WE MADE IT!! After weeks and weeks of anticipation our Hope Chapel mission team finally made it to El Salvador! I think we were all a little nervous of what to expect based on things we heard about, and what exactly being a “missionary” there meant. Praise God, our trip down was uneventful. We had a “little” wait to get Visas to get into the country but our hostess spoiled us rotten by greeting us with pizza and ice cold water!
We enjoyed the ride in through El Salvador and just taking in this new world. I’m always amazed as I travel outside of the US by the livestock just lumbering along the side of the road and the people that are always hanging out everywhere. We got a nice view of the active volcano as we drove towards our host home. Our hostess, Lorraine, from Hannah’s Hands is fantastic! Our living conditions are quite comfy although I do miss air conditioning! Joyce Meyer once said that we are addicted to comfort in the US, and I would have to agree with her. We are thankful to have our Coke Zero and chocolate though! It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?
Today we went to a small church plant in a very poor town outside of San Salvador and we were truly blessed by the music, the service, and an amazing drama put on by their youth. The church congregation is mostly youth that bring their parents and grandparents with them which is so incredible to witness. Our team had the opportunity to pray for all the youth in the congregation. It was AWESOME, and the kids, who at first were apprehensive, all came together to receive their prayers. God sent a word through our Mission leader Charles to make sure that the children knew that no matter how rich or poor, old or young they were, that God knows them , loves them, and will use them to help expand his kingdom if they will let them.
After church, we were invited to lunch at a lovely missionary’s house, Beth from Pennsylvania. I thought we had gone back to North Carolina! We grilled out hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and even had Deviled Eggs! Beth is AMAZING. The house she lives in is currently in the process of being converted to an orphanage. They are planning to open next month and will hopefully house 7 children between the ages of 3 and 8. She has also been a HUGE factor in planting the church along with too many other wonderful things to have time to mention. Both she and Lorraine inspire me to do more missions work and find different ways locally to help out the many, many needs that surround us.
As with every Hispanic country I have visited, the people are absolutely wonderful. They are loving, affectionate, and very giving. They greet you with open arms, and when they say they are happy to meet you, they truly mean it. That being said, it is a very poor country and many of the places we are visiting are the poorest of the poor, BUT they still smile, they still love, and they are still happy. How can it be that in a church that becomes an empty room after church so thieves won’t steal everything out of it, can still be used to bring people to Christ and show God’s love? I believe it is because people don’t need a fancy church to be close to Christ, we just need the heart to do so.