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February 25, 2008
El Salvador Day 6 - Jesus, the Great Physician
By the time you get this Jeff and I will be home. Our time in El Salvador has come to an end and I'm writing this on the plane as we fly back to Miami. It's amazing how quickly the week has gone by, the many places we've visited and the incredible number of lives that have been changed.
God has moved mightily this week and I'm so thankful to Him for allowing me to be a part of what He is doing in so many Salvadorian lives. This morning, before going to the airport, I spoke at a nursing institute. This was not a Christian school but I was invited to speak to one class of about 72 students. Something phenomenal happened there. At first, arms were folded and some even rolled their eyes when I did my opening prayer. This was a tough crowd of young adults but there is no heart too "tough" for God to penetrate. I watched as one by one they began to connect with me, and smiles appeared. At the end, I had tears as at least 25 hands went up to receive Jesus!!! One by one, they came to me afterwards, giving me little notes, jewelry and hair pins – all while whispering in my ear, "Oré contigo" (I prayed with you). WOW!!
I cannot thank you enough for your love, prayers and financial support that makes it possible for me to do this. I find it a tremendous joy to be used as a tool in Gods hands to effect change in a person's life. In 6 days, I spoke 13 times and saw 211 people open their hearts to Jesus!! Thanks so much for sending me!! You have made a difference in the lives of many!!
Love to You,
Posted by Bernadette at 10:37 PM
February 23, 2008
El Salvador Day 4 - Fast and Furious!
Things are CRAZY here!! We are almost at the end of my trip and we still have so much to do. My schedule is INSANE and so tight that Chepe is driving like a mad man trying to get me to all my engagements on time. Jeff has become a Master at dressing me at the speed of lightning so we can make a quick turn around.
When we say that my schedule "continues to grow," we aren't kidding! Remember the pastor at the Pollo Campero restaurant? Well, I'm scheduled to speak at his church on Sunday night. He also mentioned that I'm speaking on our way to the airport on Monday. Some of you may be wondering why I keep accepting additional invitations, but this is my purpose here. Every invitation is important; another opportunity to touch hearts and impact lives. For instance, on Monday before we return to you, I will speak at a nursing school. This is an INCREDIBLE opportunity because they are not Christians. They are interested in simply hearing my story and you know that if they hear my story, they will also hear about Jesus. How could I say no to this??
Did I tell you that Tony likes to ride in the back of our pickup truck, sitting in my wheelchair, with his camera to film our travels? Don't worry, this is allowed in this country! Today, Chepe was driving so fast, because we were running late, that I saw my wheelchair tilting with Tony in it as we went around a corner. Then his glasses went flying off his face and into the street!! Suddenly, we heard a loud banging on the ceiling of the truck to stop. Amazingly, we found his glasses without a single scratch! What a miracle! We know it was because of your prayers, covering us.
Yesterday, I spoke to about 200 students at school called Ladislao Leiva and 35 accepted Jesus!!!! Today I spoke in a ladies tea where they had a ton of questions for Jeff afterwards. Then we rushed over to a church called Campamento de Dios where approximately 27 commitments were made.
It is overwhelming to see what's happening here on this trip. God is really listening to your prayers and working in the hearts of everyone within the sound of my voice. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers and financial support of this ministry. It is only because of you that I am able to respond to this tremendous call on my life. I want you to know that it gives me great joy to do this.
Well, I will leave you now and go to bed. Pray for me, I'm speaking 3 times tomorrow and one more time on my way to the airport on Monday.
Love from El Salvador,
Posted by Bernadette at 11:59 PM
February 21, 2008
El Salvador Day 2 - A Note From Tony
As the first time I saw Bernadette, God continues amazing me through her life. It's really an honor to be a part of her ministry team. There are so many emotions mixed together in every school, church and even restaurants that we visit. There is no way one could say that God is not with her and in what she is doing. Especially when you see all those little faces of kids who want to hug her after she speaks and you see that honest look filled with love and thankfulness for her encouragement directly to their hearts. Teachers and administrators are so touched that you see them waiting behind just to shake her hand, a little kiss and to say thank you. There are no words in this world that can explain all you feel when you see little hands rising, and they put it so high in the air to be sure that Bernadette can see them, as a seal that they know what have they done.
