March 4th, 2014
Happy March everyone!
I’ve been hearing from my family in Kentucky that everything is covered in snow and ice there, and it’s hard to get around. I’m assuming that’s how it is in most of the country so I hope you guys are staying safe and warm. It’s been nothing but 80’s and 90’s here at the Wired Center for the past couple weeks, and I’ve been informed by the locals that March is notoriously the hot month. I believe this has been the first year of my life that I’ve never touched any snow.
Anyway, we just got done with a group. Half the members were from Idaho and the others from Montana. I had a great time interacting with these people and getting to know them. I got to go with the CPE team 2 of the ministry days and be a translator! One of my “Outrageous Success Goals” that we all were encouraged to make back in August was that I would be able to translate for CPE by February. On one of the days, we were short one translator and I was called in to be one. I translated for one of the group members and 2 of the people we talked to that day accepted Christ! I’m extremely thankful that God has given me the capacity to learn the language here so quickly and use it to reach others for Christ.
In the next month, I will be preparing to return home for a couple months. I am planning to return back to El Salvador in late May if I can raise sufficient funds while in Kentucky and will stay for 2 more years here. I’ll be speaking at several churches in Kentucky promoting the Wired and Broken ministries, selling coffee, and raising funds. Please pray that God would inspire those who hear me to pray for and support our ministry here in El Salvador.
The photo is our defense in one of our flag football league games. I’m playing in the middle.
March 4th, 2014
We just finished a great week of ministry with groups from Kalispell, Montana and Boise, Idaho! The Kalispell team worked hard on some construction projects at Wired Ministry Center and the Idaho team went to Santa Ana, the second largest city in El Salvador, for Church Partnership Evangelism. They encountered a strong Morman influence, but saw many accept Christ as their personal Saviour! One lady they spoke with had tears as she expressed gratitude to see Christians spreading the Gospel rather than just other groups promoting false teachings.
Please pray for the Envision Wired staff who are going through some changes. We are trying to bring on another Salvadoran and we REALLY need your prayers that God would bring us the exact right person. Also please pray for some members of the staff who are being held accountable for repeated failures and are understandably in need of God’s grace to learn and grow through discipline. Also, the leaders of our staff who are bringing the accountability need God’s grace to handle these situations well.
Putting a door on the bathroom in the women’s dorm room
Josh (Idaho) praying with a man recently deported who decided to follow Christ!
March 2nd, 2014
We have just finished up with our second group of the year. A large part of our reason for being here is to plan for and assist short-term groups who do ministry directly with our church partners. So it is very rewarding to see everything come together during a group week. This week I was able to help as the group did evangelism in Santa Ana. As you can see, I always wear a hat to keep the sun off, and we took refreshment breaks–here with pop served in the typical plastic bag with straw.
For the last several months I have been working through the application process for being appointed as a Site Associate for Envision Wired. Several weeks ago the process hit a snag as the C&MA doctor had questions about my medical history. Thankfully I was able to speak with him by phone on Friday. Once I get a letter of assurance written by my doctor from home, we should be able to proceed with my application. That was a big answer to prayer! I would still ask everyone to please continue to pray for this process. When I get the doctor’s “green light”, the next step will be a three-hour second interview.
February 20th, 2014
In two days, we will be receiving our second team for the year: Sojourn Alliance Church from Boise, Idaho. This group will be mainly doing an evangelism and discipleship campaign in Santa Ana. Please pray for God to open hearts and for the group to communicate clearly and passionately the love of Christ! We are expecting BIG! A couple of the group members will be doing some repairs and maintenance to our ministry center.
Big thanks to many of you who have joined us in fasting and praying for our building permit to come in soon. Please keep praying. Also, Richard has been working very closely with our new ministry partner Love link in their Project Metamorphosis which employs many ex-gang members and other “high-risk” people. The directors (Sam & Julie Hawkins) have expressed the need for more of his help because the challenges are great. They have repeatedly expressed their gratitude but, he is tired and needs prayers for wisdom as he navigates difficult situations.
Thank you for praying for our family and ministry!
The Mullinax 6
Celebrate with us that we received our one-year religious visas!
Felice has been enjoying playing basketball for her school. Please pray for her coach, pictured here, who is having surgery for colon cancer this week.
February 10th, 2014
Yesterday some of the Wired staff accepted a challenge from the young men of CDA (Comunidad de Adoracion) and had a good time right until the end. However, right at the end of the last game some bad news came to the group about one of the young men who was supposed to play with them but went somewhere else instead. Today we mourn the loss of a 23 year old young man who attended CDA, one of the Alliance churches here. The initial report we are getting through friends is that he was shot yesterday by the gangs. Pastor Carlos needs your prayers right now as he feels a great burden for the youth and this is very difficult for him and for the congregation, some of whom were very close to him.
Please also pray for health of our family. Conjunctivitis is spending through us, keeping those who have it home from school. Richard, Felice, and Jen are also suffering from something causing sinus problems and fatigue. We are feeling quite worn out which always affects the emotions too.
Through your prayers,
Richard with Juan, Pastor Carlos and other members of CDA in the bottom of the crater of San Salvador volcano in 2010. Juan is in the white shirt second from right. His friend Marvin (red shirt) got the call yesterday announcing his death at the end of the paintball challenge.
The International School, where the kids attend, received their certification that allows them to continue to be an International School (teach some classes in English and operate August through June). The government made it difficult and some changes had to be made, but we are grateful this was completed!
