Saturday, October 17, 2009


Well !! We going to the beach, and I´m so happy. Thank you for all Sarnia team. God Bless you and I love you in the love of the Lord.


Well, it´s saturday morning, been up since 5am, couldn´t sleep. I snuck out of my room to find Karen sitting on a bench in the hall, she was in the same whatever. We sat and talk awhile. ´´What was your favourite memory or highlight of the week?´´ we asked each other. We both drew blanks, then a look of panic came over our faces. That was definitely the number one question everyone would ask. Time to reflect.
I´m just typing out loud here.........

Was it the first time Tyson went to the baño (bathroom) and had to shoo a chicken out before he could go, or was it the second time Tyson went to the baño (bathroom) and had to shoo a chichen out before he could go.

Was it at Service on Wed. while Pastor Deve gave his message when Julia and I asked each other if we thought Deve was darker than usual. He was. Deve can tan. By Friday night, Deve can peel, boy can he peel.

Was it when some of the girls were riding in the back of the Mayors truck (long story to be explained later) with his ¨lackie¨as Amanda called him, and the girls proceeded to talk about him during the ride, laughing and carrying on only to find out at the end of the ride he spoke english.

Was it the time we got a flat in the morning and we ran out of diesel at night and had to push the truck a mile.

Was it when Joy screamed like a girl....oh, wait....she is a girl.........when she saw a spider the size of a mason jar lid (it was huge), it´s web was as thick as picture wire.

Or was it when Vanessa, Joy and Karen were installing window trims and decided to take over crowd control, well boy crowd control anyway. Everywhere they went they were followed by a group of sighing boys.

Then there´s Conchi. A woman who without saying a word, demands to be called Sir. At least that´s how scared of her I was. She was an awesome help. Tyson was organizing hole digging for the last house. He needed a hole dug deeper and told Conchi. She snapped her fingers and two men jump to their feet to apease her.

I know none of these will qualify but it was fun to share them.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today 61 one people piled into our truck. 61. Men, women, children. I was smiling and enjoying the ride! My fear has been tucked away in the Lord's capable hands. Saying goodbye was heartbreaking. We are leaving behind many friends; young and old, with hopes of seeing them again.
The Lord is good, and his grace shines on the people of El Salvador as it does us. We are brothers and sisters in his name. We've sweat together, cried together, and laughed together. One day we'll kneel before our King, and worship together.


Thanks for praying for us. We have been experiencing things we never have before. I can see God's protection on us all of the time. People here appreciate their new houses and the food we gave out today. Red beans, corn, rice and powder milk were all in the bags we handed out. I look forward to seeing everyone when we get home.


Wow! The work is done. Seems so hard to believe. Since we arrived it has been work, work, work and then suddenly, finished. Just like that. No slow time of winding down. No big fanfare. Instead, the truck was being unpacked for one last time and we were driving out of the tiny village of San Filipe. For the most part, all the totes have been emptied. A few are being left behind with goodies for Pastor Jorge to use in his ministry. A few are being sent off to our new friends at Teen Challenge El Salvador. I know it means trouble when Deve makes new friends in exciting ministries!! Several things are being left with our fabulous translator and all-round great guy, Migel. And, of course, we're taking a few gifts to the mayor as he has us over for dinner tonight. Our rooms look so empty. Things have been stacked everywhere all week and know they've all gone to those in need. Each family receiving the keys to their house today, also received a tote full of goodies - just for them. Items, you folks back home so generously provided. Oh, if you could have seen the face of one litle girl as she hugged her little hand-knit doll close to her heart. Those eyes said it all. Their was gratitude shining there. And there was hope. Next week 5 more homes will be built. 5 more families will realize the love of God through the hands of another team from Canada. May the Lord change these families for His glory.


