A few days back in the USA and my mind often drifts to last week in El Salvador.
It was a rich week — rich in laughter, diligent work, challenges, and leaning into God minute by minute.
It was truly a joy to work alongside my husband serving the El Salvadorian people. He was familiar comfort when I dealt with some difficult things, an energizing spirit when we were tired, and a voice of love and encouragement every single day. I still thank God we were able to travel, serve, worship, and experience together. I also enjoyed, with God, listening to J preach in our partnering church the first Sunday we were there.
The church we connected and served with radiated faith and joy in God.
Our translators were high school students from a local Christian school, and getting to know them was a highlight of my week. I hope to stay connected with some of my closest El Salvadorian friends for a long time. They were passionate about God and helping us communicate. They were so diligent in their help, and a joy to be around. We laughed and joked and sweated and were stretched in new ways. I pray they were as blessed by us as we were by them.
We prayed and spent time with the men and women of our partner church, and I was reminded we are all the same. We are all followers of Jesus, loved and known by Him, walking through uncertainties and challenges of life, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. How sweet it was to put Gospel-sharing, and God worshipping, in El Salvador on particular faces and names. Our God is good.
Sometimes when I need a break from work, I choose a verse or phrase currently challenging me and create a new iPhone background.
I figure, if I must look at my phone, it might as well direct my thoughts toward God.
Below are a few that I have sent to friends and family, in an effort to encourage them also… maybe they can refresh you!
Psalm 62:7-8 from The Message
Live the Gospel. Display Christ.
“Live a life for the Father’s smile.” -Melissa Helser
Even if Jesus is all you have, He is enough
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9
This year I have gone through a lot of change… I mean a lot. If I were to list the major life changes, emotional changes, and season changes I have gone through this year, you wouldn’t believe me. I might not even believe me!
However, throughout this year, I have learned one very, very important piece of my spiritual journey with Jesus – ongoing prayer.
See, prayer is what keeps us in contact with God. Prayer is the tool we use to combat the lies of Satan, it’s the gateway to a growing relationship with our Savior, and it’s the mechanism we use to keep our hearts and emotions in tune and in check with the truth of God (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 6:18,James 5:13, Matthew 26:41, etc.).
Until summer of this year, I never understood how critical prayer is to my life. This all changed when I was at a baby shower (seriously… could y’all have any more babies right now), and I ran into a girl whose car Dylan and I bought off the side of the road in September of last year. I knew of her through our 30 minute encounter where we handed her cash and drove off with her car (ha!). So, I run into this girl and we strike up immediate spiritual conversation.
Throughout our two hour talk I felt the Lord pressing on me to reach out to her after the baby shower and learn more about her life, which lead to me learning about her mission. I later learned that Lauren (author of two of the most powerful prayer devotional books ever written – link at the bottom) was on a mission of teaching women to pray through prayer journaling. I couldn’t contain myself when I learned this!