This morning I am writing this post in El Salvador. On Saturday I joined seventeen other members of my church for a mission trip. We arrived near midnight (although I’m not sure if that was states time). On Sunday, we spent the day with a local church we have partnered with. That afternoon I led a children’s conference for local Sunday school teachers, then yesterday we spent the day at a local orphanage for sexually abused girls.
When I get back to the states, I’ll post pictures.
This orphanage houses 30 children ranging from four years old to sixteen. The orphanage survives completely on donations. Yesterday, the orphanage director and her husband fed our team. Before we left we tried to pay for our meal, and she said the meal hadn’t cost her anything. Everything had been donated. Then she went on to tell us how each day, they trust in God to provide and each day they receive exactly what they need. My husband asked them how much it cost to fund their orphanage and they said $3,000 per month. That’s a lot of money to wait in faith for, especially when you have so many young mouths to feed.
Last night during our evening devotions the youth pastor talked about how we really have no concept of what it means to live by faith–to trust in God to provide daily. We really on our paychecks and our jobs. And yet, this precious brother and sister in Christ turn to God moment-by-moment for their needs. And they do it all with a smile.
In the United States, if we lived like that we’d be miserable, complaining, spiraling into depression, and making everyone else around us miserable. And yet, the directors of the orphanage live in peace and joy, vitally connected to their Savior at every moment. And their focus is not on themselves. Their focus is on how they might meet the needs of those entrusted to their care and how they might share the gospel with others.
And perhaps that is there secret. Focusing on ourselves, it seems, leads to discontentment. Focusing on others and God leads to increased joy and peace.
Today I’m linking to an article I wrote for the Christian Pulse that in light of my day yesterday is quite fitting. After you read it, ask yourself, what would it mean to live by faith? And as you consider your “needs” (air conditioning, hot water, store-bought cereal, new shoes…) remember millions live without those things and are very happy.
What a powerful reminder of where our gratitude should come from. So looking forward to more details on your missions trip. I found the same thing when I went to the Amazon rainforest a dozen years ago. They had so little – but their gratitude was large.
I posted this to my Facebook wall. I love your statement – Focusing on ourselves, it seems, leads to discontentment. Focusing on others and God leads to increased joy and peace.
Praying for you on your trip.
Thanks Jen….great to hear from you….how The Lord is using you as well as teaching you…very timely reminder/challenge to us/ME!!!…who have so much…complain so freely and frequently….see you soon!!!…praying for you guys…sandyT
Sandy, thank you. This has been an amazing trip. These girls are so precious! It is going to be very hard to leave. I wish I could take them all home with me.
Jan, thank you. And please pray for these precious girls!
Thank you Joanne. Wow, that sounds like an awesome trip!