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!