Thoughts from Mike Ramsey
I am so proud of our team. As Dave Eason Senior stated yesterday, we’ve done in one week what most teams do in two. But I can honestly say that the “doing” has only been a small part of our experience here in El Salvador.
I sat in bed the other night and counted how many short term missions trips I’ve been part of and/or led the past 25 years. I’m fairly certain this trip is #17 for me, not counting vacations and the extended times I’ve spent overseas. But I sit in awe of how Jesus has preserved in my heart the newness and freshness of serving Him. I take joy in seeing the Holy Spirit work through my team members and cherish every moment I have encouraging them to recognize what God is doing in and through them.
It’s been almost 10 years since Jenni and I co-led a team together, not through lack of want. It simply wasn’t practical to drag two toddler boys across the globe while leading teams. One of us would go, while the other would "hold down the fort." But now that Aidan is 8 years old, he’s more than ready to serve alongside the team. I’ve been so proud of his heart for Jesus and the fruit of compassion that has been flowing from it. In fact, all the children on our team, Aidan, Samantha, Taylor, Micah and Rebecca have been a key part of our ministry and they’ve all shown tremendous amounts of love. We’ve been mainly ministering to children, so it makes sense that our own kids would play a big part in reaching the orphans.
Everyone else has done such a great job at sharing the details of our trip. There’s nothing else I can say except that it’s been obvious to me that every event, from visiting CIPI, to feeding the homeless, to mixing cement at the church has been beautifully orchestrated by our Sovereign God! This trip has been, in a nutshell, perfect. Yes, we’ve been busy, but it really hasn’t seemed that way because we’ve been fueled by the Word of God, prayer and encouragement.
Not to brag too much on Jenni, but she is an amazing co-leader and I believe her conviction to help focus everything back on Jesus has made all the difference. We’ve had tremendous unity on our team despite being a big group with a lot of different personalities. I’ve been excited to see the Lord using other team members to help build unity. Yesterday, Amanda stayed home with a stomach ache. My heart broke as we prayed for her, then as I stepped on the bus, I could see the tears in her eyes. I knew she wanted to join us, but it was clear she needed to stay home. And when we got back, it was obvious that Jesus took precious time to minister to our dear sister. So much so, that the rest of our team was blessed in our team meeting last night as Amanda shared scripture verses and words of affirmation the Lord gave her for each and every team member. Amanda’s words have been a tremendous blessing and at a time when teams are usually mentally separating from each other in preparing to go home, our team is still tightly knit in ministering to each other.
My prayer is that Jesus will preserve what He is doing through our team and bless our church through our experience in the weeks and months to come. I pray our zeal for sharing our faith will spread to our church family as we return home to share the Gospel with our co-workers, classmates, neighbors and family. And my prayer is that whoever is reading this will gain a heart to join a future missions trip, financially support a missionary and pray more for missions.
I am extremely grateful for our team, but also the Salvadorians who helped us this week and especially for those of you who have supported us through your prayers and finances. And I have peace in knowing that the people we have ministered to this week will receive excellent follow up from the long term missionaries we have been serving with.