I finally got someone to show me how to blog. Mary and Mom I got your comments, Thanks. Today was the final day and it seems unreal to know that the week is over. God has been so good to all of us. He has stretched us all and taken us out of our comfort zone. Yes Don I think I left my personal space back in Canada. Yesterday I was able to be part of the glasses ministry and it was really exciting to see the expression on people faces once we found glass and their vision was clear again. The hardest part was the older people whose vision had started to blur and we were not able to help them. Probably cataracs. The peorson who was translating for us was able to find glasses also. He was happy about that too. I know that we are all excited to get back in Canada to see our loved ones that we left behind. Only two more days and we will be home. Hang in there.


Feeling so victorious, not because Team SEMC Canada BEAT team El Salvador 4 to 3 with Pastor Deve scoring the winning goal when the Mayor of San Vincente had a corner kick and it went off his shoulder and in the net, but because God has blessed us by allowing us to complete the physical part of our mission.

4 houses ..................................$14,400.00
3900 lbs food..........................$1500.00
200 eyes glasses....................Donated
blood, sweat and tears..........Gladly

Serving a wonderful people in Gods name...................Priceless

Tonight is the last time I punish my roommates with the removal of my stincky boots. I love the thought of sandals or bare feet being the hardest decision I will have to make tomorrow. We are all so physically drained, but all so happy to hand over the keys to the families. We can try so hard to explain everything but the pictures taken will tell all.

We all miss you (our family and friends} so much, it was nice to sit and share what our families mean to us. By the way, Les, Julia lost her personal space when we go here and still hasn't found it, she hopes to locate it by the time she gets back.

As a closing note for now I like to mention just how much Percy has been a blessing to not only the people of El Salvador but also to ther team. We were stopped at house 2 to do a final check and most of the team were in the back of the truck waiting, Percy has been riding in the front with Pastor Jorge. Without a word, Percy gets out of the truck and washes the windshield, this surprised no one because that's Percy, serving everyone all the time.


There has been soooo much happening it has been difficult to gather my thoughts (or even one of them) to add to this blog. I may add the details of some of these later. Like being invited to meet the mayor of this area and the president of El Salvador. Or the privilege (and surprise) of preaching on two occasions at our host church. Or the intrigue of finding a new friendship bond with someone I'm only beginning to know.

Tonight, I thought I needed to talk about corn. Yes, corn. When we first arrived we noticed that there was corn stalks on the mountainsides, in the valleys and even on the tiny plots of land where the villagers live. However this corn was different. To us, it looked dry and useless. Perhaps they were stalks that were just left to whither because the locals lacked the time, money, or equipment to take it off the land. But that isn't true at all.

We also noticed that each morning on our drive to the village where we are building that there are men who put out various types of grain, including the dried corn, along the paved shoulders of the highway. It's part of the drying process, allowing the corn to be pounded by the heat. The workers spread the corn out loosely and make their way along almost a football field in length along the highway, spreading it out. Once they get to the end, they retrace their path while turning the corn over. When we return home after our day, we often see them gathering the dried and now wind-filtered corn into burlap bags. And they do it all with the most primitive looking tools. That corn is then sold to families in great abundance and is a major staple of the El Salvadorian diet. And to think I thought it was old and useless. That isn't true at all. In fact it's just the is vital, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.

It is true that we came here to build houses, and we rejoicingly say that we have. We also came to conduct eye tests and give out glasses, and we have done that as well. Tomorrow (Friday) we will have the opportunity to play soccer with the children that we've come to love this week and to hand out food to nearly 200 families. What a unique privilege. But it does come with a cost.

None of this has been easy. The physical, mental and spiritual battles have been consistent. Many of us have at one time or another expressed their feelings of being spent, used, ineffective and unproductive. Some of us, including me, have felt as though the heat of these battles have left us being turned aimlessly on a hot tarmac with the sun dialed up to "really hot". Living and working together on this mission has required exposing the vulnerable areas of our life. My prayer for our team (including the part of the team in Sarnia) is that God will gather us, and use us as vital, life-giving and life-sustaining agents of His love and mercy for these people.

Dried corn has sooo much more value than I ever thought it could, and so does this team ... I am being blessed as a part of it and may God be glorified through it.

