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