Blog post written by Leanne Sheward
Newport Beach, CA
I love to go to church when I'm on vacation or out of town because I love to be in God's house with His people. I enjoy worshiping our God together and appreciate the ways in which churches worship differently. I was so excited to learn that our first day's activity in El Salvador was to go to church! Igleslia Cristiana Monte Calvario was a small, very family oriented church and they all seemed to really know and love one another. I loved how an older lady moved her purse and Bible on the chair next to her as if to say, "Sit here by me!" We sang out loudly together and some team members were handed tambourines during worship. I was overjoyed when the worship team played a song in Spanish that I knew in English. While our words may have been different, our hearts were united in Christ.
Our team was presented before the church and some of the team members sang two songs in English. Our team leader Jenni gave a message on missions. She invited people forward to demonstrate how many Christians are alive in the world today and broke down the world religions. The congregation enjoyed the message and it was a powerful presentation. At the end of the message the church leaders came forward to pray over our team. We were moved to tears as they prayed with passion for our week of ministry.
I so enjoyed seeing the young children run outside to their Sunday school classes when they were dismissed. Some of our moms and daughters had prepared a lesson and crafts for them. It warmed my heart to hear how Christians from a whole different culture in essence speak the same language of God's love and forgiveness. Truth is truth, no matter what language. I want to make sure that I am more like the lady I sat next to in church on Sunday and that I move my purse for many others to say, "Sit here by me!" I also hope to extend the same hospitality and to be as welcoming to others as the El Salvadorians were to our team of gringos.