El Salvador Journal: Day 6
Monday, July 19th 2010
Our second to last day of ministry began with a little rain. Our first ministry stop was at a school. Although the rain had stopped, the school was already dismissed. We were told that many of the school buildings in San Salvador were old and leaked when it rained.
We packed back into the bus and drove a short distance to a nearby neighborhood. Here, the houses were crammed into tight rows along narrow alleys. Once there, the team sprang into action. It was this day that we were followed by a videographer from Castle. We performed our dances and skits while children watched on a lower and upper ledge of the alley wall.
In this neighborhood there was a small girl whose mother was concerned about a fever that she had been running for some time. We could feel her fever as we prayed for her. We listened as the mother told us, through our interpreter, of the doctors inability to identify any cause. Although there was no immediate physical sign of her healing, we agreed and believed that one was on the way.
Stopping for lunch, our host team took us to a small shopping center to spend the little bit of time we had before our next ministry opportunity. Obviously, we were compelled to use this as an opportunity to have some fun.
Nick passed the word that we all needed to stop in place whenever he said “freeze”. As we walked through the mall, we would freeze in various common spaces. It was hard to hold a pose as passersby laughed or simply stared in confusion. Without a great understanding of Salvadoran culture, we were often dependent on measuring the appropriateness of our antics by the responses of our host team. In all of these instances, they seemed as eager as we were to participate in the silliness.
One of our host team members, having missed Nick’s preface of the game, was caught off guard when she first saw us frozen in place. It was funny to watch her try to ask various team members what was happening as they refused to break their pose.
Our next ministry stop yielded a highlight of our trip. Similar to other stops, this site was characterized by dilapidated apartment houses, unkempt courtyards and a spirit of heaviness. On this wet day, it was especially difficult to coax kids from their presumably dry houses.
Courtney helped get things started by participating with Oscar, in the chicken dance. Devin rounded off the opening act by attempting to repeat unknown Spanish phonetics through a mouth full of cookies.
Throughout this time of ministry, many of us noticed a young girl who cried through parts of the program. We later found out that she was suffering from pain in her legs and feet, and could not sit comfortably. This was all explained to us, when she responded to a request for prayer for infirmities.
Members of our team began to gather around her in a fervent prayer for her healing. There seemed to be a desperation among the group as we concluded our prayer and the girl was not immediately healed. Tyler Duvall was the first to say what we were all thinking, “Lets pray again.” Although nothing seemed different about this round of prayers, the result was miraculous. When the girl was asked about the pain, she said there was none. When we asked if she could jump, she jumped. When we asked if she could run, she ran. This was all quite a contrast from the girl who could only shuffle, flat-footed to us only minutes before. Praise God for this miracle, the proclamation it is of His glory, and the inspiration it was to our team.
We were also surprised to see the Triplets, the couple who founded Castillo del Rey, visit us at this stop on our mission.
Our next site was a familiar one. We returned to the last site we visited on Friday, our first day of ministry. Although the scenery was familiar, the heaviness we initially felt upon our previous arrival was not sensed. We all agreed that it seemed like God had begun a work in this neighborhood.
As with our first visit, some of our team started a game of soccer, while others played with kids on their swing set and around the perimeter of the court. Several of us were asked by the videographer who accompanied us, to give testimony of our experiences to this point.
There were many kids present as our team ministered their dances and dramas. Again, our host team of Master’s Commission students and intern demonstrated their awesome ability to speak hope and salvation to the children of El Salvador, as they gathered them in for prayer. All-the-while, Pastor Nick, Pastor David and others spoke with several gang members at the hangout off the corner of the court. In all, five of them gave their hearts to God.
There was a definite shift in the general attitude of the team, as we concluded this day of ministry. In the earlier days of our trip, many questioned if we could maintain such a pace and withstand the heat and exhaustion, as we hurried from neighborhood to neighborhood. This night, many confessed they longed for more than just one more day of ministry. I think we all began to silently lament and wish against the knowledge that these experiences were almost past.
At dinner, Pastor Nick had a great opportunity to talk with Don Triplet about the history of Castillo del Rey and his vision for it’s future.
The team enjoyed another delicious dinner and each other’s company. This night, lasagna was on the menu. Our hosts always did an excellent job in their attempts to accommodate our sensitive palettes.
It was the end of another great day in El Salvador.
If you were there and remember details or any interesting stories I missed, please add your memories of our sixth day in the comments below. Thanks for reading and look for another post from my journal, tomorrow.