Today our journey ends in El Salvador and a new chapter begins.
As usual most of us are up early. Some strengthening muscle through yoga at the beach, others in the word to strengthen spiritual muscle. Maura prepared an amazing desajuno (breakfast), El Salvador style; plantains, frijoles with rice, eggs, pineapples and strawberries. I opened in prayer, lifting His name for all His glory. This last day of rest is a reminder of the abundance with which He provides us comfort and compassion so that, in turn, we provide comfort and compassion to others.
Today I gave my devotion to the group on the last of the Fruit of the Spirit…Self-Control. We talked about ways to utilize self-control to manage our emotions, behavior and desires…hence, ways to overcome challenges. Just as God constantly speaks to us, so does the devil in trying to fill us with temptation. We discussed how to anticipate the devils influence and to preempt attacks. We cannot do this unless we're constantly in God’s presence, and learn to remain in Him. With every interaction we look to grow closer to Him. This takes daily discipline and it takes self-control.
We discussed the following questions and quotes, among others:
2 Timothy 1:7 - "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
Proverbs 25:28 - "A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."
It's great to see how each of us share testimony in group, but equally brilliant to look around and see brothers and sisters having one-on-one conversations to dig deeper in personal relationships, overcoming challenges, as we continue to develop a deeper relationship with God. Each of us leans on others to gain strength in Christ, by softening our hearts and breaking barriers, to better serve His will. This interaction is reinforced by the words written in Joshua 1:8-9, "you never fight alone”, which is the group verse for The Rock - our men’s group back in Atlanta.
As we finish our last day in El Salvador, we're reminded of how grateful we are to those who contributed to make this mission possible. I'm forever thankful to each of the sponsors (over 200) for helping us complete this mission. Your generosity raised $7,000 to support Love & Hope’s annual education fund and to help support Rina’s continuing needs. And an additional $5,500 was raised for supplies and paying a local contractor and his team to build the new addition at the Medina’s home where Rina gets to live and flourish. I want you all to know that I have personally grown in Christ because of your generosity and prayers...a priceless and eternal gift...so thank you!
Humbled and Grateful,
I had the pleasure of leading the discussion on “Gentleness” this week. Gentleness is not weakness, but a Fruit of the Spirit in which we choose to place the will of God before our own. Like a strong stallion that has been trained and taught discipline, the stallion keeps all of his strength, but operates under the control of his master.
Sometimes it is our tendency to use our strength or advantages to belittle or supercede others. In Gentleness, we use our strength to help others instead of trying to be superior to them. In this, Gentleness stems from a spirit of real love for the individual and compassion for their well being. It is not only in our actions, but also in our thoughts.
Proverbs 15:1 states, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We must remember that our words are very powerful, and that we must think before we speak, because you can’t take back a word after it is spoken.
God wants us to be Gentle in our thoughts and actions, so that when are ready and he gives us power, we will not use it cruelly. As in John 8:1-11, the woman is caught in the act of adultery. Instead of casting the first stone, accusing her or chastising her, Jesus takes the opportunity to elevate her life by telling her to, “Go and sin no more.”
God is Gentle with us when we need correction, and expects us to be that way towards others. Gentleness shows the world that violent encounters and situations ruled by emotions is not the better way. The Fruit of Gentleness calls us to be surrendered to the will of God.
One of my favorite quotes is, “People don’t always remember what you say or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
In these last nine days working with these nine great and unique folks, we definitely had challenges and our ups and downs. But I must say, I witnessed many acts and thoughts of Gentleness in each person, and on every day. I am grateful for the experience. Thank you to all of my friends and donors who made this possible! Thank you for your support and Gentleness.
Last year before I came to El Salvador on the first 5IVE.14 mission trip, I knew God had called me into missions. I knew it would be continued work I would do with Him. I tried to envision what that might look like imagined hopping around from place to place. I had no idea of the relationships that would be built and the connection that would be developed at Love and Hope. I didn’t know that His plans were different than my visions. After I left Love and Hope last year, God had encouraged me to continue to invest in them throughout the year and He had placed it on my heart to go back to serve there again.
