El Salvador Adventures

(If you just want to see the Photos, keep scrolling.)

elsalvadorblogheader by kentmastdigital

I just returned yesterday from a 10 day Missions Trip to El Salvador with my lovely lady, Ashleigh. While on the trip, something hit me: people were referring to me as a Missionary. I’m not sure what you think of when you think of the word “Missionary,” but mine is something like a little, old, white woman who is so content in her singleness that she doesn’t need a man.

Of course I’m kidding. Kinda. But let me first say this: misconceptions aside, I am a very unlikely Missionary. I wrestle daily with doubts. I struggle daily with the desires of my flesh. I am a man that bleeds easily when shaving. Spiders scare me. I am constantly comparing my work to the work of others. I am consistently not measuring up to my own religious standards, even though I know that the Gospel calls the striving toward those standards, aside from by being found in Christ, ridiculous. I have emotions in me that I don’t even know how to express. I am lazy with things that I know will help grow my walk with Christ (writing in my journal, waking up to pray, letting prayer motivate me toward action, listening to His voice.) So let’s just start this thing out with how weird it was to be called a missionary, and how unmissional I feel on a daily basis.

And yet, looking back now, each time someone called me a missionary, it was as if that person was not the one saying it; it was as if the voice of the Lord was calling forth something that I have never even wanted to be. I grew up very selfish. Unbelievably arrogant. I didn’t want to help you, and I didn’t want your help. I just wanted to wake up one day on an Island where everything played out the way I wanted without the bother of people. For probably twenty years I grew up desiring nothing but my own desires to be fulfilled to their maximum, believing and yet knowing that the fulfillment of those desires would lead only to my destruction. So if I am a Missionary, let it be known that it is only by the hand of God that my heart has been steadily changed over the last few incredibly stretching years to even consider that an option.

___________________________

IMG_0089 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0100 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0116 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0122 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0125 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0131 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0135 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0141 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0145 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0146 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0159 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0165 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0167 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0169 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0177 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0181 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0184 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0188 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0201 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0202 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0205 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0206 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0214 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0222 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0225 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0231 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0247 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0251 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0253 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0261 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0262 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0263 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0269 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0273 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0275 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0279 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0282 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0289 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0291 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0293 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0295 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0301 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0306 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0317 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0324 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0336 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0344 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0345 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0346 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0351 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0354 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0363 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0364 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0375 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0391 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0400 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0407 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0403 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0410 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0412 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0419 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0427 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0434 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0436 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0439 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0460 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0456 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0466 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0486 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0490 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0491 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0492 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0493 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0499 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0504 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0505 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0510 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0511 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0517 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0531 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0540 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0542 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0545 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0553 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0554 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0556 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0559 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0560 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0561 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0565 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0567 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0568 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0569 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0582 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0581 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0583 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0586 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0587 by kentmastdigital
]
IMG_0623 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0644 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0653 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0664 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0667 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0680 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0720 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0729 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0730 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0736 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0739 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0743 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0744 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0752 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0753 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0758 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0761 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0766 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0764 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0768 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0771 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0787 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0798 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0803 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0808 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0809 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0815 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0821 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0822 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0829 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0883 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0887 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0901 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0916 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0920 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0921 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0931 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0935 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0948 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0955 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0957 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0959 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0960 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0965 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0961 by kentmastdigital
IMG_0997 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1004 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1054 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1060 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1064 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1078 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1098 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1120 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1132 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1143 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1169 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1180 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1209 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1240 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1220 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1245 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1247 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1271 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1278 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1283 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1288 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1302 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1307 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1308 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1312 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1313 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1318 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1321 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1329 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1333 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1342 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1345 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1360 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1363 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1378 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1398 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1400 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1416 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1429 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1437 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1442 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1454 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1457 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1462 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1471 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1476 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1485 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1489 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1500 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1506 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1510 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1532 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1546 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1547 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1553 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1573 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1588 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1592 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1603 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1605 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1616 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1631 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1650 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1652 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1655 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1695 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1699 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1700 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1702 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1703 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1709 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1716 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1731 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1733 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1748 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1751 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1763 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1768 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1772 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1778 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1783 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1797 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1803 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1816 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1817 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1846 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1851 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1853 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1854 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1873 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1875 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1877 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1879 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1889 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1907 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1911 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1918 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1920 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1936 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1938 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1965 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1966 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1987 by kentmastdigital
IMG_1994 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2002 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2009 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2030 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2031 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2037 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2048 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2054 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2057 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2064 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2065 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2070 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2071 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2073 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2086 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2092 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2095 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2098 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2109 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2115 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2118 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2135 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2144 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2147 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2149 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2156 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2158 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2162 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2165 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2166 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2174 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2175 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2176 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2195 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2209 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2211 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2212 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2222 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2235 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2243 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2247 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2248 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2254 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2260 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2264 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2267 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2272 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2274 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2294 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2299 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2301 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2303 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2315 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2331 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2332 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2336 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2338 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2346 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2360 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2361 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2371 by kentmastdigital
IMG_2375 by kentmastdigital

