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,
El Salvador - Nov 2016