Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fundraising, Packing and Preparing...

Our team of 19 is ready for departure!  We will be serving in El Salvador from July 7-14, and are so grateful for all of the prayers and support that we have received!  It has been an unforgettable month of raising funds, collecting donations and preparing for our incredible week of ministry.

Our team has been overwhelmed by the many ways in which God has provided for our needs over the past few months!  One of our families was struggling with fundraising and needed just under $2100 to cover their remaining costs.  This family had 24 hours to collect the funds and to their amazement, they received exactly $2100 in donations from co-workers just hours before the funds were due! 

Our team has hosted 3 babysitting fundraisers at our church, 1 bake sale, 2 garage sales and a few lemonade stands! We have raised all of our trip expenses and even have extra funds for donations and gifts!

We are honored to be serving at two significant events for the beautiful people of El Salvador. On Monday, July 9, we will be serving at a "group wedding" at Calvary Chapel, San Salvador.  Thirty-three couples will be officially "married," many whom have lived together for years and even have children and grandchildren. In El Salvador, weddings and marriage costs are expensive and couples are often unable to afford the costs to marry.  We are thrilled to celebrate this wonderful occasion with these dear families and are bringing Spanish Bibles as gifts (embossed with each couples' name).

On Tuesday, July 10, we will be hosting a quinceanera (a traditional Latin celebration for girls on their fifteenth birthdays) for 48 young women.  These women are under the protective custody of the state due to abandonment or abuse.  Most of these girls never received a quinceanera.  Needless to say, this will be one of the most memorable events of their lives!  We have collected over 120 dresses and are also bringing shoes, jewelry, tiaras, hairpieces, makeup and gifts to bless each young woman.   The quinceanera will include dinner, live music and a special message from some of our team members.  Most of these girls have experienced extreme trauma and abuse in their young lives.  Please pray that they will understand their value and beauty as we celebrate their lives together.  Pray that they will understand the deep love of their Heavenly Father as we communicate the hope of the Gospel and the truth that can set them free. 

Last Sunday our team was commissioned at The Village Church of Irvine.  We are so thankful to be part of a church that is passionately involved in God's work around the world.  Please pray for our safety, our health and team unity as we serve together in a third world country.  We will be posting photos and updates daily from El Salvador.    - Jenni for the team

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