Tonight our team gathered for a reunion and trip report. It was so great just to be together! Over 50 people showed up to support the team, hear stories, watch the team video and process the trip. Every heart was moved as we heard how each team members' life had been dramatically changed by their week of serving in El Salvador.
David Hughes, the youth pastor at The Village Church of Irvine, did an amazing job producing our team video. Thanks David for investing so much into this unbelievably touching video...
El Salvador 2013 Vimeo Video
As one team member said tonight, "This is just the beginning". We truly believe that these team members will continue to advocate for the forgotten, abandoned and orphaned in El Salvador. We encouraged each other to continue to share our stories and have no doubt that many team members will return next summer (and recruit others as well). We're grateful for the lifelong friendships that were formed on our team and look forward to seeing God work in our hearts in the days, months and years to come.
We closed our evening with some challenging words from David Platt's book, "Radical" (which all team members were required to read):
"The Bible says that when Jesus told the rich young man to sell everything he had and give to the poor 'the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.' Jesus was uncovering a blind sport in his life, and he didn't want to see it. He walked away with full hands but an empty heart. Tragically, he was leaving behind the only one who could bring him the life and joy he so desperately desired.
I don't want to be blind to these things in my own life. I don't want to pursue stuff and in the process miss Christ and the pleasures he alone gives. I don't want to miss eternal treasures because I settle for earthly trinkets. 'Where your treasure is,' Jesus says, 'there your heart will be also.' The way we use our money is a barometer of our present spiritual condition. Our neglect of the poor illustrates much bout where our hearts lie. The mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there.
Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes. As I see their faces, I realize that I have a choice. You and I both have a choice. We can embrace Jesus while we give away our wealth, or we can walk away from Jesus while we hoard our wealth. Only time will tell what you and I choose to do with this blind spot of American Christianity in our day." - (pages 138-140)