This morning, I read a chapter of 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. The particular chapter dealt with the Gospel and how too often we fail to present the Gospel as part of life. To often we separate the Gospel from everything else to the point that it comes across muddled and confused. It was timely reading, since the purpose of this trip is to share the Gospel. I tried to keep this in mind today as we shared the Gospel in different ways.

After breakfast we visited a park in Chalchuapa and had a few conversations with people about the Gospel. This afternoon, we visited homes again discussing the Gospel with people in the community of San Vincent. Tonight, I preached on the reality of our guilt and how that points to the greatness of grace.

The Good News is magnified in light of the bad news. Our salvation is all the more amazing when we are aware of our depravity. That’s the context in which I think we need to share. The good news intertwines into everyday life at the point of the bad news. This is what is missing so often in ready-made evangelistic methods.

This became very obvious today when I visited a home I first visited 4 years ago. During my first trip to El Salvador, I visited a woman near the church who was in the midst of crisis. Her husband had been in an car accident near their home in which one of their sons lost his life. Unable to handle the grief and guilt, the husband found escape in the United States. Though he supports his family financially, He left them with the burden of grief and day to day struggles. These burdens fell on the shoulders of his two remaining sons. I remembered well how they stood at a distance, unwilling to talk to us, as their mother shared this tragic story. I never forgot how broken they looked and I’ve prayed for them many times in the past four years. Today, we visited the home again and I sat down with the oldest of those sons, William. There isn’t an evangelistic method that addresses that situation. Instead we talked about doubt and struggle and we prayed for peace. I pray that the Holy Spirit continues in that home.

This is my hope for this trip, that we are able to meet people where they live, and from their share the Gospel of Christ. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn this, as its what we need to do back home too.

Speaking of life, we’re certainly living the adventure that has become our El Salvador mission trips. We’ve had great home-cooked meals (though its been chicken every time), good tortillas, taunted a very angry snake, baffled Kacey at all the nicknames we can invent for her, and had a great little arm wrestling tournament between Jamie and several teenage boys at the church.