Saturday, March 20, 2010

Home Again

YAY! We are back on American soil! We landed in Atlanta around 6 PM, and on our cell phones immediately to Ted and Ray just to let them know we made it to the US again. We are thrilled to see toilet seats and to be able to flush toilet paper! Ahhh-life is so good in the USA. (but - my quadracepts are much stronger for that little inconvenience of missing seats)

Then, just to see if I could work the technology with the airport WIFI, I used SKYPE to call Ted. I found out the internet service was free......for about 20 minutes - then it switched over to airport default and all you could see was airport advertising and the internet service charges. Also found out to use the airplane WIFI was a paid service. I am definitely an old dog learning new tricks........and happy to be able to process a little of the technology available today.

We landed on time in Indy and our luggage made it too. What a blessing to report that all of our fight experiences were rough clouds to bounce us around, no bad weather, and great service on Delta.

On the flight from El Salvador - our row mate was an El Salvadoran man named, Jose (Elmer was his nic-name). He has been a legal resident of the US for 12 years and wanted us to see his leagal driver's license. He spoke English much better than my spanish. He loved it when I spoke anything in Spanish to him. I could tell it was amusing. He had returned to El Salvador for his mother's funeral about a month ago. The main topic of conversation was about pupusas - which Carol has now learned to make. He tried to convince her she could be rich if she opened a pupusaria in Indy! Before we landed we also presented the salvation plan to him by showing him the beads on our gospel bracelets. He immediately understood what the each color represented. He said he had a personal relationship with Christ. He did convince us that he knew the gospel message.

Elmer decided to help us with our bags to the customs area. That guy had us practically running. I finally had to tell him to slow down. Carol was still carrying 2 tote bags and her legs just don't move as quickly. Elmer graciously did slow down and planted us in a short line at the customs area and disappeared. What a blessing he was.

On the trip from Atlanta to Indy - we had the best row mate ever! Others thought we had an empty seat on our row -- but we knew our companion was JESUS!

Another blessing was the little 3 year old boy, Astin, that was behind us. His speech was so articulate and his conversation was so entertating as we could overhear him talking to his daddy. I couldn't stand it. I had to talk to him. So I used my "Elmo" voice. He totally "got it"! He peeked through the seat to see Elmo. At the end of the flight, he asked if I was really Elmo. I told him no, I was Elmo's mommy. "Oh," he said beaming, "I have a mommy too!" The row of folks behind him cracked up laughing. Then he smiled and said, "I am so glad you got to meet me." Which evoked another laugh from the bystanders. Then he shook my hand. Great kid that Astin! It truly was nice that I got to meet him!

A quick call to the cell phone lot after we got our bags and my chariot arrived. Ray was just a couple minutes behind Ted. We were on our way home from Indy about 12:30 AM. By the time I was wound down for bed it was about 2:30. Haven't heard from Carol but I know she was planning on going to church. I skipped the morning but will go to the PM service. Can't wait to see the folks at church - but I was pooped!

Thanks again for your faithful prayers. God heard them, we felt them, and the Lord empowered us to do HIS work through your amazing support. AWESOME JOB, Prayer Warriors!

Check back next week for the slide show.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Last Day of the Missions

Pupusa (pup-POO-sa) time in the kitchen for Carol and our new friend Lillian. Lillian and Leila have been friends for 24 years. We loved the pupusas and Carol wanted to know how to make them - so Lillian volunteered to teach. Carol had a great time! She stopped every once in a while to write notes. The gals were also kind enough to share secrets about a dessert we had last week. It was a YUMMY day!

Of course it was time for a family photo of the gals after lunch. Carol, Johanna, Leila, Bety, Lillian, Emmalea and Lila saying our good-byes.

Well, here's the team you've been praying for. Back row - Mike, Adam, David, Emmalea,

Middle row - Katie, Carol, Janet, Mark, Juan Ramon, and front row....Kyle.

Pray for safe travel for everyone. Janet heads for Guatemala as Carol and I head home to Indy around 1 PM - hoping to arrive home at 11:35 PM. The rest of the team leave the hotel at 4 AM, flight leaves around 6 AM and hoping on arriving around 4:30 PM. This was a great team that experienced God at work in El Salvador and we were blessed to join HIM.

I will check in with you with another post when I get home. And plan on checking back on the blog in a week or so. I hope to get a slide show added to the blog to show you more photos. But for now...........hasta luego!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 13

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the photos where they should be in the story. Copy and paste doesn't work for me either. Maybe next year I will have learned. It is frustrating!

4 of the team went to the Christian school. Each team member with a Disciple or 2 - spoke in a different classroom. Carol spoke in 2 classes and shared the Wordless book. Although the students were teens, they were absolutely facinated with the demonstration, including the student director and the teacher.

We were able to see all of the kid together for their Chapel time. Janet spoke on the qualities of a good leader.

The house we were helping to build was completed late this afternoon. It is the first time this family will sleep together on a clean floor. Their "floor" has been dirt. Each person that worked on the team had a story to tell of how doing this project impacted their lives. BOH has decided to adopt this barrio and work with them as an ongoing mission. The next projects will be to help them attain supplies to build soccer goals and provide uniforms that will allow them to have teams. Also this barrio has a community center that needs a cement floor and stable roof. After you hear our stories - you may want to get on board too!
There are much more than a thousand words of praise that would go with t he photo of the kids praying. God was there today in that barrio. HE touched hearts of the adults as well as the children.Carol shared the gospel using the Wordless Books and the children prayed. (I cried). Each day has had touching moments - but watching their faces and hearing their voices as they prayed was probably the highlight for Carol and me this week. Thank you, Lord! (this photo was not staged!)