Good night,

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yesterday was a very emotionally difficult day for me. I wondered even how I would make it through the week. Then on the way to breakfast this morning we drove along the same route as we always do. The streets littered with garbage and feasting dogs, cement buildings with what seems to be nothing inside and I was so thankful to be standing next to Percy. At that moment I felt weathered and worn like my surroundings. Then, amidst the the not so beautiful views were morning glories with the most beautiful foliage and periwinkle flowers climbing the wall. He told me that each night the flowers close up and fall off and each morning they send out new blooms. Gods timing is perfect. Today is a new day and I look forward to the challenges that God will bring tomorrow. Im sure that they will be challenges that will continue to draw me closer to Him. I am so thankfull for this team and for all of the team at home praying for us and encouraging us. Today I am most thankful for the way God used Percy to remind me of His love.


I met a little boy yesterday he reminded me a lot of my little boy. We worked side by side for several hours not saying much just enjoying each others company. (Aside from the fact that we had to play cherades each time we wanted to tell each other something) It struck me that human nature is the same no matter what part of the world we are in. We want to be loved and we want to be needed. Today was a particularly hard day. We have to dig 15 holes per house and the site we were building at today had two houses side by side to be built. So that makes 30 holes. The ground was very rocky and where there wasn´t rock it felt like rock. Some holes had to be 25 inches deep. The local neighbours and friends helped us dig today, what a blessing. Adoni worked right alongside us again today in the heat as slow, discouraging progress was made. But we did make progress. Then we went to church. Adoni goave his heart to the Lord, along with several others. What a great God we serve, I may never see that little boy again here on earth, but now I will in heaven.


Turns out I am a pessimist. Its okay. I'm working on it. Today was a great day to flex my new positive muscles. The first thing we do at each job site is dig holes. 15 I think. No small challenge. Easier when the ground isn't rock hard, and dry as a butterless piece of toast. I wanted to say something like, "its going to take forever" or "how are we ever going to do this" but, I'm growing. Yea. I am a student of the Lord. So I said nothing. I picked up the appropriate tool and waited my turn to sweat.
Everyone worked in shifts, doing what we could before our energy was sapped. We worked a team. A group not sequestered by language or skin colour, but united in purpose.

Sweat, hope, and perseverence bonded us. The ground may have been hard and brittle but the character and hearts of each person working was soft and pliable, ready to be shaped for His purposes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


What an incredible day today. I love how God is a God of the here and now. He decides what He wants to reveal to us in His time. Today He moved an issue happening in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada to the forefront for us. Wait a second, aren´t we in El Salvador on a misions trip? Yep, but God answered prayer and let us know through an email. It is so amazing to me that distance (really long distances in this case) has no part in Gods scheme of things. The situation with Treena (my spelling is terrible) and the boys has been a part of this trip as much as the El Salvador people. We are all so excited the receive the good news. Not only did we get an encouraging email from Peggy, we also a text message from Treena. We are so blessed as a church family.
Thankyou Peggy and Barry for the incredible support you´re providing for Treena and the boys. Thankyou church family for the prayers we know you are praying for Treena.

Treena, Please know that we over here are also praying you and the boys. We care for you deeply and trust the Lord will give you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As followers of Jesus we're supposed to trust him. And I do. I do. Today, I realized my trust came with a qualifier. I will trust as long as I think it is safe and reasonable to do so. My insight, painful as was, reminded me I'm not done growing. There is so much more the Lord needs to do in me.
Each morning we pile into the back of a truck and drive up a winding hill to our village. Each day we pile back in and careen back down the same winding hill. It is exhillerating and different and for me, somewhat terrifying. This truck is not like ones back home. There are issues. When we were finished building today everyone piled in with the equipment. Not just the fourteen of us but several, several, several villagers. At least five children perched on the top rail. Its difficult to explain, but fear and trepidation pumped through me.
Driving home I expected the Lord to comfort me. He had other plans. Do I trust him? Do I trust him even on the back of a truck with welding issues? Do I trust him to care for me and protect me? It took a few minutes of pouting, but I came to the decision that I want to trust him in EVERYTHING. Even on the back of our truck.
I did imagine angels holding the rails together, but a little imagination goes a long way.


