My life was changed…

My Trip to El Salvador

My heart has been for missions since 1997. I felt God calling me to it. So I went to Bible College to study missions. Yes, I bet some of you didn’t know that about me. I basically was studying to be a minister. (Life happens and I haven’t finished yet. But, that is for another time)

So fast forward it is 2004. I am 20 years old. I am a sponsor for youth group and we find out that we are going on a missions trip  to El Salvador. I am super…stoked! (I don’t usually use that word now..but then..yes!) So the next few months consisted of fundraising and writing letters to friends and family for donations. I didn’t think I would ever get enough money. But the Lord provided. He apparently wanted me to go. Our group drove from Springfield, Mo. to Oklahoma City, Ok. Then we flew from there to Houston then to El Salvador.

Culture shock.

The airport was so small. No air condition. I felt like a refugee. We grabbed our things and the airport personnel began to looked at my passport as if I was some drug dealer. They went through our stuff asked a few questions. It was nothing I had ever experienced. I “checked out” to be okay, so I proceeded through. We met up with our hosts and they piled us on a bus. As we headed through town, I noticed how crazy the traffic was! I never witnessed crazy driving like this before. I thought we were going to die before we even started our mission. The driver didn’t use his signal to turn and he cut off people several times. One interesting thing though, one of the students noticed a beat up mini van with chrome hubcaps. That seemed a little out of place to us. (We were all guilty of making fun of that. I am sure we all repented later. lol)

Another thing that I found interesting was the police in the city. They would stand outside the station with these big assault rifles. That…was scary. Being from the bible belt and living in the mecca city of bible colleges, we never witnessed things like this before.(I know in other countries it is far more worse. But for us newbies this was intimidating). I truly realized I was not in America anymore. See this country has been through all kinds of turmoil(You will have to google info on that yourself. Trying to keep this short. haha) But, it was supposedly the safest country to go to on our first missions trip.

The landscape was breath taking. Hills everywhere. Jungles filled with beautiful wildlife and fauna. Later, in the week we went walking through the jungle witnessing and we were pointed out coffee plants growing everywhere. As we entered into our destination, we noticed a lake. But it was not just a lake..no..in fact..it was an inactive volcano! (which we later went swimming in) There were kids running up and down the streets, people walking barefoot, trucks with produce. The houses came in all shapes and sizes. They were not at all like what we see here in America. Nicely built. Some you could tell had to have been owned by drug lords. In fact, we were warned about some. Some of the houses had walls around with broken glass on top to keep people out. (big drug problems etc there)

Then we arrived. Below is some pictures of where we were staying for the next week.

 

Our home

We stayed here for the next week. It was the rainy season so it was very hot, humid, and like clock work the rain came in around 6 pm every night. It wasn’t a gentle spring rain. It was a torrential rain. You could sit on the hill and hear it come in through the trees and see it like a curtain come across the lake. It was beautiful.  Towards the end of the week we went to the Pacific Ocean. Where one of our youths got baptized in the ocean. This was very cool to witness. The sand was black. This is due to all the volcanic activity on the pacific side. Also, El Salvador has fire ants of some sort. If you stepped one toe into the grass you were in a hurt of trouble. In other words, it was bad news. I mean bad news! I experienced that a few times trying to run across the  campus for meal time.

Meals always consisted of chicken in some way shape or form, black beans and some kind of fruit usually pineapple or the like. It was all very good. Best quesadilla I ever had was bought in a street market there. It was a type of cheesy-bread-cake thing. Not at all how we make it here in the US, with cheese and shells. And they sold Fresca there.(sprite flavored) That was their “special beverage”

Ministry

The first couple days we were taught how to minister. We would be working with children so our training consisted of skits, dances, etc. The next few days we would go from school to school ministering. Can you believe that? The school allowed the missionaries  and their groups to minister in the schools. (If we did that here..I wonder how that would work?)

The first time we went out it was a bit intimidating. But, we prayed. We knew our purpose and that feeling soon left. So each day we went out performed our skits or dance and the local interns would give a short salvation message. There is nothing like seeing kids raise their hands to accept Christ. Nothing like it in the world! You tear up just about every time. We got to pray with the kids as well. I was able to use the little bit of Spanish  I knew to speak to the children. They were impressed that this American knew their language. However, I was corrected a few times on some words because the Spanish I had learned in highschool was a bit different from El Salvadorian language.

Even though our days were full and exhausting…I never felt that way. Each day I woke up refreshed. Talk about feeling fulfilled. I felt this is what I could do everyday. Everyday1 Even now I can remember that feeling I had and it ignites that fulfillment again. We had many come to the Lord. I wish I could share with you the number, however, I cannot remember. But what matters is, that the young people and even the teachers, they were able to learn about the  Lord and how much He loves them.