We had a Subway sandwich banquet for closing our time of service with the Disciples. It was very moving to hear them express their feelings and how working with BOH has encouraged them. These are passionate young people with a call to reach levels of society that no one else will go. They are rescuing young people from drugs, alcohol, broken homes and gang activity and leading them to salvation. They are changing lives and rescuing souls. It has been an honor to work with them.
Carol shared the wordless book with them as well. After she finishes, she always asks if anyone can tell the she asked the guys if they would give their presentation. Caesar and Carlos wanted to do it and asked if we would like to see how it would be presented to the gangs. I video taped it. Its not Ray Comfort and Kurt Cameron - but these guys presented salvation with that little book in a way that we could never do. The will get the message to places that we could never go and there will be fruit. God uses all different types of people to do HIS will and he does so in every language.
For the grand finale - the OAC painting was presented. It was ironic that the story I chose before coming to El Salvador was a message that God also revealed over and over through the testimonies we heard during the week from the Disciples. The Disciples creative juices started flowing immediately on how they can use this idea to spring from in their ministry.
One of "our" boys had stayed to see the demo too. Adam is a freshman at Purdue and his new "buds" this week has been the Disciples. Adam really liked what he saw in this painting ministry as well. Maybe Adam will do the OAC on the Purdue campus. Why not?
Pictured here are some of the Los Discipulos after OAC training. Their personalities are showing pretty clear in the photo - but don't let their antics fool you. They have some of the most tender hearts I have ever seen.

Just before this photo was taken, I was also able to teach them all the 10 commandments. They were like little kids opening a Christmas present. There is power in knowledge and knowing the 10 commandments in order gives a person a powerful reminder from God of how we miss the mark as well as a way to help others see sin in their own life.
Well, just one more day and for Carol and myself, no more projects are scheduled. We will spend a few more hours with Leila. The plan is for us to learn to make "pupusas". We can't wait!
Prayer Requests: Pray for the people we have encountered to remember the wordsand the time we shared with them - and not to forget our love - the love of Christ that we shared with them. We will never be the same....our prayer is that they feel the same way. God is here. DIOS es aqui! (that was actually a chorus we sang on Sunday.)
Also pray for our team members that will be going to EXODO again to paint the exterior on 2 of the kid's homes. Pray for their travel safety. Also, some of them are pretty sun-burned from the work on the house. So remember, Katie, Kyle, Mike, Mark, Adam and Dave as your prayer assignments will soon end for our mission trip. FINISH STRONG!

Check in tomorrow to see how things went for us.
Love from sunny, hot, El Salvador.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 12

This is one of those days that I am hoping the pictures are worth a thousand words - because I am pooped! The top photo is of Janet Michel the founder and president of Bridges of Hope. The young lady standing next to her is the wife of the couple chosen to receive the new home the men are building. I believe she had 5 children, and is 23 years old. The level of poverty is the worse I have ever seen and Janet and her husband expressed the same. The chompa the family is sharing has 18 people living in it and 6 people have died in the dwelling in the past few months. There is no running water or septic or sewer system. The second photo is one of the pathways between chompas. Many homes were made cardboard boxes, corregated metal, and plastic of may different varieties from plasitic bags to tarps. The homes seemed to be endless and almost none stood alone - but rather all shared a common wall. Add the heat and the humidity from the big rain last night, smell a bad sock that has soured and you might get the idea of how we spent today. There was at least 200 people in the area we were to help with children. The kids were petty good as shared the evangecube and 10 commandment game - but - Los Discipulos win if there would be a prize for entertaining the kids. They were great!

We left Los Victorious and headed out of town to EXODO orphanage. Leila came along to meet the director and see the program the Discipulos would perform and see the facility. The Discipulos were great for the kids! They even split up and shared some lessons with the them. A couple of the kids were starting to get the hand of it! I had tried to attach a video but there is something blocking it from uploading. It is about 5 minutes long - so maybe it was too big.

We went from devestation to delight. The horrible conditions at La Victorious - to visiting with the kids at EXODO. The kids have grown and changed so much this past year! I have one little guy that really remembers me. Edwardo wanted his photo with me - he is SO shy - but his smile tells how happy he was to see a friend return for 3 years.

It was a good day - but exhausting.

Prayer Request: Strength for the men that are going back to La Victorious to finish the house. Please pray for those struggling financially as well as in there everyday needs. Later in the day the whole team will return there to have a dedication ceremony for the house with the family. Pray for our travel safety. While most of the men are working the rest of the team and the Discipulos will be visiting Luceo Cristiana Juan Bueno (a christian school), where we will visit different classrooms and answer questions about the USA. Carol and I are prepared to tell them about Jesus too!
Sorry for any misspelled words. That spell checker still is not working for me on this trip and I also am falling asleep at the keyboard. :o) - and 1 more thing....Happy 40th birthday to my favorite litte leprecahn, CHAD. Visit
PS - PRAISE!! The ground was not too muddy!
Love - y'all