We've done it! Two houses are standing. The most lovely elderly man ~ we thought he was a young 88 years old, actually turned out to be 99. This wrinkled old fellow greeted us with much enthusiasm as we started carting in our gear down a long rocky path to his "house". I must admit, I was taken aback by the scene of crumbling walls and dirty floors. This man has lived there forever it looks like and we are there to give him the gift of a new home. Right next to his current place, we began the task of building house #2. And boy, did we build. I can't believe we've learnt so much in only one day. This house went up quite quickly with many of the local guys pitching in once again. They seem to relish the opportunity to help and lend a hand whenever they can. Joe (bless his heart) tried to include me in some door hanging, but I proved to really only be good for handing him things. Oh well, even the little things are important, right?? Thanks for your continued prayer for our team. We covet those words said on our behalf...


As we close our first work day in El Salvador, all I can say is that God is showing Himself incredibly present in this place. It is a privilege to be here with thirteen others and to recognize the uniqueness (can be interpreted as quirky or strange) each one is and yet God is using us to bring life, joy and hope to this small mountainside community.
For those of you who know and pray for my wife, Amanda, you should know this. She spent the whole day working out in the sun, and she felt fine. She is sleeping well and enjoying this experience in a greater way than I could have imagined (me of little faith)...she is inspiring me.
Personally, I continue to look at the faces of the people we are surrounded by. Their excitement to welcome us and their willingness to set aside whatever they are doing to help us provide very profound "love your neighbour as yourself" moments to us. You could feel the excitement in the community build as we neared completion of the first house.
Yes, the weather is hot to work in...but I love it. The food, much of it has been a new experience (including rice, beans, fried banana and cheese for breakfast)...but I find most of it really yummy, besides which the jalapeno peppers here are really spicy hot and they serve them for every meal. The travel to and from our worksite is frankly, a little crazy (standing in the back of a pickup barreling around corners where the shoulders give way to a seemingly perilous drop down the side of the mountain) but fun all the same. Transporting tools and materials to the build site seemed very unorganized from our, North American, perspective. But I think that's because we are always so time conscious, trying to accomplish so much at one time...likely too much.
Our truck got a flat tire so we had to make several trips, from where our supplies our stored, to the job site. There's a steep paved hill which stops at a stream. Crossing the stream meant walking across the rocks in the middle while children bathed on one side and women washed clothes on the other. Carrying the siding and other materials back and forth, up and down in the heat of the sun was certainly a challenge but we did it. Percy (age 66) and I made one trip together. He is amazing, consistently working, always smiling and eager to help do whatever needs to be done.

Well, that's it for me tonight, time for sleep...5:40am comes early no matter where you are in the world!

Monday, October 12, 2009


The children smile when you look at them. Some look away, shy and uncertain but always, always they eventually smile. A hug, a touch on the arm, a tug on a braid- any contact brightens their eyes,and warms our hearts.
Most of the children swarm Leisha and Vanessa. They are drawn to the purest hearts and truest love for them. It is a picture of Jesus. Leisha, and Vanessa are Jesus to them. They line up and ask to have their hair braided. And it gets braided. Leisha's fingers may cramp and she may be tired, but not a single child goes away without a pretty braid and a warmed heart.
Some of the boys follow us around and offer their help. Insist upon it. Before my hands get around something to assist, theirs are already helping.
We gave the first family a tub of clothes. There own, ragged and dirty. The family of six disappeared into the ten by ten structure they are living in and emptied the contents. The girl, eight or nine years old, oohed and ahhed over the pretty skirts and socks. One boy, whose shoes were too small for his feet peeked into the tub and pointed at a pair of blue sandals and then at himself. His smile is too difficult to describe. Too precious to mar with my word choice. I nodded to him and he scooped those sandels up so fast. He wore them the entire day. At times other boys would point to them and he would take them off and allow them to try them on. He always got them back.
Perhaps the hardest worker was the fourteen year old boy whose home we finished today. He was nonstop. From the moment we arrived to the minute we left. He would often take things from my hands and carry them for me. Always with the brightest smile. Aways. His shirt was riddled with holes. His jeans too small. When offered clothes he eagerly, but shyly nodded and thanked me so profusely.
I can't wait to see him tomorrow. His joy is contagious. His joy colours my own.


