Greetings once again from a very hot El Salvador! Yes, that is right, El Salvador! I (David) and currently in El Salvador teaching in the YWAM Discipleship Training School, inspiring students to grow in their intimacy with God and thus become more powerful intercessors! It is definitely my favorite and most passionate subject to teach on and it has been an honor to watch the students respond to the Lord as he lavishes His love on them!
Before coming to El Salvador, we had the honor of hosting a powerful missions group from the Catalyst program of City Central in Tacoma, WA. The focus of this group is an identity restoring ministry called "Original Design" where they ask God for words of identity and encouragement for every person that they encounter, whether it is on the streets, in the Bus Terminal, or within the church. Because of the nature of their ministry, we found ourselves bringing them to several key areas of ministry for us, not just our typical ministry areas but also areas that we are also breaking ground it!
One story that was quite powerful was with a homeless guy named Alex. He is an El Salvadorian man who had once lived in the US and was deported back before moving himself to Guatemala in search of redemption (his family rejected him when he came back). As a result of his hurt and difficult situation, he has lived his life on the streets, collecting cans and plastics in hopes that he can get something to eat each day. When we encountered him, he was quite sad and did not believe that he was worthy to be called a son. To him, he had failed God and did not believe that anyone, much less a heavenly Father, could find anything lovable about him. We encouraged him with the story of the Prodigal father (also known as the story of the prodigal son) and how the father did not care what the son had done, but loved him so much that he was willing to run ahead of the people of the town to receive him and protect him from the shame the town traditionally would have placed on him. This really touched Alex a lot and shortly after telling the story, we got to pray with him. At this, he began to weep and shake as we prayed over him the love of a Father. After praying, he looked up and his face was nearly a completely different face! He was a man of joy and appeared to be a man who not only had experienced the love of our Heavenly Father, but was also a redeemed man! When we asked about what had just happened he said that he felt such a powerful warmth in his heart, something he had not known for a very long time! He then surprised us by telling us how we no longer wanted to be dirty and that he really wanted to find a way to take a shower! Well, conveniently, close by was a hotel that offered showers so we brought him over and paid for him to have a shower! When he came out of that shower, he looked like a completely different person, full of life and full of joy! At that, he promised to not look down on himself anymore and to begin taking steps to return to his family! This is what ministry should be all about... drawing people back into a relationship with the creator of the universe by meeting their true spiritual & physical needs, not by asking them to enter into some sort of religion. To this day (3 weeks later), we have not seem Alex again and we are believing that he is moving forward and remaining firm in his commitment! Please join us in praying for him! To God be the Glory!