Love and Hope has become like family to me. I was having a talk with one of the teens there, and she expressed how happy she and the kids were when they heard that some of us were coming back. She said, “It is better when people come back because you get to know them. You guys play with the kids and make them laugh, and that is what’s important...that the kids are happy.” That was confirmation for me on why God has me continuing to invest in Love and Hope. It isn’t about me, it’s about Him and His plan, it is up to me to be faithful to where He leads me.
Today the team had a full day at the beach to decompress. The fruit of the spirit that we focused on today was faithfulness. I couldn’t help but reflect on how faithful our Father is and how He has shown His faithfulness in so many ways on this trip. The way He orchestrates is so beautiful. It is written in Phil. 1:6 “He who begins a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day Christ Jesus returns.” That is the verse that comes to me when I think about Rina’s story. Rachel met Rina about 10 years ago, and God had placed it on her heart to invest in her, and she has been faithful to Him by continually checking in on her and providing for her in any way she can for all these years. Rachel connected Bobby and Brittany Hibbs to Rina and they also showed their faithfulness by investing in Rina, and helping to care for her. We don’t know why God chose this time to give Rina a new home with a family that will give her the love and care that she needs, but the Medina family did not even question taking her in. A family that has so little in terms of worldly possessions is still able to provide so much for Rina, so much love and care.
I can’t help but be humbled as I see how rich in spirit is Love and Hope including all of those who are connected to Love & Hope as well. It is clear that Jesus dwells within them. It is beautiful to really see that material richness is not important, nor does it define success. Rachel strives to not only raise the children of Love and Hope up in a Jesus centered home, but to extend Jesus’s love out in the community by allowing God to lead her to people who need prayer, love, food, etc. Whatever the need is - Rachel and those connected to Love and Hope allow God to use them to fill that need.
Bobby and Brittany also gave up their lives in American and planted themselves in Nejapa, a city with extreme poverty and where gang violence is right outside their door. They created a ministry that is currently held in their home that addresses gang violence at the root, by discipling the youth in the community to help them to know the love of Jesus, which is life changing. They also provide a home for the homeless youth in the community. We painted a room in their home while we were here for any future youth that may need a place to stay. The Hibbs' door is always open for youth in the community, and they have made it clear that they will make room for as many children as God calls them to provide shelter and love. Their home is a safe place where these youth can blossom in their walk with Jesus. We saw the fruit of their ministry through Jonathan Nelson, an amazing young man who is now walking with the Lord, and leading other people in the community to Jesus. His trust in Jesus and joyful heart is inspiring, especially considering his circumstances, considering both his father and brother have been murdered because of involvement in gangs.
I am blown away by the faithfulness that is shown in all of this. God hand-picked each of us for the team, as well as those who have sown into this trip through prayer or financial support. Planning for a mission trip is not easy; raising the money, leaving your job and responsibilities at home during a time that might not be convenient. The enemy will be trying to pull you away from going, but we all stand firm knowing that the Lord will provide as he always does when he calls us to something. The best part about God is that even when we are faithless he is still faithful (2 Tim. 2:13).
I can write for hours on how God has worked through and in all of us on this trip. This has been the most fruitful trip I have ever experienced, and I say that from the bottom of my heart. It was no coincidence that God led us to “The Fruits of the Spirit” for our devotional for this trip. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with Jesus in El Salvador.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” More than a casual observation, the invitation remains for encounter. God longs for us to experience His presence and to know the desires of His heart. Not unlike Moses of old, dare we put aside the distractions or “lesser things” of this world to climb the mountain to meet with God?
My fear is that many of us aspire for too little. Content with mere imitations or shadows, we stop short of Presence. We have been seduced or lulled to sleep by the world and its systems trading our crown or birthright for a bowl of porridge. Our affinities and desires are too much shaped by culture instead of the Living Word of God. It is said we become what we worship and it easy to see that many are kneeling at the altar of fame, status, position, or mammon instead of drinking deep of the wellspring of true life. No man can serve two Masters. Either He will hate one or love the other.
God is good! It is not a description but rather who He is in His essence. James reminds us that, “every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord, who does not change like the shifting shadows.” He is the true source of all goodness. Ever since creation He has been speaking or breathing out His “goodness” shaping, forming and molding us into the pinnacle of His creation. Serving as the Divine architect, He formed and fashioned us into His own “likeness” to be exact representations of Himself. He then placed us to rule and reign as His ambassadors of goodness to all Creation.
