Thursday, November 12, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Yesterday Dennis and I interviewed a family that the team was building a home for. With tears in their eyes they shared how grateful they were to receive a home. She was raising some chickens so they could have chicken sandwiches for Christmas. She wanted to give Dennis and I her largest chicken. Out of her poverty she wanted to give. Her family didn’t have the basic nessesities yet she was willing to give from nothing. Even if that meant she would have nothing. We in Canada have an overflowing abundance of money and posessions yet we still hoard what God has entrusted us with. Why do we do that? Why are the scales so unbalanced between those that have too much and those that have nothing? We have more than enough and yet the majority of the world don't have enough for today!? As Christians we will have to answer to how we have used God's resourses. This life is a dress rehearsal for eternity. How did we use his money? Did we share it with those less fortunate or did we keep building bigger barrns? Did we use it for kingdom purposes or for our own purposes? We will be rewarded in eternity with how we used our resourses. We all have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Now is the time to use the resources he has entrusted us with for His glory and kingdom purposes. That way we can hear Jesus say "well done my good and faithful servant".
Monday, November 9, 2015
Yet we see God doing a great work. People in the community working together with the teams to erect the homes. Children laughing with some of our teenagers as they play with water ballons, a team member helping a mom and daughter wash clothes the old fashioned way by scrubbing them on the rock. Team members sharing the Gospel and praying for familes during the interview. I see God at work. I see God restoring Salvadoran lives and Canadian lives through the work that is happening here. I can't put it into words except to say....it is powerful! It is God! What a blessing to witness it and be a part of it.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
I had an opportunity last year to sit with a man, his wife and their teenage son. He asked us "Why do you do this"? "Why do you come and build homes for us"? The answer to me is easy! We come because of the One who lives in us. We come because of Jesus. Jesus loves us so much and because of His love we also go and share the good news with others. How do we do that? By building homes! Building homes is an opportunity for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to offer the good news of His love and salvation for mankind.
As we prepare to go and build 10 homes for families living in extreme poverty I pray that God will bless the work. Not so we look good...but so we can share God's love and grace to others. All for his purpose and for His glory!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Today was the day we visited the Compassion Centre. With me being on my first mission trip it was amazing and overwhelming seeing these children being so excited to see us. Before the trucks even stopped to let us off the kids were yelling and running to the gates. As we entered, they were hugging everyone of us as if we knew each other our whole lives. I would compare the excitement to Christmas Day in Canada. There was a small presentation the children put on for us. They also had us interacting with the children by introducing ourselves followed by us making our favourite animal sound while the kids guessed what the animal was. Some of the team members have sponsor children who they were able to visit with along with the child's family. After the presentation we had the opportunity to try some of the quisine which was pretty good. We then went on a tour of the centre where we learned that the workshops they have are pinata making, computers and sewing. After the tour the team, along with the sponsored children and their families, made their way to the hostess' house where we had lunch and did some more interacting with the families. They taught us a couple dances and some of the team members played soccer with the chldren. It was an amazing experience watching these children, along with their families, visit with their sponsors and see the joy and hope in their eyes and smiles. The Fiesta was a truly amazing experience with the paper flowers, balloons, music, food, and overall ambience. Compassion is a wonderful thing to spread. God Bless!
By Dawn Merrick
Yesterday I was blessed to be able to sit and listen to 2 families life stories as we built their homes. Helen is just 19. She has a 2 year old daughter named Delia. Her husband has a sentence of 20 years and is in jail in San Vicente. He is a farmer and he planted corn and beans. His crops were being stolen and so he purchased a gun so he could protect the crops that fed his family. One morning as he was walking to the field the police stopped him. He did not have a permit for the gun and so he was arrested. Because of their poverty the family did not have the money for a lawyer he recieved a 20 year sentence. He has served only 1 year. She is now alone raising her daughter and tries to sell used clothes to provide for her daughter. Some days she does not have enough to feed her daughter. She explained that the house was a great blessing for her and her daughter. She said she was so grateful for the team. She has family in San Salvador and when I asked her if she could go to them for help she shared that they turned their back on her when she left to marry Carlos. They did not want her to marry him as he was poor. When we first arrived at the job site I saw Helen caring for her severly disabled brother in law Juan. She was a beautiful women with a generous heart and sensitive spirit and it breaks my heart that she has to endure this life in poverty.
The 2nd family we interviewed was a family of 3. Manuel and Marin have been married for 25 years and they love the Lord. They have 3 children but only their son Juan will be the only one living in their new home as their daughters are married. They are farmers and Juan is 22 and still in school. He wants to finish high school. He takes time off from school to farm with his dad. Manuel loves his family and the Lord. He shared that they are very poor but that they are happy. He said that material things cannot buy happiness. They don't look to tomorrow but are content if they have enough for today.
We in Canada can learn so much from this family. This is not how we live life in Canada. We are constantly being told by advertisers that we need the big house, new cars, the latest i phone. Yet, we see that this is not bringing happiness to the masses. Rates of suicides are shocking, divorce rates are at 50 %. Canadians have now out passed Americans in debt load. We need to learn to be content with what we have and not get caught up in the things of the world. Jesus taught us not to invest in things that moth and rust can destroy and thieves can steal but to invest in things that cannot be destroyed. Investing in people and using God's resources to help the poor is one of the greatest blessing. We can learn a lot from Manuel, you see he has found the secret. We just have to listen.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
As I sit here for a 7 hour stopover in the airport in Panama I am reflecting on what our week will hold for the team. I know it will be full of incredible God moments. It has been a really trying week for many of the team members. We were going to be a team of 25 but because of health issues 2 had to cancel last minute. I know it will be filled with God moments because of the battle that some team members experienced this past week.
Whatever this week holds I pray that as a team we will go with a servants heart. As believers we have the greatest example of serving humanity in the life of Jesus. He served all of humanity by living a sinless life and dying on the cross for us. We deserved the nails for our sins but because of His great love for us he took our place. May we go and serve with the thoughts of the price that was paid at Calvary. May we carry a heart like Christ where ever we go this week. May God be glorified as we serve.