El Salvador – Answered Prayers

Hello everyone!

I am sorry that it has taken so long for us to share about our trip to El Salvador.  We have been pretty busy with school, work, and other commitments and it has been hard to find a time where the two of us had free time at together.

Thank you all for praying with us for and during the trip to El Salvador.  We have asked you to pray for us and in a lot of different ways, and we saw God at work answering those prayers!

Thank you.

Here are just a few things that we have asked you to pray for and how God answered them.

Answered Prayers:

  1. Safety – We were safer than we ever could have imagined.  One of the people on the trip that was from NYC even said that it felt safer than a lot of the neighborhoods that he grew up near.  While El Salvador is still a very dangerous country, we were blessed to have felt extremely safe during our entire trip.
  2. Health – For the most part, everyone was healthy! Unfortunately, Amanda was a bit unwell for parts of the trip, but in these moments, the Lord provided an opportunity for her practice her Spanish! We were painting at a church, and Amanda couldn’t stand outside with the team to paint, so she painted and “talked” with the Salvadorans inside instead. It was a huge blessing for her to feel more confident in her Spanish communication abilities!
  3. For God’s will to be done – God is working in mighty and miraculous ways. In El Salvador, the staff is desiring rest because they are stretched thin with all the work that the Lord is doing. The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. He has great plans, and the team needs more people to do the work!
  4. Grace – We heard many amazing stories of Grace in the lives of the people in El Salvador.  The most prominent in my mind was Alfredo.  Alfredo was heavily involved in the gang culture.  He had lived much of his life surrounded by violence, illegal activity, and every that comes along with it.  It was only two weeks before we got to El Salvador that Alfredo started coming to Hungary Church.  While we were there he had his trial for his crimes.  He went to court, ready to plead guilty.  Envision and Hungary Church prayed for God to work in and through Alfredo.  The night of his trial, we were all sitting in our debrief session and he walks and tells us his story.   He was waiting to go into the trial and his lawyer came and told him that all charges were dropped.  “I am a free man” he said concluding his story with a big smile on his face.  God is at work in the lives of the people of El Salvador.
  5. Finances – God is so incredibly merciful and loving! We entrusted Him to provide the money for this trip, and He provided abundantly! We raised slightly more than we needed, so that as a team, we were fully funded with one week left before the trip.
  6. Our hearts – We were able to spend a week intentionally focusing on the Lord, and we were able to come back from a week of hard work and feel rested and encouraged! The trip was a blessing to us, and it renewed our energy for the work we are doing here in Philly.
  7. Hearts of Salvadorans – God is at work in the Hungry church already.  As mentioned before, the people there are hungry for Truth.  They are yearning for Jesus.
  8. Discernment – We know that we are called to missions.  That was affirmed.  We do not know where we are going next, or where we will be called to, but missions is in our future.

Continued Prayers:

  1. Discernment for future missions – where will God be sending us next and for how long?  We know that god has called us to international missions, but we do not yet know how to get there, what or where he has called us to internationally.  Maybe El Salvador?
  2. Envision El Salvador – Hungary church is in need of more staff, and more resources.  Pray that the team at Envision can be strengthened to continue to do God’s work while they wait and pray that more staff members can be found.
  3. Ministries – Envision has many ministries including the after school program, the football ministry, Hungary church plant that they support.  Pray that they can continue to encourage and draw Salvadorans to the Church and to Jesus.
  4. Gangs –  The gangs are still the largest obstacle in El Salvador.  Many Salvadorans cannot follow Christ because they fear that if they leave the gangs they will be killed.  They gangs actually let them leave if it is for religious reason.  Because of this, many people use the excuse to leave the gang, and the gang doesn’t believe them and kills them anyway.  Not only that, but the gangs also heavily influence the way that the government is run.  They prevent the government from caring for its people as effectively as it might otherwise.  The gangs are hurting the people mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Pray that God can work miraculously to change a broken system.

 

Thank you again for praying alongside us! I hope that you continue to seek Jesus.  He is doing amazing things all over the world and we get to be a part of them.  It is aw-inspiring to know that we get to partner with our almighty God in the work that He is already doing.

El Salvador – The Prodigal Son

Hello everyone,

I apologize again that we have not posted a review of the trip yet.  We have had busy weeks with new stresses recently.  Amanda has recently started a new case with more hours and we have been working to get the house prepared for winter.

I hate to disappoint, but we still do not have our review ready to post.  I promise that it is on our to-do lists!

