Monday, May 23, 2011

El Salvador


I've said repeatedly that I've had a lot going on in my heart and my life that I would love to share, but I just can't right now.  It's the main reason I've been such an inconsistant blogger. :)  I have so much to figure out, and as much as I'm an open book and would love to blog about all of it, I just can't at a time where nothing is certain and I might have to go back and change something i wrote.  ;-)  I'll wait until I've prayed and prayed something through, and I am very certain of God's voice.  Then I will share it. 



This is something that has been a long time in the making, but God's timing is perfect and the time for me to go is now.  Well, technically November...but you get it.  ;-)

I have always felt the call to missions.  From the time I was old enough to know what a missionary was and what they did, I felt the call.  I also carried a huge fear with me.  I said to God, "I will do anything you want and go anywhere you send me, as long as it's in the USA."  ;-)  I held back.  I was terrified of the dangerous possibilities in some areas of the world that the Lord could send me.  What if He called me to a place that was hostile towards Christians?  What if I was attacked?  Or even worse, what if I was martyred???  I couldn't take the chance.  And I didn't even know if He was going to send me on missions!!  And if He did, how did I know where He would send me?

It was within the past few years that I finally got to a place spiritually where I could release my fear to Him and know that no matter where God sent me, I would go.  I think going through the darkest parts of my divorce grew me the most.  I developed a deep love for our Lord like I had never known was possible, and I knew that no matter what happened in my life, His presence would surround me and He would walk with me through it.

The other thing holding me back on missions was my babies.  :)  For most of the past 10 years, I have either been expecting a child, or nursing one.  I said to Phil many times that I wanted to go on one of our church's mission trips, but I didn't know when I would take a break from having babies.  ;-)  I think it's safe to say now that I'm on a break.  :)

So...this is where El Salvador comes into the picture.  Our church (along with many churches in the US) has teamed with Compassion International to sponsor a church in a struggling community.  We are now working with Iglesia Sion church, in El Congo, El Salvador.  :)

From the time Pastor Gocha stood in front of the congregation and told us of the partnership, I felt the pull.  But I tucked it away.  This past March, some members of our church went back to El Salvador.  When they returned, I felt God say, "it's time."  I became filled with an excitement and passion and love for the people of El Congo.  I had NO IDEA how I was going to get myself there.  :)  But I knew I was going. 

I have been praying and praying ever since.  I had made the desecion in my heart to go, but I was afraid to act out in faith.  Every time I laid out a fleece, God responded with "yes."  I heard His voice clearly..."Liz...I'm sending you.  I will provide the money.  And you will not struggle financially to put the money together.  It will be clear that it is from Me."  I've even had a strong desire to learn Spanish, and have been teaching myself.  I'm hoping to purchase some material for learning more than the basics within the next few weeks.  And thanks to the awesomeness of Facebook, I have created a couple friendships with some people my age from El Congo.  :)  This was God, too, i am sure.  I do not accept friend requests from strangers, but I received one from someone from Sion church, and because I wanted to get to know the people, I accepted it. That particular friendship has been a huge blessing in my life.  I've learned so much about El Salvador from someone who's lived there their entire life.  My heart is already in El Congo.  I cannot wait to meet the people and pour out the love that the Lord has put in me for them.  I am so EXCITED.

Back to the acting out in faith part...this week my sister and I have been struggling with faith.  We know for certain that our God is BIG and that He can do anything.  We have no question over this.  But we struggle with doubt over His desire to act because of our prayers.

"What if He doesn't want to?"

Or "I knew at the time God told me _______.  But what if I heard Him wrong?"

Or "What if He changed His mind?"

The conclusion we came to this week, after discussing it like crazy, is that if you know you heard God's voice, you have to act according to that.  Even if you doubt it later.  When you doubt, pray for your faith to be restored.

Yesterday, our Pastor preached an answer to the question, "Why doesn't God answer my prayers?"  I won't go into the entire sermon, (I highly recommend the entire "Why?" series that is avaliable here.  Click on "podcasts.") but Pastor talked about "faith."  God hit me hard when he said that faith is not believing that God can, it's believing that God will.  I KNOW that God can provide for me to go to El Salvador.  I KNOW God called me there.  But why am I afraid?  During the service, I talked to God and released my fears.  When I left the sanctuary, I turned in my application and $200 deposit.  I trusted God.  I always knew He could, but I now believe He will.  He has already put so many "impossible" things in order so that I am able to go.  And while I was working in the nursery for the last service, an opportunity arose for me to expand my monthly income.  That was one of my specific prayers.  That God would add to my income, and I could put the extra money away for El Salvador without scraping together what I currently live on. 

God is good.  I say it all the time.  But He is so GOOD.  My heart feels like it will burst with the love and joy I have for Him and from Him.  And I am very excited about spending time in El Congo, getting to know the people and pour out God's love.  :) 

We serve such an awesome God!!


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