|Make a Smilebox photobook|
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Thanks to my faithful prayer warrior team, I am -- back home again in Indiana.
Friday was "free day". Some of the team went sight seeing, others went to the beach, RJ taught a seminar at Exodo on building a successful family, and other guys decided to do a couple of projects at the school for the mentally challenged. Team member Lisa and I spent the afternoon with Leila and Pastor David's wife, Martha. We all just wanted one more time to say good-bye.
We had hoped to go to the Baby House, but it just didn't work out this year. We did go to an art market and saw some nice things and had lunch at a local restaurant with great food. The most "fun" was getting lost and being awed by the 43 years of experience of traffic and city travel that was shared between Leila and Martha. They had no clue where we were a couple of times! I think it was the most frightened that Lisa had been the entire trip! We laughed so hard my face hurt! But - they are like Ted. As long as there is gas in the tank - they are not really lost.
We did make it back to Leila's home and enjoyed good-bye hugs from Bety. She had made Ted a bread pudding and wrapped it securely for the flight back to the US. Ted felt very special and has really enjoyed the treat. He did have to give a couple of pieces to Larry and Howard that were on the team. (but their pieces were small!)
Just like I asked for you to pray for....the flight from El Salvador was smooth and uneventful as was the flight from Houston to Indy. We were delayed in taking off - and only about 30 minutes late landing at Indpls. Ted was waiting and it was a quick pick up and whisk home. With the warm truck and fire in the fireplace when I got home, I barely realized the temperature was about 25 degrees.
There was this strange lethargy that hit during Sunday evening services at church. I had it last year so I sort of expected it. I don' think it is going to be as bad this time. (It lasted a week last year!) I just need to stay busy and try not to cry so much.
Sorry, I have not downloaded the 462 photos yet either. I am trying to pace my emotions not to entangle them with this spiritual and physical tiredness. I know the photos will make me cry as I remember the faces and the stories. I need to take care of that emotion in private for a while, so resting and viewing a few photos a day will help. Hopefully next week I will have a slide show (Smile Box) I can send to those that are interested. If you would like to see the photos, drop me an email and let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
So - today will end the blog saga of my 2 weeks in El Salvador. I hope you received a blessing from the things I've shared. Please know how very important you have been to the success and answers to prayer for myself and the entire teams on both missions. I hope you too will have an opportunity to do something like this someday soon, and I can reciprocate and pray for you.
Serving God "outside your box" is life changing, to say that least. I could not have had this wonderful trip if it hadn't been for your prayers.
So for now dearest ones....Hasta Luego --- see you later. And may God bless each of you abundantly.
If not before, I will see you on the others side - just over the threshold of glory. Let's do lunch --- a couple million times!
I love you all!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Arrgh! I am so frustrated! And that shared frustration was the topic of conversation at one point on Thursday.....HOW do WE share with others what God has allowed us to experience...how can we possibly explain all we have "heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life..." (1 John 1:1) -- THAT is the first scripture that came to my mind when team member Larry, posed the question of sharing with others. Lisa summed up our conversation best. "You can't. The only way you can truly understand is to go on the mission trip." Although Lisa is only in her 20s and this is her first mission trip, her words were truly wisdom.
When we return, we will share photos and stories. We may be moved to tears as we share with you. But there is a place in our hearts that will house the memories of special moments we experienced with the Holy Spirit - the very presence of God within us. I am convinced that God had these type of moments in mind to give each Believer that submits to obedience when HE commanded us to "Go ye, into all the world, and preach the gospel to every living creature." (Matthew 16:15) --- The question then comes to mind...."What have I missed, Lord? What other moments were/are waiting that would show me more of YOU?" God wants us to know HIM more intimately - to show us more of HIS amazing Kingdom....and all we need to do is walk in obedience to HIS commands. DUH!
OK - back to the report of activities for the Wednesday and Thursday.....
