Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'The Poor'

As I return to ElSalvador for the second time, I have once again come to the conclusion that I do not have a grasp on the concept of what the word 'poor' truly means. Yesterday I sat in the home of a 'poor man'. He truly owns almost nothing. However, as he spoke, it became clear to me that he has more than most men in North America will ever have. Sitting beside his wife of 53 years, he spoke about putting God in the centre of his life. Jesus spoke of His promise to give life abundantly. Can I call a man with a bride of 53 years, 11 children and a love for His Lord poor? I think he is actually rich....


The end of an era

Perhaps it had to happen. Some say it was inevitable. After 12 trips to El Salvador and having held me together as about 100 families have received new homes. After many hills and valleys walked. After holding dozens of pounds of trail mix in that dirt filled right pocket. After being inspired by an endless number of faith inspiring stories, then time has say goodbye to my favourite pair of shorts. 
Early in the day yesterday, as I reached down into a post hole to remove a rock I heard the sound that broke my heart even as it ripped through the faded green material. 

Goodbye faded-green-el Salvador-house building-shorts. Thanks for always being there....until you weren't. Because of your faithfulness over many years I was not embarrassed to walk around the rest of the day knowing laughter was generated as I walked by. I will miss the comfort you bring. 



"As for me, I call to God, and The Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice."  Psalm 54:16-17

Today we stood on Holy ground. Today we stood in awe of Christ. Today we cried out to God to reveal himself to a small boy - Santos, just 11 years old. God knows his name, God knows his heart cry. God delivered a promise to Santos and we were there in his Holy presence, witness to the Lords awesome power and his love that reaches so far and so deep and so wide.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

We sat on a rock and prayed over a child fearing for his life. Not able to eat or sleep for fear of a gang that promised to return and take him, a gang that just months earlier murdered his 16 year old brother. How do you even wrap your head around that? You can't. I can't. We prayed and we cried out and we praised God because He can! Only God can offer that kind of promise, protection and peace.

" In this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world."   John 16:33

I urge you to pray for this child. God has shown him to us with purpose. We have looked into his eyes. The words from Gods mouth have become seeds in our hands. They have been sown in us and His works sprout through us. Pray for his protection. Pray that his faith would be greater than any fear that he faces. Pray that he would become a warrior for Christ and that as a result others would know of Gods love and gift of salvation.


God's presence

Today was a very emotional day.  Let me tell you one families story.  This family was not getting a house but their sister was.  We had just finished painting the girls nail and started talking to them about what life was like.  The mom shared that her husband was working in the U.S.  She also shared that one of here sons had been killed by the gangs in the last few months.  She went on to tell us the gang had approached  her younger son to work for them.  He had refused and they threatened to kill him.  The child had a lot of fear because of this .  Our team was able to share that God would honour this commitment and that God knows what is happening him. They were able to share Jeremiah 29:11.For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans  to prosper you and not harm you plans to give you hope and a future.  When he was afraid he could call out to God and he would hear him. It was amazing to see and feel God's presence as we prayed for God to protect this boy and his family.  Let's all lift up this family to God.  We serve a mighty God.