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 12

We served around 300 "clients" in the Eye Glass Clinic. Carol, myself, and the rest of the American team were considered doctors by the people in this barrio; but it was the Great Physician that tended to the needs of these people. We were blessed to be HIS Hands today. Something so simple as $1 magnifier glasses truly changed some lives and blessed hundreds...and HE let us be part of that. Although I didn't get to participate with the prayer team, our director did ask to use a gospel bead bracelet, and my evangecube to help give visual to them sharing the gospel. I believe there were a couple of people that prayed to receive Christ through those helps.
The other "Group" photo is of the ex-gang team that makes up "Los Discipulos" - an evangelistic brea-dance team. They have learned a lot from us and us from them the past couple of days. It has been a real trip and joy getting to know them. What testimonies of changed lives.....!!!! Oh, if you look close, you can also see most of the team intermixed with the team. This was taken in a big mall where we ate lunch and some of the boys almost got arrested for breaking into a break dance demo! Janet, our leader, talked with the police and security and got them off. She also scolded the daylights out of those kid for pulling this shinanigan. Then we took this photo after they apologized. The guys learned that just because you love Jesus - that doesn't give you the right to disregard authority and rules. BUT - they certainly redeemed themselves at the eye clinic with their outstanding service.
It was a LONG hot day (9am-4pm) but worth every sweat drop that dripped!
Prayer Requests: For the community to continue to seek God and remember how HE met their needs today. For Wednesday's outreach in Las Victorious. This community is built on a landfill. We will be part of a team that is building a wooden house for a family that has slept on the ground for years! We will also be presenting a Children's ministry and Los Discipulos will be performing their break dancing and evangelistic outreach. I may also be presenting the OAC painting again - so pray that goes well and hearts receive the gospel. HEY!!! It's raining!!!! It started about 15 minutes ago (at midnight here) and it is raining like cats and dogs - thunder and lightening!! The last rain was in Novemeber. This is my 3rd trip in 3 years during this time of year and it has never rained before when I was here! NOW - the problem is -- the ground is dirt at the landfill and we will be working outside. PLEASE pray for no mud!!! We also are going to EXODO orphanage on Wednesday. Can't wait to see the kids again!!!! Pray the rain is a refreshing blessing for them and for safe travel to and from.
One thing I think I forgot to mention... we have had 2 earthquakes since Saturday night. Carol and I missed Saturday night's - we were doing laundry so guess we dismissed the rumble in the floor to being the rinse cycle.On Monday we were climbing the stair case in Bloom Children's hospital at the time and was not aware. Leila called that night and said that it had been a pretty good "tremble". Neither made the newspapers here, as far as we know. Wish I could have told you that we felt it - but thankful there was no damage and that you all didn't know about it!
The lights have weakened several times during this storm and went out for about 30 seconds a couple of minutes ago. The laptop battery kept me connected and a light on for me to see. What FUN!!!! Carol and I each have a private room - so she just called wanting to know if the horrible loud noise in the hallway was rain. (Yes!) There is an open concept to the hotel design that you aren't really that aware of when it is NOT raining. Guess it is one way to get the floors washed free. Gotta go - please keep praying for us for just a few more days. (There is more thunder and lightening revving up as I say AUDIOUS to you.) Love you all!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 10

Praying with families
On the left-baby with clef-pallet((?sp). On the right baby with hydrocephilitis

We met our new ex-gang boys today. Here we are with Mansanto (Apple). We think he was being funny when he introduced himself and told his name because the interpreters (from his home church laughed, but didn't tell us his real name. He seemed to be the "clown" of the Los Discipulos (the Disciples in English) group. There are about 35 members of this amazing troop, but we will probably meet only 7 of them. The will be assisting us on all of our projects. They are just young men that gave their hearts to Christ - after a heart-wrenching life of poverty and abandonment. They laid their lives out before us today, not knowing if we would reject them or not. At no time did any of us feel intimidated. It is immediately obvious that God has changed their hearts and HE is truly molding men of God from what others tossed asside. We heard their testimonies and were moved to tears at times. They too fought back the tears as they revisited the hell they once lived here in El Salvador.

After sharing lunch and our 5 interpreters and the Discipulos we all headed to Bloom Children's Hospital. To find out more details of this facilities, one of our team said they looked it up on the internet. We had 100 stuffed animals to give to the children. We were instructed not to allow ourselves to cry, so the team was aware we would see some heart-breaking situations - and that we did. My camera battery died after we were in the first unit with young babies. The baby in the above photo is only1 day old baby. It is speculation on our part but the baby seemed to be blind and had hydrocephilitis (sp?) (water on the brain) There were a couple of other babies with that as well, and one that will undergo surgery this week for a clef-pallet (sp?) We gave out toys and prayed for them and with some mothers in this unit.

It was also a blessing to watch the Discipulos minister to people. This was their first time to do this in Bloom. We saw them moved with compassion and heard them pray for many children and parents throughout our tour. Seeing that was as touching as meeting the children from all over Central America that are patients at Bloom. It was a really good experience that I know changed many lives.

Tonight we talked our driver Jordan) into taking us to an authentic Pupusaria for dinner. I know, it sounds like a possible intestinal disorder - but the the pupusas are delicious! Carol and I each had 2! We hope to have a chance to learn to make them when we visit Leila again on our free day (Friday).

