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March 12, 2007
El Salvador Day-6
Wow, I can't believe that my time here in El Salvador has come to an end. It was a whirlwind but what an incredible experience this has been. I cannot even put into words how much I have grown this week and how blessed I feel to have been used by God to spark revival in the hearts of so many Salvadorians. I feel especially blessed to have met Chepe and Mauricio who labored tirelessly alongside Jeff and I and who lifted my chair over and over again.
I have spoken a total of 13 times this week, the past 48hrs being my most challenging. I must mention, however, that my interpreter, Sara had to speak as many times, right beside me all week long. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated all your prayers for strength.
For starters, Saturday we went deep into this neighborhood where Las Americas Baptist Church had sort of a bandstand with huge speakers set up at a soccer field. I found it a real challenge to keep peoples attention with so many distractions like food and beverages. But it is God who draws the hearts of man and to my surprise people were indeed listening as I spoke.
That ended up being a very late night and Sunday morning my first service (of three) at Zacamil Baptist began at 7:30 AM (I got up at 5AM). Not to mention I also had to speak at Miramonte Baptist church later that evening. Everybody on my support team was tired but we proved that it is truly in our weakness that the Lord's strength is made perfect in us. It was as if new life entered into my lungs and I was able to speak all for times as if it were my first time of the week. I'm so excited that after each service, many people boldly raised their hands to make commitments to the Lord!
Well, there’s much more to tell and pictures to show but I must get to the airport. Thanks again for your prayers and financial support that made this mission trip possible. Hundreds of lives were impacted and YOU were a part of it!
Returning home to you,
Posted by Bernadette at 01:12 PM
March 10, 2007
El Salvador Day-5
I've been so busy ... going up and down the stairs to speak … Jeff, carrying me all over. I spoke three times yesterday and I wish you could have seen us... running from place to place... Chepe, driving like a mad man to get us all there on time. And then it started to rain. I've been forgetting to tell you but my chair rides in the back of the truck! So when it started to rain a little bit last night, he really put the pedal to the metal and Jeff had to hold on to me. It was like a ride at Disney (please hold on to the bar)!
I spoke at a conference this morning and it went really really great ... four women gave their life to the Lord! Things went so well there that they extended the time and had Jeff come up with me so we both could answer questions about love and marriage. There was also a young couple in the audience who just found out that their son has Muscular Dystrophy. They cried the entire time as I spoke. Jeff and I had an opportunity to encourage the family afterwards and Jeff was able to pray with the father.
Well, I have a few hours to rest before I speak for Las Americas Baptist Church tonight. It's a street outreach at a soccer field.
Pray hard for me tomorrow, it will be my hardest day. The Zacamil Baptist Church has three services in the morning and then I am also speaking at Miramonte Baptist that night. That will be my last church before returning home to you. I'm not sure if I'll have time to e-mail tomorrow but I will try.
Take care until you hear from me again.
Love You Much,
Bernadette in El Salvador
Posted by Bernadette at 03:21 PM
March 09, 2007
El Salvador Day-4
At the moment I’m at Mies Baptist School where I just finished speaking to the students. The school has wireless here in the auditorium so I though that I would use this opportunity to say hello. My time here with the students has been absolutely wonderful. They really enjoyed hearing my story and many decisions were made for Christ. One boy really touched my heart and confirmed in my heart the reason I do this. After I spoke he came up to me and opened his bible. He showed me in the front where he wrote in Spanish the words I said, "The choices we make can change the story of our lives.” He had tears in his eyes and said that he now would live by these words. Oh, my Goodness, my heart is so filled with joy!
Things are going good, I have been speaking a lot and they have a lot more for me to do. I can't thank you enough for your prayers and support. I truly wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of you combined. Thank you also for taking the time to write me back. I feel so encouraged, hearing back from all of you. Your words stay in my heart and when I'm tired (which is a lot on this trip), I'm strengthened by just knowing that you're thinking of me and praying for me.
Please pray extra for Jeff. He has lifted me up so many stairs and always with a smile. Pray that God gives him a special blessing.
Until next time... this is Bernadette... in El Salvador!
Posted by Bernadette at 02:58 PM
March 08, 2007
El Salvador Day-3
Greetings to you from El Salvador! Sorry you didn't hear from me at all yesterday but it was well after midnight when my day of speaking 3 times finally ended. By then, Pollo Campero (the restaurant that has wireless Internet) was closed. I was exhausted anyway ... Happily exhausted that is!
To begin with, I spent the morning at Getsemani High School. Regular classes were canceled and I was given two 1-hour sessions the middle and senior high students. Both groups were extremely receptive to my testimony and had numerous questions at the end. I was most troubled though by the large number of students who admitted that they are currently in despair. One after another their hands went up, "pray for me Bernadette, remember me, I'm hurting."
Afterwards, a group of hearing impaired students stayed behind to speak with me. They were genuinely excited to learn that God has a purpose in what he allows in our lives and that He doesn't make mistakes. What a joy it was for me to be able to personally encourage them! You should have seen their smiles and the rays of hope in their eyes!
Last night I spoke at Jezreel Baptist Church and it was amazing to see what God did there. At the end of my presentation, the pastor asked if those who were willing to make a commitment to "get off the pew" and begin serving God in some way to please stand. To my surprise, THE ENTIRE CHURCH STOOD TO THEIR FEET! Wow! The pastor later said that he was simply speechless by what God had done ... so am I honestly.
Well, that's it for now. Please pray for me. I'm scheduled to speak 3 times tomorrow, 3 times on Saturday and 4 times on Sunday! Talk about Sol Ministries making the most of my time here in El Salvador! Funny thing is, as word begins to spread about my testimony more churches become interested in having me. Chepe keeps teasing me that my schedule is "light" this time in comparison to what he'll have lined up for me on my next visit in 2008.
Right now they’re taking me sightseeing... and hopefully shopping. I'm the only girl on this team so we'll see if I can convince Chepe, Mauricio and Jeff to actually shop!
Love you guys!
Posted by Bernadette at 12:36 PM
March 06, 2007
El Salvador Day-1
We have arrived in El Salvador safe and sound. I must say that I truly believe God has something really amazing in store this week because the devil has truly tried to put a damper on things.
Yesterday I woke up and could not open my eyes at all. My left eye was swollen shut and felt like it was filled with sand and my right eye was so sensitive to light that I couldn't open it either! I just couldn't believe it. Not only was I in a wheelchair but also blind! This just couldn't be happening, I thought. Turns out that I have a cornea infection...not the end of the world...I guess. Just some major discomfort and temporary blindness. What a testimony, right? Thankfully my eye doctor gave me antibiotic drops and cleared me for the trip. I just have to wear my glasses for a few days.
At any rate, our flight was good. Chepe and Mauricio (Sol Ministries) met us at the airport and have both been wonderful to us so far. Please keep me in your prayers. Tomorrow during the day I'll be speaking to over 300 students (in two shifts) at Getsemani High School. Later that night I'll be speaking at Jezreel Baptist Church. It'll be a busy but great day I’m sure.
Until next time…
Bernadette in El Salvador
Posted by Bernadette at 11:10 PM