She holds her arms up, her hair in pigtails, long lashes batting. How could I refuse her? I see her sweet face, and I would bring her home with me in a heartbeat if El Salvador allowed adoptions.
My mission trip to El Salvador was an amazing trip. It's a beautiful country with similar foliage and trees as Hawaii. Three ladies and I went on a Women's Ministry Mission trip to El Salvador and stayed with our Faith Missionaries Dr. Bob and Angelique Kendrick. I have to tell you I have not laughed as much, as hard and as often as I did on this trip. It's amazing how Christians can travel to another county and make an instant connection with another believer -- that is how God created us to be. He made us all different but made fellowship with other believers easy to attain because of the love we have for Christ.
We spoke at the University in El Salvador at a Women's Conference. Dr. Bob said he didn't put out a lot of publicity because they wouldn't have the room. As it was, the room we had was packed with 150 plus women. Women who were there needing encouragement and a word from God. I went to be a blessing, but was blessed more than I can explain. The University is a Christian University for medical and dental students. Dr. Bob hopes to add the only accredited Theological Seminary in all of Central America in the next few years at this location.
Women in El Salvador are oppressed. If they are beaten by a man, nothing is done about it. We saw women walking with baskets on their heads. Dr. Bob said he's seen women carry car batteries, live chickens, and many other things in those baskets. These women are hard working and precious.
The second day we went to the orphanage. This broke my heart because over half of the children were in the sick ward with a flu, and when we left they were testing them for the Swine Flu (H1N1). Praise the Lord, they didn't have it. It just broke my heart that there were sick children in there with no momma to love on them, hold their hair back when they were sick, wipe their foreheads or change the bed linens. I looked at all the little boys with their dark hair and dark eyes, and I thought, "Wow, this could very easily have been my son." So, while I fought back the tears, I loved on as many little kids as I could.
Our third day we had a women's conference at Chinemeca. Some of the women had been at the church cooking since 7 PM the night before! The conference started at 9 AM, and there were some vans packed with women who drove 2 hours just to attend this conference. Over 300 women attended the conference. That was humbling to me. To know that all these women took so much care and time to come, and I was responsible for speaking. I spoke on being a woman of Godly influence. It was something God laid on my heart when we chose the title of the conference, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made -- A Women's Conference." Ms Sally and Angelique sang an amazing duet in Spanish. Ms Sally spoke on what it means to really trust God. Susan and Mrs. Lupe' gave their testimonies. It was an awesome day of fellowship and worship. One of the women who was at the first women's conference had brought her dad along with a van load of women from 2 hours away. This young lady had won a door prize that I had made. I had made some hand-beaded, hand-mirrors with a cross on it. She had that mirror in her purse and pulled it out and showed it to me with such pride. I was so relieved to see her again because God had laid something on my heart to tell her but hadn't had a chance. Now was my opportunity with the interpreter. I told her every time she looked into the mirror I wanted her see a daughter of the King of Kings, a beautiful daughter of the King of Kings, and she started crying. I just loved on her. I didn't know what else to do.
At this Chinemeca location, there is a Bible college of sorts where men can come on Friday and Saturdays and take classes for three years. Afterwards, they go and start churches. It's nationals reaching nationals.
Sunday morning, we worshipped in Chinemeca, and then we went to Achichilco, a very poor community. Dr. Bob said the first pastor at this church met with his brother and wife for three years and prayed and no one came. When people started coming, his brother stepped out of the sanctuary was killed. The pastor had been their intended target. The pastor fled the country in fear of his life. Now, Pastor Tito and his new wife Veronica are leading the church now, and it's growing. We were all so amazed at how clean all the children were for them to live in such impoverished conditions. Mrs. Lupe's church has a beans and rice ministry, and with the funds she brought from that ministry, we were able to provide rice, beans, coffee, milk, lard and a couple of other items for the 10 families in the church. They were so extremely grateful.
We left El Salvador the next day, but my memories of the children and the women will be with me for a lifetime.
Thank you, Merciful Father, for allowing me this opportunity to minister.