I gave the devotion to our team as I felt God had told me to. Since we are the Bridges of Hope team, I used the acrostic for HOPE that God gave me about a year and a half ago. He's Our Perfect Example. No matter what comes into our lives, we can look to HIM. HE has been there, done that, and shows us the perfect character traits to follow. That is not the exact verbiage - and there are scriptures to back up every point (imagine that!). I also showed an object lesson of how if we put God first --- there is time for everything in our lives. OK - you have to see the demo for that one. Remind me when you see me. I will gladly show you.
We left the hotel at 9 AM for the elder care facility, where we did another eye clinic, gave gifts, painted fingernails, listened to their stories, and toured the amazing facility. BOY! Those typed words do know justice to the blessings that we experienced there. I will say, that US should come see what is done here. All of us older team members agreed we would be OK with spending our last years at Res. Menderley. (Not sure what the UPS shipping would be to get us back down to ES though.)
From there the next project was with the kids from Exodo Orphanage. We met them at a Pizza Hut and then shopping with 24 adults and about 40 kids! We did not go to a mall - but rather the central market location of the city. Oh, BOY! Do we all have some hair-raising stories to tell! YOUR prayers and God's angels protected us. We didn't even lose 1 adult or child in the maze of tiny shops and chaos in the shopping experience!
From there we traveled to the orpanage. Remember, this was a return trip for a few of us. The kids did remember and the photos that I took last year, and printed out for them was a good reminder. We found out that the kids have prayed for the team of BOH every day. It was amazing how much the kids had grown and matured. They performed for us - and had made us each a personal greeting card with a group photo of the kids. So many stories and photos....!
It was a long day - but such a blessing to everyone from an 18 month old - to a new friend that recently celebrated her 101st birthday.
We left the hotel at 8:30 AM for Mariona Prison. I can now say that I have been in prison....twice... in El Salvador. (Is it any wonder that I embarrass my grandkids?)
The prison was built to house 850 men. I'm pretty sure we were told that there are around 4,500 there now. BUT - this place is now a haven for criminals to find a personal relationship with Christ! Last year it was probably the most moving spiritual time of the mission, and this year the visit had no less of an impact. It was different than last year because of what God has been doing in the prisoner's lives, we were allowed to see much more of the prison and the huge changes taking place under the leadership of Juan Ramon. His sharing his personal testimony (at our request) was in itself, worth the trip. To see such a humble and godly man in this place and what God is doing through him is awe-inspiring. It was weird to think you could be in a prison - and not want to leave. That is the way it was for our team - and for many of the prisoners as well! Oh, and one surprize we had while we were there. Jaun Ramon introduced us to his horse! We saw his cowboy boots and saddle as well! That surprize will only be understood by my buddies back in the Great Adventure Club. But there is more to that story.....
Our last project was a food distribution in another poor barrio. The homes were better shelter than the ones we saw on Tuesday - but the stories of poverty were not. The really cool thing about this outreach was that the church that we partnered with came with us and took us door to door, then ended with a very fun event for the children. There I was, on Thursday afternoon, with 50+ kids singing jumping, dancing, and singing praises to Jesus! This was at the same time the Great Adventure Club was going on back in Trafalgar, Indiana! AND --- during the celebration, everything stopped for a couple of minutes because....a HORSE was being led right through the middle of the crowd! I couldn't believe it! For those who don't know, the club theme this semester is "Rodeo Round-Up" - a horse theme! It was another incredibly special hug from God!!! I don't mean to minimize the impact of the food distibution or that of meeting the indidual families - I have plenty of photos that will prompt sharing the special moments - but you have to admit - only God could have sent that horse - though the middle of those kids at that precise time! YEEEE-HAW!
Here it is 1AM again. I had planned on going to bed by 11 or 12. BUT - it is a free day tomorrow. I can sleep till 10 AM --- if it is the Lord's will! My missionary friend, Leila, will be picking me up about noon so we can spend just a little more time together. The Baby House is over the viruses now. We hope to go visit that ministry. Team mate, Lisa will be going with us. Babies! We love Babies!!!
