Last Friday was Halloween and it was a busy day to say the least. We woke and drove over to the church and unloaded supplies for the Glow Night. Then I went to meet with the GAP students (15 students who are serving in El Salvador for a year). I had the privilege to share with on two occasions: once about mission work and the second concerning spiritual leadership. I was honored to be able to speak into their lives.
After the session, I was back over at the church for a practice for the evening to make sure all the songs for Glow were a go. Everyone did well and the decorations had come together well thanks to Trevor, La Iglesias interns, and the V2H ES WAVE team. We invested a couple hundred dollars into decorations and refreshments because we wanted this outreach event to go off well and really communicate the picture of glowing in the darkness as the Light of God.
We had several guests who came for Glow Night and the performance and message went very well. All those who attended not only enjoyed it but walked away very encouraged and challenged by the message. Here are a few pictures from the evening.
On Saturday I had the pleasure to lead the youth group meeting. This was really cool because many of the GAP students’ parents were in the country for a week long visit.
Sunday morning was somewhat hectic. We arrived with about 20 minutes until service and had much to prepare like the drawings for the Jesus Paid It All paintings, setting up the keynote with TV and sound. Even though it was crazy, it all came together. We performed a few songs with the WAVE team and even the GAP team had learned some parts for the songs to assist in leading worship with us. I shared about developing and growing our faith. The Lord seemed to bless the service even with all of my usual technical problems that travel with me regardless of all the preparations.
We left church and went to the cemetery where Jorge’s grandmother was buried. I had no idea this day was the DAY OF THE DEAD. This occasion was a very unique experience. People were everywhere, literally backing up traffic and lining the streets and grave sites. There were vendors selling flowers, food and other items to those who were present to celebrate the life of those who had passed away. This was certainly unlike anything I’ve seen in the USA. People not only set up chairs and blankets to stay a while but it was a very festive event. Music was played, kites were flown and people spent a considerable amount of time decorating the headstones of their lost loved ones. We spent about an hour with Jorge’s family laughing and taking pictures.
We went to a great dinner afterward and are our full of steaks and cheese. It was really great food and an awesome atmosphere hearing the marimba being played in the background.
After lunch we visited Gloria and Mario’s new home. They will be married next summer and they wanted to show us the home they will be moving into. Wow! What a great place. I am so happy for them and look forward to being part of their wedding celebration next year.
That evening we went to another restaurant called La Pampa with our friends The Lopezs. Trevor stayed the week at their home and they wanted to have dinner together. I was surprised by how excellent this meal was also! Simply great. It was a wonderful night with them and I really appreciate their generosity for the meal and for housing Trevor all week.
Monday didn’t slow much at all. We awakened and made our way to Cojutepeque, where there is a Christian deaf school we have visited before in the past. To follow up and keep the relationship fresh we drove an hour bringing with us some refreshments for the kids.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted, as kids signed excitedly wondering who we were and why we were there. We set things up, only having a set of computer speakers for sound. ( This only mattered because of us needing to be able to hear the music).
We shared a few songs and then the refreshments. They all enjoyed everything very much. Kids and adults were appreciative of us making the journey to visit them and remember them. We snapped more than a few pics. I chose some here:
We went back to the city where I had lunch with a long time friend Chepe who was back in ES after serving in Iraq as a missionary for a couple years. It was great to catch up with him and hear what God is doing in his life. Not only that but to also share with him some of the plans we have for serving in ES and to get some feedback from him. It was a fruitful time all the way around and it was a good excuse to eat the Papa John’s buffet, which we don’t have in the USA.
After the meal and great time of sharing, I went back to the dentist to have my stitches removed from my tooth extraction. We stopped and got some souvenirs before going to look at a building for possible deaf ministry.
The building is located downtown and would be more than sufficient to provide workshops and training for deaf people. The building would be used to teach them different skills and help them with job training. It would also provide a place for them to have worship. The WAVE team could also use the building for training and practices. Please join us in prayer as we look further into this opportunity. The cost would be $600 a month, which includes rent, water and electricity. Another really cool thing is that it is right above skate park. This skate park is the only covered skate park in this area. V2H would be able to use this space and work with owner for more outreach.
My final meal was dinner with the Campos and Pineda families. While eating, we discussed some option for the future. It was a good but hard discussion as we talked about many things and the direction of V2H ES. In the end, we had a good sense of the direction we would move, which essentially means Jorge will train and mentor some people to run ministries in his absence. With the likelihood being very high for Jorge getting a job in the USA with a church in January, this decision had to be made. If the event doesn’t go down that way, Jorge will continue to run V2H ES but he will have much more help, which is a win/win situation.
All in all, the ministry and trips to both El Salvador and Nicaragua were very good in many different ways. I’ll update some of the lessons and direction for the future soon. Thank you so much for your prayers and support of this trip. Much was done for the Kingdom!