To tide you over until then, I have included the transcript of the the message/lesson that I (Dan) gave at la fuente, the after-school ministry that we were helping at.  Enjoy.

Luke 15:11-24

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

This parable of the two sons presents us with a lot of truth, wrapped up in this short section.  Jesus has this amazing ability to use the parables to teach about who he is and what our relationship with Him can look like in just a few paragraphs.

In this parable, Jesus tells about God’s reaction to two different ways that we may interact with Him.  today, we will focus on what the older brother in this parable teaches us, and next time we are here, John will talk about what the older brother in this parable teaches us about our relationship with God.

Let’s start by making an observation about who the father in this story is.  Honestly, we don’t really get very much information about the father at the start here.  What we do see is that he loves and generously gives to his children.  Right in the beginning, in verse 12, the younger son asks fora  portion of his fathers property, his inheritance.  This request was highly unusual.  Typically, an inheritance is given upon the death of the father.  Even when the portion of the fathers property was given before death, it was the fathers choice.  The son was requesting something that was not yet his, with a  complete disregard for the fathers authority.  The younger son was seeking and asking for the things the father could give, but had little regard for his father.  Even still, the father generously grants the son what is not yet his.

Both sons are starting this parable here, in the presence of their father, each with a share of their fathers property.  it is at this point that their paths diverge.  The younger son, the same son that was asking for his inheritance, takes what his father has given him and leaves his father.  He goes far away and spends everything.  He was living the good-life, enjoying what comfort “things” could give him, until famine struck.  The only work he could find didn’t even pay well enough to provide him a decent meal.

In fact, he had nothing to eat and spent his days deeding pigs.  In their culture, pigs were incredibly unclean animals.  For him to work feeding pigs was the lowest of jobs he could have had.  It would have been shameful and humiliating.  Imagine a rich son who leaves his father, spends all that he has been given, and the only job he can get is worse than a garbage man [in Salvadoran culture, the garbage man was seen as one of the most unclean, shameful jobs].

Have you ever felt like that? We are often just like the younger son in this story.  God has already granted us more than what we deserve, and well before we before we should have received it.  he has given us life and joy, skills and desires, day and night, and we squander them all.  God wants us to thrive near him but we insist that we take control, walk away from him, and throw away what He has so graciously given us.

It can be tempting to depend on these gifts; God has given us many, great things.  But when we depend on these things that God has given us instead of on God himself, the joy and comfort that the gifts provide, does not last.  They cannot be self-sustaining.

We can depend on our friends and family, but they will let us down and disappoint us.  We can depend on our own strength and skills, but we will not be able to do it on our own.  we can depend on having stuff or relationships but they will not continue to satisfy us.

Because then, when we have had our fun, famine arises, ans we are left feeding the pigs, in the lowest of all places.  Maybe the famine deprives you of food, or perhaps you are void of joy?  or you feel alone? or hopeless?

Maybe you experience a physical famine and feel dirtier than a garbage man, but your famine may not be so tangible, but instead seen in some of these other ways.  maybe no one else can tell that you feel like you are missing something in your life and no amount of success and comfortable living can fill that void.

The beautiful thing is that this story, our story, doesn’t end with the famine.  The son comes humbly back to the father, planning to ask for a job.  The son knew that he had done his father wrong, and that something must be done to make up for his mistakes.  He prepares an apology, admitting his faults, and plans to beg fora  place as a servant at his fathers house.

But before he even gets there, the father comes running with arms open wide.  Though the son was prepared to apologize, the father ignores his apologies and instead embraces his son, and begins preparing for a celebration of his return.

The father gives more gifts to his son that had returned.  he brings the best robe, puts a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet, and he kills the fattened calf.  These were all valuable gifts hat the son did not deserve.  He may have deserved to be living with the pigs, or, at best, his fathers servant because he squandered what his father had already given him, but instead the father gave him compassion, and a loving embrace.

Likewise, we do not deserve to return to God, our father.  We may even feel like we need to do something to make up for what we have done.  This feeling that something must be done before we can come to God isn’t wrong.  We had spent our inheritance and it is not free to replace.  But our God ran to us before we even started our journey back to Him.  He loves us so much that He doesn’t require us to pay back what we have squandered.  Instead, He sacrificed His perfect, sinless son, Jesus, to bare the weight of our actions.  We had accumulated a debt to pay and Jesus paid it in full.  We were dead, and are now alive through Christ.

