Gloria a Dios (Glory to God)
Final El Salvador Mission Team Reflection
By: Amanda Gordon
The vision statement of UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) is “Transforming the world through ‘Christian Love in Action.’” Our Senatobia District Team went to El Salvador guided by this idea of sharing and showing God’s love; we even had 1 John 3:18 printed on our team t-shirts: “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” Guided by God’s grace, our entire team lived out this Scripture in so many ways this past week, but we also were recipients of people in El Salvador living out this verse in so many ways. The people we met in El Salvador were a true blessing to us. They were warm, kind, hospitable and caring. I am so amazed by the connections we were able to make in just one week.
As I write this article, I am still processing my experience, but I do want to share with you my biggest Holy Spirit moment of the week. One morning while passing out food, we visited the home of a woman who had a small store in her home to help support her and her family (this was very common in Ahuachapan). She sold items like eggs, snacks, and basic cooking items. She shared with us that it was so hard to see all the hungry children in her neighborhood, but if she just gave away her food then she would have nothing to support her family. (Keep in mind that most people only make $3-5 a day from their stores.) After we prayed with her, I was able to present her with a food bag. But, before she would even take the bag, she began praying and praising God; over and over she thanked God for this gift of food and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come over me as she prayed. I stood there holding that bag thinking, “I have no idea what it is like to be this thankful for a bag of food,” and I was so moved by her gratitude. After she finished her prayer, she received the bag, thanked us all and gave us hugs. It was a holy moment indeed, but it definitely was not the only holy moment of the week.
Each of our team members has stories to share and we are working on putting together a dvd of pictures of our amazing week in El Salvador. If you would like to have team member(s) come to your church to share about our trip, please let me know (662-781-1333 or amandaMMUMC@gmail.com). Also, if you are exploring mission trip opportunities, I would highly recommend working with Salvadoran Mission Projects and would be glad to talk to you more. They are truly an organization through which “Christian Love in Action” is happening in El Salvador.
In closing, I want to thank Nathan, Billie, Marcia, Adam, Alena, Annese, Adrienne, Chris, Kayla, Deby, Cynthia, David, Andrew, and Amber for being an amazing team to lead; each of you has blessed my life and thank you for your willingness to step out in faith and go on this trip. None of us had ever been to El Salvador before, but I doubt it will be the last time for any of us!
Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for us before and during the trip and thank you to all who gave financially to make this trip possible. There is no way to know how many lives were touched during our week in El Salvador, but I can guarantee you that for the 15 of us who went, this trip has made a lasting impact on our faith journey!