Other team members are going sight-seeing and to the beach, and some of our men are returning to the special education school we visited on Tuesday. They saw some needs of things to be done there and wanted to volunteer to help. The school was thrilled and the guys are happy to do it! It's ALL good. It's GOD!
I probably won't blog again until Monday. SO in the meantime....PLEASE pray to get us home safely -- no rain or snow storms for our flight, and no ice on our wings or runways!
Can't wait to see you all - especially, Ted -- and the rest of the family. But I think I will be resting for a few days!
Love and Prayers from El Salvador!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The eye-glass clinic was amazing. Each mini team has there own stories to tell and each person we met was a special and unique blessing. I have no heard the exact number we served, but I think there are between 250-300 people that are able to see better....but the day was so much more than giving glasses to vision impaired folks.
The first person (a lady in her late 60s) that Howard Allen and I fitted for glasses sat down and I noticed she was clutching a small new testament in her hands. She opened her Bible to test out the new maginfying glasses and with wide eyes exclaimed, "I can read my Bible again!!!" Even our interpreter was touched! It was a spiritually uplifting moment for each of us....and we had about 6 hours to go! Time flew by!!
We soon discovered it was not just about the glasses we were giving. We asked if the "client" would like to see a talk with a pastor...to have someone pray for them. Almost every one that we gave glasses to did. We had a team ready to help them. We saw amazing answers to prayer in our midst. After lunch, the power of God even spilled over into our "clinic" area. "Technicians were praying with folks as well. It was mutually understood that when the spirit moves - go along for the ride!
Let me share just ONE more way that God used the clinic. One 55 year old man that Howard and I helped, was an artist. He was no longer able to do the detailed work necessary for the type of artwork that he did. He shared that now, his income would increase and he could provide for his family again. OK just a couple more quickies, we saw salvations, healing, and people rededicate their lives to Christ. What an honor to be a part of this outreach! (Now don't you wish you were here?!)
We started our day with 2.5 hours distributing food to a very poor neighborhood (barrio). Many of the dwellings were what the El Salvadorans refer to as chompas....not much more than corregated metal roofing with dirt floors. I cannot even share the conditions in words. And the stories our 4 individual teams experienced....you will just have to talk to individual team members...so many stories...so much of God - alive and working in our midst!
We traveled on to a public school for mentally, emotionally, and physically challenged children. We took gifts - and the kid So appreciated those - but it was our hugs and playtime that the kids loved most of all. Although this facility (with 260+ students) has existed for 38 years, BOOH is the first "gringos" to ever vist them! And they were a joy. You can not imagine what small toys and school supplies can do to brighten these kid's lives! We went to be a blessing and once again, the El Salvadorans blessed us! You will have to talk with talk with individuals on the team for stories ---- or come with us next year!
Off we went to our 3rd mission for the day; St. Vincente de Paul Orphanage. This was a Catholic facility. Our first interactions were with the babies - about 25 I think, from a few months old to 18 months. We each held babies, kissed and hugged them and fell in love! Boy was it hard to walk out of that nursery! (Yep, I cried...)
As we waited on the approximately 100 school children from 5-13 years olds to come to their cafeteria to meet us, I immediately missed Ted, (a/k/a "Snack Man" in the Great Adventure Club in Trafalgar). We set up a table with juice boxes and small packages of cookies for each child. (I believe Ted will be here in ES doing this next year!) Kids are kids and they love snacks!
The sang for us, and we sang for them and with them. They were as well behaved as the kids in the Great Adventure Club!
After snacks we interacted and played with kids. Just like at the first school we had visited, the kids LOVED the men....talk about male bonding....there were times we ladies felt a little left out (not really). This confirms the need God places in the heart of children to have a strong (Godly) male roll model. The men on the BOH team were there for them. It was truly sweet to see.
The children then lined up very orderly to receive a back pack with school supplies. I don't think I have ever witnessed kids so happy to see crayons, pencils etc. Other toys were given to the school...and then...candy! OH, my goodness! You just had to be there. We managed to save some back and offered it to some of the teachers. I think their eyes lit up as brightly as the kids. (We take so much for granted.)