Prayer Requests: Pray for my husband, Ted. He had a tooth pulled on Monday and obviously I'm not there in Indiana to comfort him...bless his heart....Pray for the kids at Bloom. We will have photos to share and the director asked that we PLEASE pray for the kids we met. Pray for our Tuesday project - an eye glass clinic. We will be fitting people with reading glasses (magnifiers). Our project is from 9 AM - 4 PM and is in a very impoverished area called La Fosa. We also will share the gospel and pray with our "clients". Blessings to you all. The week is going quickly!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 9

Yep - a slow photo op day. That's my leg/foot - the bug bites are about gone - so that's a good thing. Center photo is the rest of the group listening to the sermon from a translator and the 3rd is my room. Hey a bed is a bed so just the cozy computer corner.
What a great SONday! Breakfast is provided in our hotel package so we had eggs, toast and fruit. Then our team traveled together by van to CCI – a huge Baptist church that meets in a Holiday Inn conference center. We estimate nearly 1,000 attended! The worship music was great and the message was really good too. This church provided us with headsets that gave us an English translator. The message was so good that Carol and I asked if it was available on a tape or CD. Unfortunately it was not – but we took a lot of notes. Although it seems amazing to receive such a blessing – in verse by verse format here – doesn't it confirm that God's Word is True, alive and written for everyone? On young man on the team, Adam (18), said hearing the different language at the same time of the interpretation made him think of the tower of Babel. Pretty much everyone agreed that although we were far from home – God made sure we were “fed” well today.

Buses, buses everywhere! Seems today was a political protest against the FMLN party. THe socialist party is not happy with the administration that ran under their ticket. Seem the president has his own agenda now and that is not setting well with the people. (hmmmm-that sounds somewhat familiar...)It was a sea of red shirts, flags and banners unloading off buses all the way to the area where we planned to go for lunch. Our Sunday dinner in El Salvador was from a Chinese menu! I had an egg roll and Carol had some sort of creamy chicken soup. She said it was good.

I had a surprise SKYPE call from my home church, Cornerstone! What a treat to see all my friends and some of my family. I miss them all - but I KNOW this is where I am suppose to be and hopefully Carol is as confident in her decision to come with me....she says she gets why I love serving here. Thanks again to everyone for your support - especially our husbands. It really is a sacrifice for them to do with out us for 2 weeks!

Our afternoon project was dividing up the donated supplies for the individual projects we will be doing. Each of us store a day's projects in our room and are responsible for getting it to the van on our day. After that task was done, Mark, Adam, and Mike escorted Carol and me to the nearby store (think mini Wal-mart) for some groceries. I needed my branflakes, milk and ice cream.

We took taxis to a nearby mall. We ate a "Tony Roma's". The food was excellent but the best treat was hearing the full story of Bridges of Hope and the testimony of Janet Michel (the founder and our leader). God has really worked in her life and we better understand WHY she is called to do this work in Central America.

It is late of course and Carol and I just had a surprise blessing in the laundry room. We met a really sweet young woman in the laundry room that is visiting El Salvador from California. She shared the story of a miracle their family had received this past year. Its a long and beautiful story we can share with you when we see you. We have exchanged emails to hopefully keep in touch. We love the creative way God has been putting people in our pathway!
Prayer Requests:Monday I give the devotion for the team. Pray for me as I present what God has laid on my heart. I think it will be my acronym for HOPE (He's Our Perfect Example) and perhaps a message on trusting God. This is a visual that we didn't get to use with the Children's ministry last week so thought we might as well not let that go to waste. We meet the group "Los Discipulos" Monday afternoon. We will spend a couple of hours with the x-gang members - listening to their stories and building a relationship with them. This is so key to our projects. These boys need acceptance and to see the love of Jesus in us. We are looking forward to meeting them. Carol and I feel they may need to know a couple of loving grandmas. Pray they receive the love and acceptance from our team that they deserve as new Believers in Christ.

In the afternoon we will be going to Bloom Children's Hospital to pass out toys and pray with kids and their families. This can be pretty emotional. It is so difficult to see the sick kids. This is the first trip for Katie, Kyle, Mike, Mark, Adam and Carol. Pray for their (and my) emotional and spiritual strength as we work through a week of heart wrenching projects.

Until next time........

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 8-changing gears

Off to the 4th church in our Great Adventure. We left for San Migel around 10 AM. Arrived on time and were greeted warmly not only by the people but also the weather. This was by far the hottest place we have been so far this week. We've been truly blessed with beautiful weather and some air conditioning in the vans.

Our trip up was entertaining. We had 10 in the van - 2 were 11 year olds that spoke no English but talked to Carol and me the entire trip...actually it was probably the best Spanish class we could have had. They really wanted to communicate and were determined to learn some English and teach us some Spanish. Nayhomy and Mauricio became our good friends after nearly 5 hours in the van together. SOOO CUTE! Any of you that have met "Righty and Lefty" can appreciate some of the entertainment that we shared.

It was Carol and my grand finale to a great week. Carol did a great demo on the Gospel colors and how to incorporate them into games. She turned the audience of around 50-60 adults into young kids. The all seemed to enjoy being a kid again.

I also presented the AOC painting with the salvation message and couple of other things. The people were great with participation. We were sad to leave so soon, but had to get back to San Salvador for the orientation meeting for our mission team for Bridges of Hope (BOH).

We were so busy to get things done today and because of our tight schedule, the last time we thought to eat was breakfast at 8 AM; so at 7 PM, the Pizza Hut pizza hit the spot!

It was good to finally meet the BOH team. Besides Carol and me, we have 2 other ladies, and 5 guys. There is a young married couple (Kyle and Katie) and a father/son team. All live on the northside of Indy so we are excited to meet new friends and serve with them. Carol and I are definitely the grandmothers for the team.

