July 17, 2012 by Chris French
This morning we gained a new brother! Taylor Wills from our group decided late last night that it was time to become a follower of Jesus. Because we couldn’t find water we had to wait until this morning to immerse him so Jeff Keele baptized him this morning at 6:00
I asked our group from Bethel to write about their favorite moment this week. This is what they wrote.
“The biggest impact on my life this week was the amazing love all the Christians have for one another. When they came together the joy for each other was unforgettable. When services were over everyone stayed and talked with each other building a stronger bond in the church. These beautiful people have less in a year than we throw away in a week and yet they made and gave things to us everywhere we went. I pray that when I return I can love with the love of the Lord. This was our theme song this year and it was so perfect.”
Chris asked us to write our favorite thing about this trip and while there are many for me I think the top of my list is the El Salvadorians love for the Lord. They were always waiting forusto arrive, had walked, some for 1 1/2 hours, sat in the heat and greeted us with a smile and welcomed and offered us their seat. They had actually closed the streets for us in one location. To me this speaks volumes since we have air conditioning and can’t even seem to get 1/2 the Sunday morning crowd to return Sunday night or Wednesday night. I think perhaps we as Americans have lost what is truly important. Our service here on Sunday morning was 3 hours long, in two languages and no one rushed out the door to get to Sunday lunch.”
One of my own personal favorite memories from this week is named Alex. You can read his story right here. If you were on the trip this year I’d love to hear about what you found to be the most powerful or special moment to you.
Today was a great day. We started off in the Children’s Hospital and it always breaks your heart to see the condition these sick children live in, but fills your heart with happiness when you bring a smile to their faces with a stuffed animal. B.J. is looking into getting them some better tools for next year and we’re all very excited about that, especially the Salvadorian doctors and nurses. They actually offered to get the items into the country without us having to pay customs. The Father has definitely opened doors for us this week!
Later in the day we went to Agua Escondida. They had around 200 kids for VBS, which for them was a little down. They were expecting 250, but our last VBS and Gospel Meeting went off without a hitch. We played with the kids, twisted balloons and gave out the remainder of our toys. I love this congregation! It really is one of my favorites. From the very beginning they’ve partnered with us in sharing the Gospel. Last year was our first year to be with them, but they had gone to great trouble to give each one of us a little vegetable that tastes like a potato. Yes, I ate it! It was pretty good! This year they went to great expense and made the men these awesome bracelets and the ladies beautiful ear rings. This kind of sacrifice and generosity is one of the indicators that a congregation is maturing inside of Christ. Agua Escondida is making our Father proud and I’m proud of them and their hard work! Most of the Salvadorians that help us during the week have to lose a week’s worth of pay to be with us. One man drives from north El Salvador to drive our food bags and coolers around in his truck. It makes life easier on us. His name is Ontanel. His wife and son came with him almost every day this week. His son is probably three, but he took the week like a man. Here’s a video of him playing at Agua Escondida.
Later we went to the ocean, walked on the beach and out on the pier and got our group picture taken. After coming back to the hotel for a quick shower we headed to Pizza Hut to induct the newbies into our select group. After that was over we came back to the hotel and had our awards ceremony. Zach and I got the Best Hippo Award for our work in the the Hippo Song. Everyone is waiting with baited breath for the Hippo Song in espanol next year. We’ve had requests in English and Spanish. I guess we’ll have to work on that.
Donna got the Hardest Worker award for carrying around 2 bags when the rest of us were carrying around only one. She definitely deserved it. One bag at a time was hard enough! B.J. got the Most Memorable Moment Award because she was involved in making several “memorable moments” this week. Gloria got the best hat award for her accesorizing style.
You can view our pics from today right here.