It was an emotionally and spiritually jam-packed day in ES for the BOH team. Thank you for your support to this BOH mission trip. The donations we brought, the money given (many items we need are purchased here in the ES) and the continued prayer support.
Please pray for everyone that has been touched by this mission trip thus far and for our Wednesday schedule. I have been asked to give the devotion before we take off on yet more Great Adventures for God. Please pray the message God has spoke to my heart to share is a blessing and encouragement to the team. Pray for our 2nd eye glass clinic at an elderly care facility. It is also our day to see the kids from EXODO Orphanage again. I, personally am looking forward to seeing kids I met last year! There are more kids this year - more blessings are on the horizon!
Thank you all. God bless you!
PS: may I remind you that the spell check is set up for spanish - and it is late --- so don't grade me!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
But NOW --it's PRAISE TIME!! Swelling is down in my feet and ankles! (thanks for the prayers [and advice-Elaine]). And ---- the seminar went great! ("seminar" is what the ministry team from Living Waters Teaching called it). Whatever you want to call sharing my passion for telling kids about Jesus and demonstrating some very simple ideas - the 80+ in attendance were very receptive! We found such favor from God! Leila said she understood there were at least 11 churches represented with either pastors or people that were in children's ministry or wanted to learn something about serving in that area of ministry. The age range was from young teens to very "mature" adults. But for a few hours, they were ALL children. My sister had shared with me years ago that a good way to train adults in working with kids was to have them BE the kids. She was right! (Thanks Sis!) Carol also sent some flannel graphs and simple gospel material we have both used in the past. These simple tools were made new again! We all had so much fun!
Thanks to a cooperative effort of Sarah Keith of http://www.sundayschoolnetwork.com/ and my El Salvadoran contacts I was able to share a tool that teaches the 10 commandments in a way you do not forget. By the end of the meeting - I could ask the number of any commandment and the audience could respond correctly. That was a great teaching tool they were able to take with them and empowers them to teach others with the same technique. It was just SO cool!! Thanks Sarah - for making that possible! Oh, and at any given moment during the meeting I could say, Every Word In The Bible IS.....and 80+ "kids" yelled out "ABSOLUTELY TRUE! (translated in spanish of course). So the Great Adventure Club in Trafalgar, Indiana now has "Amigos" in Central America boldly proclaiming their agreement! Thanks Kelly Neal for starting a catch phrase that honors God and HIS Word.
Thank you all for allowing me to be your ambassador to El Salvador. I have over 200 photos of the first week. Obviously it is too difficult (for me) to get them off my camera. I will put a presentation together when I return with the Smile Box link. If you are curious about that sort of thing, check out another blog of mine, http://www.tedbutlerfamily.blogspot.com/ and meet the Butlers throught Smile Box slide shows.
It was sad to say good-bye to my host family and Pastor David and Martha. It is really "hasta luego" (see you later - I think :o) because I know, barring the rapture, I will be back. What wonderful servants of God these folks are! I am honored that God has allowed my path to come along side of theirs, "For such a time as this".
My host family, Leila, Bety, Joanna, Lila, and friend Kevin packed me up and accompanied me to the Comfort Inn about 8:00 PM on Saturday. First we stopped at a market because I needed bran flakes and milk! My Visa debit card worked at the register! My friends at home will be SO impressed. We had only gotten the debit card the week before I left. (the Butler's were also the last people in North America to get a color TV!)
I was settled in my room and doing laundry when the Bridges of Hope team arrived a little before 11 PM. Thanks for the prayers for them. Their flight was more "fun" than Kings Island amusment park! They road the natural roller coaster with added twists and tilts with the bottom dropping out (etc!) for more than half their flight. BUT - God delivered them safely and their prayer life was fully charged when they landed! (I'm sure glad I came on the 14th!) PLEASE - start praying now for better weather on the 28th. Be specific! We want 2 safe and smooth flights all the way to Indy. We don't even mind that it will be cold when we arrive - just no more amusement park experiences, and no icey runways, please.
