Looking back on our recent trip, we are naturally looking for things that could have gone smoother or things we could have done better. Although there are always things that can be improved, God urges us to look past these minute details and focus on the things that went well: the lives that were touched, the kids that were thrilled for just one day out of the norm, the hearts that were changed, and the blessings that were given in both directions. He tells us all to look at what can be accomplished when we come together in his name under one purpose. It is an enormous blessing to be able to work with sweet Amparo, her beautiful family, and the church in her community. The best thing is that these people truly are a family and exude God's love daily. This is one of the things that keeps us going, the pure love and joy that is felt upon being with them.
Amparo is extra joyful because we took her to pick up her brand new glasses! We took her a few weeks ago for a checkup, something that was long overdue, and she fell in love with the perfect pink pair. At first she was a bit shy, but now she's sporting them with a big smile because she can finally see well enough to read and write, something she hasn't been able to do for a while because of this seemingly small need.
We also just sat and talked, curious about the impact the family has felt so far as we have been walking alongside them. It is beautiful to now see a family with incentive and drive. Amparo even said herself that before, the house was falling apart and they didn't know what to do. But now, seeing what a transformation the house has undergone, they want to start taking initiative to improve their overall living conditions on their own. They built a small storage area with leftover materials, and added more space to continue weaving hammocks, one of the only ways Amparo is able to provide for her family. Without the daunting fear of their house collapsing, the family now sleeps in peace, the kids describe their house as beautiful, and Amparo is content knowing that her family is finally secure under one roof. There is no worry, because in God we find rest.
On Wednesday we were able to further bless Amparo's family with a water filter (which due to miscommunications was not given during the trip). This filter purifies the water, which before caused many illnesses among the family. When she received it, Amparo just continually said how beautiful it was; she was thrilled. Another thing that we had planned on blessing Amparo with was a small stove. Seeing that she had just bought a stove for herself, she decided to donate it to Pastor Jose and the church. A big thank you to Project Red (projectredelsalvador.org) for donating this stove to us, it will be a huge blessing to the church and their ministry.
Speaking of Pastor Jose, a man of great faith in miracles, he is a walking miracle today. Last Friday, he was completely run over by a bus and he is walking today with only one small scratch to show for it. All he has to say is "Dios es bueno."
Chris and I were able to sit and talk with him and his wife about the incredible plans that God has put upon their hearts for their community. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a strong, Godly couple that is admired throughout the community. They want to touch every age group, and every life within those age groups in order to make a greater impact in the world. They want to start with the kids, the future generation of this country, and they want to build them up and show them that there is a God who loves them; that the only thing they need when they are troubled is to turn to him. Seeing that this community has a lot of single mothers, they want to strengthen them and all the women, letting them know that they have the power to be the head of their households. They want to give them the courage to lead their children towards God, walking with them every step of the way. Their plans are also to provide small classes in which young men can participate in order to keep them away from the temptations of everyday life. And to further reach out to the community and those who are outside of the church, they want to start a drama ministry in the hopes of winning more souls to Christ.
We are more than excited to be able to walk with them and support them in this vision that God has given them. The entire intothenations team believes wholeheartedly that this church will be a great light in the community and we know God's hand is guiding us all. This is a big step that we are taking together and we don't want you guys to miss out on it!