Fuego

We rode a bus to most of the places that we ministered too. To get to certain schools we had to haul our generator and equipment (provided by the SPEED THE LIGHT ministry) up very steep and long hills. thankfully we had strong youth boys in our group. In being funny they would exclaim “fuego!” because it was hot for one thing and these teen boys were not use to feeling the burn pushing equipment up these hills.  Some of which were almost a 90 degree angle. (No joke) Also, we liked using this word, because being apart of the Assembly of God we wanted His Spirit to fall…His fire, as we ministered. Another word we used a lot was “por que”. I can not even remember why we started saying it. But being silly we would say it to everything. Just because. Fun times with fun people doing the work of the Father. What could be better.

A life changed

After going on this trip I was changed. When we left it was bitter sweet. We hugged our host. People I know I will never forget. And the lives that were changed because I, along with my friends, were willing to be used by the Lord. God just wants willing hearts. There is nothing like being in the will of God. Complete satisfaction. When I arrived back in America, my eyes were opened. I realized how selfish we Americans are. How blind many are. My heart broke to realize these people need the Lord just the same as those in El Salvador.

But what would I do about it? I knew I needed to reach out to children. So, this is what I have been doing the last few years. Sharing God with children. Teaching them about God. Disciplining them. So that when they grow up they have this firm foundation in the Lord. This, is what I will continue to do until my last breath! Doing the work of the Father is always fulfilling. And being in His will is where I want to be.

Pray for our missionaries in El Salvador.

Don and Terri Triplet.

Little bit about..ME!

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Little about me. Just me. I haven’t done this yet, so I thought I would share a little bit of the mind of Ericka…

I am a quiet person by nature. I love to talk about God. I love my family. I love my friends. I feel God puts certain people in your life for a reason. They are to either encourage you for a season or for a lifetime. I am a people person. Which means…I like to be around people. Though I am not outgoing, I can enter into a conversation easily. And if you know me I am unashamed and unafraid to talk about certain things. With passion.

I do teach. But, when I do that it is not me teaching but God through me. So, I guess I can be outgoing. I am also a girls ministry coordinator. Which has stretched me beyond measure. I love working with young people. I love to teach youth the things of the Lord.

I love love love the ocean. When I was 9 I was able to go to Florida. I fell in love with the ocean. There is something about the ocean. It led to many adventures for some. It leads to other cultures(which i love). The sunrises and sunsets on the ocean…are breathtaking. Really being by a body of water is where I have always wanted to live.All my best moments were by the water.I am blessed to be living by the Mississippi River as of now. And it stirs up a longing to travel. I love to travel. And the ocean brings that out of me…that longing..to do more..to go places.

I have been to a few places. In marching band we traveled a bit. One year we went to the Bahamas. That was an amazing trip! Lots of ocean time. The ocean as so blue….ok I know I already mentioned I love the ocean. In college, as a youth sponser, I went to El Salvador on a missions trip. My life was changed!! (for another blog though) I have moved several times in my life. Lived most of my life in Iowa and the other parts in Missouri. So every once in awhile a southern thang slips out.(jk)

Ok…a bit of a confession. I like to be funny when I share things. I am a pretty joyful person for the most part. I can’t stay mad for too long. That is the Lord in me. With that said, I sometimes try too hard to be funny. And it flops. (ha!) There I said it. Moving on.

I want people to know me for me. This is why I am sharing. To often I am “his daughter, his wife, their mom, their sister”…etc. I feel I can not express the real me. Which is probably why I use certain social media often. People can see my heart with out being judged.(well i do get that but it is based on WHAT  I say not Who I am..if that makes sense)

I have lived in 9 different homes. Only because we moved a lot. No reason just different opportunities. I have been to 10 schools/universities. No wonder I like to travel and need things to do…or change. I suppose I am a bit restless at times.

I am a type of person that has to change my room around a couple times of the year. In fact, I am about due for  a new arrangement. (of course this is due to me needing change) It may sound sad..but I like moving. I like new places. I feel God made us all different. With different motivations etc.This is mine. We can not all be feet…or hands..or legs..or ears..lol. (does that make sense?)

I have tried scrapbooking..but that is expensive.I own a gun. Soon I will have a conceal and carry permit. Cant wait. I like fishing, camping, nature..but my body doesn’t show that. (haha I am working on it though) I love to experiment cook. I like to draw and write(not an expert by any means) I love history and studying different cultures, theology and end time things. I like syfy, some action and adventure, marvel and some romcoms. I do not wear a lot of makeup. But I do like to dress up. (i am a girl after all) But tshirt and jean kind of girl too.