Nestled snug in our twin beds with the gentle hum of our air conditioner buffering as white noise, we sleep. We sleep well. We're tired. Our alarm? The celebratory, explosion of fireworks- at four thirty in the morning. Each half hour or so is punctuated by the same profane noise. My coping technique is simple, I incorporate it into my dreams and pretend someone, somewhere is throwing a party in my honour, because I'm in El Salvador. It's not really working. I think I would like to hunt down the hooligans responsible for destroying my sleep cycle. I won't. I'm in El Salvador on a missions team. I must be mission minded. So I wake and try not to throw anything at my roommates. Some don't know me that well. It may be misconstrued. At this point I'm focussing on pleasant thoughts. Until, our wake up knock. I do believe I may have asked *snarled at* the kind fellow to go away. There were only two witnesses to my character meltdown and Vanessa and Karen are too sweet to judge me.
It's all great fun. An experience to...well, to blog about.

My biggest challenge: not knowing spanish.

It's frustrating not being able to talk to our new friends. I'm doing a lot of hugging and smiling. My new friend had her house built today. She sat and watched us all day. I can't even imagine her excitement, her anticipation. I imagine her head is full of plans. Her house. What will she do? Where will she put her belongings. Her hands, full of love and gratitude will touch the home we built and she will make it her own. I see her hope, I feel her pleasure, and it pricks a tiny hole in my heart. There is a shard of painful awareness within me. Hr joys are simple. Her joys are pure. There are times mine are not. Mine can be selfish and complicated. The Lord blesses her. She blesses me.


Our God is an awesome God! What an incredible experience to have the opportunity to worship at Pastor Jorje's church yesterday.....not unlike heaven when we will praise God together despite our language barriers. I felt God's presence in that place. The Elsalvador people singing in their native tongue and us in ours all the while familiar music and hymns......beautiful and so difficult to contain my emotions. Their passion and enthusism. They sing from the depths of their souls!
I can't wait till Wednesday to gather together in that place again.
I know that God speaks through our Pastor, but how proud we felt to hear him speak and watch how God is using his gifts even here.
Today brought an abundance of emotions. Most of us unsure what our purpose would be here and slowly and clearly God is revealing that purpose. Each person being used in their own way to pour out God's love on these people. For me it was not much different than any other day at home. I was surounded by children, close to 50 of all ages throughout the day. What a priviledge to entertain them and be entertained by them while others sweated it out on the houses. Vanessa and I were able to get up close with the children braiding hair, beading necklaces, painting hundreds of fingernails and toenails, blowing bubbles, sack races and the not so popular for Canadians....playing tag in the heat UPHILL!
Surprisingly, these were not the things that took my breath away. We arrived at the worksite somewhere close to 0730 as did all of the children. In fact, they were waiting when we arrived. There is a sense of community unlike I have ever experienced. Young girls the age of 7 years or so had small infants on their hips. They stayed with us all day until we left after 1600hrs. They cared for not only that child, but even others with no relation. They were just as excited for the child next to them that was receiving braides in their hair as they were for themselves. They nurtured each other with tenderness. They are unselfish. In their innocence they teach so much.
Thankyou for continuing to pray for us. The week has just begun and I'm in no hurry to see it come to a close.


