It takes a lot for the little church of First Baptist Birch Tree to go to El Salvador. It takes money; more than we usually spend on one thing. It takes time. Most that go must take a week of vacation or miss classes to do so. Its stressful. The idea of us going into a country that is often teetering on instability is unnerving to many of our friends and family. And for each of us, we over-extend, and step way out of our comfort zone. I preached 5 times, presented the Gospel in 6 classrooms, and visited with about 30 different homes and two bus stops. It was exhausting.

So why do we do it?

Are poor and needy people in Birch Tree? Yes, our county is among the most impoverished in the nation. Do people need to hear the Gospel in Birch Tree? Yes, they do. So why all the time and effort put in El Salvador?

First, our excitement over El Salvador doesn’t mean we don’t care for folks or preach the Gospel right here in Birch Tree. We do. Could we do more? Yes, we can always do more and we are always looking for ways to do just that. I am actively involved in many ministries and agencies that reach out to folks in our local area. We also have several people trained in Southern Baptist Disaster Relief so we can minister throughout the state or nation. And, we have a partnership with the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in El Salvador.

Doesn’t charity “begin at home?” Not according to the book we live by.

The call of Christ is global. We are told to go locally as well as to the very ends of the Earth. Its not, “or” but “and” so we must do it all. Sounds a bit big for a little church, doesn’t it? That’s because God is big. He’s bigger than we can imagine, so our service to Him will be bigger than we can imagine too. So that’s why we include El Salvador as much as we include Birch Tree.

However, if you really want to know why we go to El Salvador, here it is:

On Friday, one woman came to me and said this:
“I am always thanking God for you. Through your work, my husband knows Christ. In my home, I see the fruit from the seeds you plant.”

Yep, that’s why we go.