No matter how far we have walked away from God, He is still waiting with open arms to lovingly embrace you, graciously forgive you, and joyfully celebrate your return.


 

Back from El Salvador

In case anyone missed it, we have returned from El Salvador!  The trip was fantastic and we saw God at work in a lot of different ways.  Right now, we are catching up on all of the things that we were not doing while we’re in El Salvador (work, school, etc).  We both plan to share some of our experiences here soon, but have to catch up on a lot of other things first.  Keep an eye out for a future post with more details about our trip!

El Salvador – Staying Connected

At this point you probably know that we leave this week for our trip to El Salvador.  If you would like updates while we are there you have two options:

1. Request access to the Facebook group: “Citylight El Salvador 2016“.  One of the admins will allow access to the group.

2. Send us your email address and we can add it to the email list for the group.  If you are going to use this option, please give me your email address before Wednesday morning as these emails will all need to be added to the list before we leave for the trip.

Thank you all for your prayers and we look forward to sharing all about what God is doing in El Salvador.

El Salvador – 1 week away

One week from today we will be landing in El Salvador! It is only in the last few weeks that it has really hit us that the trip is so close.  For today’s post we want to share some of the ways that God has already been working though this trip.

One of the coolest things that we have seen is that the very fact that we are going on this trip has opened a door to many conversions. We have been able to talk to believers, non-believing friends, co-workers, and many others about the fact that we are going on a mission trip. In some conversations, it simply is a way to identify ourselves as Christians, while other times it has come up, the conversations have evolved into long and in-depth ways to discuss faith and God. It is such a good way to talk to people who actively do not follow Jesus without it being an awkward “Christianity” conversation!

We have also been able to grow in trusting Him.  The big way that this is happening is through finances, but we are also trusting in Him more in the little things as well. It is hard to try to arrange going on a trip in the middle of work/church commitments/grad school/being adults/etc. but we are trusting that He will provide us the time to prepare and the time to step away from our life here while we go serve Him in El Salvador! He has already given us the time to prepare, and He will bless us with time to pack, pray, and prepare in the next week as well!

Thank you for your support and your prayers this week.  You can continue to pray for us in these ways:

  • Continued discernment for long-term missions and ministry
  • Final costs for the trip
  • God will actively work in and through us while we are in El Salvador
  • God will work miraculously in the hearts of the Salvadorans and in the social structure
  • Growth in Jesus
  • Health and safety! Safety is obviously a big one with any travel, but there has been a lot of sickness going around near us, and we want to be healthy before and during the trip!

Thank you again for your love and support!  We are getting so excited to see how the Lord will use us! We look forward to sharing our experience with you when we are home!


If God is leading you to support us financially, you can give at citylightphilly.com/give and mark your donation as for the Buckley’s El Salvador.


If you have any questions or comments about El Salvador or our trip, feel free to leave them on this website or email us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com.  We would love to hear your words of encouragements, know that you are praying for us, and be able to connect further.

God Provides. Do you forget too?

I’ve been chewing on my post about biblical womanhood for a while, and I haven’t been able to get my thoughts just right yet (hence my few weeks of a hiatus). For now, I want to remind you of something that I forget all too often: God Provides. He provides so much for us, and He comes through ALL THE TIME. Sometimes, it takes the big stuff to remind me of this simple fact, and then I remember how He has provided over and over in other ways!

If you haven’t realized yet, Dan and I are going to El Salvador in two short weeks for a missions trip (check out our posts about the trip!). We needed $4000 to go on the trip, and we were not going to be able to put any of our own money into the trip… I was very hesitant about committing to going, so before I jumped in with two feet, I prayed very specifically. My prayer went something like this: Lord, this trip scares me a lot but it seems like you might be wanting us to go. I gotta trust YOU to provide these funds and show us that we are supposed to be going. Help me trust you through this process. Help me feel your hand guiding us to El Salvador. Amen. And then we committed to going. During our preparations, I kept throwing prayers of trust at the Lord, especially when I was overwhelmed by raising support (it’s quite time consuming!).

Actually, it is a huge blessing that I did keep praying throughout the preparation process, but it can be so easy to try to trust in myself instead of constantly trusting God. I obviously had moments where I was less than good at trusting God, but overall, I really relied on Him, prayed often and specifically, and did not let this trip become about what I could do.

