Dear Parents

To all the parents: Your children are changing my world.


Prior to training camp, we were all thrown into a group of complete strangers, and yet only a week later I feel as though I’ve known them for my entire life, and could trust them with anything. So this blog is about them, and the mountains each and every one of the members on this team are moving.


To the parents of Brooke: Brooke has a servant’s heart, and loves like I’ve never seen anyone love before. After seeing a man with a large bump on the back of a man’s neck in the community we were in, she immediately hurried to get a translator and pray for this man, whom she had never met before. I’ve never seen anyone love as bold as her, and it’s safe to say I am learning more from her about loving others than I ever expected.


To the parents of Jonah: Though quiet at first, when Jonah began to open up and grow closer to us, I found his presence (especially with a guitar in hand) to be calming, and peaceful, reminding me of every reason I love worship music, and those with the talent to lead it. Aside from worship, I’ve seen him bringing endless smiles to the faces of children we serve within our feeding program we help with, never letting a complaint slip out of his mouth as he gets tackled and brought to the ground—all while bringing them up. Jonah is teaching me how to lead.


To the parents of Jamin: Jamin can take any difficult time and bring light to it, through his incredible entertainment skills and willingness to help. When a leader asks for one of us to help, Jamin is the first to jump up and offer help, I aspire to contain his level of optimism. During worship he lifts his voice and sings without a care, and listening to him sing makes me wish I surrounded myself with people as eccentric, wild and fearless as him. Jamin is teaching me to release any fears of judgement I have and give them to God, and simply be.


To the parents of Reagan: To try and write about the amount of laughter Reagan has brought to me, and all of us as a whole, would lead me to write a novel, Reagan keeps me on my toes and her desire to learn amazes me, as she asks any questions she has without a fear, even going as far to share her poems, stepping out of her comfort zone to glorify the King. Reagan is teaching me how to yearn for more.


To the parents of Jesse: The amount of love Jesse has for those around her makes me feel at home, even when we are so far from home. Watching her worship creates a desire for me to know the Lord the way she does, and love Him the way that she does. She is a the true and holy example of a kind individual, and after watching her tear up after seeing all the hurt we encounter I knew that her heart was far bigger than I already knew it was. Jesse is teaching me how to gain a personal relationship with Jesus.


To the parents of Caity: Caity’s openness makes my heart warm. Though she is quiet at times, when she speaks, her words hit home, and I KNOW the Lord is speaking in to her and THROUGH her as well. Caity is always welcoming me with open arms, and after I cry (which is quite often) she is ready to give me a warm hug and just love me for who I am, and where I’m at. She takes people as they are, and because of that I am learning to do the same.


To the parents of Gabby: To say it simply, Gabby’s faith stands firm, and she is teaching me things I wasn’t even aware I needed to learn. When ministry gets physically and emotionally exhausting, I rely on her spirit to lift all of our spirits. Her sweet, sweet, interactions with kids inspires me to be to be as gentle as she is.


To the parents of Ashley: Though I’ve known her the longest, I learn more about Ashley’s heart each day I spend in El Salvador with her, and it makes me upset I didn’t know it for longer because of her deep deep longing to love those who need it. Her prayers are fierce, and she never stops until the job assigned is done, her heart is bold, her heart is fierce, and I love the woman she is becoming.


To the parents of Hannah: Hannah’s gentleness and bright smile light up the room. Her servant’s heart leads her to serve without complaint, and love fierce. She keeps me on my toes and makes me smile anytime we talk. Her love for her family and for the Lord inspires me love my family and our Lord the same way, and I’ve never heard anything negative come out of her mouth. Hannah is considerate. Hannah is compassionate. Hannah is teaching me how to be gentle.


To the parents of Sophia: Sophie listens to what the Lord has in store for her and though it may be uncomfortable, she obeys, and knows that His truth is what matters most. Her faith could move mountains, and I aspire to have the trust in the Lord that she has. Sophie’s heart aches for those we are ministering and I know she wishes she could take away all their hardships; planting a seed in everyone she encounters and building our sweet Lord’s Kingdom. Sophie is teaching me how to trust.


To the parents of Sarah: Have you ever heard the cliché about the light at the end of the tunnel? Sarah reminds me of a light that appears exactly when you needed it, right when you thought you couldn’t see and needed guidance, Sarah is there. She is willing to accept prayer in places she needs, even when it is just about a burnt finger (ask her for the story (-: ) she is willing to let her community surround her and pray for her when she realizes her prayer didn’t suffice. Through two burnt fingers and a miracle healing later, Sarah is teaching me to accept prayer even for things I tell myself I don’t need it for.


To the parents of Jaya: Sweet, sweet, humble Jaya is gentle. She is kind. Yet she loves hard. Though her words are few she can see the love of God in everything surrounding, even things deemed by others unworthy. Jaya pointed out to our group the hospitality that each individual contains here, and how when we drive down the streets everyone waves and greets us. I aspire to notice the little things that make life great, and show God’s love the way she does, taking nothing for granted. Jaya is teaching me to notice the small yet impactful pieces of God’s love.


To the parents of Becca: Every time I glance at Becca, she is hard at work. This could take place on the mission field, picking weeds, during quiet time with the Lord, whenever it is, she is at work advancing God’s kingdom. She lives a life like Jesus did, loving others despite differences and uniqueness. She’s quick to love and slow to judge and because of that she is teaching me to step back and gain other’s potential perspective.


To the parents of Delilah: Delilah’s persistence to worship God sets an example for me that I have never witnessed before. She explained that the Lord called her to serve, and brought her to El Salvador, to fulfill her calling. I envy that quick response she had in having an open ear with the Lord despite all the chaos surrounding, and it is very safe to say that Delilah is teaching me to listen and put my trust in the Lord.


To the parents of Leah: Leah shines, to say the least. Leah, like others on the team, has a true servants heart, and gives me a lot of wisdom unintentionally, and she is probably unaware that she is doing so. Her wisdom goes beyond her age and I am beyond blessed to have encountered a soul as sweet as hers. Between attempting to speak with the kiddos who spoke no English and laughing it off when she realized that they did not understand her, Leah has taught me that love bears no language.


To the parents of Hailee: Hailee’s desire to help rocks my world. On Thursday we had the job of picking weeds along the street and the reality of it was—it’s hard, it’s hot outside, and we get tired. But Hailee understands the work we are doing goes beyond picking weeds for individuals who we don’t even know, she understands she is living a life that strongly displays Jesus, and brings more and more people to the Lord. I aspire to lead the example that Hailee leads.


To the parents of Brittany: Every word that comes out of Brittany’s mouth speaks to my soul beyond words could cover. Her strength AMAZES ME. As she continues to push through each day with a torn ACL, she never complains, and she continues to serve for God’s kingdom. Her prayers are big and she trusts like no other. Brittany is teaching me how be strong when life tells me I can’t be.


 Each one of your children are teaching me to grow, and teaching me to love others fiercely, because our God first loved us. I am excited for you all to see the changes in them when they get home, and to see how boldly they love. Just know they all miss you, but are changing lives here, especially mine.

 P.S. Dad, if you see this, I wore my work gloves just for you today. 

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