El Salvador Update #1

July 31, 2017

It is my privilege to once again lead our Vineyard Missions team to Central America, and this year I’m super excited about partnering with the Vineyard Palmares (from Costa Rica) to do missions work with a small Vineyard church in El Salvador.  It’s the first time either of us has done missions work in El Salvador, so this will be pretty exciting!

There are 13 of us from the United States, and 8 from the Vineyard in Costa Rica to make our team a team of 21.  We arrived in El Salvador with little problems (always a good thing) on Sunday evening, and as we were walking through the airport trying to find our way to baggage claim, the Costa Rica group walked right up behind us and lead the way!  Their flight was delayed, which made it perfect timing for us to all go through customs together.

After customs, we spent a good 2-3 hours at the rental car counter trying to get some vehicles and ended up with 3 cars and a truck, 20 seats in all (you do remember that there are 21 of us on this trip, right?).  It was a tight squeeze in the truck, but we made it work.  After a brief stop at burger king, we drove just over 2 hours to our hotel and arrived shortly after midnight. 

It was a short night as we had breakfast at 7am, and left by 8am for the 30-minute drive down a mountain to the small town of Guaymango.  There we met the pastor of The Vineyard church in Guaymango, who is also the principal of the local primary school.  He lead us to the school where dozens of children were already waiting for us to come.  It is always a joy to do a Christ-centered program on anti-bullying for the children and then moves into an all-out carnival with music, games, a bounce house and lots of prizes.  The children were grinning from ear to ear all morning and made the lack of sleep worth it.  After giving the children a final snack, they all left and we cleaned up and headed back into town for lunch.  The families from the local Vineyard are making us lunch and dinner all this week, and usually, we supply the raw ingredients, but today they wanted to bless us and provided all of the food for free.  It was incredibly good! 

After lunch, we went back to the church and began painting a water tank and some walls around the school and in the kitchen.  The local officials had notified them that they needed this done, so we were more than willing to be the hands to do it.  We also fixed a mosquito screen in the large kitchen window, which ended up taking more effort than it should have but we did it!

While the last team was finishing painting the kitchen, several of us decided to go on a “prayer walk” through the local community while we waited.  It is always so nice to see the openness to prayer in the countries we do missions.   It’s such a stark contrast to the reactions we get in the United States that it almost feels refreshing.  Most every house we offered prayer to was willing to accept it.  My favorite stop was a lady named Lilliam and her aged mother.  God brought salvation to Lilliam and physical and emotional healing to her mother.  God is so cool that he sends a mixed team of Vineyard folks from El Salvador, Costa Rica & Indiana to offer salvation to this family!  God also brought healing to the knee of one of the high school girls from the local Vineyard as well as an older lady who was suffering from asthma.  The faith of the local community is strong, and I can see the faith of our mission’s team growing with each prayer.

After dinner, we drove back up the mountain to our hotel and took showers.  We ended the evening with a much-needed time of worship lead by one of my favorite worship leaders, Rayner.  If you have seen Rayner lead worship before, you know what I am talking about.  If you haven’t, I hope someday you will!

Tomorrow our plan is to fix the roofs of some of the families of the local Vineyard church as well as take the time to do some more prayer walks in the community.  In the evening we will be leading a worship and teaching service in the church, which should be pretty exciting!  Please continue to pray for the physical protection of our team and some have had a few bumps and bruises.  Also, please pray that God’s miraculous power continues to bring help to the local community through our team.  Thank-you for your prayers!



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