Sunday church service was such a blessing! We didn't go to the big International church, but rather to one that we had done a food distribution last year. The team had also installed windows and painted the lower level of the church. Everything still looked great! I actually recognized some of the folks. You never forget the eyes of these beautiful people. They introduced a lady that came as a visitor to receive food last year. She is now attends faithfully and is growing in Christ! Monday we will spend 6 hours at this church fitting glasses on many that have a need, but more importantly, encouraging them to invite Christ into their hearts! (Open the eyes of their hearts, Lord, we want them to see you!)
Sunday evening we traveled to a tiny church that allowed us to use their facility to have a service of dedication. This is the home church of Dr. Martinez and his wife, Heidi or Haiti (not sure of the spelling or pronounciation.) They remembered me! Please pray for them and their daughter that shares her mother's name. Last year we were made aware of her cancer. A few months ago, it appeared she had been healed, but the cancer has returned. She just had a colostomy today. Her sweet parents are understandably grieving. They would so appreciate every prayer.
After the service we returned to the hotel dining room for Pizza Hut PIZZA!! Is God good, or what?! I am a happy camper tonight! Thank You JESUS!
The phone service we had at this hotel last year is now longer available. I can't even get the phone to work to call Leila - locally. And I couldn't call my hubby! Internet service in the business center is now 5 cents a minute. Can you imagine what this blog update would have cost me?! BUT - God continues to provide miraculously for me! The directors of the mission have cell phones that are 10 cents a minute (the same as my friend Leila has). They allowed me to use their phone to call Ted. I think he was actually happy to hear my voice now! Woo-Hoo! It was a fairly quick conversation that took 2 phones and 30 minutes of trying - but we finally got to share with one another. So its true -- absence makes the heart grow fonder....
Then - RJ McConnel allowed me to use his laptop to connect with you all again. Although the lack of cheap phone service was a big disapointment, free wireless connection in the rooms is a BIG blessing! Hopefully I will be able to blog every night. No one else is up at this hour...except a rooster! I hear one crowing and it's only midnight in downtown San Salvador as I finish the update. Now what could that that rooster have to crow about at this hour?....maybe the fact that he wasn't the main course for Sunday dinner.
I mixed our prayer requests within my report so I hope you were paying attention. It will be a long hot day on Monday. Please pray for those that we are blessed to minister to during our 1st eye glass clinic. Open the eyes of their hearts, Lord.....
Love you all...keep up the good work of prayer support. Great is your reward!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Jesus and I were up till 3:45 this morning having the BEST time with preparing for the Pastor´s wifes event. I was so excited by the time Jesus said good-night that I could hardly sleep! I was amazed that I had the energy to get up at 7:30. I think I was running on pure adrenalin.
The meeting went very well. There were 22 attending. Leila said usually 10-12 meet, but they had invited others to join them today. They were all so sweet. There was 1 gentleman. He participated right along with everyone else.
The Great Adventure Club will be pleased that another group of people now respond to E.W.I.T.B.I.A.T. (Every Word In The Bible IS....ABSOLUTELY TRUE!) I told them about our kids club and how they respond. About 3 times of prompting and they were yelling ABSOLUTELY TRUE in Spanish words. I worked it in to the message and demonstration several times and they soon caught on to respond just like the kids in Indiana. It was so cute! Central America agrees!
One more speaking engagement and then on to the next mission week with Bridges of Hope.
I attended my first birthday party in ES. They like cake too!
I need to repack for the presentation I do again on Saturday afternoon, and also for the move to the Comfort Inn. I will miss the good home cooking Bety has given me.
- Pray for the people that were encouraged with the message on children´s ministry today, that they are obedient to God and the direction HE wants to take them.
- Pray for those that will attend the meeting on Saturday - at 2-4 PM to be encouraged to seek the children and increase their ministry impact to the youth.
- Pray for the swelling in my feet and ankles to go down (I must not be drinking enough water - mytoes look like sausage links!)
- Pray for the water to come in tonight (water to the homes in this area is a problem) - selfishly - I would like to shower before going to the meeting.
