It was one year ago today and just about this time of day (1:00 in the afternoon) when Ashley and I got off the plane in El Salvador! For Ashley it was a summer trip for two months to learn more about the missionaries here and what the life of a missionary is all about. For me it was a trip into the unknown! At that point in time I didn’t know if I was here for two months or what God was going to do with my life! What a year this has been. I came here knowing all of about two words in Spanish, nothing about the culture or the country or the people and simply trusting God that He knew the plans He had for me and that they were plans to prosper me and not for harm. What a way to learn! I started with the language by reading my morning devotional in Spanish and looking up all the words that I didn’t know and writing them in a little book. I also spent time each day reading a book called “Idiots Learning Spanish”. I am able to speak a little now and be understood but I am still more comfortable talking to children than adults! My goal for this year is to be able to share the gospel message and my personal testimony in Spanish and be comfortable answering questions. One of the other big ways my life has changed is not having my own car. Here when I want groceries I walk to the store which is not too far away, about three blocks, but it is very far away when your eyes are bigger than what your arms can carry! One time I actually had to tie two bags together and put them on each shoulder and use my hands to carry the other 5 bags! What was I thinking???? On Sunday morning I walk 4 blocks to take a bus to church when I am in San Salvador for the weekend. I also went from having my own home in a beautiful lake community to living in one bedroom sharing a house in the city which also serves as the ministry office with as many as 7 other people. Needless to say I have had to make many adjustments and I have learned to be content as the Apostle Paul said to the Philippians:
Philippians 4:11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
The secret is in verse 13! It is ONLY through Jesus that I have learned to be content! I have come to a place in my walk with the Lord that I truly believe the I can do everything He needs me to do through Him who gives me strength! It no longer matters to me where He sends me or what He has for me to do I know He will provide every single thing I need to accomplish His purposes in my life!
I am currently applying for temporary residency here in El Salvador. In this country you can only apply to be a temporary resident for one year. You must re apply every year and then after 8 years you can apply for permanent residency. If I am granted temporary residency I am praying that the Lord will provide a small house here for me. There are many more things I want to do but am limited because of the space I am now in. I would like to offer a safe place to stay for young women studying in the city or visiting us for a time from the states or other countries. I would like to have my own little garden again. And I would also like to have small bible studies and meals in my home with young people that we serve.
One of the most difficult things for me this year was to learn to live away from my family and friends AND to be content with that. I am still learning in this area and there are days when I get dreadfully homesick and my arms long to hug my sons, my grandchildren, my sister or a close friend! I was home in April for the wedding of my son Brian and it was wonderful to see everyone and to step back into my old life for a brief moment! God has given me many more grandchildren and sons and daughters and friends and I am so grateful for His gift to me in this area! I would not be able to stay here without the loving support of my new family here and my church family in the United States!
We recently were able to spend three days in Honduras and I got to meet missionaries from all of the other central American countries.
We are currently getting ready to host two groups from the United States at the camp property. One group is from a church in Florida and the other group are young people from World of Life in New York. Pray for us as we serve these visitors that they will leave with a love for this country, its people and most importantly a deeper walk with the Lord! In August we will hold our annual youth conference, Dinamica, for youth leaders. This year one of the professors from the bible college in Argentina will be presenting a clear understanding of the end time events. We are all looking forward to this time and would love for you to pray for all to go smoothly and that many young people will be able to participate in the three-day event.
I still can’t believe I have been here one whole year already but the calendar says it is true. What a year it has been and I can hardly wait to see what the Lord had in store for us this year! God bless you and keep you…….
Under His wing,