The photos are during the seminar, and one of me and Veronica. She has been our interpreter during 3 meetings this week. Please pray for her husband, Emer. He has diabetes and recently had surgery on his neck. The wound is not healing as fast as it should. They also are in great need of a car.

Prayer Request: For the swelling of my leg and ankle to go down - for the team to really bond quickly so that we an work well together and accomplish much for the Lord. Please continue to pray for our safety as we travel throughout El Salvador. Please pray for our projects to go smoothly and for the opportunity to share Christ with many.

Thanks everyone! We love you!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 7

What a wonderful day! Thanks so much for every prayer. You are an awesome prayer team and Carol and I could not be doing what we are without your support.

Although it was another short night, it was invigorating to wake up knowing that there were blessings we would receive today. God did it again! Not only did the Pastor's wives come to the event - but so did children's leaders from or 5 or 6 different churches. One church sent a group of older teens that had a heart for evangelism and working with kids. There were around70-80 in attendance, men, women, teens and a couple of adorable little ones!

God provided another great gal to interpret for me. T.C. Hall (that's her with me and Carol). She is a missionary as well as her parents. She was born in Mexico - lived in Texas for a few years, and has been in El Salvador for 11 years. What a treasure she was!

I presented OAC again - not just the presentation of painting the story but about listening for the call on their life to do something bold and out of the box to reach others for Christ. What a thrill it was to see so many people taking notes. There was one young man that couldn't hide his excitement. He was so expressive and whispering to his friends as the painting unveiled the message. I also told them about our home church. Cornerstone had 15 people accompany our missionary from OAC to downtown Indy. After the story is completed, the team that went with him engaged people in the crowd in conversation and shared their personal testimonies of salvation, etc. I challenged the people to think about forming teams to use this evangelistic outreach. At the end, I asked how many felt they too could do this, at least 15-20 raised their hands. I asked how many WOULD do it. About 10 held hands high! At the end of my presentation they had a break for refreshments. The young man I saw that was so excited came up to me. He could speak English (much better than I can speak Spanish!) His name is Ernesto. He began telling me his plans and how seeing this was an answer to prayer for him. He also shared he had a friend in their youth group that was quite an artist and they will take this idea even further utilizing their talents.

I shared the website ( and they made copies of the cheat sheet I used that showed the set up of the "before" painting and the finished painting. I think everyone got a copy of that. They are equipped to do this as the Lord leads.

Another super blessing was meeting Myrna, a pastor's wife that atteneded the seminar I shared last year. She too speaks English pretty well. She told me that she has used the gospel color projects we shared last year with every child in her church. She said she made many gospel bead bracelets. She couldn't find all of the 5 colors she needed - so she painted beads to be able to complete them. Now THAT is a heart to share the gospel! Myrna was also very excited to use the OAC presentations soon and already had several ideas on things she wanted to do with it. YAY-JESUS!!!

The conference went on with a second speaker, Myra. She shared how to diagram a Bible story. It was really good. After she shared the process - we broke into small groups and diagramed the story of the first miracle that Christ performed. It was fun and will be very helpful for our ministry to kids and to do personal Bible study. Very cool.

Bety made us lasagna. Very delicious! Between Bety spoiling us - and Carol cooking 2 meals - and the kindness of many of our hosts in the churches we've had some great cooking! Next week will be different - more fast foods. (I have missed that...)

My legs and ankles have swollen pretty badly today-becoming quite uncomfortable. This happened last year too. A bit of sleep deprivation combined with the heat, standing on my feet for longer periods than I am use to, and not drinking enough all came together at once. SO after lunch - I was banished to my bed and my foot propped up and I took a 4 hour nap! I am increasing my water for today too. This usually lasts for 2 or 3 days --- and that's what happened last year too. No need to be alarmed. Just a little inconvenience.Carol has been used so much. When I asked her to come and help me on this trip, she had NO IDEA what all she was going to be doing!!! She has even been a great nurse.

While I was napping, she, Leila and Bety went shopping. It was good for them to spend some time together doing normal things like grocery shopping. Carol learned that the food and other items we enjoy in America are available here, but are so expensive because of the shipping and customs fees. (There's no place like home...)

Prayer Requests: Tomorrow (Saturday) is the grand finale. Carol and I will present a seminar on Children's ministry to a church about 2 hours from here. Pray for safe travel and for the people to have hearts ready to receive some new ideas to help them to reach children for Christ and to grow their church ministries. Pray for Carol and I as we prepare the materials to present. Again we will use the OAC presentation. Pray for our interpreter, Veronica. She has been so wonderful and has helped us in several meetings. Pray for her husband, Emer. He has diabetes and had a recent surgery on his neck and it is slow to heal. He is on their praise and worship team and also accompanied us to the volcano the other day. He and Veronica are such sweet servants of the Lord. THANKS PRAYER TEAM!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day-6 already

6 AM sure came early! Especially after getting to bed at 2 AM. We made it to the school on time for the 7:00 devotions. We taught the Kg-5th grade first. Great kids! About 120 of them! We shared the gospel through the Wordless Book and taught the 10 commandments through special signs. They did great learning them and most can now tell you them by just asking the number - even out of order. Each elementary student received their own copy of the Wordless Book. These were hand made by ladies from Southeast Baptist Tabernacle. The kids were so excited! Thanks everyone. (Our interpreter was a young man named Joshua. He was a teacher at the school. He was really good and said he LOVED to interpret. It was obvious that the kids loved him and admired his English skills.)