- Pray for the safety of the Bridges of Hope team as they will be traveling to ES on Saturday.
Not sure if I will be posting on Sunday. Depends on how busy the business center is in the hotel.
Stay tuned, same time same Bat Channel....oops - that´s son Brian´s blog. Check out www.whatmydadsaw.blogspot.com
Love you all! To God be the glory!!!!
PS - the spell checker doesn´t work as it is set up for spanish on this computer. Go figure.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Leila is sound asleep so I can´t get details of the city name etc, so I won´t try to fool you into thinking I knew where I traveled to today...but it was about 2 hours from San Salvador. I really miss my hubby, Ted. He is the one that knows where we are and where we´ve been in our travels. I only remember people we met and memory making events along the way. Pray he comes next year so you geography buffs will glean a deeper knowledge of this country - or make plans to come with us!
Our 2 hour travel took us to a children´s hospital where Leila´s team, Women of Faith In Action, went into...ACTION! There is so much to share - but you will have to be content with a couple of highlights.
Counting me, our faithful driver, Amilgar, delivered 7 ladies on the appointed rounds God had already planned for us. We took toys that the kids from Indian Creek Intermediate School and some neigbors sent, along with baby "onsies" from special friends in a MOPS group, photo clients, neighbors and friends. THANK YOU one and all. You can never imagine the difference your thoughtfulness has made in lives here in ES.
My part of the action team went to the maternity ward. There were probably 50 or more beds crammed so close together that we could barely squeeze through in single file. Young women and newborns nestled together in the same bed, most with a relative or 2 at their bedside. I observed a staff of 6-8 attending to the women´s needs. The new mothers breast feeding and taking care of all their new born´s needs as best they could in the stifling heat.
Leila and her assistant shared the gospel with with nearly half of the women and their families! I took photos, joined them for prayer and was able to share a few things with some of the families with Leila´s help. I witnessed God at work in this place as many prayed to receive Christ as Savior! There are so many stories, not just the team I was with - but the other ladies as well. As we were preparing to leave, 5 construction workers prayed to receive Christ! We saw babies in their first day of their new life - and people now beginning a new life in Christ! How special is that!?
Just befor leaving the hospital, I was honored to pray for a tiny malnourished baby that had been abanondoned - given up - no mother - no father and with no belongings - excpet the items we left for her. Thank God for the caring doctor and nurses. Seing her made me think of an "Angel". I prayed for someone to be able to adopt her - for a home full of hope and promise and for her to come to Christ at an early age.
We found out that if she begins to thrive, she will be taken to the "Baby House" which is run by friends of Leila´s! This child is very special to my heart. I am praying that God will allow me to know her better some day. I praise God for the doctor that asked us to pray for her.
There were other exciting things that happened as well today. We were gone from 9 AM till 11:30 PM - so I have had no time to finalize my presentation for the Pastor´s Wives in less than 8 hours from now! Its OK - that means it is truly God that will be running the seminar!
Yikes! As I typed that I realized I still had to do something to help HIM - so I better go get to work. 7:30 AM and Emmalea aren´t often used in the same sentence so I better go! I am so thankful that I have the "I CAN PLAN '' (I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!-Philippians 4:13)
PRAYER REQUESTS: Pray for all those whose lives have been changed by the power of God since I have arrived in ES. Pray for the new born baby to thrive and to be placed in a loving Chirsitan home - Pray for God to fill me up and pour HIMSELF out as I speak on Friday and Saturday - to encourage Christians here in ES to see children as God does and to reach out and touch young lives for HIS glory and their good.
"PRAY with out ceasing."-1 Thessalonians 5:17
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It was Danni, Dave and myself that walked over 2 hours around the volcano rim, while Leila and Martha waited patiently. I cannot even begin to describe what a rough trail it was. Just when about the time we were feeling like we were pretty amazing by blazing the rough terrain, we met ES natives coming down the trail with at least 20 pound bundles of spinach balanced on their heads..."hiking" in flip flops! They graciously accepted our salvation tracts and a kind word of encouragement as we squeezed by each otheron the tight trail. I can say, buenos dias!