I'm also amazed with the fact that God has given Bernadette a special gift. She is so strong! Today we (all the men on her support team, INCLUDING JEFF!) were exhausted and struggling to stay awake during one of her presentations. But there she was, as always, with no problem talking all morning long. The days for us are not long enough. We have so much to do and so little time. Her list of speaking engagements continue to grow each day so much that when we're leaving she will speak on our way to the airport. That's why it's so so so so important that you continue to support our team with your prayers. It's not easy but Bernadette choses to obey her calling in this life and I am blessed to be here, and be a part of this "Mission of Hope" that is changing my life too and giving me a closer look at God's hand in action!
Speaking of Gods hand, can you believe that tonight 5 churches gathered together, away from the city, in a small town called Tepecoyo, just to hear Bernadette's testimony? Well, this night was a lot more than that. The Lord used her in a powerful and marvelous way to bring encouragement to those churches. When she finished I saw the longest line ever, in front of her, of people waiting to hug and kiss her. Everybody had a word for her, encouragement or thanks for her words. The battery of my camera was low and the line was still long. One by one... Kids, teenagers, women, men, pastors, worship leaders... All wanted to say to her how blessed they were with her words or to say that they received Jesus in their hearts tonight. She told me at the end that she experienced the most incredible night of her entire ministry. Tonight we saw at least 20 raised hands at this church and 45 students at 2 schools this morning.
Thanks again for all your support that allows my sister Bernadette this incredible opportunity to answer God's call on her life. Soon you will see all this in motion and I just pray that our video will let you taste a little portion of all the amazing things that are happening on this trip.
God Bless You All,
Posted by Bernadette at 11:56 PM
February 20, 2008
El Salvador Day 1 - A Changed Life
It's almost 1:00 AM here and I'm beat but I at least wanted to drop you a quick line to say that today was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! I spoke 3 times. Our first stop was En-Hacore Christian School. I did two presentations, one for about 200 middle school students and the other for 180 high school students. What amazes me is that even when I think kids are distracted and aren't paying attention, the gospel message always penetrates. Today, 8 Middle School and 16 Senior High students raised their hands to receive Jesus!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for praying, above is just one of the results!
With love to you from El Salvador,
Posted by Bernadette at 12:38 AM
February 19, 2008
El Salvador - We Made It!
We're here safe and sound in El Salvador! Not just Jeff and I, but Tony too, who traveled 9 hours from Bolivia just to be a part of my ministry team. Getting here was a bit of a challenge because our plane had electrical problems. They tried and tried but couldn't fix it. Finally they had to get us another plane (3 hours later). Jeff and I had peace because we knew that all of you were praying for us and our safety. We believe that it was God's hand that held us back from that original plane. It was great when we finally arrived at the airport in El Salvador. The first thing we saw was Chepe waving and smiling at us. Then we saw Tony smiling, behind his camera, as always. How amazing that I have such great friends all over the world!
Well, Chepe had a big surprise for me tonight. He had a party planed to celebrate my birthday which was a couple weeks ago (feb 8th). Chepe drove me with my eyes closed all the way to the restaurant. Even though my eyes were closed I could smell chicken a mile away, Pollo Campero chicken to be exact! Many people were there who meet us on our last visit. This party was Latin style, piñata and all! How cool!
Guess what? There was a man watching us at the party and he inquired about me. Turns out he is a pastor! Yep you guessed it, he wants me to go speak at his church sometime this week.
We got back to hotel pretty late and had a quick meeting. My schedule is PACKED!!! Looks like I'm speaking 12 times this week plus a possible TV appearance. Can you send me vitamins? Speaking of vitamins I better go to bed. It's midnight here and we have to meet Chepe at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast. I'll be speaking at 7:30 a.m. at a school. I will speak twice to two different groups. Then later that evening I will speak at a church. Please pray that God will energize me and my team and that my words will be His words.
Blessings to all who read this. Know that I love you.
Excited in El Salvador,
Posted by Bernadette at 12:17 AM
February 18, 2008
Get ready! We leave tomorrow on our Mission of Hope to El Salvador!! I say “we” because I’ll be taking you with me on this incredible journey! Remember that you are a part of what God does through this ministry. It is your prayers and financial support that is allowing me to go “into all the world” and see lives changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What a privilege to be a part of what God is doing in different parts of the world! I don't know about you, but I'm expecting Him to move in mighty and miraculous ways on this trip!! So let's be in prayer together that God will use me in a powerful way and that many Salvadorians will come to know His love for them.
Take care and get some rest, we've all got a big day tomorrow!!
United with You in His Service,
Posted by Bernadette at 07:12 PM