DIARY OF A CRAZY GRANDMA ON MISSION IN EL SALVADOR
Click on the dates to read each entry.
How blessed we were to be able to carry the Mission Message God has given us into El Salvador. On the day we left we received new updates from Nicaragua that another 10 new Generation 2 & 3 groups are starting there. How we pray the Lord will use this ministry in El Salvador as He is doing there!
For your easy reading I will report on THE MISSION in bullet points.
Maria is doing an incredible job translating and I thank God for allowing her to be with me on this mission!*AM – Christian School/Teens – The Pastor asked us to speak on Sexual Purity – Principle #7 in Living in a Zoo?
*PM – Public High School & College University – As we approached the school, Mauricio, our Pastor host, told us about a woman speaker who was here last week to speak to the students. As she approached the entrance one of the gangs who controls the school murdered her – right at the entrance where we were. The student response was great, very polite and attentive – especially the guys – which was surprising. A sea of hands went up to receive Christ as Savior that day – 15 were brave enough to come forward and face the crowd publically and acknowledge they were indeed accepting Christ and would be willing to be Christian leaders for the students as they are discipled.
PRAISE THE LORD!
They were very courageous, and thing is – even the gang leaders here allow someone who accepts Christ to leave the gang without retribution – that is unless they decide later to abandon Christ with their actions. If they do that the gang leader will have them killed. I am not making this up. The students are aware of this and were very serious and sincere in their decisions.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!
They will all start Bible Study together under the direction of the teacher who brought us there. The female converts will also start the Zoo study even though they are unmarried. Humph. Wonder why we think unmarried girls won’t benefit from learning these Titus 2 principles? …..The Princess gift books were also a HUGE success. It was a great way to get the Gospel into the hands of those who had little prior knowledge of God, Jesus or salvation. You wouldn’t believe how the girls responded to them.
– 32 churches were represented.
– Plans are underway to get groups set up and going over the next weeks.
– The women were very excited and said they have never had anything like it before.
– Evelyn, the pastor’s wife at the main church is being very careful with the books to see that they go only to women who make the commitment to use them personally and carry out the mission for multiplication.
– She will work with leaders here like Odily is in Nicaragua…….. I praise the Lord for what He will do here.
PM: Urgent call for prayer…. A tropical storm hit today. We are in the middle of torrential rain – already receiving 5 inches today. 2+ more inches expected tonight, 2+ more during the day tomorrow and 2+ more tomorrow night. Some areas are expected to get up to 30”. Flooding has already started in some areas and mudslides are also expected. The whole country is on RED ALERT and women’s conferences have been cancelled. Please pray that we are able to get to the airport to fly out tomorrow. Otherwise, we might not be able to get to the airport. We are about 45 minutes away in good weather. We need God’s wisdom, protection and guidance. I am sorry to admit the fear I feel inside. I hate fear.
RAIN SLOWING: Maria and I have been praying – asking for guidance on what to do about the storm situation and whether or not to fly out early. Then in church this morning, Exodus 40 was read – where God gives instructions to Moses on what he is to do to prepare the tabernacle for the Ark. In verse after verse it says he did “just as the Lord commanded” – even though Moses must have thought some of the instructions didn’t make sense – he did “just as the Lord commanded”. We felt the Lord told us to come to El Salvador and so we did “just as the Lord commanded” and came. It doesn’t seem to make sense that several ministry opportunities were cancelled – it doesn’t seem to make sense for the Lord to send us here knowing the storm would cancel out our purpose here – even for tomorrow and – as it stands now – maybe even Tuesday. But God is in control. Then I read further in the passage than the pastor had read and this is what I saw (New Living Translation) – right after the cloud covered the Tabernacle, it says“Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise they remained where they were until it lifted”
Well – it seemed that sentence lifted right up off the page, so the plan is to stay right here( subject to change no doubt!) …….not that we had a whole lot of other choices, but it seemed to me the Lord had spoken in a way I could understand. Though the fear still threatens, we will trust the Lord. Not that it is easy – but our safest place is always wherever the Lord directs.
PM – the rain stopped after church this morning and was supposed to have started back this afternoon – But it did not! They are still calling for another 2+ inches this afternoon (its 2 hours behind you here) an additional 2+ inches tonight and another 2+ tomorrow – but that is still a whole lot better than 30”. Many in the shanty villages have lost everything. My heart breaks for them – they have so little to lose and hope is almost nonexistent for them.
