One of the very first things that I noticed when I moved to El Salvador is that the culture here seems to have a hint of hopelessness to it. If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up most of you stare at you with a blank face. It's as if the thought never crossed their mind that there might be a real future out there for them. If you ask a mother what they hope their child does with his/her life they will most likely answer something like "I hope he doesn't join a gang" or "I hope he lives to be an adult". I've tried countless times to get the youth that we work with to take a job that has some sort of future to it with little success. I guess when you are worried each day if you will find something for your family to eat or if you will have a roof over your head a college education is not exactly top of your wish list. Ever the optimist I have tried to change this mentality one person at a time (and I do mean 1 at a time) Last year God impressed upon me to start a scholarship fund. The fewer excuses people have the more likely they will be to continue with changing their lives. After a year of taking donations and saving the money in a fund designated EHM Educational Scholarship Fund I made the announcement that anyone who had been involved in any of our ministries was now eligible to apply for a scholarship. I sat back and waited for the rush of applications to pour in. How would we decide who would be granted a scholarship and who would not? So I waited, January passed, and waited February passed and waited and finally!!!!!! 7 applications were turned in!!! 7! I am no longer working 1 at a time! This group of brave mothers whom we have been working closely with for the past year finally believe in themselves enough to see a better future for them and their families. All of them have enrolled in cosmetology school and requested a scholarship to pay their way. The school is part of a ministry here (thank you Samaritan House) the tuition is extremely low so all 7 of these young ladies will be able to attend. Imagine the impact this can have on their families. It won't just be a financial change but imagine the role models these mothers have become to their children. In the USA we teach our children that they can be whatever they want to be. Here, in El Salvador, children are taught to drop out of school and hit the streets selling so that they can eat. Not for these 7 families any more. Praise God!!! I'm so excited. I think I am the proudest that I have ever been since I became a missionary here. So much can happen between today and the end of their schooling. Please join me in praying for them. Pray that nothing will interfere with their education. Pray that they will quickly find work and that they will always remember God who gave them this opportunity.
FEAR, ANXIETY & YOUR DESTINY
That's me with my wife and my niece on board a big beautiful plane about to cross the Atlantic Ocean to go minister with WMA associate missionaries in Austria who work with refugees. As you can see, my wife is peacefully closing her eyes enjoying a moment of rest, my niece is just hanging out with her awesome uncle and aunt and well, there I am, trying to hide my fear and anxiety with a lame, no teeth, smile. Yep, I really don't like to fly. I've flown a lot over the last ten years or so. Being a missionary kind of requires it. I couldn't even really tell you exactly how many times I've flown over the Atlantic. It's quite a few. Even with all that experience, all those uneventful, smooth flights under my belt, I still get nervous. Remember Bob from the classic movie "What About Bob?" As he walks outside of his apartment onto the streets of NYC he says out loud to himself, "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful..." That's pretty much what I look like when I'm about to get on a plane. I get my music pumping and say to myself, "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful." I put my head down and focus on my little video game and just hope the flight seems quicker than it really is. It rarely does.
Everyone has dreams. Everyone has destinations in their mind they want to get to. Sometimes along the way, we encounter difficulties. We think to ourselves, "Wow, if this is really what I'm supposed to do it wouldn't be this hard," or maybe "Is my dream really worth it?" YES! Your dream is worth it!
Maybe your issue isn't with flying, it could be any number of things. I don't know. You know. I'm willing to bet though, somewhere, somehow, sometime, along your journey, you will face something that will terrify you. You won't want to keep going forward. You have the dream in your heart, but it just seems too scary. Don't give up! If God has given you something to do, you must do it! People are depending on it. Don't let fear stop you from getting to your destination. You can do it! If I can fly across the Atlantic you can too!
For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.
- 2 Timothy 1:7