Monday, January 31, 2011

El Salvador, Day 9

”But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. 
Philippians 4:19

Last night we had several more team members get sick. Satan was at work trying to diminish the effectiveness of our ministry. This morning we gathered for worship and prayer without several team members. Part of our family was sick…. God really did bring the entire team together, united for one purpose from the very start of the team. And when one or two people were missing it just did not feel right. 

Mike shared from Acts 6 this morning. The list of requirements for those who served as table waiters and took care of the widows was the same list of prerequisites for church leadership. What a high standard for a job by the worlds standard that was so menial. Why? Because we are all one body. It does not matter if we are serving on the missions field, cleaning the church toilets, or burping babies in the nursery. We are all the body of Christ and should live as such. What an encouragement to seek God and to live every day with PASSION for Him.

In the morning Mike left to take his son’s to the airport with plans to join us in the first village. One the way to the airport they began having truck trouble. It became a very slow drive in 2nd gear. He had given us instruction to drive to the village and walk the streets and pass out gospel of John’s and visit the people and then he would be with us by time for the program/party. Through a phone call to one of Luke’s guys he asked me to keep things running and he would hopefully meet us back at La Esperanza for lunch. ACK…. What are we to do without him? We gathered as a team and explained the situation and then prayed for the Lord’s wisdom and strength for the morning. 

The team did a great job. The members that arrived the night before jumped in and God caused everything to flow very smoothly. The ministry in the village impacted the most people so far in the trip. We had several hundred children besides the parents and grandparents. It was rewarding to be able to share the gospel with so many there. Each and every member of the team allowed God to use them mightily for Him and touch many peoples lives.  All too soon it was time to say bye and make our way back to the trucks.
Because of the number of people at each village being greater than expected we had only a handful of gifts left after the last village. During lunch a few of us rounded up some of the other supplies and loose bags. After lunch we quickly split the remaining bags into to and made additional gift bags. 

Because of the emergency bag making we were a little late to the next village. All of the village had already gathered at the medical workers house and were eagerly anticipating our arrival. We spent a little time getting to know them and developing a relationship with the kids. Some of the girls pulled out the finger nail polish and the guys broke out a soccer ball with the boys. This village had a bon fida soccer field with metal goals and nets! If you were running out of bounds you had better come to a complete stop within four feet of the edge of the field. Otherwise you will run straight into the barbed wire fences that surround the field. :-)
After some sports time we all gathered for the program. SOS has been to this village several times in the past years. So they had e pretty good idea how things worked. Just before we started I raised my hand and in an elevated voice said, “Team. Lets gather and pray.” At that the whole village jumped up and started toward the bags with all the gifts…. WHOA whoa… a little premature. That was a precursor to what would happen three or four times more before the end of the program. Several members of the team were able to share one-on-one with a few of the villagers about salvation. After handing out the gifts we were just mingling with the locals and jump roping, painting nails, talking, etc… During this time of the of woman started playing softball on the soccer field. Several of the local villages in the area play each week. So they were out there practicing for their upcoming game on Sunday. As they were practicing they offered for a few of the younger team members if they wanted to bat. After a few team members taking a turn at the bat they asked us to play against them for practice. J So we formed a team and stepped up to bat… We played half a dozen innings with them. It was a lot of fun and they laughed a lot. I was surprised that I actually hit the ball… It has been a very long time since I had a bat in my hand. While out fielding, with our bare hands, (They only had three gloves) Amanda turned to me and said, “This is why it is called American baseball”. The score at that time was about 15 to 3 in our favor. 

This afternoon while we were in the village, Jim Bob, Jana, Jessa, and Mike had gone in to Zacatecoluca
to visit with the orphanage and do some shopping. 

  After dinner Spencer, Dave, and I installed the new ceiling fans while everyone else began a marathon gift sorting, wrapping, gift bag assembly, and candy bagging event. It was a whole new perspective from above. It looked like a hive of busy bees’, or ant any hill as everyone diligently carried out their task! It took about 2 hours to install the fans and 3 hours to finish up all the other projects. It was a late night… By the time it finally cleared out and wrapped up it was after midnight. 

Levi's last time to share at devotions.

Micah's last time to share at devotions as well.

Joseph and Mary (great with child )