so...let me start off by saying that dad broke down and decided to go with no shirt and its only the first day! and do you guys know that we are really in el salvador??? you know that back room in the church? we could just be hiding out down there and ordering in food..after all we do have 33 000$! im kidding! but was great..i admit it was probably the longest day of my life i looked at the clock expecting it to be 3 or 4 but it was 11, even though it was long it was an amazing day. i got to make necklaces with these kids, have sack races, watch them swim in the river, blow bubbles with all the babies and littler ones, play soccer with them (and they are all extremely good!), we coloured and they showed me some of the games that they play. it was really special. i loved learning all their names and seeing all their different personalities, i wish i could take them all home. last night we all sorted out the different clothes that we could give to the families and today we got to give it to them. i think that was the most touching part of today, they were so happy to recieve all these things that you guys donated and yet they said that if they didnt fit that theyd find the other people in the village that needed them the most and theyd give it to them. i have realized that we really dont how good we have it. at least i didnt until i saw these people today, they are so generous when they have almost nothing. im really excited for the rest of this week and to see what happens!


I love how the children say my name. I,ve always thought a more exciting name would be nice. They roll the "r" and pronounce the first syllable like car. Aside from being renamed it was an interesting day. Time seemed to actually stand still. We got to the job site about 0730 and started working away and it seemed like it should be about 1100 or 1130 and it was only 0900. That kept happening all day long. I even had to look at one of the watches later in the day I couldn't believe that only fifteen minutes had passed. Don't get me wrong I wasn't in a hurry to get the day over with I was just fascinated at the phenomenon. It felt good to get sweaty and smelly and actually accomplish a huge task. One house is built! It is difficult to have a language barrier when trying to learn a something new. I wish I knew more spanish, so I could communicate with the kids better.


Oh, my goodness......what a day!!! It was hotter than anything yet Percy still has his top botton on his shirt still done up......what a guy. The first house is up! Probably the hardest do the fact of the location, lack of shade and also just how this first glorified shed was to go together!!! Totally awesome to see everybody do something to get the job done!! It seems like the whole village is pumped and everyone looks to see what is going on and the beautiful women working so hard and sweating so hard...looking so HOT!!!! The water is great the food well......its a stretch.

This is difficult to say in 1 paragraph since Deve only gave me 5 mins, so this will have to do for today!

Thanks for all your support and prayers


I guess I could keep talking about how dire the situation is here for alot of people, But I won't. Instead I would like to talk about the form of two incredible young men....Jose and Oscar. They were at service tonight representing Teen Challenge. They were surprised to here that we had a Teen Challenge in Canada. They are in the infant stages of their ministry but are trusting in God as they go. The main focus of their ministry are the street gangs which roam the city streets at night here. They are providing an alternative for the young men who are looking for change in their lives and the path they are on. They currently rent a location and have recently been given a bread oven. Their thought was to have young men learn to bake bread and other items. No one volunteered to go learn to become a bread baking are going to do it themselves. They are learning to make bread so they can teach ex gang members a way of supporting themselves and their families, and be part of productive society. Actually they are simply showing Gods love for these young men when they need it most.
They are also planning to offer an english course to these men as part of the ministry.
Talking to these two guys you can really feel the passion they have for God and the community they live in.
Please pray for Jose and Oscar as they venture forward on the path laid before them. Pray also for their families and the communities they will be impacting. May God bless and keep them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I found myself wondering today, How did I get here? I'm standing in a tiny area in what I would consider the middle of nowhere looking into people's lives that I didn't even know existed before today. And here I am about to commit to building them a new home. And oh what a blessing it will be to provide that for them. These lovely folks with such dark hair and dark smiling eyes seem so genuinely grateful for the gift they are being given. How could it be that I have travelled here to be the hands God will use? I have so many failings and so many weaknesses, but yet, He has allowed me this awesome privilege. And on top of that, He has sent me here with a crazy rag-tag group of fellow missionaries from the SEMC. I haven't even been out to dinner with many of these people, and here I am with them on the back roads of El Salvador!
Travelling on the back of a pick-up truck has been an adventure to say the least. What a hoot!
We have chuckled and laughed and just had a fabulous time together today. I love the family of God!! Monday it will be all work, so we've been told. So please pray for the endurance and stamina of the team. It truly is hot here. Of course, Deve loves it, but this little girl from Northern Ireland likes it just a bit cooler.


