This last month has been our most stressful that we have experienced to date here in El Salvador. Sharla and I both have battled with borrowing from tomorrow’s trouble throughout the month and have had to remind one another often to seek God’s grace, to remain within God’s empowering presence within the present, and to leave tomorrow to worry about itself. This has been especially difficult due to the large number of things that we are both responsible for that require much planning and forethought. Sharla is attempting to maintain our finances while organizing a group that is coming in a month; and I am working on developing a new line of coffee for Broken, getting our interns here to El Salvador, and preparing for our ministry’s involvement with the LIFE conference in July. These are our main tasks, but there are also side tasks as well. While feeling stressed, we are also feeling blessed in that it calls us into seeking God and presenting all of our requests to him with thanksgiving.
One wonderful blessing that came in April was Sharla’s impromptu trip to Billings, Montana. The Mullinax family was being pulled in several different directions with ministry and family events and asked if Sharla could come back to Montana to help them bear the burden. It turned out to be wonderful timing! Sharla was able to see her older sister, Rochelle, who is doing mission work in the United Arab Emirates; she was able to attend the Alliance Women’s conference that her mother, Marlene, had organized; and was able to share at the women’s conference with Jennifer Mullinax about the Broken ministry. The only negative of the whole ordeal was…I really missed my wife while she was gone!
Another wonderful blessing from God for April is that Sharla and I both got our Salvadoran driver’s licenses. God’s discipline as our Father is perfect. Hebrews 12 says that we should consider hardship as the compliments of his discipline to us as his children: our Father gave us a moment of rest. When we went to the equivalent of the Salvadoran “DMV”, we discovered that one of Sharla’s required identification cards had a spelling error in her name! Usually this would be a guaranteed rejection! However, the woman assisting us asked us if Sharla’s name was spelled correctly on her US driver’s license, passport and temporary resident visa card. We told her that it was…and the lady said, “These are all valid forms of government identification and they all match: we’ll accept them. Please change the spelling error on this card when you get a chance.” What mercy! Our Father saw that his children needed a rest and pulled us out of hardship!
Our first groups arrive on May 7th and then we’re straight on through the end of summer! Our group season is one of the busiest but rewarding periods of ministry. It takes so much work to get all of the organization and logistics in place to re-ceive the teams…but watching God work through us and hearing from the group members what God is doing in their hearts is such a blessing!
This is our pay day, for sure! Missoula Alliance Church is coming May 21st and we’re excited to receive them: Montana always provides our best teams! (No bias involved in this statement at all!)It’s always great to see friends and “family”!
I have been working on one particularly exciting portion of ministry for the last three or four months and it is quickly coming to fruition. We have been invited by Envision Culture to host a booth to support a ministry called Project Experience (PE) at the 2013 LIFE Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri. The PE is a museum-like installation that introduces high-school and college-age students to issues of social justice worldwide. At the end of the PE students then have an opportunity to engage with five different ministries that are currently serving to address these issues. The students will have the opportunity to commit to pray, give or go (in keeping with our Alliance values!), in order to support these ministries. We will be presenting the ministry of Broken and are asking that God would provide us with many wonderful partners over the next four years to help us advance our efforts in establishing God’s kingdom on earth. This is a very exciting opportunity that God has given us and we are laboring faithfully to be good stewards of what we have been given!
Elijah & Sharla Scheidler