Pastor Dave did get the opportunity to share the salvation message personally with 2 men, Alfredo and Vecenta. We pray that they will recieve Christ as Savior. It was neat to hear Vicenta say he believed it was not by chance that we talked with him. He had an intersting job. He helped build and now maintains the TV station tower on the volcano. Talk about a scary job! He said that El Salvadorans are good working at great heights. I cannot imagine climbing up that tower to change a light bulb!
When we returned to the car, Leila told us about the people they had met and that God allowed her to present the gospel and leading a young boy to Christ. His mother was from the Ukraine! It was a great day!
I was surprized at church service tonight. I was expected to speak but had not got the message to do so, and was not prepared. But, that was God´s plan all along. Leila and I quickly began praying that if God wanted me to speak, HE would let me know. HE did! The message Pastor Dave was giving spoke strongly to my heart and I was able to share about my heart surgery and tie it in well with his message on love, faith, and hope. I only spoke about 10 minutes but then David continued for a great service. The people of the church are so engaging, sweet and sincere. I felt right at home.
- PRAYER REQUESTS: Thursday morning, we have a group going to a children´s hospital about 2 hours from here. We will be passing out toys and baby shirt onesies, and most importantly offering hope and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for healing for these little ones and salvation for their faimilies.
- Pray for our saftey as we travel as well.
- Pray for the 2 meeting that I will be speaking in. One is Friday to a group of Pastor´s wives and guests and the 2nd - is Saturday. I will be speakin on children´s ministry; what the Bible says about children; and asking all the adults be my kids in class to show them how much fun it can be for the kids as well as the workers. I love my sister Carol, who taught me that way to train others, and I thank Kelly and Leisa who have given the opportunity to me to play with kids pretty often. I MISS YOU and he leaders and kids. (and my husband)
- The Great Adventure Club starts at Indian creek Intermediate school on Thursday. It starts at 3:15 Please pray that everything goes better than we could ever imagine and every worker, child and thier folks are pleased and will come back next week. Pray they all get excited about JESUS!
That´s it for tonight, I´m tired...zzzzzzzz
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday night ladies meeting was wonderful. The ladies were so precious and very engaged in the service. My interpreter, Veronica, did a great job. I shared about things God had impressed on me while visiting the ranch on Sunday, and the HOPE we have in Christ is equivilent to the FAITH we have. The 20 or so ladies that attended were so precious and very engaged in the service. There was a prayer time shared with them that was very humbling to be a part of. God really blessed, so thank you for your prayers!
Pastor David, wife Martha, Leila and I traveled to the Pacific Ocean - to a fishing pier. What an experience! I couldn´t even guess how many varieties of fish there were, being gutted, fileted, and dried in the open sun. It not only was a sight to the eyes but also a unique experience for the olfactory senses! BUT-God did open the door for sharing the salvation message with several El Salvadorans.
Please pray for Jesus (hay-soos)- a young boy about 10 or 12. Although he has the given name of our Savior, he did not know about HIM. But his "business colleage", Jorge (or-hay) did. Jorge is a Christian and attends an evangelical church. The boys were selling bracelets and necklaces. Leila is a much softer touch than I, and bought 2 - then gave the bracelets to Martha and me. (Bless her heart!)
This transaction opened up the communication using the gospel bead bracelet I was wearing. Leila shared the salvation message clearly with the boys. I gave my gospel bracelet to Jorge since I only had 1 with me and I felt since Jorge had seen the gospel color presentation, he could use the beads to encourage his friend, and others. Through Leila I told him that the bracelet was free and so was salvation. His smile was worth more than the armful of bracelets he had to offer us!
There was an additional bonus to that presentation. There was a photographer vendor watching and listening. He was very touched by our interaction with the boys. This opened up sharing with him as well. His name is Adam. He said that prayed every day but he hadn´t asked Christ to be his Savior - yet. From his belly pack with his poloroid camera supplies he drew out 10-15 different tracts that people have given him. One looked like it had been carried for years. The "team" explained to Adam which ones had the Truth of God´s Word - and "suggested" which ones he could throw away :o) Adam said he wanted to pray in private. We truly believe Adam will make the decision of a lifetime soon.
