Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jesus is faithful

Life may not go according to your plan . . . but Jesus is faithful.
Scary things may come your way . . . but Jesus is always faithful.

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." Psalm 18:28-29

I've been reading through Jeremiah and I greatly admire the prophet's honesty. He tells God exactly how he feels. The dialogue in chapter 15 goes something like this:

Jeremiah says: ". . . remember me and care for me. . . . think of how I suffer reproach for your sake. . . . Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?" (translation: hello God! have you forgotten me? have you deceived me? this life is hard and I am in pain. where are you?)

God says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you." (translation: repent! don't be like the people around you and complain to me. you're doing exactly what the people of Judah are doing! I will keep my promise to you - but I did not promise an easy life. I will be faithful to you.)

A call to repent. And a promise of salvation.
I think God wants all of us to heed His words to Jeremiah.
I know I am challenged to do so.

Friday, July 9, 2010

elsalvador: everything drama

A final El Salvador post. Quite possibly one of my favorite things on the trip was watching the students perform the "Everything" drama. I adapted this original skit performed in Tennessee in 2006 to include all 19 students. We used the same music even though it's not in Spanish because it is incredibly powerful. To help the viewers follow the storyline, we created t-shirts with the character title printed in Spanish on the front.

I am so proud of our Eagle students. They were just wonderful about doing their part to the fullest even in some uncomfortable, odd, and hot/sticky situations. They performed the piece for 3 churches, at VBS on Friday, and also at the Metro Centro on Friday. I took the pictures below with Leah's camera when we were at the mall. It was hot . . . but they performed 9 times at 4 different spots.

"M" is for Metro.

A crowd watching for one of the performances.

Jesus is reaching and pulling her in.

More reaching and running.
And He intercedes on our behalf and saves us.
Beautiful moment when Jesus throws back the evil powers.

Freedom.

Love this shot. Notice the mountain in the background.

So this completes my El Salvador recaps. Thanks for bearing with me as I used this blog venue to process the trip and record my memories. Praise God for all He accomplished in our lives through the experience. Praise Him for the opportunity & privilege to see how He is alive & well in San Salvador. May God continue to be glorified in El Salvador as He is in heaven.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

elsalvador: VBS adventures

VBS. Monday through Friday we walked to an apartment complex to help with a "vacation Bible school": crowd control, love on the kids, oversee a few craft projects, play games, and just generally survive the craziness for two hours. Two ladies from Mario's church ran the games, crafts & Bible time in Spanish. I spent most of my time with the younger kids, while Bryce played with the older ones outside.

This experience was really challenging for me because of the language barrier. I'm someone who loves to have little conversations with kids and not being able to talk to them in Spanish just about killed me. By the end of the week, I was a little more comfortable. I spent a lot of time with two little girls and their younger brother (see pictures of me with them below) . . . so precious.

We found out later that the apartment complex was actually quite dangerous because a few gang members lived there . . . which is one reason we only went there during the day. I'm glad we were able to spend time with the children. I pray that those who raised their hands to accept Jesus will continue to walk with Him for the rest of their lives. And, if not, that one day their VBS experience will be a poignant reminder of how much He loves them.


Friday, July 2, 2010

elsalvador: worship moments

As mentioned previously, my favorite & best places to worship are on the top of a mountain with an amazing view or standing at the ocean's edge. I was able to experience both of those on our El Salvador trip. Thursday morning we climbed a mountain. Saturday we visited the Pacific Ocean.

Here is the slightly wimpy mountain climbing group. The majority of the team went up the hard way. Our climb was beautiful nonetheless . . . and relatively painless. :)

The view was magnificent. My awe of God increased with the amazingness of what I could see from that mountaintop.

Me spending some time in contemplation & adoring Jesus.
Can't help it when I get up there.
Ian read the Sermon on the Mount to us. Bryce led worship.
We spent some time in private worship.
It was a special morning.
The Langebartels.
A beach picture. It was a lovely way to end the week - relaxing and playing in the warm water and getting sun and swimming in the pools and laying in the hammock and looking for shells.
I just love the ocean . . . one of my favorite places.
I think this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
My wonderful husband and I.
Picture credit: various team members (Libby, Clay, Devan, Leah, etc.)

elsalvador: Tia Anna pictures

The outside of her home/orphanage.
Bryce helping one of the boys with his homework.

Ironing the kids school clothes. This is Tia Anna's bedroom.

Playing with the jumprope.
Crafts! (I'm on the left, helping look for letters.)

Picture credit: various team members