His mercy, His forgiveness, and the way He orchestrates all things for His good. 

With a humbled heart, 

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