I’ll be honest, 3 weeks ago, we had about $1000 in our account. Then one Sunday, we learned we would receive a $1000 grant and that Dan’s church was sending us $1000 from a love offering. Today, we learned that we have $3250 in our account. We still have 2 weeks to raise the rest of the funds, and so we are still praying and reaching out to people, but we are SO much closer than we were and I KNOW that the Lord will provide the rest of the funds too.

I forget that God will provide. I am getting better at remembering to pray for His provision, but I forget that He does come through. The only positive in this is that I get super excited when I see His work! But I think I am missing a part of the trusting part: believing that He will provide. I always will say that He provides, but do I (or you) really believe deep down that He will be providing what you need?

Matthew 6 holds a pretty common passage about how God provides:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:25-34 

Jesus is reminding people that God provides for birds and flowers, and that since we are so much more valuable than flowers, that we should feel confident that He will surely provide for us! His answer is to seek God and know that we will have what we need, and to not worry about it, but simply trust.

As a hard-core worrier, this kind of stuff really convicts me and challenges me to live a different kind of life. But I know that true trust in the One who has made ALL things is the best way to live, and so I am actively praying, reading, and trying to trust with all my heart in HIM. And guess what? He does show me His consistent provision, in both the big (El Salvador!!!) and little ways* 🙂

 

*I wanted to provide some examples of the little things He provided me with in the last week:

  • several days of really great sessions with my clients
  • not having to leave the house on a rainy Saturday
  • having 2 midterms that were not that bad
  • getting out of a 3 hr class early because all we had to do was take our midterm
  • enjoying a dinner with friends
  • having an adorable cuddle-puppy
  • seeing family on a spontaneous trip
  • having time to get work done
  • and I could really keep going 🙂

El Salvador – 2 Weeks Away

Hello everyone!  We are only 2 weeks away from leaving for EL Salvador!

It has been an exciting time preparing and trusting in God while we prepare for this trip.  We are pulling the final pieces together now.  All of the documents have been signed, flights are booked, and passports are ready to be stamped.

There are a few last things that we need to accomplish before we go:

  • Packing. Besides the usual stuff (clothes, toiletries, etc) we will also be getting and bringing supplies for the various activities that we will be helping with.
  • Only about $800 left to raise! Thank you to everyone who has given so far.
  • One more team meeting next weekend.  This will be the final meeting before we meet the team at the airport.
  • We also will be coming up with the lesson and activity plans to do with the kiddos for the two afternoons we will be spending with them!
  • And don’t stop praying! This is the most important step that we will be doing and hope you will be doing along side us.

If you would like to receive a letter from us about the trip once we get back, please reach out to us and share your address.  This will go out to those who we know are supporting us, but we do not want to miss someone who has been a silent supporter!

Thank you for all of your continued love, support, and encouragement! We are getting very excited, and we hope that you are getting excited too!


If God is leading you to support us financially, you can give at citylightphilly.com/give and mark your donation as for the Buckley’s El Salvador.


If you have any questions or comments about El Salvador or our trip, feel free to leave them on this website or email us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com.  We would love to hear your words of encouragements, know that you are praying for us, and be able to connect further.

El Salvador September Update

We had another meeting this week and we have even more information about our trip! From this point on we are hoping to have an El Salvador-related post every week until we leave for the trip so that you can be prayerfully preparing for this trip with us.


We are very excited because we now have a better understanding of what, exactly, we will be doing with the ministries that we are partnering with.

This trip is going to be unique in that each member of the team will have different roles and participate in different activities so that nobodies experience will be the same.   We will be dividing into groups to split and cover a variety of tasks while we are there.  We likely will not personally be doing everything that follows (isn’t it humbling and encouraging to know that God uses the diversity of the body to accomplish His work!).

We will arrive Friday afternoon and spend time getting to know the Envision Team (this is the organization that we are going with), get settled into our home base for the week, and have an orientation to the area, the culture, and some of the tasks that we will be doing. The next day, we will be getting a historical tour of the area.  Because much of the present turmoil is so deeply rooted in their history, it is important for us to understand their past if we are going to help them in the present. Then, there is a family outreach day on Saturday afternoon that we will participate in with Envision. On Sunday, we will be visiting local churches!

In the week that we are there, we will be spending two days helping with painting and construction at a new church.  One of the churches that we are partnering with in San Salvador has outgrown their current location and needs their new location completed quickly before they can grow the church.  This is an awesome reminder that God is already working there!  He is a good God at work in the world, and he is using us to do some of His work!