We returned home for Carol's scrumptious meatloaf with the trimmings.Then back to the school for 1:15 devotions with the teens....around 70 teens in all. Our message was about making good choices - and referring to the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE) to help us make those right choices. Carol gave a great talk using a cookbook and model car kit for the object lessons. The kids loved it when we gave away some prizes. All the teens received a gospel bracelet. They LOVED them! Thanks Ginn family for providing them. We ended our afternoon presentation by teaching the teens the 10 commandments too. We really had a lot of fun with the teens doing this. Great KIDS! The director, Enrique, insisted we return for a personal visit to his home. We are trying to work that out for next week on our free day. He also insisted that Carol prepare him an American food lunch. It may be a little hard to deal with her when she gets home --now that she is an internationally famous cook! lol

Got back "home" in time to change clothes and get more of our materials and headed off for Santa Anna for a church presentation. We were treated to a lovely home cooked meal in the pleasant company of the director of the board of the Mt. Sinai Church, Pastor Nelson (first name) and his family as well as a new translator, Shelli. I presented the Open Air Campaign painting again. There were over 100 people in the service. As I finished up the painting, I asked how many thought they would like to do this type of evangelism outreach. I think there were about 8 that raised their hands and at least 5 of those were men. I was so excited!!! I also shared my testimony about my adopted gang son, Riser. And how praying for him - eventually brought me to El Salvador 3 years ago. If you don't know that story --- I'll have to share another time- its too long.
Carol ended our evening with giving the youth gospel bracelets and explaining the meaning of the 5 color beads. Then the adults wanted them too! We gave away all the bracelets we had with us - even the ones on our own wrists! It was such a blessing. They promised to share the Gospel story with others using their bracelets.
It was about 9 PM when we got home -- a long day - but a beautiful day of service and joy. It is almost 2 AM again--- and time for our next prayer request:

------ Pray for a solid night sleep for me (Carol is already out like a light-at about 1AM). We have to leave "home" at 7:45 for an 8:15 speaking appointment with area Pastor's Wives. The ladies are also inviting other women interested in Children's ministry. We may have as many as 30 or 40 ladies. Pray for the messages to encourage them. Back by popular demand - is another opportunity to share the OAC pray that goes well. There is another speaker as well. Pray we all are refreshed by her teaching and that she too is encouraged and blessed by the morning service. ALWAYS pray for our safe traveling to and fro. (Driving in Indy is a cinch compared to traffic here!) We have had wonderful divers and a GREAT GOD protectingus!!!

Hasta Luego, Amigos!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dias 5-already

Wow - What a day! We were treated to breakfast with the Living Waters church staff. During their staff meeting, it was decided that they wanted me to present the Open Air Campain presentation. This is a gospel presentation that is given while a pre-prepared painting is completed - telling the story with visuals. My home church, Cornerstone supports an Open Air Campaign missionary. He is coming to our church this summer to teach our people how to do this. He had given us a demonstration last summer. Our missionary is so encouraging - saying that anyone can do this --- so I decided to give it a try. Tonight was the night to present it for the first time. God blessed! It went well. One thing that our team here had prayed for, is that someone here would also feel the encouragement to begin a ministry of presenting the Open Air Campaign method of sharing the gospel on the streets of San Salvador and surrounding areas. GOD granted that prayer too! During the presentation one of the ladies (Mary) was taking notes and drawing the picture as I presented. At the end of the evening she came to us and showed us her work, was very excited and wants to do this. She was so happy to take the painting I did to help her plan. I worked with Mary last year and just yesterday at our Women Of Faith In Action team (WOFIA) hospital visitation. She WILL do this! We are multiplying the ranks of Open Air Campaigners! PTL!

Oops - right after breakfast, we went to "The Baby House" and were totally amazed at the work God is doing there. Infants are brought there in nearly grave condition. They are nursed back to health in a short period of time. We saw photo after photo of before and after babies that were each a miracle story. We also learned of a prison ministry Sam and Julie are starting that will train and prepare ex-gang members that have truly repented and come to know Christ as Savior. This program teaches them a trade (making fine quality designer shoes) and eventually sets them up in communities with their own shoe business. There are so many details on how it all works. You can tell that God has gifted Julie and Sam in a mighty way to help people from the tiniest to adults - change their lives.

Before we left for breakfast we had prayed for God to send someone along our pathway that we could encourage or lead to Christ. We had literal mountain top experience as we drove to visit a beautiful volcano. Long story short, we met a young Christian man Carlos and his pastor friend, Orlando. After sharing a few minutes we were led to pray with them and they with us. It was so sweet to be on that mountain with them. These were the only people that literally crossed our path at the volcano. God had answered another prayer. The gentlemen were also interested in the Pastor's institute that Leila's church has. Don't you just a mountain top experiences!

One more blessing....tonight at the service, a young man came in that I recognized. His name is Gerson. Gerson's photo has been on my refrigerator for the past year. His mother gave me the photo when I left El Salvador last year. She asked me to please pray for her son, Gerson, to come to know the Lord, to leave the sinful life he was in. About 3 months ago Leila wrote an email that told me that Gerson had indeed turned his life over to God and repented. I was able to see him and received a sincere hug! Also I had prayed for Carlos and Jessica and their unborn baby boy last year. Tonight, I got to hold Johan in my arms! What a sweet moment for me and that family. Thanks, Ted for sending me to El Salvador again to receive this blessing.