This morning we were able to visit the 4 families that are going to get a home. The conditions seem unbelievable to us, but there was so much of the same everywhere we went. There was no feeling of sadness among the locals. The kids are happy to see you and the smiles are precious.
After that we were able to settle in with a large group of kids at Basilio´s house. Little boys got to play with markers and color, little girls got their nails painted. Alot of pictures of sweet faces. Team members seemed to get mobbed depending what was in their bag. Joy seem to have won that round with a bag of rockets.

Not being able to easily communicate with the children was a little frustrating. I would have given anything to have been able to pick up and hug some of these lilltle people. God gave us a peek of how amazing He is today. I pray that He continue to reveal Himself to us so that we can continue to serve how He wants us to serve.

Our thoughts and prayers are also with Treena and the boys, Peggy and Barry, and the foster Mom. We must stay faithful and trust Him.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Tonight we were asked for our initial feelings on arriving here in El Salvador. Yes, I see the poverty, I see the signs of defense against violent crime everywhere and yet I feel as though this place is no different than others I have seen before. The desparate compulsion to help is no different than I felt yesterday.

My response, my initial feeling is that this is where I belong today. My prayer is to be "all in" for the short time we are here. All my heart, all my soul, all my strength and all my mind. I want my love for Jesus to be alive to the people of El Salvador and our team and I want to see God´s transforming work. For me today, there is no culture shock (that may change tomorrow) because desparation and needy lives are around all of us, we just need to lean in and look closer to see it sometimes...and then be willing to get close enough to recognize the activity of God through the eyes of a complete stranger.

My prayer is for God to give me a clue to the "what next" of my life and I believe I may learn that here through leaning, looking, getting close and learning to love in a whole new way.


Its been a long, tiring, and surreal day. As I'm writing this I can see the tiniest lizard in the corner of the wall, I'm sweating in 30 degree weather, and I'm in El Salvador. Driving through the city from the airport was heartbreaking. Poverty screamed out at us wherever we looked. Children materialized from holes in crumbling down walls, animals were in the oddest of places and garbage littered the streets. The backdrop to all of this is the most beautiful, lush scernery. A mountainous volcano, blanketed with a thick canopy of cloud cover followed us the entire drive. Palm trees, sprawling hills, rock walls and formations-- all of it takes your breath away.
Our God is here in El Salvador and He has given them such wonderful gifts. I'm so thankful I can be here to experience His pleasure and the love of these wonderful people.


We landed safely in a lush green beautiful country. I am excited to get started and see what God has planned for the upcoming week. It is interesting to see the magnitude of God in his diversified creation. I want to experience God in a whole new way this week and beyond.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

They look like ordinary bins. And they are. They have no special talents, no unique powers or abilities. These bins won't transform into anything. But they are not ordinary.
We are about to head out on a trip to El Salvador. We look like ordinary people. We don't feel like we have any special talents or unique powers or abilities. We certainly don't feel that we can change anything. But the truth is, we do feel far from ordinary.
As I think about the fact that we had so many items given to us to take on this trip to the people of San Felipe, El Salvador, I can't help but consider how amazing our God really is. He knew we had a maximum number of bags that we could take. And He, our Great God, made sure that every last one of them would be filled. All the individuals, families, school groups, businesses and community groups that gave us so many clothes, eye glasses, school supplies, craft supplies, soccer balls and shirts, dental and health supplies, couldn't have known how extra-ordinary this really is.
But our Amazing God made sure that every last item that was given would make the trip. He knew how many bags we could take and so he used all those people to make sure the bags would be filled.
In a little over 24hrs we begin our physical journey, knowing that our ExtraOrdinary God knows all that will transpire and we are praying that He will fill us up with His love and strength for the tasks He has to do, and for the things He desires to teach us.
Thanks to all of you, for helping, encouraging and enabling these fourteen ordinary human containers to be part of God's extraordinary plan.