We will also be spending two afternoons working with the after school program called La Fuente.  As we have mentioned in previous posts and letters, the gangs in El Salvador recruit kids when they are quite young.  Because these kids (probably middle and high school) get done with school around noon and their parents are not out of work until later in the evening, there is a large window of time where they can be sucked into the gang culture.  This after school program gives the kids a place to be that is supportive, educational, and fun where they can thrive apart from the gangs. The kids get lunch when they first arrive, and then have an hour long devotional time with music and hearing the Word. We have the exciting opportunity to share the message with the kids both days that we will be there! We will also be involved with teaching the kids English and maybe Math, providing team sports and games, offering cooking lessons, doing crafts with them, and a few other activities that we pray will be fruitful for these kids.

There are a variety of other ministries that our team will be helping with while we are in El Salvador.  There is a ministry called Diaspora that meets deportees at the airport as they land back in El Salvador and connects them with many resources, including the Church.  It might seem most heartbreaking to hear about the 11 year old sucked into gang life, but every individual, especially those who have nowhere to turn like the deportees, needs an escape from gang life.  Our hope to provide that escape through the local churches and ministries.

We will also be partnering with their American Football ministry.  This ministry serves a similar purpose to the after-school program in that its goal is to keep adults out of the gangs and to build meaningful relationships with them.  They have specifically asked for people to come and play and coach their team: the Jaguars.  For those of you who know the Buckley’s well, you can probably guess that we will not be the football coaches, but we are still excited for the opportunity to partner with this ministry! It is a unique way for individuals to be connected with a community and have a regular opportunity to hear the Word.

Several of the members of our team are medical professionals, and so they will be checking out an eye/vision clinic ministry.  One major purpose of this trip is to see what is needed and what would be feasible if our sending church, Citylight, would be able to host a pop-up clinic in the area. Other individuals, especially our church leaders, will have many opportunities to connect with church leaders in the area and hear their stories and needs.


Our team is developing a way to send updates while we are on the trip (either a facebook group or email list). Once it has been determined and created, we will share information about how to stay connected and get updates about the group while we are on the ground directly from the leaders of our group.


Praying for us, specifically, we ask for prayers of humility, patience, and peace.  We would love if you could pray that we can find joy and rest in the Lord during the time leading up to this trip.  Pray that we can seek God’s will for our lives fervently (specifically as to what he has in store for long-term missions for us) and that we would have the boldness to follow His will when we can discern it. Lastly, please pray that as the trip date quickly approaches that we do not fall into the temptations of anxiety, and that instead, we go to the Lord with our worries and take on an attitude of peace.


Thank you all for your prayers for us and for our efforts to raise the support that we need for this trip.  As you probably know by now, we need a total of $4000 for the two of us. As of the middle of September, we have about $1000 that has already come in. We have applied for a grant that should come in for another $1000, which will put us half way there.  We also have about another $1000 that we have been told is on its way in!   Which means that we only have about $1000 left to raise!  Please thank God for providing all these funds thus far, and pray that God will provide this last portion of the funds for this trip.

If God is leading you to support us financially, you can give at citylightphilly.com/give and mark your donation as for the Buckley’s El Salvador.


If you have any questions or comments about El Salvador or our trip, feel free to leave them on this website or email us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com.  We would love to hear your words of encouragements, know that you are praying for us, and be able to connect further.

El Salvador Update

Hey everyone,

Last Sunday (well it was last Sunday when I started writing this but by the time you are reading this, its probably been about three weeks)  we had a team meeting and got a little more information about the trip, and wanted to share some updates with you on the trip, the team, and on our thoughts and hearts for the trip.

The Apology

Firstly, I want to apologize for neither of us posting many updates about the trip thus far.  We have not really received much more information than what we had started with.  Hopefully, we will have a little more regularity moving forward with the updates as we move closer to the trip date.

The Purpose 

So, the general purpose of trip is as we had expected.   Our primary activities will be working with the after-school program and the football ministry that focuses on Salvadoran deportees from America. We will also be determining if Citylight can begin a long-term partnership with Envision, focusing on a pop-up medical clinic.

Our trip will, God willing, be followed by, and probably preceded by, trips from a variety of other churches across the globe that are coming to help with several of these mission fields.  This is important because a one-week program will not keep kids out of the gangs or deportees from falling back into the gangs.  Our trip is a piece of God’s bigger plan for El Salvador.

The Prayers

For those of you praying for us, there are a few key ways that you can be praying for the trip.