Well, THE RAIN TOTALLY STOPPED WITHOUT US EVER GETTING THOSE EXTRA 6+ INCHES OF RAIN! This morning the sun is shining and it promised to be a beautiful day.This has certainly been a different mission trip. Since the Ladies Conferences were all cancelled, today we wound up ministering all day in a Favela (Gang Getto)
Yes, you heard that right. We had no idea that was where we were going to minister in the Favela until we got there. We were supposed to work with Evelyn on training leaders for the start of ZooKeepers Groups here, but we had no control of the situation.
Good thing – because the Lord opened up a door to start ministering permanently to the women right here in the Favela! It is the most pitiful thing I have ever encountered. I’ve seen poor – I’ve seen destitute – this was way more than anything I have seen. Ministering to them is extremely hard because they simply don’t trust anyone.
– We will begin by working with Flora – the Church School principal. They trust her and will do as she asks.
– She and the other teachers will start classes where the women will come to start the Zoo study.
– A woman will be required to attend classes to receive a book.
– They will help the women learn the trade of making Tote Bags which they will sell to us and others in the states to help them provide food for their families.
– Help will begin for battered women. This is extremely difficult because the violence is so great, but she will do what she can and will solicit the help of another missionary living here who has government connections and approval for a battered women’s shelter.
– Ongoing Bible study will continue after the Zoo study is finished, through the Daily Dose of Encouragement. They will be able to print those off the internet and use them as study materials on an ongoing basis, with little costs involved. Daily Dose writers; DID YOU HEAR THAT?
So, I guess now we know why God allowed the Women’s Conferences to be cancelled. He had another work to be done, and the church women will still be introduced to ZooKeepers through their networking association and the Zoo Team here.
NOTE TO: BRENDA FROM : GOD
“Oh ye of little faith. How long will I have to put up with you?”
Well, this ends our time of ministry on this particular trip but I have every confidence that the ministry here has ONLY JUST BEGUN.Thanks to many of you, hundreds of women will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the next months as Bible Studies are started all across El Salvador. Women will hear of His love, Hope and Forgiveness and will be able to experience His Peace no matter what their circumstances.
I leave here with a greater understanding than ever before of just how blessed we are in America and how much we take that for granted.
May we rise up out of our apathy and do what God has called us to do. And let us never forget that as a ministry – ZooKeepers Ministries – that the call specifically includes taking His Hope, Help and Harmony to Women’s Hearts and Homes.
Maria will fly out in the morning for home; I will head back to Houston where Tami Carr will meet me and we will head straight on to Brazil. Tami will return to the US on the 9th, and Tom will join me there as we head on to Fortaleza, Brazil, to take our message – the one He has given us – for the first time.
God bless you one and all, and PLEASE CONTINUE IN YOUR PRAYERS FOR US.
We can’t do without them.
by Brenda Lancaster
Can you Imagine never owning a book in your whole life? Welcome to the life of many of the women in Central America. Wow! It’s hard to believe but we leave for El Salvador for our first time in just 9 days and from there on to Brazil for this year’s incredible opportunity to reach women and families for Christ! Maria Gonzales will head to El Salvador with me where we are scheduled to speak to over 1500 women and teen girls sharing the message of freedom in Christ and the timely lessons of Living in a Zoo, Hope for the home. Women who have never owned a Bible study book before will have the opportunity to do what we take for granted. Tami Carr will join me on mission to Brazil on June 2 as we head back for our third year of working with Agape Batista and their 24 church association from Sao Paulo to Fortaleza. My husband Tom will join me there on June 9 to begin ministry to the men. Over the last three years we have seen literally hundreds of families come to Christ and find victory in their marriages and family life.The work in Nicaragua also continues to grow like wildfire across the country with new groups starting daily. As of our last update over a hundred new groups have taken the Living in a Zoo study, with up 4 women sharing one book – and many on waiting list across the country for new books to arrive. We need to take 250 books to El Salvador, 150 for Brazil, and another 100 for Nicaragua. Our National leader for ZooKeepers in Nicaragua will meet us in El Salvador to take 100 more books back with her to for the waiting list of women anxiously waiting for their turn to take the Zoo study! OUR ONLY CHALLENGE AT THIS POINT IS THE NEED FOR SPONSORS. YOU CAN SPONSOR WOMEN WITH A BOOK FOR ONLY $20 – YOU CAN SPONSOR A GROUP OF 6 FOR $140, WHICH INCLUDES A DVD set. You can become a regional sponsor for $500 which will help leaders on the ground take the study to area’s we are not able to visit on our trip, and help them keep the ministry growing.
Believe me – it’s worth it! Whole families are coming to Christ – stories abound of women finding hope! Please help us deliver the Hope found in Christ! You can sponsor women by going to our Resources page and scrolling down to the “donations” button.
Thanks Guys! We’ll keep you posted on all the Lord does over the coming weeks!
Thank you for being a part of the Mission!