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!
El Salvador - Nov 2016