El Salvador Journal: Day 5
Sunday, July 18th 2010
After breakfast, our team was treated to the spectacle of thrilling competition, in the form of “Lotion Shuffling”. The object of the game was to push a small bottle of hand lotion across a table so it came to rest with a part of the bottle partially hanging off the playing surface. The event was made complete by Pastor Nick’s and James’ play-by-play and color commentary, and the skillful court maintenance of the grounds crew.
Sunday morning’s ministry efforts began with a rewarding experience for our team. We found ourselves back at the tent church for “Big Day”. This was the weekly church service for zone one. “Big Day” was a once-a-month special service that was led by the youth.
Despite the lack of a permanent facility, the church was very cutting-edge. They incorporated much video and technology, giving updates from around the city during their program.
The youth presented a couple of dances. The Assemblies of God District Youth Director from South Dakota, gave a message through an interpreter. This was followed by a powerful closing human video by the youth of the church. It culminated in them crying out to God to bring hope to El Salvador.
As they were weeping, our ministry teams were called up to prepare for prayer. People came forward as they responded to calls for prayers for salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing and home situations. At least one person was freed from demonic possession. Again, there was a spirit of openness to receive what the Lord had for them.
The reward for our guys was to see an immediate return on their work from the previous day. The day before, we ministered freedom to the very same kids God was using at this service.
Our next ministry stop was another community of run-down-looking apartment homes. After spending some time making balloon animals, the team performed in the mud as a morning rain trickled. There, some of our team ministered to a man selling ice cream. Others prayed with children for salvation, healing and various home situations. This process was repeated in a neighboring community, as we continued to spread the hope of Christ in El Salvador.
A couple of us got to talk to a school-age guy who studied English at a University. His English was quite good. He was fun to talk to. We asked him his thoughts about God. We learned that he asked Jesus into his heart and was getting ready to go to a Bible study at his church. His name was Joel.
As was common in some of the communities we visited, Joel accused a couple of our guys of looking like Justin Beiber. Another lady asked one of our guys what shampoo he used. I think they enjoyed the attention.
Our last stop, on Sunday, was a pretty interesting spot. It was an elevated soccer court at a street corner. When we arrived, Pastor David negotiated our use of the court to minister to the community. The terms of the negotiation: we had to beat them at soccer. These weren’t kids, and they knew how to handle the ball. It was no small miracle that we were eventually able to beat them and use the court.
As with everyone we met, they were warm, hospitable and welcoming of the message we shared. There were
a couple of memorable contacts we made at this site. Pastor Nick was able to challenged one of the young guys who stood out as a leader, and share some of his testimony. Others were able to pray for a man who confessed his need to allow God to use him, but doubted any ability to change the situation around him. I believe a call was answered that night.
Since our bus was broken down a couple of streets away and the sun had already set, Pastor David had to ferry us in small groups, through a dangerous part of town to where the bus awaited with dinner. A short while later, a repair service had us back up and on our way.
Again, it was a late return to the compound after a long day of ministry.
If you were there and remember details or any interesting stories I missed, please add your memories of our fifth day in the comments below. Thanks for reading and look for another post from my journal, tomorrow.