I like to keep things clean. But I tend to let things slip at times. So, I am sort of lazy.(haha)

well. I suppose I shouldn’t share too much. So that is a bit about me.

 

 

 

The Flame and The Fire

Be on fire!

hjesusblog

When it comes to the lord, people say we should be on fire. But I know that’s difficult. You can’t really be a fire if you weren’t a flame. What I’m trying to say is that you are just a flame. You need to be a flame to catch others on fire, so they can also be a flame. And so you can start a fire. A fire starts with one flame. Don’t wait for someone else to be that one flame. You be the flame so you can start a fire! It’s important to be on fire! When you are on fire for the lord, it’s almost like you can go out without fear and pray for people and witness to them! So, take my advice, be the flame and start a fire in your Church!! Hebrews 12:29- for our God is a consuming fire!

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I WILL REJOICE

Our world is in turmoil.

Murders are happening every moment of the day. The media displays the bodies of the deceased across the screen for all to see. Nations are “rattling their swords”. The thoughts of war seems imminent. A “world war” some say. Then there is racism,. This nation alone seems to be struggling with this issue everyday. Officers being shot. People being treated unfairly. Then their is disease, famines, and even plagues. Evil is considered good and the things that were once good are no longer good. With all this on our minds and to add in the stress of daily living. Family problems, Work issues, financial stress. It would seem we are alone. No wonder many feel it is hopeless and turn to things that are less fulfilling. Anything that will get their mind of the drama of…LIFE. And some…sadly….choose to just end the misery, by ending their life.

Living as a christian in this world should not be hopeless.

I think we get so wrapped up on our problems that we forget who is in-control. God didn’t just create us then let us go. NO! In fact he says he will “never leave you”

 

 

 

“I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28:20

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God

 

 

 

who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 

 

 

We are not alone. So why do we get overwhelmed and immediately think there is no hope? The first things that one does when they get depressed and overwhelmed is they think no one knows what they are going through. Friend, we all know. We have all been there.

 

 

 

Solomon(the wisest man to ever live) said, “There is nothing new under the sun” Meaning, its all been done before, its all been felt before, and yet, life goes on.

 

 

 

People get through it. How? Rejoicing! Praising! Fixing our eyes on the Lord.

 

 

 

HE. IS. OUR. HOPE!!!

 

 

 

One thing Satan hates…a joyful christian. Why do you suppose? Because a joyful Christian gives honor and glory to God. A joyful christian goes out and does things for the Lord. A joyful Christian is contagious! Yep, we spread the joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever been in a crowd where everyone is cheering? It is very difficult to stay sitting when all those around you are jumping and shouting. Maybe you are a quiet person. But the more you are around those that are on fire for God or are praising …you will do the same as well. You cant help it. It rubs off. Either because you don’t want to be left behind in the excitement or because you start to crave what they crave. So you dig deeper into your relationship with God. It is a fire the burns in your bones. You can not contain it. Like a wild fire it spreads so all can see.

 

 

 

Rejoicing and praising lifts your spirit. Why? Because you are no longer looking at your problems. You are no longer looking inward. You are looking upward. Seeking the One who can solve your problems.

 

 

 

A thought:

 

 

 

Lets quickly look at Jobs life. He lost everything. I mean everything!(why he lost it is for another blog) Yet, despite Job losing everything: his lively hood, his health, his family etc. … He still worshiped the Lord.

 

 

 

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

 

 

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

 

 

 

Job 1:20-22

 

 

 

Through it all Job talked to God. Did he get upset? Sure he did. But he never stopped seeking God through it all.

 

 

 

Do not give up.

 

 

 

What would happen if in our despair, in our pain, in our heartache, in our trials, in our crazy world…we worshiped the Lord?

 

 

 

God loves you so much. He hasn’t abandoned you. He is waiting for you to call out His name. To seek Him through the storm.

 

 

 

“Your praise will ever be on our lips” (“Ever Be” by BETHEL music)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need prayer and a friend to lift you up I am here too. Feel free to get in contact

 

 

 

The road is easier to walk when you have someone walking it with you

Love of God

NCU Worship Live

Devotional by Susan Pratt | Song by Braden Dressel & Stephen Witt

In the book of Hosea, we find pages and pages of God’s anger towards Israel for being unfaithful, calling the nation a prostitute again and again. He spends the whole book expressing that anger until chapter 11, verse 8 and 9, “My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God and not man—the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.”

There are two things I want to point out about this: 1) God’s use of the word prostitute. 2) His declaration that He will not pour out His wrath, because He is not man.

God chose the word prostitute. He could have used the word cheater like someone would in a game…

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