Words escape me when I look at this picture and realize that our little fledglings have left the nest. To think that just a few months ago we had no idea if Patmos would exist this term, and now we are looking back at one of the most spiritual classes we have ever had. A group of young adults with a hunger to understand The Word of God, and a willingness to be faced with their weaknesses and strengths. A group of students surely sent by The Lord.
Every Patmos graduation looks a little different, and this one was unique. Above you see one of the staff members filling a student’s vase with water. In John 2, Jesus attends a wedding and the wine runs out. Mary, the mother of Jesus suggest that He act upon this and resolve the problem, but Jesus had other plans. There were six stone water jars nearby and Jesus instructed the servants to fill the jars with water, up to the brim. Somewhere between drawing the water out and walking towards the banquet the water was transformed into wine, the BEST wine. Before this Patmos term, we sat down as a family and studied this scripture. We had no idea how Patmos was going to happen, but it seemed The Lord was calling us to be like these servants, whom simply obeyed what Jesus said. As there were six water jars, we received six students. Our goal was to simply fill them with The Word, with time to pray, worship, serve, read, and love.
During the last week of the term we went to the nearby lake, and listened to a class via zoom by one of our guest Pastors from the states.
Eikon San Rafael
Ricardo and I have been blessed with the opportunity to help the Eikon ministry at his parent’s mission. Eikon is a ministry for young adults and youth specifically. Our central church in the city has this ministry but not all of the affiliated churches and even less if we are speaking about the missions. Half of the group above are young adults from the actual community and the other half are from the city, central church.
A few of the attendees for the second Saturday of Eikon at San Rafael.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them”
Ricardo and I have been blessed with the opportunity to take care of his parent’s mission (little church plant) while they are on a trip. Additionally, we are transitioning into taking care of all the missions that our church has. This means that as another couple moves on to serve at an actual church, we will be the new team visiting and serving in the 12 locations spread throughout the country.
El Salvador is about the size of Massachusetts, only our mountains are due to the volcanoes.
With this new ministry, means new changes. The Lord has provided for a new car (Nissan Rogue 2018) that will help us safely arrive to these far out regions with difficult terrain.
That being said, I am also transitioning out of Campos Blancos and into Missions. Campos Blancos has been my passion for four years now, but God has made it clear that it’s time to move on. Friends of mine, a married couple, are both serving together in the Campo and make an incredible team. I couldn’t be any happier to leave my precious kids to them as The Lord calls me to serve with Ricardo and reach kids all over the country.
Jessica has a gift for the little kids.
Rafa manages the older ones.
Please pray for this new transition as I miss my kids and I know they are asking about me.
The best part about this new season is getting to hear Ricardo teach the bible
Of all the new things currently occurring in our lives, serving together is probably the easiest. Ricardo manages the teaching of the bible, and I kind of run around and do whatever else. Right now I am helping take care of the babies, and getting to know two sweet teenage sisters who normally take care of them. Kenia and Dalia. Also, I had the opportunity to share with the women from this community last week.
We would really appreciate prayer for:
- The plates of the new car getting in fast so we can use it for ministry (current cars options have many complications)
- Ricardo’s USA visa process (we just started, appointment will probably be until next year)
- The planning of the wedding and honeymoon (Praise The Lord He has been providing for both)
- The planning of a house (We have been so blessed to live at the church property in San Martin which is a beautiful place. There will be remodeling done on some buildings where we are being given the opportunity to live- PRAISE!)
- Did I mention the wedding? Haha
- The Patmos students to maintain on fire for The Lord
- Future discipleship program at church while we wait to do Patmos until next year
Thank you for being part of what God is doing in El Salvador and in our lives. It’s amazing how He demonstrates His love to us. Jehovah Jireh.
This is the women’s recovery house that is being built in San Vicente, Mexico. There is a wonderful Calvary Chapel there and an incredible ministry that takes in battered women and their children. There’s incredible fruit coming out of this new ministry. Rob Nash and Mike Viveros from Calvary Vista are going to try to stop by in April. We would all love to see this recovery home for women finished so that they can start taking in women with addictions. I think God is going to do an amazing thing through their lives there.
If you are interested in being a part of a team to help with construction, please contact Rob Nash at Calvary Vista. 760-726-4224
If you would like to donate to this cause, you may do so on our website. Just visit the Donate page and make a note of “San Vicente”.
