Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't say you're not called to go.

Everyone.

We're all called to go to the mission field.

Yes.

Everyone.

However, the mission field is different for everyone.

It may be in a foreign country. It may be here in the states, where there are plenty of people that need Jesus. Plenty.

When you go on mission trips, you can feel like you're not doing as much for God as the missionaries out in the field. But, if you are applying the same godly principles in your own life, wherever you are, then you are doing big things.

And, that's the part that's hard.

Are we?

I'd say no for me.

I have never prayed so hard in my life than I did in El Salvador. I have never felt a burden for people and their needs as much as I did there.

My compassion for the lost there was great. My desire to reach them was great.

Not so much here, where both those things should be greatest.

To be honest, I might not have much compassion at all for people who don't feel like they need God, that they're good on their own, like most of America.

And, that's wrong.

Everyone needs to be reached ... even your next-door neighbor with his big-screen TV, swimming pool, and bad attitude, or your family member who is the kindest and most giving person you've ever met, but doesn't have a relationship with the Lord.

Everyone, including the poverty-stricken people of El Salvador ... the sexually and physically abused women and children, the gang members, those involved in witchcraft, and the abandoned children.

Everyone.

So, I come back from El Salvador changed ... the faces of the people forever sketched in my mind.

I will pray for them, for their needs, but I am reminded that in America, we have the same needs. The difference is that in America, the needs are hidden more, covered up.

A mighty man of God, Jacob Noel, missionary to El Salvador, said this: Don't have pity on the people. Have compassion on them. Pity is just feeling sorry for them. Compassion is actually doing something to help them.

I want my compassion for America to be the same as my compassion for El Salvador.

There are so many stories I could tell you about the trip ... truly awesome stories, but this one stands out most in my mind.

We went to a place called Nueva Esperanza, one of the most dangerous places in the area, home of the MS13 gang. El Salvador is filled with gangs and the violence that occurs from them. King's Castle has planted a church in the area. The gang members allow King's Castle to come into the neighborhoods because they see the organization as helping their children. Gangs are extremely protective of their territory. We were very cautious, and felt a strong spiritual oppression when we stepped off the bus. A 10-year-old boy immediately sat near the bus and lit a cigarette. The boys nearby were cursing. They looked at us with a look of intimidation. However, we were not intimidated.

We went out into the neighborhood to invite the children and mothers to come to see the program. Many came.

Nineteen accepted Christ that morning.

We prayed for many afterwards in a prayer line and one women actually fell because the power of the Holy Spirit was so strong. After a short while, she said, "What happened to me?" The translator explained that God love her and wanted to touch her in a special way. The woman sat up, crying, and said she felt so good ... so happy. She was at peace.

After that incredible outreach, we headed to the church to have a special women's meeting. This is something that had never happened in this place. Amazing things happened. The ladies in this area are extremely abused and, therefore, quite guarded. I gave a quick message about worth and that they were valuable to God, no matter what their circumstance. Several ladies stepped out of their comfort zone and gave testimonies that were so powerful. We sang some worhship songs and broke up into groups where we could pray for the ladies and had them open up about their needs. Then, we had an amazing altar time. The service lasted four hours.
(Did I mention it was hot? Note the lovely armpit sweat.)

Afterwards, we had coffee and cake with them. Then, we spoke with the pastor before we were heading out. Thank God we did. Because he told us that on Monday (the day we arrived in El Salvador), he had recieved a prophesy that a group of women would be coming to minister to the women there and that God would move mightily. It wasn't until Tuesday that our leader had spoken to him about coming. We had nothing planned and spent most of the week deciding on what we were going to do. God definitely ordained this meeting. And, for some of our ladies, it was confirmation of God's leading and calling them into new giftings.
(Love this young woman. Lily is sold out for God, but her family is not and doesn't know Christ. She is an inspiration and her English is exceptional. Pray that she would have strength, her family would know Christ, and for protection over her family.)
(Our team with the pastors of Nueva Esperanza Church ... Pray for them too, for protection and favor with the community, and that many would come to Christ through their work.)

Basically, it was AMAZING! And, I have said that word at least seventy-two times this week.

We reached over 250 people. Seventy-four decisions for Christ were made and over 170 people were prayed for. All this happened in a matter of three days.

Thank God for making me uncomfortable.

To read more details, you can also go to Kristal's blog.

9 Comments:

BaronessBlack said...

Way to go!
I love LOVE what you said about charity, compassion, mission (all that good stuff) starting AT HOME!
When I lived in Kenya I heard lots about how needy (in lots of ways) the people there were from visitors and tourists from assorted countries. And it's true, there were. But the people making the statements, either didn't realise, or couldn't see, that many of the same problems existed in their own countries but in a way that wasn't so obvious.
It looks like you had such a great time - I'm so pleased for you!

Jeff Ables said...

I am so very proud of you and the team!

Jeff Ables said...

I am so extremely proud of you guys and all God accomplished through you this week!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

I love that quote by Jacob Noel!

Sounds like God really used you! What a great opportunity!

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

This was such a touching post! Thank you so much for sharing.

Rachelle said...

So wonderful to read about your work in El Salvador. Such beautiful people.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

And to think you were considering not blogging. Wow. We would've missed all these God moments from South America, but then again, I like to think, you would've reconsidered the whole blog thing. And if you had stopped, would've started right back up. Because to think I would've missed one dripping word of this testimony makes me shiver with dread. So glad you stuck it out, for as long as God has you here.

Ps. I'm un-lurker here to leave a comment. I usually slide in and read then slip out the 'backdoor'. Just had to say something this time.

TAMS said...

Very moving! Thank you for sharing your experience. God is so good!

Cathy said...

Amazing. That's what God is and what God does when we are willing to step outside our comfort zones. Thanks for sharing.