Do you remember that song about the fruits of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, and patience; kindness, goodness, faithfulness; gentleness and self-control - these are the fruits of the Spirit. These are the fruits of the Spirit.
That little tune has been running through my head ever since returning from El Salvador. I think it must be because I was so close to "tasting" these fruits the entire time we were away. Don't get me wrong. I'm not referring to myself here, but instead to the great guys & gals with whom I was able to share the journey. In so many different ways and in so many crazy circumstances, I saw these traits lived out in real and meaningful ways.
Like Ed's incredible love for the country and people of El Salvador. Like Joy's "joy". What a perfect name...My beloved husband (Deve or Davicito) has endless patience ~ at least when he's not at home. Kindness could be renamed Vanessa & Brenna. When I think of gentleness, Karen and Crystal come to mind. Surprisingly, Tim and self-control seem to go together. If that guy ever fully let loose, I don't think we'd know what hit us! It was amazing to see the peace of God invade Tyson and Pim's lives. Two great men who trusted the Lord with their heat and health concerns and saw God cover them with His wings of protection. I am so proud of them both. Goodness can come from so many places, but I saw it time and time again in 3 good men. Joe, Stan and Don have such hearts of compassion for the people of El Salvador. And faithfulness - Les and Coby showed themselves faithful to the call of the Lord to go on mission for Him. They didn't know exactly what that would look like, but when the Lord called, they answered. I believe they were blessed for their steps of faith. Julia, also, proved faithful to God's call to foreign missions not once but twice this year. She has uncovered her heart for people in other places and her ability to jump into any and every circumstance is incredible.
And then there are the people of El Salvador themselves. These fruits of the Spirit are on display everywhere you look. People with little else in this world, seem to overflow with them. Such gentleness in their eyes; complete faith in their Heavenly Father to provide; intense love for their families and their God; joy in the midst of sorrow. The examples are probably endless.
Of course, there is no one quite so "fruity" as my friend, Pastor Jorge. His fruits just pour out of Him and you can't help but get caught up in the overflow.
I have been blessed to jump into the fruit basket with all these folks. God has been so good to bring them into my life and to let me learn from them. It has been great and I thank you.