“They shall build up the ancient ruin’s; they shall raise up the former devastation; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
This is my third trip to Love & Hope Children’s Home, and what a blessing it is to be back here so soon after our trip last October. As we were about to board our flight to El Salvador, I was saying to Brett, “It feels like we are going home for the holidays, like Love & Hope is also our family now.” When you have to wait a year to spend time together it can be difficult. It really has been such a blessing to be back, spending time with all the kids and staff here.
Yesterday we spent the day in Nejapa…the same town where we built the room for Rina last year. Nejapa also has a strong gang presence and Bobby and Brittany Hibbs lead the Love & Hope Youth Ministry there. Their mission is to teach the teens about the love of Christ and to about building a community of disciples instead of gang members.
They have lived and run their ministry for 9 years and used to hold church and the youth gatherings in their home because they didn’t have a space to rent. So last year they started looking for a bigger space to occupy and God led them to an empty building that was the perfect size…but it also needed a lot of work. Brett and I had a goal to raise financial support to help with some of the renovations of this building. We got to participate in painting the front of the building as well as help tear down some old walls inside that needed to be rebuilt. It was awesome to see some of their teens helping out with the process, and getting their hands dirty for Christ. As we all come together to help build the new “Centro de Esperanza”, I keep thinking of the verse in Isaiah 61:4 that says, “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” And then I smile in amazement at how God is moving in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. When there are people willing to be used by him, he brings light where there is darkness. We are humbled and grateful to be a part of what he is doing here, and can’t wait to see what his love will do for the children and families of the community in Nejapa.
Today, on Good Friday, we’re headed to help participate in the lunch outreach event at the Hope Center was also part of our the financial support we raised. Bobby and Brittany have been hoping to host this event for a while so that they can introduce themselves to the people living in this part of the community. 100 invitations went out to the families of Barrio San Antonio, and 200 people are expected at the event…and we’re hoping they show up because we’re cooking about 200 hot dogs! Brett and I, along with Bobby, Britney and the teens will be working together to make and serve these free lunches to the community, as well as have some fun activities for the children. I am excited to see God move today as we come together for His glory!
El Salvador - Nov 2016