Pastor Deve said that we should all blog at least once. With the Reilly contingency taken into consideration, I am posting my blog with 7 hours to spare.
As our week in El Salvador comes to an end, I can honestly say that my life is forever changed.
We started out with a powerful church service welcoming us into El Salvador. I was overwhelmed by the love that was shared with us. Why did they love us? Simply because we are their brothers and sisters in Christ.
One of the things that spoke to my heart the most about this church is the fact that there is no shame. No shame in their worship, no shame in their praise, no shame in their prayer - but above of things - there was no shame among their congregation. This is something that so many North American churches are missing. I can't even tell you the amount of times that I was going through struggles in my life, and when I walked into the church I felt as though I had a spot light on me. I was so overwhelmed with shame. I think that we get so caught up with being "perfect" Christians, that we are not open about our struggles and our sins. The reality is that it is not our judgement that is going to change people - it's the love of Christ.
I have been thinking and praying about this encounter with God that I have been experiencing and The Lord revealed this to my heart:
We are called to live our lives reflective of God. And what is God? God is love. And perfect love casts out all fear. When our lives truly reflect the heart of God it's brings freedom, not only to us but to the people around us.
"There are some of us that have never encountered the love of God, but he wants to encounter you. He wants you to feel his amazing love and his presence - and you would know if you have encountered the love of God because you'd never be the same again." - Kim Walker
Through this entire week, I know that I have been encountering the love of God through these children, these churches and through every family that we've met. And I know, because I will never be the same again.
Here, while surrounded by the worst poverty that I've ever experienced, I've never felt closer to heaven.
My prayer for you is that you will embrace the love that God is freely pouring upon you and that you will allow it to forever change your heart.
2 Timothy 1:7
1 John 4:16-19
Your sister in Christ,