It is time we leave behind the lesser things or as the Hebrews writer says “weights” and instead run with perseverance the race marked out for us. His goodness is alive and longs to be displayed or unleashed in us. In a world filled with so much pain, suffering and disillusionment, Creation is crying out for a fresh awakening to the true goodness or fullness of the Lord. The invitation remains, how will you respond?
It never ceases to amaze me how the creator of the heavens and earth reveals himself if you take the time to observe just how fortunate we are to serve a God that truly demonstrates his loving-kindness to us every day and today was certainly no different. With that said, sometimes its difficult to see God when the alarm calls for an early morning rise to beat the traffic to get to our daily jobs. Or, in our case, to divide and conquer by having the girls and Marty stay behind at Love and Hope Children’s Home to paint bunk beds and help clean the house while the rest of the men returned to the Medina’s house. With muscle and determination we relocated a stack of over 700 cinder blocks that was delivered this morning and then finished digging 'The Trench'. The Trench was a retaining wall foundation ditch about 20' long, by 2' wide by 5.5' deep...that we dominated with a pick axe and shovel.
Today was the third day of construction at the Medina house. It was a day of getting to know the local builders and some of the Medina family a bit more as each of us shared what are professions are. It was awesome being able to get to a more personal level than the previous days with a lot of laughs, smiles, pictures and hugs along the way. After lunch today we ventured to the local hardware store in Nejapa to buy the supplies to build wooden ramps to make the Medina house a little more wheelchair accessible. The wheelchair is truly a blessing as Rina has not had much time to interact with people outside of her bed for the 20 years she has graced this earth with her presence! Once again, we were reminded of the comforts we have in the USA to be able to run to a Home Depot where supplies are endless.
That night our ladies made a delicious dinner for us and everybody at Love & Hope and Rich graced the kids with one of their favorite desserts...tres leches. We continued building our relationships with the kids through conversations, futbol and games, followed by devotional on the Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness. We learned that being kind means leveraging one’s strength on behalf of another. When we’re kind, we put our strength, abilities, and resources on loan to someone who lacks them ultimately making kindness serve as love’s response to weakness. We can only imagine that if Rina could speak to us, she would say that our team has been immeasurably kind to her in her weakness. Like patience, kindness is a decision that we can make at a moments notice and the consequences of kindness are incalculable. This fruit of the spirit can ripple out to touch the lives of those far removed from the original act…like all of the people we've come to know here in El Salvador... the children of Love and Hope, the security guards protecting our guest house and people in the nearby park, the local grocery store clerk, the Medina family and their friends, the local contractors and on and on.
God’s mercy is His kind response towards us, and may we continue serving Him every day of our lives and the rest of our trip. May God’s glory shine around us and all those who so graciously gave out of the kindness of their hearts to support us on this trip.
It’s hard to put into words what this experience in El Salvador has been like so far, but one thing is for sure….God is good and has shown up in BIG ways! To see and experience the work He is doing through Love & Hope, the Hibbs family, the Medina family and the entire city is amazing. It’s humbling that the Lord chose me to be a small part of His plan here, but I’m so glad He did.
Today we spent another day in Nejapa. As I walk into the Medina home, I’m instantly overwhelmed with a sense of love. The way that the family loves Jesus and others is so evident! Compared to us, the Medina family has very little. They already have 5 people living in a small home and to take in Rina is not only an act of selflessness, but a testament to God’s faithfulness and their obedience. We got to hear part of the Medina’s story and their decision to care for Rina’s as one of their own. When initially asked about caring for Rina, their response was simple: we have a home, we can make space and we can love her…why not? They knew it wouldn’t be easy and it would be a cross to carry, but they were willing and able. It made me think about how often we oversimplify things. When God presents an opportunity we may talk it over with family and friends, pray on it for weeks, make a pro/con list, etc. But, what if we responded in a way like the Medina’s…more of a why not versus why? What a bold way of living that would be!
The boys had another hard day of work, laying down more cinder blocks and digging out a drench to finish off the foundation. I took a break from the construction and joined the girls to finish painting the rooms in the Hibbs house. Brittany shared with us how she let the boys pick out the paint color for their room. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but they were so excited and asked if they could look online to get ideas. For them, getting to select a paint color was a sense of empowerment. They’ve never lived in a home where they could be part of making something their own. Those are the little things I take for granted and I love when God opens my eyes to that.
