Friday, July 15, 2011

Finding God in the Midst of Suffering

Blog written by Jenni Ramsey

This week our team has encountered stories of poverty, abuse, incest, unwanted pregnancies, abandonment, addictions and other atrocities in the faces of children too heart breaking to post on this blog. For most Americans, these issues pose the question, “Where is God in the midst of suffering?” I do not presume to have all of the answers to the deep things of God. But I do know this. In the past seven days God has been right here in our midst.

Our team has been reading through David Platt’s book, “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream.” In chapter seven, David Platt submits that God’s people are the answer to the pain and suffering in the world today. He says that Christ’s followers “are the plan of God, and there is no plan B.” As I was reading through this chapter on the flight to El Salvador, God gave me a name for our team, “The Plan A Team.” It has been overwhelming and humbling to realize that we have truly been “God’s Plan A” for the people of El Salvador this week.

I saw the perfect plan of God as I watched my eight-year old son hold, feed and hug abandoned babies. I saw the gracious plan of God in a homeless man’s smile as he shouted “gracias!” and grabbed a bag of food from our truck. I saw God’s plan as my friend Tanya listened to and counseled a teenage mom. Later she cut her hair, and struggled to let her go in an unforgettable good-bye embrace.

I saw the plan of God as the men on our team worked tirelessly in life-squelching heat building a home for elderly men and women who have been forgotten. I saw God’s sacrificial plan as my friend Carin removed the shoes from her feet and handed them to a construction worker in desperate need of shoes. The stories of God’s plans being accomplished through our team are endless. It has been a privilege to be His plan of mercy, compassion and relief to “the least of these.”

We’ve spent a lot of time this week reflecting on God’s plans for our lives as “The Plan A Team.” Proverbs 19:21 says that “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Psalm 33:11 tells us that “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of His heart through all generations.” And Psalm 40:4-5 says “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you, were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”

Our world is broken. No doubt about it. This week we have been reminded that God is a Redeemer, and He can heal anything that has been broken. Anything. By His grace, He has chosen to use us in bringing hope and joy to El Salvador this week. As we return home, we have a heightened awareness of the fact that we are His plan for the hurting world around us. As one of the team leaders, my heart and prayer is that each team member will return home remembering that they are God’s Plan A to reach the suffering souls surrounding them. And Lord willing, many of us will return to serve His people in El Salvador one day soon.


  1. Jenni,
    I am posting a brief comment here. I looked forward each day to a new post. I am filled with joy and pride that I am a part of this team. As I read each post, tears streaming down my face, I saw how God has worked in so many lives on this trip, especially mine. Too much to post in a comment here. May God speed you and the Plan A team home. Thank you, all of you, for your hearts and willingness to heed His call.

  2. Thanks Barbara. Love you posts! Headed to bed now, just came up to the office to do a few things. 10 pm curfew (for 5 a.m. wake up). Can't wait to see YOU and HUG YOU on Sunday!!!

  3. So beautifully worded!!!

  4. Hello dear in Christ ,

    I Greet you in the name of our lord Jesus christ .i am Director of an Orphanage ministry .My name is Faisal Saleem i am from Pakistan . i would like to tell you all about our ministry here . we working here with 18 Orphans children we helping Orphans for food , shelter , clothes , education and everything here . i want to tell you that we not have our own Orphanage building here . we got an building here on the rent for the children where the children are living ! . i would like to tell you that we need our own Orphanage building for the children because it is very difficult to pay the rent for the building every month for us. because i hope you know that Pakistan is a Muslim country and it is very hard to be christian here . it is very hard to provide everything to the children sometime but we trying hard to provide them everything . i request you kindly keep pray that God provide us our own building soon for the children we need a lot of prayer . please keep in touch and keep us in your prayer .

    i would like to tell you that i found your website by God and i would like to say that we really like your ministy work very much .you are doing wonderful work for God . we will keep you and your all ministry member and your all work in our prayer . God bless you more and more . i want to say that we want to Partnership with you here in Pakistan . i want to work with you . because we need some support and it will be great if you will work here with us in Pakistan . we are keep praying about it please you also pray ok . i am waiting for your back e-mail i hope to hear from you soon . God bless you and God be with you always .

    Evangelist : Faisal Saleem
    Pakistan .