In 2001, SLAM (Students Living A Mission, our student missions program) began hosting mission trips to Ensenada, Mexico. Flash forward nine years and the Latin America regional team for G.O.D. Int’l consists of 24 adults, 12 children, and 3 more little ones on the way. These are exciting numbers seeing that each of these individuals and families have committed their lives to serving the people of Latin America! We have come a long way since our week long mission trips in 2001. Now we are a unified group of people working towards transplanting our families and lives in El Salvador. This commitment, however, has come with a great amount of responsibility.
Currently, all of our team members are state-side busily training and further educating ourselves in various fields of service such as midwifery, health care, sustainable agriculture, construction, adult literacy, early childhood education, finance and administration among others. We are striving toward that which God has placed in our hearts, to serve the poor and underprivileged in Latin America.
Before being able to invest into the people of El Salvador, we find ourselves in our current moment, challenged to function as a team of like-minded individuals. Above all else, we are endeavoring to know God and his word. In this process, we must learn to trust one another, so that we can carry the burden for Latin America together, knowing that it is not something any one of us could carry on our own. We are daily tested by Jesus’ words, that those who are faithful with small things will be entrusted with much greater things in due time. We are learning how to speak the truth in love, how to keep our small commitments, and how to accomplish goals alongside one another rather than individually, as our culture would predict.
All 24 of us, ranging in age from 21 to 34, are committed to this vocation. We believe that God has called us to serve the people of Latin America, and we are currently focusing our efforts on Ilopongo, El Salvador. Last summer, 16 team members spent numerous amounts of time ranging from 5-12 weeks, laying the groundwork for our ministry efforts in El Salvador. This upcoming summer we will continue to do the same as we move towards having a more permanent presence in the region. We are excited for the challenges set before us, both in Nashville and El Salvador, and are thankful that we are undertaking them together.
By Betsy Johnson