Wow. 2014 was an incredible year. I took classes in Virginia in the spring (still working on my RN-BSN), fundraised, and moved to El Salvador in May.
I had a fundraiser BBQ dinner with tons of support!
I have witnessed incredible acts of God such as provision and reconciliation. I went to Mission Training International in August and was very convicted by God that not only are my “strengths” to be used for His glory, but also my abundant weaknesses and failures, which I am not so fond of.
So many neat missionaries I got to know at MTI.
I have become more involved at Vinculo de Amor, seen Proyecto Metamorfosis go through crisis after financial crisis until it is barely hanging on. I have seen God provide for our Wired building with funds and a long-awaited construction permit.
It is a privilege to care for the malnourished babies at Vinculo… like the one in my lap here.
I have grown closer to my Wired team, and walked with them through joys as well as intense loss and suffering.We have done battle together.
I love praying with my team!!! This is the real battleground.
With so many various difficulties, griefs, pains, and changes, I ended the year feeling a bit beat up. In fact, as I was reflecting on how I felt, I thought “I am toast”, “I feel plowed up”. I’m not sure what caused me to phrase it that way, but as soon as I did, I remembered …I prayed for this!!! Several months ago, I specifically prayed Hosea 10:12.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
Fallow ground is crusted over, unused, like a field that has laid waste all year. I asked God to plow me up so that my heart would become fertile ground for Him. This He has done. It has been rough, let me tell you. But in all of the hardship (it doesn’t feel good to get plowed up) I have never been more convinced of God’s love for me. I know that He is real, that He is faithful, and that He has called me here. He is jealous for His glory and wants to be glorified through me (and you!)
Foreground: dead field. Background: volcano Izalco
San Salvador is a dark place. El Salvador has a dark history of racism, civil war, massacres, poverty, drugs, malnourishment, violence, corruption, gangs, and immorality.
Centro (downtown San Salvador)
However, as I think about being here, and my prayers that God would break up the hardness of my heart and bring revival to this city, I am encouraged. That verse in Hosea talks about God raining down righteousness. Earlier in Hosea, it says, “Let us know; let us press on to know that LORD; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Can you imagine this city seeking God, and God raining down righteousness on it??!
I ended my year somewhere I wasn’t expecting. I was given a plane ticket home for Christmas, where I got to see my whole family and meet my littlest niece. I spent a delightful week doing nothing but resting and enjoying my family. What a gift!
My family =)
I’m in the bright red shirt
I thoroughly enjoyed the week of rest, but am now back at home here in El Salvador, ready for 2015. No doubt it’s going to be extremely tough. It’s filled with 365 days of unknowns. But that’s ok.
As I sat in the plane on the flight back, I was so refreshed as I looked out on the sunrise and drank a cup of tea. I was reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, who encourages believers to focus on Christ and to pursue the presence of God. How I want that to be the ultimate purpose of my life! As I reflected, I was re-envisioned and renewed. I want to slow down this year and know God more. I want to love Him more. I am not so concerned with getting anything accomplished, but would rather just experience more of God. In the end, that is what glorifies Him; and the glory of God is the chief purpose of man.
God makes beautiful things.