Oh, yeah, Carol's fine. So wore out from all the blessings that she is sleeping already. She was a great assistant with getting me set up for the painting presentation and cleaning up after me so I could get those sweet hugs and photographs.

PRAYER Requests: BUSY day planned! 7 AM I am suppose to be leading devotions for 90 kids - from grades Kg - 5th. (ME?! At 7AM!!!) PRAY! - then a 1 PM devotion that Carol will conduct for the teens 6th-10th grade. Then we're on again in another church for the evening. Its another hour or so drive I think. I will be presenting the Open Air Campaign gospel painting again. Pray for hearts to be open to receive and to take on the challenge of spreading the word in a unique way. Pray for God's Words and HIS touch in all that is said and done.

Blessings to you all.......

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


That's Leila and Betty at the market, Carol in the kitchen, and Pastor David at the hospital.
(my apologies for not being able to add the photos in the body of the blog update.)
A trip to the market was quite a treat. This was more than a fruit and veggie stand. Craftsmen of all types also were making and selling their wares. (Actually, this is where Carol found the pinata that she couldn't live without.) That's Leila on the left and Bety peeking over the top of the squash. We were probably in the market for 30-40 minutes and was a great cultural experience.
Our day 4 started early with a 90 minute drive to Chaletango, to visit the hospital and minister to patients. We were warmly welcomed by the administrators and the staff. We spoke with men women boys and girls. Several prayed to receive Christ! Between the 9 of us on the team, we passed out well over 100 tracts and had many personal conversations with patients and visitors in the hospital. Carol remarked it was a step back in time for photos she has seen of hospitals in the 50's. Nurses even wore white uniforms and nurses caps.
That's Pastor David Hammonds speaking with a man that prayed to receive Christ. He is gravely ill and said he was fighting for his life. It was obvious that was true. He was eager to hear the gospel and to receive salvation. That may have been the reason God sent the team there today.
We stopped at El Salvador's favorite fast food restaurant, Pollo Camparo. Its like KFC - but don't tell most El Salvadorans that. They love this chicken. In fact, when they travel to the USA they bring boxes of it on the plane. Last year the pilot announced over the PA that the smell was making him hungry and wondered if anyone would share with him. A resounding "NO" came from the crowd. (9 of us ate today for $25) Not bad -- and that included drinks.
You can see in the photo Carol is right at home in any kitchen. (It's her special gift) She prepared her delicious potato soup for the family tonight. Yummmm! Our hosts said, "Bien!" She still has a meatloaf promised and is preparing it to be placed in the freezer for later this week.
Prayer Request: Safe travel for tomorrow (wednesday). Good fellowship with the staff at Living Waters Church. They are serving us breakfast. Then travel to a volcano (witnessing while there) and church service in the evening. We get to listen and enjoy the uplifting praise music again.
Thank you for your faithfullness to pray for us. Especially for the teens at C-stone in Trafalgar. Thank you for your prayers kids! Love you all.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 3

Hey, guess what --- we found a Wal-mart in El Salvador!!!

Leila needed groceries for the week and we just missed Walmart -so we are all were happy.

Just so you know - prices are higher here on most everything we saw - but fruit. I also knew that Carol was showing some withdrawl signs from not being a hostess and cooking. (God delivered me from that problem several years ago - Thank you LORD!) Anyway, Carol will be cooking for the family and a few guests on Wednesday -- meatloaf, potatoes, carrots and gravy...Indiana style. Our hosts are in for a treat, aren't they?

We also visited a unique market place full of fresh flowers, handmade clothing and gifts, meats, fruits and vegetables. I was strong and bought no trinkets - however you are tempted because the people really need the business and they are so proud of their craftsmanship as well as the desire to serve their family's needs. But Carol really needed a pinata....

We spent quite a bit of time in prayer for the ladies meeting that I was to speak in. God truly blessed me with a message on hunger and thirst that came from my Bible study I am trying to keep up with while on the trip. (Thank you Beth Moore!) It was received well. The gals here are so precious and truly seeking all they can get from the Savior. Carol gave her testimony of her salvation. The Lord asked Carol and I not to sing together - instead we included the chorus Allelujia. Although it is only 1 repeated word, it was perfect to honor HIM and to do so with our new sisters in Christ.

I guess to sum up our evening with them and the Lord in one word it would be - WOW! We feel a bit like Mary must have felt; there are so many blessings and so few words to describe (although I do try, don't I?) we are left with pondering it all in our hearts. [Now, don't you wish you would have come.]

Prayer requests: Tomorrow (Tuesday) we travel quite a distance to a hospital. There we will give many of the gifts YOU have sent with us to children and new mothers. Pastor David and another interpreter, Jaimie will be taking us. We will be praying for many and sharing the gospel with them. Pray for those that God has chosen for us to minister His message. Pray for safe travel and our vehicle to run well.

Buenos Noches (good night!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 2-of the Great Adventure

Today was a GOOD day! We truly enjoyed the praise and worship music at Living Waters Church. Even though we couldn't understand the words - there was an understanding of the hearts that were worshipping together in one accord.

Carol was amazed at the friendliness and servant's hearts. They insisted on carrying even our personal bags from the van into the church. They served us cold bottled water and wrapped candy. We are hard pressed to put into words the gracious welcome we experienced. And - I truly did recognize people I met last year and they did remember me. It didn't seem like a year since I was here with them. One thing that was good to see was the same people serving in the praise band and that there were new faces in the congregation. Even a new baby from the young parents I had prayed with last year. They knew they were having a boy at the time. I prayed for little Johan and today - I met him and gave him a kiss!

