I've carefully packed and weighed and repacked and reweighed my single suitcase several times. My back pack is ready to take over for my purse. Passports are safely tucked in Frank's bag and copies are on file with the trip director as well as the church office.
It's seldom that I write about anything happening "tomorrow" because my life is rather unpredictable.
Case in point - this trip.
This time last week, I had no thought of going to El Salvador. The plan was to simply help pray over the team; give Frank a good-bye kiss; wave farewell from the parking lot. Now, I'll be in the church van headed to Orlando International with twenty others.
Must admit that after processing the information; praying for an answer; calling Meagan to make sure she'd be okay; then deciding, I actually started getting excited.
When we left El Salvador in May of 2012, I knew we'd go back some day. It felt important to finish the work we began. Especially the work we helped with in a little church located literally on the side of a mountain.
The Portreallas church was blessed with a dedicated pastoral family, lots of local children and little else. The pastors shared that the days our team spent with them were like a kiss from heaven. Their facility was an open air building with the very real problem of an inferior retaining wall.
Each heavy rain brought a bit more of the mountain sliding down onto their entry area. Some days, the mud had to be shoveled out the front door before the congregation could begin church. It was becoming a safety issue. And most of the church members are barely able to scrape a living out of the mountainside.
When our 2012 team came back to FL and shared the dilemma being faced by the Portreallas church, GGC jumped in with both feet. ( A true Southern-ism: meaning we started looking for ways to help.)
Within four months of launching a fund-raiser, we saw over $10,000.00 come in for the total rebuilding of the wall. And the funds didn't just mean a new wall. This also meant work for laborers on the mountain. And encouragement for families; help for children.
The Portreallas church has launched a feeding program that draws 75 children from all over the area. After the meal, they offer an afternoon of games, puppets, music and Bible stories. Many of the children who attend have accepted Christ as Savior.
Next Saturday, I'll get to be part of that outreach. I can hardly wait! Smiling, hugging, dancing, acting silly. These things break all language barriers. And when you reach out in genuine love, people know it.
So tomorrow I'll get on a plane, fly to South America and spend nine short days offering to live as a servant so more people can hear that God cares that much about THEM!
Aren't we all thankful that someone took the time to tell us?
While there, we'll be engaged in a few other projects:
- Painting the entire church building and parsonage
- Launching a sewing ministry to employ local women
- Some basic repairs
- Dispersing lots of soccer equipment and jerseys
- Helping in the medical clinic
- Outreaches in multiple areas