February 1st, 2014
The new year has started off great here at the Wired Center. We just said “Nos vemos” to our first group here from Glendive, MT and Cody, WY. It was nice to have some new faces around the center and to hear new stories of how God has changed lives. It was good to hear several of them say that they would be returning in August on another trip to El Salvador. Please pray for them as they return home and try to apply what God has shown them here in their daily lives and in their churches.
As the guy in charge of finances, I’m doing a lot of work to get a clean start on the 2014 books and most importantly, developing the budget for the ministry and interns that are coming. Please pray that God would guide Ricardo and me to make wise decision with that. I’ve also started playing on the Wired flag football team. The vision is that by playing well, showing like interests, and gaining the respect of the teams (many of which are comprised of gang members, deportees, etc.) we can invite them to come to the church we are starting here for that specific demographic – one that is not condemning based on your life, but one that is centered around the love of Christ for all people. We had our first deportee come last Saturday. Please pray that God would draw others to us and, more so, Himself and that they would see the love of Christ through us.
I’ve officially decided to return to El Salvador in the Summer. I will be returning home the first week of April to campaign back in KY for more financial and prayer support. Then I leave for Ukraine the 12th of May as part of my studies to get a certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Directly after that, I will return to El Salvador on June 5 to do a 2-year term. Thank you to everyone who reads these posts for your prayer and support of the ministry here. You make this possible with your prayer and donations. We look forward to keeping you informed of all the progressions of the ministry for the year 2014
February 1st, 2014
January 17th my parents landed in El Salvador to experience El Salvador and get a glimpse of my life for 5 days. After their flight got canceled Thursday because of high winds and then they had issues getting another flight down here, I wasn’t sure they were going to make it. Needless to say, I was relieved when they finally landed.
Despite painting the office they were able to come to my first flag football game, see our church plant, attend Union Church, shop at the Artisan Market, and visit the Siloe Church, where I worked last time. I haven’t participated in competitive sports for quite awhile and I forgot how into a game my Mom can get. I was playing defense when I hear “Victoria, CATCH HIM!!!!” being yelled from the sidelines. Just like always my dad socialized with anyone and everyone he spent more than 5 minutes around, even the ones that spoke just Spanish.
The day before they left we were able to go to Siloe Church, see the school and Colonia (impoverished community behind the church). I haven’t been there for almost three years, so getting to return with my parents to see the place I fell in love with made it even sweeter. Towards the end of our afternoon there, I unexpectedly ran into a friend. We ended up going to their church and playing some worship songs together with my Mom.
Though my parents were only here for a little bit it felt like they had been here for at least two weeks. By the last night dad was selling a napkin holder off the table for one of my friends who loves “Storage Wars” and my Mom was throwing sarcastic comments back and forth with one of my friends. Watching them be so comfortable and getting used to them being here definitely made it harder to say “See ya later” for two more months. Though it was a bittersweet reminder, God encouraged me as they walked into the airport to board the flight back to the USA that no matter where He takes me in my life, my parents will always be there to support me and walk through the journey with me.
February 1st, 2014
The big news for me is that I have begun studying at a Spanish language school here in San Salvador. There are four of us from Wired enrolled, and we are in class four hours a day. So far it has been a great experience and very helpful. I think it is just what I have been needing. The Presidential election will be held this weekend, so a week ago a woman from the legislature gave a presentation to the school about the history of the war and politics since then. As you can imagine, that was very informative and interesting. My biggest prayer requests continue to be my growth in language ability, and the application and interview process as I seek to be appointed a Site Associate for Envision Wired.
For fun and recreation, I have been cheering on the Wired flag football team. The team exists to build bridges to the community of deportees, and we are already seeing fruit from that. To no one’s surprise, I am not playing on the team (although it is co-ed) but I have wielded the video camera to record the games to help our players improve. I also am very pleased to have learned how to make Salvadoran quesadillas (breakfast cake) a big favorite here!
February 1st, 2014
Our first group has just come and gone, and there’s a sense of accomplishment circling the wired facility. Part of the group was from my town, and it was really encouraging to see them.
One thing I really miss about living in a place where everybody speaks english is being able to talk easily with anyone I want to talk with, but here I’m restricted to about ten people that I’m able to have a decent conversation with. With a group here though, you have the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people, have great meaningful conversations about personal beliefs, God, and his spiritual workings.
I was working a role called “LA MAMA” most of the week, and the responsibility of the mom is to stay back and clean the center, and help cook breakfast lunch and dinner. So, I wasn’t able to be with the group as much as I would have liked, but I’m looking forward to being able to go adventure with the future groups.
gracia y paz,
February 1st, 2014
Hello, My name is TJ Wanken. I am 25 and I farm and ranch in north central Montana. I touched down here in San Salvador two weeks ago. It was a big step for me to commit to serving down here for 2 months, but I am here. God gave me the strenght to leave home even though I would have rather comfortably stayed on the farm. At this point in my life I really have been needing to shake things up. Something to really break me out of my half way, lukewarm “Christian” walk. I have come a long ways from when I started my walk of faith and but am not content with being where I am. Its easy to just fit in and be comfortable. I am very scared to make a stand, to truly step out and be bold. It is something that needs to be done though. I have been out of my comfort zone since I landed in such a big city. It is a good thing though, I feel like that is a start to something.
I have been able to help another ministry feed the homeless on Thursday night which has been incredibly impactful on my heart. Anyways if nothing else, I ask for your prayers for God to give me strenght to be bold, and to truly change my heart. I will continue to update on my experience and what is going on with me spiritually.
Thanks and God bless