Wednesday, June 22, 2011

El Salvador Trip

Castillo Del Rey  Kings Castle

   So I had tried to go to a bunch of different places this summer, and those of you that know me or have been reading along, you know that my summer trips were just not working out. So after my 3rd attempt at trying to go for a trip out of the country I found out about a missions trip to El Salvador. It was not my original plan for a summer trip but just what God seem to want for me.

One of our skits "The Box"
  First off, it was not the type of trip that I thought I was going on. I thought that I had signed up for a construction work type of missions trip, you know building a church building or working on some kind of labor type job. Much to my shock and surprise, and I think to Pastor Paul's entertainment, I found out that we would in fact not be doing any building or construction. No this missions trip was to be a street ministry type of trip and it would involve me doing skits, dramas, spectacle shows and wait for it.....lots of dancing and jumping around!!!! Now if you know me at all you know that those types of things are way beyond my comfort zone, I mean WAY out there. I can't dance and I try to avoid being a spectacle at all cost, but I guess God was looking for a bit of entertainment that week so there I was. Now when I say I don't dance I mean I CAN'T dance. I'm the girl that fell off of the box at step aerobics and I have a hard time keeping in rhythm at church when clapping. So you can imagine what my thoughts were when the first night of our trip our team leader says that the next day we would be spending it in the gym to learn the dances and dramas that we would use the rest of the week...not happy thought by any means! haha But in the spirit of being flexible for God I grinned and said, "This should be fun!"

  I won't even try and pretend that I learned the dances, but I did learn to jump along with the rest of the group and smile and try and look like I kind-of knew what I should be doing. We spent the day working on what would be our programs and I spent that time trying to keep up as well as asking God what He was trying to teach me in the midst all my missed dance moves. I came to the conclusions that God was stretching me and also keeping my pride in check, trying to dance like our teacher Amanda was a pride crusher for me! After spending out first day getting at least an idea of what we would be doing for our programs it was time to get to work.

   We were assigned some of the nationals and a team leader and we spent the rest of the week going out and doing what they call spectacle ministry. We would set up in a square of street and attract a lot of attention to our group with music, games, bubbles (I definitely felt a call and excelled in bubble ministry!!), juggling acts and just being a big group of Americans. We would then split up and some of us would then go up and down the streets inviting people to the program. It was so humbling to see how these people lived, it was also amazing to see a happiness that they had even with so little. We would then put on a program and then give an opportunity for salvation. I was so amazed to see the young children that would pray with such a fervency and desire for God. We would then spend time playing with the kids and inviting them to the local church. We did 4 programs a day and then would attend the local church for a service at night. It was hot, long days, but so worth it!!! We saw in 4 days 471 salvations, 5 miracles, and got to share the gospel with over 2000 people!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just blew me away!!!

   Not only was God using me to reach others but He was also working in me as well. One of the ladies that I was praying for had stomach problems and she came to the alter for prayer for the pain. I
Me and my friend Katherine
prayed with her and believed with her for a healing and she then testified that she no longer had any pain! I had a moment where I no doubt felt like how the donkey in the Bible must have felt when God used him. I believed that God could heal her but was shocked when it seemed he used me to pray for her, not that I don't realize that He didn't need me at all to do it, but allowed me to be apart of what He was doing. God also allowed me to share some things that He has been teaching me about being single with a few of the national girls that we were working with. I got to encourage them to hold on to God's promise that he has a perfect plan for our lives and that everything that happens to us is Father Filtered.

Ruth and I
   Besides just the ministry part of the trip it was also amazing to see how the people live and the culture of another country. I also enjoyed getting to know and becoming friends with many of the people in our group and those apart of Kings Castle Ministries. It's just amazing to see the awesome job that they are doing to change the country of El Salvador for Christ. There are so many that are working with their ministry that are so young but doing so much for God. One of the leaders we were blessed to work with was a girl named Ruth. She is such an amazing woman of God and doing such an awesome for Him. She is only 29 and is pastoring and has almost 1000 youth under her ministry! I was so touched by what God is doing with and through her that I could not leave there and not be apart of what she is doing. There were many others who God placed with us for our short stay that showed me what it really means to be a Christian. I was so convicted by their absolute desire to serve God and their joy in the Lord as well as their role in the awesome advancement of the kingdom!
Sitting with the kids at a school

Doing a skit at one of the schools
Where we slept
   Overall this trip was by no means what I ever expected! I slept in the floor, peed in outhouses!! (talk about a lot of praying going on then!!!), danced and jumped around in the heat while wearing a skirt, prayed bugs would not crawl into my bed at night, attended church services were I understood very little of what I was singing and the only form of AC was my paper fan, brushed my teeth with bottled water and not the tap so I wouldn't get sick, rode on a bus with a bus driver who thought he was driving a mini, and worked with a group that was all about going with the flow. But in so many ways it was so much more then I had expected and could have hoped for! I got to see the power of God move, and I learned that no matter the language the love of God can bridge the gap. I also learned that I can be flexible and stretched, and when God does it you never seem to break because He knows what we're made of. I also came back with such a heart to give more to missions, I know that God has me where He wants me right now and that my part may not being going but I can help send. Even though I don't feel called to full-time missions I am thinking about going for a month to work with Kings Castle Ministries next summer. I have been blessed to have an awesome job that allows me to have 2 months off so I want to use some of that time to make a difference.
About to do a program
One thing that really hit home with me (and maybe you guys could help me with) was when I was about to leave and was talking to the missionaries and asking what they were in need of. She told me that they have 9 teams that they are preparing to send out but that they didn't have 9 ipods to send out with them. All of the dramas, skits, and songs that we did were on an ipod and put through a portable sound system. I asked if Ruth had one and was told no that she did not, I immediately thought about my ipod touch that was sitting at home and thought, "It's her's." How awesome that God would bless me so that I could invest in Ruth's ministry. I know that by her having that tool she will be able to reach so many people for Christ...what a small price for me to be apart of a great kingdom advancement!
So now I am on the hunt for more ipods! I would love to be able to send 9 or more. I know that a lot of people have old ones that are just laying around and that they could go to such good use with this ministry! It doesn't have to be just ipods, it can be mp3 players as long as they have the screen that says what song is playing and you can choose the next song. If you would like to help out let me know, there is a group from Crossroads that is going next month and we want to send them down with them.

As I was flying over to El Salvador I had just started reading "In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day," and wow was God ever trying to speak to me. He was using the book and the trip to point out some things that I really needed to see. One  of my favorite Mark Batterson quotes from the book has to be, "Collect experiences and not possessions." I love that and aim to make it my life motto.

Well that of course is not all of the trip. I will have to post a 2nd part maybe tomorrow.
-Till Next Time

1 comment:

Jessica said...

You are such an encouragment.
I Hope you know that you are living the life for others, while I am at home with the kids I live/travel the world through your journey's.
I love you Syl, and I am so happy you had an awesome experience.