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