Today’s fruit of the spirit is patience and it’s a fitting one, as we’re half way through the trip. So far all of us have been stretched out of our comfort zone, been in situations where there was uncertainty and have worked side by side with a team of 9 different personalities. There have been plenty of times where showing impatience would be very easy. But, the Lord sweetly reminds us what it looks like to “have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father” in Colossians 1:11-12. Our team had a chance to gather and share with each other what those impatient moments look like for us. We also focused on what it looks like to be patient with God in the big things as well. When we are waiting for the Lord to come through…rather it’s a decision regarding a job, a move, a relationship, etc. How can we discern what God’s timing is versus our own? I love how 2 Peter 3:8-9 states it: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anymore to perish, but everyone t o come to repentance.” What a great promise, to know that the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise. The problem is when we try to get in the way of that, we miss experiencing God’s full plan and His glory that can come of it. One of my favorite quotes by Paul Tripp says it so well “God’s grace invites you to be part of something that is far greater than your boldest and most expansive dream. His grace cuts a hole in your self-built prison and invites you to step into something so huge, so significant that only one word in the bible can adequately capture it. That word is glory.” Let me desire the greater plan!
I can’t wait to see how God continues to show up in these remaining days in El Salvador. Thank you for your prayers and being part of this journey with us!
I'm not sure really where to start with the numerous ways that God showed up in our day today? We believe that He is in ALL THINGS...and today, me and my team got to experience just how real that truth can be when you lean into Him and into the callings He puts on our lives.
After breakfast this morning, our team loaded into the van to make our way to the town of Nejapa which is where we're working on our construction project this trip. Nejapa is a small town located just a bit north of San Salvador and it is where Rachel first planted Love & Hope Children's Home in 2003 and it remained there until 2010. It's also where Bobby & Britney Hibbs and the Medina family live. The Hibbs' pastor a small church gathering in their home and also lead the Love & Hope Youth Ministry. They've been helping provide care for Rina for several years and are the catalyst to getting her into the care of the Medina family. The Medina's have the home that is receiving the additional room that is being built. Through the generosity of over 150 people, our team was able to raise the funds to hire a local contractor and his team to build this addition as well as support Rina. Our team gets to serve alongside of them for several days and help expedite the building process. Rina gets the privilege of living in safe, family environment where she'll receive the much needed care and, most importantly, the love that we all believe will help her flourish.
The Fruit of the Spirit that I had drawn back in August as we began planning this trip was "PEACE". I love this gift that we get to receive from God! It's one of those things in life that so many of us desire, but yet why is it that so many of us make daily decisions that can rob us of that peace we want so bad? This all hits home for me as I have had several personal experiences happen in my life since I decided to follow Jesus that should have robbed me of my peace. But it never happened because in the midst the stormy seas that arose, I knew that my anchor was secure in Christ. Had it not been secure or not strong enough, I could have drifted into un-peaceful times in my life. Yet more recently I did experience a drift and it definitely disrupted my own personal peace. But as soon as I grabbed ahold of the rope to begin the process of reinforcing and resetting my anchor, I began making the better decisions I needed to make to get back closer to God and into that place of peace that surpasses all understanding.
Today, as we arrived at the Medina's house, I got to meet Rina for the first time. She's 20 years old and weighs only 37 pounds. Severely disabled, non-verbal and it's been in question on whether or not she's aware of what is going on around her. It's heartbreaking to see with your own eyes and even more when I know the backstory of the neglect over the years. Living in our country where we have access to the best doctors and hospitals specifically designed to care for young children who are born with developmental deficiencies, we can tend to take it all for granted. Being a person who hasn't had to deal much with anything like this in my own life, I take it for granted even more. But truth be told, it's sad to hear that El Salvador doesn't have much to offer children who are born this way and many end up suffering the same plight of Rina unless they are born into a wealthy family.
As the day progressed our team jumped into working with the contractors. Some of us mixed and poured concrete, some laid cinder block, a few knocked down an old wall and, chopped down a tree that needed to be removed and started digging a trench for more foundation. A few of the girls went to the Hibbs' home to paint a few rooms. All in all it was hot and sweaty and dirty work day. But the most memorable experience that I took in from the day was the overwhelming sense of Love, Joy and Peace that filled the entire place. Funny how those are the first three Fruits of the Spirit. Coincidence? I think not as I have two words for you..."ALL THINGS!"