  1. Safety.  El Salvador is incredibly violent country, riddled with gang activity.  Because of that, it is not the safest of place to be.  We did find out that as Americans we will be a thousand times safer than the people we are reaching out to.  The gangs can control or at least get past the Salvadoran government, but the US government would be much harder for them to thwart.
  2. Finances.  The trip is not free.  I have a longer note below about the specifics.  Pray that the team can raise the needed finances to go on this trip.
  3. Discernment.  One of the primary reasons that this trip exists is to discern if this particular church in San Salvador is a place that we (Citylight) could establish a long-term relationship with.  Pray that we can have supernatural discernment in knowing if and how to continue with this partnership.
  4. Growth.  My hope is that we will ultimately be doing and discerning God’s will on this trip.  Amanda and I hope, one day, to live long-term as international missionaries.  We are praying that God can use this trip to grow and prepare us for the ministry opportunities that he has for us in the future.
  5. Jesus. This is the most important one.  If you can only pray for only one thing, pray for Jesus.  We desire to have Jesus be present on this trip, changing lives and making miracles.  We want to share the truth about the true Jesus and support those that are already on the ground there doing just that.

The Finances

I went back and forth about how much to share here about our finances and fundraising.   Ultimately, I decided that if you cared about us and the trip enough to read this far into the email, you probably would like to know how things are going and how you can be praying for us.  This is one major area where we need prayer.  So far (as of August 20th) we have a little less than $500.  For this trip we will need another $3,500.

I may not have a degree in math, but we are not where we need to be financially.  We had hoped that we would have a larger portion by now, but, as you can see, we don’t.  If you would pray for the financial aspect of this trip and pray that we will be able to raise the remainder of the money needed, that would be greatly appreciated.

If you are feeling like the Lord is calling you to support us on this trip, you can donate online at http://citylightphilly.com/give/ and desiganate the give to: El Salvador – The Buckley’s.

Stay Connected

As always, we would love to stay connected with you!  You can stay connected with us by 1) subscribing to this blog and reading, commenting, and sharing feedback on our posts, or 2) by emailing us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com.

 

Living the Mission: El Viaje a El Salvador

We are always full-time missionaries, and right now, we [Dan and Amanda] are on the mission field in Philadelphia. We love the verse from 1 Peter 2 that tells us exactly what full-time missions looks like:

 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. – 1 Peter 2:12

Well, as some of you may know, we are preparing for a missions trip to El Salvador this October! We are going to be doing some very exciting things:

  • Working with an after-school program for youth to help keep them off the streets and out of gangs – Schools end even earlier there, and so gangs have plenty of time to try to pick up the kiddos when they are out and about after school.
  • Working with a deportees – Over 100 El Salvadorns are deported back to El Salvador each day, but these individuals often speak little Spanish and are used to American culture. The ministry we are partnering with for the week tries to meet these people when they arrive in El Salvador and provide them another option than simply going back into gang life.
  • Determining the possibility of a medical clinic – Our church (Citylight) has many medical students and professionals, and so a part of the trip is determining if a long-term relationship for hosting a pop-up clinic will be possible.

A long time ago, the Lord placed a specific desire in both of our hearts to live, work, and serve Him in another country. While we are not ready to move away yet, we believe that He will use this trip to help us learn and refine our cross-cultural skills, help us discern if He will send us to Central America again, and help solidify our calls and desires to serve Him wholeheartedly, wherever He calls us.

So what now? Well, please pray for us! There are a lot of details to manage to get us out of here in just 2 months! Pray for our team leaders as they finalize the plan. Please also pray for our hearts (for both our hearts and the rest of the team; there are almost 15 people going!). Pray that the Lord gives us an attitude of trust and humility as we embark on this adventure. Also pray for safety and health both before and during the trip!

The other big area that we need prayer for is to financially support the trip. We need $4000 for both of us to go. We are very far away from that goal, but we wholeheartedly trust that the Lord will provide the funds that we need. Since He has put this into our laps and we believe He wants us on this team, then we fully trust that He will provide.

Thank you so much for following us on our journey with this blog, and we look forward to continuing to share what the Lord is doing in our lives!


If you are feeling like the Lord is leading you to pray and/or financially support us, we would love to connect with you! Feel free to email us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com if you would like to directly communicate with us. If you would like to directly contribute, you can go online to http://www.citylightphilly.com/give and designate the gift to El Salvador – The Buckley’s. You can also send checks (again, please specify El Salvador – The Buckley’s very clearly) to PO Box 29159 Philadelphia, PA 19128.