Scattered, incomplete, undeveloped thoughts from the trip:
The brokenness of the human heart in it’s unregenerate state is laid bare in El Salvador. I’m not trying to be a Debby-Downer, and downplay the brokenness everywhere, and the help we need in our own country, but I am saying this: I saw people peeing on walls in the city, I saw people laying feet away from their own urine, I saw homeless people run from out of the midnight shadows just to grab a paper bag filled with only a banana, a sandwich, chips, and a couple of cookies. This kind of brokenness was explicit.

On the night that we went to feed homeless people out of the back of a pickup truck, people came running at the sound of the truck because they knew that that particular truck was their lifeline. It just really struck me that any person who claims to be a Christ-follower, a disciple of Him, needs to recognize their need for Him. And let me be honest- I don’t. Daily, I do not recognize my need for Him. I do not run toward Him and the sound of His voice like those people ran toward that truck for that bag of food. And the scary thing is that some may think that “Well, at least you recognize that. At least you’re honest.” That terrifies me- because often there are times when I know- I don’t mean have an idea, I mean I know- without a shadow of a doubt that God wants me to do something, say something, go somewhere, and I just don’t do it. That is a terrifying reality- that the human heart can know something deeply to be true, and yet completely live contrary to the knowledge of any particular truth.

Jesus came for the sick and the diseased and the broken. Why does it seem that the modern evangelical understanding of holiness means following a particular string of church codes, instead of actively engaging in a relationship with Jesus? This question is on my mind because my own mind, in it’s default mode, tends to ask myself after I sin “What do I need to do to rectify this.” Essentially what I’m saying is “How can I trick Daddy into blessing me by pretending to play the game and hoping He doesn’t know the difference between obedience to His Word and hiding behind my facades?” Jesus has already rectified everything. The response to sin is to run toward the Cross, run toward the light of accountability and confession, and receive a new mind through Him. I know that… but refer to the above rambling on things I know and yet don’t know.

People are in our lives not only for our enjoyment, but for our edification. That is why God put into my life people who are organized, who are in love with Jesus, who desire to see me grow, who want to see my comforts stretched and my strengths shaken a bit. I was reminded that Ashleigh and I are not the same person. In fact we are quite different. And that which Satan would desire to use as a means of competition and strife between us, God desires to use as a method of shaping us; not that either of us would become more like each other, but that we might both become more like Him. This is why I am enabled to forgive, to repent, to confess, and show her sides of my heart that others don’t know; because our relationship is about serving Him. One day she will die (More than likely, I will die) and I can’t take any of this stuff with me, and I can’t come back and say how sorry I am for this or that. I have today, I have this moment, I have now to do the work that He has called me to do with the people He has given me, and who He has given me to.

Shorter, scattered, incomplete, undeveloped thoughts from the trip:
– Life is short.
– Kids are beautiful.
– … yet still need Jesus.
– Say what you will about technology and how it’s of the devil, but I used an iPhone to talk to a boy in Spanish to communicate Gospel-Application and Gospel-centered reconciliation to him in a language I have no idea how to speak. Take that, nay-sayer.
– I need Jesus more than ever. Daily.
– I am on an adventure.
– I am so thankful for the helper that I have been given in Ashleigh.
– I hate packing, and unpacking, and keeping a suitcase in any kind of immaculate order.
– I don’t feel that I would do well in El Salvador for a long period of time. Their machismo attitude towards women is ridiculous and childish, and I would probably be killed by a gang before too long.
– Jesus desires me to engage a hurting world, and not simply become overwhelmed and check out.
– I need rest. Real rest.
– I’ve been working on this for two hours and it’s time to do something else with my life.

click-here-ka

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s