You see, we're here in El Salvador on a mission trip to serve this young woman in need and to help the people who have been called to help provide a better life for her. It's not about us, its about what God is able to do through us all. It's His kingdom, we're His sons and daughters and when He wants to show off and get His Glory, God does just that. Today we got to see a glimpse of that Glory as Rina got to lay in her new bed for the first time and feel the touch of the loving, caring hands on her hands. We saw His Glory in her as she smiled and waved her arms around at the sounds of the music we were playing...something that Rachel said she'd never seen before. And then we got to see and feel God's Glory in our own hearts and souls as Rina was placed in the new wheelchair that our team brought down for her...the smiles and non-verbal sounds that she shared with everybody in the room was, no doubt, a sign that she was aware of what was going on around her. God's spirit filled that entire home today, and He filled every person's heart with His Love, His Joy and His Peace...even Rina's. He most definitely is in All Things and we can't wait to get back there tomorrow to experience more of Him.
Peace Be with You!
Today was awesome! I cannot thank the Lord enough for the love and strength he has given this team in San Salvador. We started our day with a time of devotion about the second fruit of the spirit: JOY. The Lord’s joy can manifest itself in many ways but in this particular case I focused on the joy of God’s presence. God is in our hearts at all times. Psalm 16:11 says “You fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” We talked about how we have to find the joy in all situations God puts in front of us. Each one of us has had a particular time in our lives recently where we have felt beaten. We have had times in our lives where we have been challenged. We talked about looking back over Psalm 16:11 and reminding ourselves that God has put that challenge in front of us and we must find the joy in it.
I also pointed out Matthew 28:8 and Luke 24:41 “The woman who went to Jesus’ tomb and the disciples were overjoyed that he rose from the dead.” We discussed how the words “death” and “die” are associated with negative connotations. However, that’s not what God intended for us. Here we have the death of our savior, our Lord Jesus but his disciples were overjoyed! By giving our life to Christ we have let our old life die and are reborn with the joy and love of God inside us!
Next we went to La Union Church for Sunday service lead by Pastor Gary Powell. What a great service. I was so moved when he spoke about being merciful. That God makes it our duty to glorify him by being merciful to our enemies. Too many of us, feeling that mercy involves some way of feeling sorry for someone but Gary pointed out that real mercy involves forgiving our enemies and helping them…very powerful and emotional stuff to think and pray about. I found myself holding back tears as Gary told the story of he was able to show mercy to a man who hit had his daughter with his car. She was crossing the street and was hit, dragged, and put in the hospital with a severe head injury. When the police brought the man to Gary, instead of condemning him and charging him for negligence, he forgave him! Wow! He helped this man and prayed with him instead of putting him in jail. What an unbelievable act of mercy by someone with the spirit of God in his heart.
Next we went to Multi-Plex, a large shopping mall in San Salvador which was very American. We had lunch in the food court as a team and then headed on our own to experience the mall for ourselves. Not much different from any other mall trip but a good time nonetheless. We also stopped by the local artists market for some trinket and gift shopping. We finished up the day with a taco dinner at Love & Hope with the kids. The kids wanted to see me eat one of their hot peppers from the garden, I’ve developed somewhat of a reputation as the guy who can eat very hot peppers, so they brought one to my table. It was funny to see them all huddled around me watching so I ate it and watched the excitement leave their faces when it wasn’t hot enough for me.
We ended the night back at the house and sang along to Marty rockin’ the guitar. What a truly amazing experience this has been. Each one of us has something unique to share and each one of us has an experience they felt and I just thank God that he has put me here to hear it. I’m so humbled His presence is with us and I just look forward to Him continuing to speak to me and fill my heart with love and challenges.
In His Joy!
