Saturday, March 15, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The pastor of the church that the Compassion project partners with shared his story. He was an orphan at 10. He was alone and lived on the streets of El Salvador. He said he had no hope. Though he thought he was alone, he never was. Our God is the Father of the fatherless. He was never an orphan because God was watching over him. One day an older lady shared the Gospel message with him and he accepted Christ as his Savior. His life has never been the same. He became a pastor and partnered with Compassion to reach children living in poverty with the gospel. His story reminded me that God looks after the orphans. He used an old lady to share that message with a 10 year old orphan who now is being used to reach over 250 children with the gospel. This tiny little church that he pastors has also planted 3 churches around the area with a 4th in the works. God continues to abundantly bless this man's vision.
Satan thought he won when this little boy was alone on the streets, but God had a different plan! I stand amazed at our God who used a little orphan to change the lives of hundreds of familes living in poverty.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Their poverty often leads them to making poor choices - husbands and fathers abandoning their families, girls getting pregnant at very early ages and then left with no one to support them and no way to provide for themselves.
And yet we come here and they open their homes and their hearts to us. The community has come together to build these houses. And I'm not kidding. Our truck pulled up to the first building site and over 30 people from the community walked down the hill to meet us! They were ready to work! It's been amazing to see the transformation from a kind of shyness and awkwardness between the locals and our team, to working side by side and communicating as much as we can with pointing, hand gestures and the few words we know.
And of course, there's no awkwardness when it comes to the kids ministry! Pull out some sticker sheets, some suckers, or a frisbee and you've got some amigos! I will never forget the sight today at our first building site. It looked like it might be a slow start with just one little boy within sight. And then as I looked down the hill where the building was just getting underway, a group of between 30 to 40 kids came running up the hill towards us! That's when a few of us thought "what have I just sijgned up for!" We had so much fun with these happy kids. One of the activites we had along was a sticker sheet of the Easter story. And as it happened that the pastor we are working with was there, he could share the Easter story with this group of kids!
We know we can't take away the hurt or put an end to poverty here, but we can build one house at a time. And we are seeing firsthand the difference that it makes and how it changes the lives of the families we are building for.
We have completed 8 houses in two days!! Yes, we are exhausted! But we know that we are bringing hope and bringing a message of eternal hope in Jesus Christ!
Posted by Rose Loewen - so that Valerie has a break :)
It sounds like the start of a funny story, you know the one about the... But in Rio Frio, it's a story about two men, one the Leader of a Catholic Church and the other the Pastor of an Evangelical Church. These two men are passionate about the gospel or good news of Jesus and also helping the people in their community. They put aside their religious differences and formed a committee to help those in need in their community. The committee consists of members from both churches. They looked for ways to help others. The pastor of the evangelical church mentioned that his congregation prayed for help. They prayed for over 5 years. That's were God allowed us to be part of the story. This week we have been able to help build houses with the community. El Salvadorian people and us Canadians working together to build 8 houses so far and we should be able to complete 2 more tomorrow. We are a team of about 50, mostly El Salvadorians and 19 Canadians. It's an amazing story and I pray that it doesn't end any time soon!
Monday, March 10, 2014
Yesterday Pastor Pastor ( yes that is his title and name) shared at church that we are fighting a spritual battle when we are fighting poverty. Satan loves poverty. He loves that people are living without hope. Killing themselves because of the suffering that they have endured. Men leaving their families to find work to provide for them. The only answer to this battle is Jesus Christ. He shared we as team members are warriors in God's army fighting this battle as we build the homes for the people here.
I pray that these 10 homes this week will give these people hope and that God will be glorified by the work that is happening in the community. May we continue to fight this battel and not grow weary.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
|happy home owner|
|2 of the 3 ladies I gave pedicures to|
|Aunt Alejandra, Alejandra, myself at the Compassion project|
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
As I sit here writing the rain is pounding down and it is cold. These are the conditions in El Salvador from April until October. The rains have come early this year. I think of the people who must suffer in these conditions because they have plastic and sticks for a home. It really isn't fair is it? Most of the world live in these conditions. Conditions that would be unacceptable in Canada for a family pet. God gave Dennis and I a great gift many years ago when he called us here to serve. He has allowed us to see the suffering of some of the poorest people in the world. I continue to pray that we will not forget all that he has shown us. All the stories we have heard. We must continue to share how people live here and pray that God calls more people to help the poor and the suffering. Today I am celebrating that 8 more families have shelter and 16 team members came to make a difference in the lives of the suffering.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
comes to together here. It reminds me of stories I used to hear of communities who would gather to raise a barn. I think in Canada we have lost community. We are going at such a fast pace in life we no longer gather to help each other. Men got up early and fished to get food for lunch, women made tortillas together and fried the fish. Men came to work on the houses that were constructed. Children played together. Mom's passed around babies and shared stories.
We as a team all found places to share in this gathering of community. Whether it was building, making tortillas, holding babies or sharing a laugh. We are excited to begin all over again tomorrow. Excited to be His hand and feet. What a blessing God has given us.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Today we are going to meet the familes in San Felipe that we will be building the homes for. Excited to finally see their faces and here their stories. I am so thankful that the team members said yes to come and serve some of the poorest in our world. May we be open to being used and be His witness here!