Hot Dogs In The Hard Rain

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An adequate yet concise post is challenging with all we have seen and experienced in these first two weeks. How about one story, some highlights, facts, and prayer needs?

God has faithfully directed our path and challenged us down ones in which we have been timid to walk. We’ve already been exposed to both sides of the economic spectrum, being around those with and those without.  I confess an uneasiness of our first time feeding those on the streets of the capital city of San Salvador.

We met at a missionary’s home, at 7pm, formed an assembly line to prepare a meal of chips, cookies, a drink, and a hot dog doused in mustard and ketchup. We set out in a texas-sized pickup truck, 10 of us in the back. Within minutes of wi-fi and a roof, hundreds of people (the really old and far too young were the most unsettling) ran to the truck in the middle of a monsoon type downpour. 250 hot dogs gone in minutes. We must have had the phrase, “form a line” wrong in Spanish because we were swallowed up by extended hands and a survival-mode mentality.  At one point the rain was so bad we all bailed out of the truck bed and stood under the porch of some run down, abandoned buildings.  In the “homes” of the homeless we stood.

The experience kind of strengthened me and weakened me all at once, if that makes sense. We will do it again soon.

Our dear friend Kara Wilson needs prayers this week. This is the fireball of a young woman whom we have known for years (in the youth group when i got to Oak Hills in ’03 and one of Jenna’s childhood bf’s). We actually took her to the airport this afternoon where she flew back to San Antonio for some doctor’s appointments. She has not been feeling well, and we are certain she has been attacked spiritually a lot in the last few months.

Her efforts down here, in short, are towards reunification of families to their once orphaned child. The Salvadorian government has decided that it’s time to empty out care centers and orphanages and give young children or teens back to their families. If families refuse, the threat is arrest. Where doubt sees obstacles with all the problems within this decision, Kara views it as an opportunity to do what she has felt called to since she was about 14.  We love being around her so much. Passion and wisdom in every decision. A missionary with the truest sense of purpose.

Some facts:

Independence day for El Salvador from the Spanish is Sept 15. Everyone has fireworks, especially our neighbors.

We share our apartment with lots of ants and Kara said they did not sign the lease.

A “Frappucino” is the same at every Starbucks, no matter where on earth you are.

It has rained every day we’ve been here

“There are many dogs in el Salvador.” this a quote from our new friend, Ellie, and she is right.

Pastors are good at yelling.

Laundry on a line is a new concept to us youngsters.

Prayer needs:
Kara’s health and ministry
Language classes/skills
Ministry opps to continue
Our hearts to grow closer to God’s and each other.

a few pics:

– Brett
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Adios Los Estados, Hola Central America

So I’ve never done this blogging thing before, and to be honest it intimidates me! So I beg for your patience as I get to know this new blogging culture (and as my grammar is far from perfect). Our first entry is from me, since I got Brett and me into this mess. You will hear from Brett a little later. So here we go … First post…Hmmm…How to start…

Maybe it was all the bean and cheese tacos at Taco Cabana. Maybe it was Ricky Martin’s suave moves. Maybe it was growing up in a city where Spanglish is a language and the minor league baseball team’s mascot is a walking taco with arms. Maybe it was the Sunday afternoon family lunches at Alamo Cafe where my sisters and I turned eating tortillas into a masquerade party, biting three holes into the center of the tortilla – one for the mouth, two for the eyes.

Or maybe it was being born in Latin America, passing out church flyers on the streets of Brazil at the age of two (nice marketing Dad). Maybe it was growing up in a family where the poor were not strangers, where serving was familiar and rice and beans were a favorite meal. (Picadillo. Look up the recipe. But it won’t be as good as my mom’s.)

Maybe it was the hours of Spanish homework, watching too much Dora the Explorer or singing worship songs in Spanish at Oak Hills Church…

Maybe.
But I have a hunch that it goes further back than my tortilla-face days. I have a hunch that as God spoke me into existence, he whispered a dream into my heart that hasn’t stopped echoing.

Latina America. I’m supposed to go there. I’m supposed to serve there, live there, love there. I don’t know why! But I just know that the dream He spoke into me is finally coming true.

Brett and I are on our first-ever, one-way flight. A one-way flight to El Salvador where we will be living with and serving alongside one of the most courageous missionaries I know, Kara Wilson. We will stay there for the better part of two months, and then we are off to Guatemala City. There we will live with over 60 orphans at an orphanage called Fundaninos along with a couple from Ft. Worth, Scott and Carrie Hunnicut. And because of your financial support we are transforming the orphanage’s rat-infested kitchen into a new HGTV-infested kitchen. We will end our trip with ten days in Peru, visiting some friends of ours doing mission work in Lima.

So there ya go. Our rough outline for the next 5 1/2 months. And it’s just that – a ROUGH outline. Only God knows the details. Who knows where He will take us? And who knows where your prayers will take us? Speaking of prayers, here’s how you can specifically intercede on our behalf during our adventure:

That our minds and hearts will be HERE, present, focused 
Safety
Health
Relationships with new people and Kara and the Hunnicuts, our new roomies
Quick learning of Spanish
Hearts come to know God’s heart more
Growth in our marriage