Friday, August 5, 2016

Preparing Our Hearts for Home

Blog post written by Jenni Ramsey
McKinney, Texas

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

It's hard to believe that today is our last day in El Salvador.  This week has been beyond extraordinary with memories too numerous to post.  We have felt the nearness of the Lord and we've seen him save those who are crushed in spirit.  It has truly been a privilege to be HIS HANDS and HIS FEET to the people of El Salvador this week.  Today we were able to visit Isla Victoria (Victory Island) for our R&R day.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship and were able to talk abut the challenges of re-entry after serving in a third world country.  The team enjoyed the time of rest, playing in the warm ocean waters and spending precious time with our Sus Hijos missionary partners, who have nestled their ways into our hearts.

The team buses were parked on the mainland and the team loaded onto three small boats.  The blue waters, lush, tropical foliage and stilt homes and restaurants were captivating.  We cracked up when we saw the McDonalds sign on a beachside cabana restaurant.

We were also amazed to find cows grazing along the ocean waters!  They obviously enjoy the slow island life.  The team enjoyed a delicious meal on the beach and survived a tropical rain storm, with many huddled under the cabana.  Some team members actually swam during the rain and others played volleyball as the tropical waters kissed their faces.

We had the opportunity throughout the day to share how God has touched our hearts throughout this trip.  The team members are returning home tomorrow with hearts of compassion.  They have been changed by the people they have met in El Salvador and many hope to return in the future.  As we discussed the re-entry challenges, we talked about the importance of applying the lessons we've learned this week to our lives at home.  Each team member was given a scripture to memorize before the trip.  We read the scriptures aloud on the bus and shared how we'd seen God's Word come to life this week.  It was powerful to hear how each life has been impacted!  I have been so blessed to spend time with young people this week who are passionate about reaching a broken world with the compelling love, grace and mercy of our God!

Please pray for our team members as they return home and continue to process all that God has revealed to them.  Pray that they will continue to serve those who are hungry, outcast, and imprisoned for the rest of their lives!

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." - Matthew 25:35-40