Just wanted to share a little update about last weekend's events.
The reunion with my Campos Blancos team was the most unexpected fun I've had in weeks! It seems that the stresses of leading an event prevented me from thinking of the reunion that was about to take place. Exactly a year ago to this day, we were in our campo Blanco (our special neighborhood) and we were putting on a show for the kids with the hope of drawing them a little closer to Jesus.
A year later, a year of not being together, not seeing the precious kids who have stolen our hearts, and sometimes our markers, crayons, glue, here we were reunited.
It started slow...Just Eduardo, then Fernando, his sister Hazel...then we passed by picking up Rafael and his daughter Valentina (7 years old) and Rafa's coworker, Erick. The car ride was non-stop laughter. My face hurt from laughing.
The drive-thru at Pollo Campero left the workers laughing hysterically. We pulled up and everyone started getting out of the car to walk to the other car to see what they wanted, without realizing that someone had already been out. It was just wild. After getting our food, we pulled around the corner and tossed from one car to the other the proper proportions.
We hadn't even arrived at our destination and the day felt like it was never going to end. If you have ever been part of a sports team or the driver of a group of teenagers of a sports team, you know the wildness of those car rides. That is what it felt like. On the road. Ready to work together, to love on some kids we didn't know, but we hoped would feel loved today and come to learn that there is a God who loves them too.
Rolling up to the little town, we stumbled out of the car, drunk on fun and adventure. Gathered under a tree we took a look at the giant soccer field which we would convert into our Sunday school classroom. Two teams were made- one would stay to blow up balloons and decorate, the other would walk around the quaint town announcing the event.
I obviously went to walk around, inspecting the town, and saying hello to strangers. There are no gangs, no drugs, no problems in areas such as these. Small town living we could say. Nice and quiet, everyone knows everyone. After an hour of walking, lots of "Holas" and "nos vemos alli" (see you there), and a selfie with some beautiful cows, we headed back to the soccer field.
Now if you are lost, let me explain. This small "town" has no church. Most of these people may have heard of Jesus but they never got to know Him. There is no one there to teach the bible. We joined Pastor Marcelo, who pastors a small church nearby, and received an invitation to come and teach the Bible. God gave us the opportunity to do the children's ministry. Essentially we are holding a complete church service, just outside.
The kids trickled in... by the time we wanted to begin there were about 17. At the end of our time with them, the number had doubled. It was one big group sitting in the stands, to three small groups sitting in circles learning Bible verses to three wild groups hopping in sacks and blowing the flour out of the plastic bowl trying to reveal the hidden words to make the verse memorize (John 3:16).
A breath of fresh air.
Smiles. Laughter. Kindness.
These kids have been learning virtual for a year now and have never been part of any sort of camp or Sunday school. Their excitement, obedience, and thirst to learn were like caffeine to my soul.
I couldn't decide which group I wanted to be around because everyone was having a blast. The little ones, gingerly hopped around trying to figure out the game. The older girls, focused on putting together the words and the middle-aged boys/girls were definitely trying to cheat on the sack race.
I saw life in the eyes of my team. What they had forcibly laid to rest for a year, was springing up. We were whole again, just a bunch of big kids, playing under the sun.
I have attached a bunch of pictures...I think they paint the story the best. Hope you enjoy my little rant!!
BOLD LOVE is happening, right now, in our 3 northern sponsored communities -- Chipayika, Luzi, and Thowolo! Lameck Kananji (SAFE’s Jesus Film Coordinator) has made the long trip north to train people to personally share the gospel (good news) in their villages. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is Lameck’s passion! He doesn’t want anyone to go through this life and miss finding Jesus as Savior.
They watched the Walking With Jesus film that shares, in the African context, about life after receiving Jesus.
They also invited people to come to watch The Jesus Film in the evenings.
This video shows some villagers on their way to Chief Mlima Nthenda's property for a showing of The Jesus Film translated into Tonga.
Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” He was asking us to take this priceless gift of the gospel and share it with everyone.
We do many things to assist the poor and develop capacities and opportunities in our sponsored villages and schools. But we know the most valuable gift we bring is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It changes hearts as well as lives! If people miss the gospel of Jesus, they miss it all!
“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” -- Philippians 1:4-5
In His love for the least,