The children's church went very well. The kids loved Carol and her presentations. One thing she was surprised about was the length of time the people were eager to spend with the Lord. How many of you would give HIM 3 hours in one service? Our Childern's church was 2 hours of that 3.

The kids were eager to answer questions and participate in the games. Carol did excellent working with our precious interpreter, Veronica. She does a great job and this helps her English skills. We were honored to pray for and with each individual child. They patiently and reverently waited their turn for this blessing. So sweet!

Really roughing it here....we had Pizza Hut pizza for lunch - delivered to Leila's home by motorcycle! Then we were off to the God's Dream Ranch for Boys and Girls. This is not a developed ranch yet - but we believe with Leila that it will be. It was about a 2 hour drive and we saw so much. We walked over some of the property and prayed for the future of the Ranch and the boys that will learn about God and how to be a strong family man willing to serve the Lord. You can truly "see" this as you walk with Leila and hear her pray for God's will.

On the way home Carol had her first treat of PUPUSAS. She will have to tell you about them and we do have photo of them being prepared. 5 of us ate and 4 had drinks. The total bill...$5.55! AMAZING food and amazing price. (Carol treated-big spender!)

PRAYER Requests: Monday evening we will present devotions to the ladies at Living Waters Church. Pray for God's guidance and HIS Words to be spoken to the ladies. Pray for Carol and I as we attempt to sing for them! (and for the ladies that will tolerate us!) We are singing "Count Your Blessings".
Pray for our traveling mercies. Leila will be driving around town to shop for groceries. (Carol eats a LOT!)

Thanks everyone. Hope you feel a part of our trip and included in our warped sense of humor.
We Love you all!!!

Carol and Veronica at work for the Lord!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Thank you prayer warriors! WE MADE IT---all the way to El Salvador!!!
We couldn't have asked for a better day.
Didn't over sleep! --- Praise the Lord
Good weather - Praise
Got our seats together! - Praise
Good flight to Atlanta - Praise
Made it to our connecting flight - with time to spare - Praise
Nice young man helped get Carol's bag in the overhead - Praise
By now several people had asked what the EWITBIAT on our shirts stood for
(for those who don't know....Every Word In The Bible Is Absoultely True!)
Carol gave the first gospel bracelet away and explained every bead ---- PRAISE!!
Good flight to El Salvador - PRAISE!
Every one of our bags arrived with us!!! PRAISE!!!!
(Oh, and we were not charged for any bags. Carol and I each checked 2 bags each weighing just under 50 pounds + we each had a 30 pound carry-on. THANK YOU LORD and thank you DELTA!
Customs and Immigration check was slickest I had ever experienced. Woo-Hoo!
And there she was ---- that beautiful white haired angel, Leila! Waiting with her was a night in shining armor - Alex. He helped us lug the ton of luggage about 3 blocks to the van. Carol and I had quite a workout and were sweating like hogs by the time we got to the van. God is so good!

It was a sunny, humid, 80 degrees. WONDERFUL! My feet have officially thawed out!
We stopped at a roadside stand for a cold raw coconut. The top cut off and a straw stuck in through a small hole. Sweet, cold coconut milk. YUM! --- and only 50 cents. Later we had tamales right off the street corner. Carol loved them. Me - not so much, but OK.

Carol is already asleep and I am ready to call it a night at only 10:30 PM --- yep - that is an official miracle.

Please continue the prayers for us as we begin the official ministry at 9 AM. Carol will be conducting the bulk of the children's ministry at Leila´s church. She is so full of joy and enthusiasm and can't wait to share with the kids here about the kids at S.E.B.T. Monday night will be our next speaking engagement with a women's group. I think I mentioned this before - but must reiterate - GOD IS SOOOOO GOOD!!!!

Dios Bendiga! (God Bless)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Heading South

I'm suppose to be getting a nap in before leaving home at 3:15. I think I'm packed. I think Carol is packed. I think we are READY TO GO!!!!

To El Salvador or BUST!

Keep those prayers a comin' our way.

Love you ALL!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I can feel 85 degrees

Looking at some photos from last year to remind myself of what where we will be in just 2 days!!!!

OK - it's Thursday and 2 out of 4 bags are packed for me - Carol is at about the same progress. At this point we are weighing bags and redistributing the weight to get the most in. Our carry-on and "don't-get-bored" bags are all that is left to work on.

Nerves are twinging - not fear - just "Did we pack everything, where are the tickets and passports...." stuff like that. (Extra prayers, por favor. [please])

HEY - Ted is hooked up the laptop he got me to SKYPE and he is on too. So we can talk over the internet FREE. He even bought a camera for the laptop so he can see me. Believe me - that will not be that much of a treat after working outside in the heat most days.

We will leave winter in Indiana at 7 AM and arrive in El Salvador at 1 PM and mid 80 temps. Woo-HOO!!! My feet will finally thaw out!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


LOL! Got an email from Carol today -- she admits to packing - and REpacking a couple of times already! I knew there was a reason I myself have just not got around to packing yet! I would have just redone it anyway. Carol and I are a lot alike!

One blessed reason she has had to repack a couple of times is that so many people are sharing things for her to take to the people in El Salvador. So - that's a good reason to be repacking. We are blessed to have so much wonderful support. A little of all of you will be tucked in suitcases and in our hearts! Love you ALL!