It has been a busy few months since the last update I sent in November, but I would love to share all that has gone on since then!
Let’s start with Patmos!!
We finished our first complete term ever taught fully both in English and Spanish. 18 disciples of Christ were sent back into the world, extending from California to Colombia, New Jersey, Canada, Texas, Mexico, Nicaragua or right here in El Salvador to make more disciples of Christ. We had a beautiful ceremony for our students where family and friends gathered to celebrate the transformation God in their lives has done during the four-month program.
A few of the transformations that occurred in these students sounded like:
Bound in Shame → Bold in love
Surrounded by Walls →Free in the truth
Fearful → Missionary of The Gospel
Praise God for His faithfulness and thank Him for the power of His word to give freedom and purpose in our lives.
Please be praying for these students as they are transitioning back into another season of their lives.
Please also be praying for Patmos 10!! This next term will be Spanish only and begins early February. We have 16 eager students ranging from four different countries counting down the days until their adventure of faith begins. Please also pray for wisdom, and flexibility for our staff as we prepare for this upcoming term.
A little update on my family! Thank you for all the prayers for my family and my brother as we walk through the craziness of his cancer treatments. Since March of last year, he has gone through quite a plethora of treatments and is currently living under some limitations due to his compromised immune system. I want to give glory to God because Mark has gained weight since starting the variations of chemo and breezed through the stem cell transplant process. He is currently finishing up his radiation treatment and hopefully will be all clear. Christmas was a sweet, needed time with friends and family.
Please be praying for his health, and that as a family we can grow in our relationship with God through the trials of life.
Eikon Soccer league
Our women’s soccer league came to an end and we placed third out of six teams. The best part of the league was the increased attendance of women who normally don’t come to church. To participate in the league, you must attend a church which makes it an incredible evangelistic outreach.
Glory to God for the variety of women (ages 13-40) that come to church every Saturday and spend the entire afternoon off the streets and in a loving environment.
Please pray for the next season we kick it off with 6 teams (7 players per team) and the three moms from my Campo Blanco who are playing on my team! Praise God for how He is using the soccer league, the CDI (afterschool program) and the Campo Blanco to pull these families in. All three have children involved in these different children’s ministries.
We had well over 300 young adults gather at our central church for the annual Eikon Competition. Eikon is our young adult’s ministry at the central church, but 5 others function in our affiliate churches. Using resources, we already have, we were able to create a dynamic obstacle course that challenged even the fittest of the youth. The long day in the sun ended with a time of worship in the temple where we lifted our voices to heaven.
Please pray that God continues to provide for these ministries to flourish throughout the country as the young adults are easily influenced by many things.
Christmas gift giveaway
The gift giveaway finally arrived for hundreds of children living in nearby neighborhoods (Campos Blancos ministry). The morning kicked off with a hilarious clown, dancing, singing, and games for all the children. We raffled off bicycles and let the kids come running towards the tables where wrapped presents labeled with their names awaited, their arrival. Many of these kids wait all year just for these presents.
A little peek at what my backseat looked like after the event. The kids from my Campo Blanco piled in and their moms headed on the public buses. Yup, 6 in the backseat. Love these kiddos.
Please be praying for the kids to be consistent in their attendance at church and in our Campos Blancos ministry (bringing The Gospel to their neighborhoods).
Vacation Bible School!
We started the year off with a bang in our Vacation bible school! For a week straight we bused in over 300 kids every day to spend the morning hours teaching them The Word of God. Thanks to a church sponsorship out of California we were able to feed them a solid breakfast, teach them a different bible story each of the five days, play games, and do arts and crafts. My mornings looked like:
5:45 am Leave the house
6:30 am Arrive in my Campo Blanco to wake up all the kids
7:25 am Board, my 15 kids, on the bus and join the other counselors and 30 kids already on the bus. Pray we all arrive in one piece.
8 am Arrive at church, drop kids off with their age groups and join my group of girls (age 10 yayyy).
8-12 pm Worship, dance, arts and crafts, breakfast, drama, class, game time!
12 pm Gather my 15 little ducklings back onto the bus and bring them home!!
It was crazy, to say the least, but an absolute blast! At the end of the week, we celebrated family day and I was so blessed to see that almost every one of my attendee's moms showed up to church that day.
Please pray that the seeds that were planted would continue to grow and the love these children felt in the week we had them at church would be one they would remember as from JESUS. Please pray for the parents who visited us to return and grow in their relationship with God.
There are so many things I could write about, like the one time I unknowingly dropped a dollar coin in the dark street of my Campo Blanco, returned a few days later to have somebody’s grandma slowly walk up to me, and in her wrinkled shaking hand, place the coin in mine. She tells me I dropped it the other day and she held on to it until that moment. I was so touched, I didn’t know what to do, but say thank you. Or the other day when I went to drop off one of my four-year old’s at her house after the vacation bible school and her mom was nowhere to be found. Needless to say, she started crying, for this isn’t the first occasion this has happened. Thankfully a neighborhood took her in. Or when I came to play soccer on Saturday at church, and to my surprise, my little clan of teenage girls had already managed to find transportation to church and were there, along with a few parents from my neighborhood and all their children running like wild on the church grounds. What better place to be on a Saturday than in an environment of love and freedom in Christ. But, today is Wednesday which means in a short while I will head out to my neighborhood again, round up my kiddos, hopefully, a mom of two and board the church bus for our midweek service tonight.
I hope you enjoyed the snapshot and pray that it spurs you onto good works, knowing that we don’t work FOR salvation but we work FROM SALVATION. We get to share the best news ever; heaven is real. Love out loud.
Sent with a big hug!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”