Another one of your prayers was answered! We were able to connect with little Alfredo (4) at the Blume Children´s Hospital. There are so many little miracles to share that brought this about. Not only were we able to meet both his mother and father but Leila and I were BOTH allowed to go in to see Alfredo. He was in the process of a 24 hour kidney dialysis. He also now has peritinitis (sp?) infection. He was so weak. He never smiled but shook his head that he know Jesus and that we could pray for him. He closed his eyes as we prayed for healing for him. He is a beautiful little boy.
Angels truly have been flying with us at every juncture. Leila shared a friend of hers says their are some skinny angels that protect us in this crazy traffic! I BELIEVE!!! King's Island and Disney World pale in comparrison to some of the rides through El Salvdor traffic! This week, instead of my usual Woo-Hoo - I have replaced it with Leila´s exclamation of "Alleluia, alleluia!" after an exciting moment during a journey.
It was truly a blessing that Pastor Dave drove to the ocean for us. Leila could more easily throw both arms in the air in praise! \o/ That is a bit disturbing to see while she is driving! (ya gotta love that woman of God!)
We will not be able to visit the Baby House ministry as there are several sick with a bad stomach and intestinal virus. I had so wanted to go. Guess God wanted me to wait till next year to meet Julie and Sam and to hold the babies they are caring for.
Prayer Requests: For Julie and Sam from the Baby House and for the moms and babies that are sick with this virus; for the young boy named Jesus to recieve Christ as Savior; for Jorge to encourage him and share the gospel with others; for Adam to make the decision to receive Christ as Savior; Saftey on our trip to the volcano on Wednesday; for Emmalea´s preparation for - and the message to be presented at the pastor´s college on Satuday.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! I couldn´t do this without you! Check on Ted. He said he missed me! Alleluia, Alleluia! \o/
PS - I now have 170 photos on my camera. I don´t want to down load all of them on Leila´s computer each time. I need to check to see if there is another way to to get them off the camera 1 or 2 at a time. I am not a whiz at this like some of you guys, so cut me some slack ;o)
Monday, February 16, 2009
Her church had a women's class at 6 PM and I had been asked to speak. I was really appreciative of the day at "home". I had time to work on the computer to write my message. I was doing that so I could read my notes more easily. I had an idea of what I would speak about - but God totally rearranged my thoughts after the trip to the ranch on Sunday. It was an added blessing to have things written down. To have the message interpreted, I have to speak in short phrases. Having my paper in front of me helped me to keep a bit better concentration and I was less distracted by the spanish being spoken.
I gave gospel bead bracelets to all the ladies (about 20 I think). I read the gospel in spanish to them! They said they understood! I had practiced before the meeting, reading it to the interpreter. She told me not to speak so fast! I had been trained too well, Kelly Neal! She also said that my pronounciation skill was excellent. (Too bad I don't really know what I said!)
I told the group how the Great Adventure Club kids had earned the beads and sent them to them. I showed the club photo as well. They LOVED the bracelets and promised to use them to tell others the salvation message. WOOO-HOO, JESUS!!!
We are going to the ocean on Tuesday - but not to get in the water!! We will witness as God opens the opportunities for us. Leila and I stand more than a head taller than most El Salvadorans and her beautiful white hair is unusual as well. We are quite a sight together, but we are having a blast!
By the way, if any of you reading are coming to El Salvador on Saturday with Bridges of Hope team...bring bug spray! The mosquitos are biting. Ouch!
PRAYER REQUEST: open opportunities to share the salvation message with people we meet at the beach - that we are able to find little Alfredo´s (4) at Blume Children's Hospital easily. We hope to be able to see them on Tuesday evening to deliver some medicines from their USA friend, Sylvia.
To Eternity and BEYOND!!!