Today was an amazing day! In the morning we headed to Love & Hope to make sandwiches (ham & cheese!) and pack bags of rice & beans which we then took to an impoverished local community (barrio) in San Salvador to hand out. When we got there, we walked throughout the community greeting the people and giving out the rice & beans. They were all really happy and thankful to receive these gifts and had such warm smiles for us. Seeing the way the people in the barrio live in such meager means, my heart goes out to them as I just wish life were easier for them and I realize how blessed I am to have all of the comforts that I so easily take for granted. I saw several pregnant women out in the heat and I know they don’t have air conditioning in their homes and probably can’t afford the best (if any) medical care, but at the same time, they are such a close-knit community and really love and look out for one another. They were very welcoming to us. Many of the kids asked for rice & beans for their friends and neighbors, making sure that everyone was taken care of. After we passed out all of the rice & beans, we invited all of the community kids to join us at a nearby park for some activities. At the park we played soccer with the kids, jumped rope, and made bracelets. We all had a great time and got some exercise chasing the kids around the soccer field. They are so full of life/laughter/mischief and love to have fun. After playing awhile we handed out the juice, snack packs, and sandwiches to our hungry and grateful new friends and said our good-byes, heading next to the local Volcano park. We had lunch up on the mountain overlooking San Salvador. We hiked up from there to viewing points where we could see the crater and the steep canyon that were formed when the volcano last erupted. It was a beautiful view from up along the ridge and when we got to the top we got to see a few (so adorable!) kids dancing and singing a song about the volcano. We were all thankful for the opportunity to take in this breath-taking sight. In the evening we had dinner with the kids back at Love & Hope and then went to the park next door to play soccer. Team “El Salvador” which was mostly the kids beat our (mostly adult) mission team “USA” pretty easily, but we all had a great time and we are looking forward to a rematch!
We closed the night out with a time of devotion about the first fruit of the spirit: Love. We talked about how the Hebrew root of the word “love” means “to give” or “I give” and how when we love others by unselfishly giving of ourselves out of concern for others we exhibit the same mind-set as Christ and fulfill God’s command to love others as he loves us. 1 John 4:16 - And so we know and rely on the Love God has for us. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. John 13:34-35 - A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
I am so happy to be here, with this great team, serving and loving these amazing and humble people. Many strong connections have already been formed among our team and with the kids & staff of Love & Hope. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store as we continue this journey together.
To Him be the Glory.
I want you to close your eyes for a moment...take a deep breath...clear your head... and then think of a time when got on a plane and took a trip to see family or friends whom you hadn't seen in a while.
Think about the feelings of excitement you had as you were walking off the plane, grabbing your bags and getting ready to walk into their presence again.
Do you remember the feelings of Love, Joy and Acceptance?
Do you remember the physical feelings of the hugs and the smiles?
How about the feeling of just simply knowing that you are welcome into the arms of those you were going to visit?
I felt that today as we arrived into San Salvador...and then some. My heart was jumping as we landed and our team walked off the plane and up the familiar jetway that I've walked through three years in a row now and a second time leading a team of friends on a mission trip to this place. Then knowing that in just a short while we'd be getting our passports stamped into El Salvador, grabbing our luggage and then walking out the doors into the mass throngs of people waiting to greet their friends and loved ones.
And then that feeling just filled me up. Seeing Rachel and Justin, the familiar smiles on their faces, being welcomed with open arms, big embraces and a ton of love.
This is a place that grows nearer and dearer to my heart each time I come here, each time I Skype with Rachel to make plans for our trip, each time our team meets in preparation for a trip like this. Even every time my email lights up with a new notification that someone has supported this mission trip...I receive that little nudge from God...just reminding me how much He loves us and how much He's got all of this already planned out. And I can simply rest in the truth that He is in All Things!
I can't wait to see what God has in store for these next ten days. We're excited and expectant of the great things He is going to do through us and in us as we love on and serve the kids and staff of Love & Hope Children's Home.
I'm also excited for these next 9 days as we focus on the each of the Fruits of the Spirit as written in Galatians 5:22-23.
When our final team member had committed to the trip, that gave us 9 team members. So I Googled the the biblical significance of the number 9. I found that it pertains to "completeness" and "finality". It also pointed out that there are 9 Fruits of the Spirit. So God impressed upon my heart to assign one Fruit to each of our nine team members and that we would all begin praying for God to show us how to share that fruit in our lives and how to receive it in our lives as well.
So for each of the nine days in El Salvador, we'll be opening each day with a devotional that each team member has prepared in accordance to the Fruit of the Spirit they've been assigned and then being expectant of how God shows us that Fruit throughout or day!
Humbled, Expectant & Grateful!
El Salvador - Nov 2016