El Salvador

El Swagador Blog


Abbey: On our second night in El Salvador, we went to a skate park. We were there with a ministry called Christian Skaters International, and we brought skateboards and waited for the skaters to come up and get the drinks and snacks that we brought. In the meantime, we took turns attempting to learn how to skate and we laughed and some of us prepared a mini-lesson to teach for later in the night. When we split up into teams to invite people up to our area, my team ended up talking to two teenage guys named Gustavo and Brian. For the most part,’ we helped them practice their English and talked about the job that Gustavo had applied for. A little while later, I went back to pray for a woman who was sitting alone, and Ronnie went back to continue talking to Gustavo and Brian. He ended up explaining the gospel to them, and that’s when me and our translator Lorena walked up. She helped to translate the message, and delivered a powerful statement to them that a relationship with Jesus cannot be halfhearted, but you either are with Him or not. I could tell something was beginning to break in Gustavo, so we continued to talk about life once we had explained all that we possibly could about the gospel. Gustavo asked the difference between heaven and the sky, which led us to more conversation and more questions. By the end of the night, Gustavo had told us that he would commit to giving Jesus another try. I asked him if he wanted to pray to accept Jesus, and he said yes! It was my first time ever leading someone in prayer, so it definitely was not perfect, but I was overjoyed and so was he. I gave him the biggest hug, and he left with the biggest smile on his face. 


Hello! I am writing from my first mission trip in El Salvador! This being my first trip, It’s been so exciting to see how the Lord moves in so many different ways. I’ve also been building and strengthening my relationship with the Lord through this very new experience. I feel that I learned so much about the Lord, myself, and mission work through everything on this trip – It’s been so inspiring and transformative to hear my beautiful, wise teammates/leaders speak and have the Lord move through them. Tonight Casey asked us what is one thing you want to take away from this trip – I said one thing I have fully realized and become to value is the power of small actions. You never know how much one scripture, or one conversation, or one hug will impact a person wherever they are on their path.

One last thing- My team has been such a blessing to me. They have so much love for people, the Lord, and sharing the word of God in many ways. I’m so grateful to have formed a friendship and valuable bond with each one of them. <3




Before this trip, I thought of joy as synonymous with happiness. I thought of joy as this lofty feeling that could never be achieved. But this definition does not encompass true joy, in fact, it barely scratches the surface. True joy fills the lives of those who follow the Lord. It is contentment and positivity; it is an endless state of rejoicing in the Lord. I learned from the people of El Salvador that joy can be found in the simplest moments. Joy is riding in the back of a pickup truck and screaming songs. It’s having chocobananos and pupusas every day. Its playing pato pato ganso for a straight hour. It’s praying for new believers and encouraging those further in their walks. It’s telling kids that Jesus loves them. It’s being the hands and feet of Jesus and experiencing the love of God in every way possible. True joy is found only in the Lord. 



While driving to the base in Georgia, I really wanted to turn around and come home. When my mom left, I wished I could leave with her. But over the weekend as I got to know my team, I was very glad to be there. Once we landed in El Salvador, I felt like I was supposed to be here. I love the girls on my team and I’m not one to quickly bond. I love my leaders, as well.


The people here are so hospitable. When we arrived at the base in El Salvador, we went into our rooms and every bed was made up with fresh sheets and had on each of them a towel, a coke, and some snacks. At every home we went to, we were quickly welcomed in. At one house, in particular, the kids from a church who went with us were all given popsicles. My team was given watermelon slices. I can’t eat watermelon, so the lady gave me a local fruit. I tried it and it was not my favorite. She laughed and then gave us all candy made from plantains. I literally could not swallow it, that is how much I did not like it. I was so worried I was being rude or offending her but she was so kind and eventually just brought me a sucker, and before we left, she brought our entire team a bag of candy. At the next house, we went to, the ladies who lived there gave all of us drinks.


Their generosity even with so little was so heart-warming to me. When we would clean the streets, the people would come out from their houses and join us in cleaning. The team we stayed with was so quick to help us with whatever and were just so kind to us. My mom was so scared to send me to El Salvador, a place I’ve never been with people I didn’t know, but the kindness of my team and the people who live here would and should make her feel so much better.

Haley: Several times I had put myself down by convincing myself I could not do the task offered/assigned. I did overcome this by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, to let myself try even if I ended up doing bad, to at least give it my best. I had told myself that my Spanish was very bad, that I am not good with children, that I am terrible at public speaking, that I was socially awkward, that I would not make friends and that I am not a people person. These feelings did not come all at once but they were all lies and trials that I overcame throughout the trip. I had lived a lot in fear and it took this trip to help me realize this. To make a long story short and to get to the point, In the end, I had had an hour conversation with locals in Spanish without a translator, made some relationships with the children, spoke a piece of my testimony in front of a school full of students, and made some new friends along the way. I am not blogging this to say” hey look at me and what great things I have accomplished” but,  to share that taking that difficult leap out of your comfort zone is one of the greatest ways that God allows you to learn about your skills how you can serve, and overcome. 



Going on this trip was truly a leap of faith! Something I struggled with before and while on the field was having a lack of knowledge and having insecurity about where I was in my faith. I don’t have a Christian background, so the main reason I agreed to go on the trip was that my brother & sister in law (Ronny and Casey) were leading the trip and my best friend wanted to go as well. Since accepting Jesus in November at a Youth Conference, I had been in a sort of half-in, half-out lifestyle, feeling the Holy Spirit once in a while but not forming a relationship with God. On the trip, I was pushed into a lot of anxiety-inducing situations that made me question whether or not I am worthy. However, it was the first time I had witnessed anyone other than my brother truly walk with God, comprehended the amazing acts of God, and began to hear God’s voice. On July 9th, I decided to get baptized again! I was baptized as a baby, but didn’t grow up in a church-going household, and never understood the meaning of baptism. I’ve started to understand that God is for me- I don’t need to fear Him or have anxiety with any territory surrounding Him. In making the choice to get baptized again (by my bro and sis in law!!!), I made the choice to go all in, not just believing in God but following Him as well. I feel like I can now relax and accept myself, for He has and always will accept me.



I was baptized when I was 9 but I didn’t understand what I was committing to, it had no weight to me I just thought that was the next step in my life. Ever since then I have felt haft committed and felt like my relationship with God depended on my performance,  leading up to this trip my performance was awful and it left me feeling unworthy of a relationship with God but during this trip, the Lord healed me and reminded me that our relationship doesn’t depend on me and my performance. After realizing this I felt a call to get baptized again, to have a fresh start of following God 100%. My team was so encouraging and made time is our VERY busy schedule to drive out to the ocean and help my call become a reality. Even when our feet were getting cut up by the rocks that hid below I couldn’t stop smiling. Finally, I felt the weight of what I was committing to and it was pure JOY. I will forever remember June 9th 2019!


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