El Salvador 2016 – Day 2
Mission trips are a joy for many reasons. One, you are removed from your own culture and context and can readily notice inconsistencies in yourself. Two, you are free to pursue Christ without distraction and be focused solely on sharing the gospel and reflect on how oneself is doing at personally fighting sin and being a good witness for Christ. Thirdly, it allows you to connect deeply with those who have been called by God to go as apart of the team.
This morning started out normal, but one thing stuck out in my mind. I woke up early to run and get physical activity in. As I was preparing to go to the gym at the hotel, it hit me. The Spiritual Battle our team is in this week needs more preparation than my physical fitness. The morning was amazing. I spent time reading, and reflecting. Then praying over each team member and the various activities we would be involved with throughout the day. It was an hour well spent.
The morning began with a devotional by Pastor Steve from Vida Nueve. Faithfulness was the theme and it was clearly seen in the book of Mark chapters 7 and 9. Faithfulness is not something we simply muster up. Faithfulness is persistence to pursue and trust God in the midst of your life circumstances. For the woman in Mark 7, she continued to pursue Jesus and the healing He provides even when Jesus had presumably finished speaking to her. Then you think of the Centurion and his sick child. He pursued Jesus and told him to speak the word, there was no need to come, and his child would be healed. Jesus response, “Is there any greater faith in all of Israel?” What a challenge to be persist or be faithful.
Our morning focus was to share a message of purity and the gospel at public schools. We had five teams covering around 100 students in their classes. Our translators took the time to explain what biblical purity is. The truth that they were left with was this, “No matter what you have done, or what has been done to you, Jesus forgives, and empowers you to be changed and forgive others!” It wasn’t a try harder message, but a come to the only one who can satisfy your heart. What a great message. John Martinez shared a testimony of purity and a story of someone who sinned sexually and how that affected that persons life. Lastly, we shared the gospel and provided the opportunity for the older teenagers we had to respond. Four youth answered Jesus called to follow Him!
We then headed back to the Hotel, had lunch, and had a bit of time to relax. What that really means is an hour to cool off in A/C or the pool before sweating all night out on the evening campaign.
The evening campaign was in Aguilares, El Salvador. We broke out into small teams going door to door sharing the gospel and handing out flyers for the family festival that was being put on. The festival included an inflatable, one massive group game, and music. Later one the youth group performed a drama, and I was the one asked to share the gospel in the large group setting. It was an amazing night. I was able to connect will with five families during our time of pounding the pavement. While no one placed their faith in Christ, five families were challenged to not trust their works, but the work of Jesus. The area we were in was and is highly Catholic. They towns people openly spoke of their works righteousness view of salvation. It broke my heart. I don’t know what God did through our time pounding the pavement and sharing during the block party, but I know He was honored.
The most difficult thing about the campaigns is the spiritual battle that is unseen. The darkness blinding people from the truth was felt heavily tonight. The question that keeps coming up in the FBCF teams conversations is why can’t we do this in Missouri. The answer is there is no good reason not to. Pray for those and share the gospel with those who are headed towards hell because of their unbelief.
On a personal note, I had street vender pupusas. What a treat! $.70 for two which is a filling meal.