Blog

06 Feb Returning from El Salvador

Our Oak Hills Church Mission team returned to Edmond Friday evening after a week of ministry in El Salvador. What a great week it was … 1 home built, a roof replaced and much of the electrical wiring work done in the new SHIP building on the campus of the Orphanage. Hands on work … showing (not telling) people Christ’s love.

There were also times of witnessing and preaching. Nicole sharing her testimony … preaching to the crowd at the Sunday night celebration … Jaime sharing a great devotion … it was all good but far and away the highlight was the hard work by all our team.

I am thankful to be pastor of these people. Thanks to Jaime McAlpine, Jeff Dean, Nick Dean, Nicole Brown, Haleigh Posar, Ted Nombrana and LaCresha Archer … and all who helped get them to El Salvador and prayed for their ministry there. God Bless you all.

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06 Feb God Has Some Fun!

From a SHIP Tripper, Janie

This past week for spring break I spent all my time in El Salvador on a mission trip with Shelter the Homeless International Project. My Bible study leader, Courtney, had been multiple times and was excited to finally take a trip with the senior girls. I went with six of my friends and I can honestly say it changed all of our lives.

While we were down there, we built a house for two sweet sweet girls, Isela and Michel.

My plan before the trip was to help out on the job site one day and do VBS because I have no idea how to do construction work. However, Jesus had some fun.

We only had three guys go on the trip and twelve girls. So every single day they needed a ton of help digging ditches, nailing boards, and basically building an entire house. I laughed every day because I knew Jesus was reminding me that even when I try to plan something he switches it all around. I ended up with blistered hands, clothes covered in dirt, and my face drenched in sweat.

But it was so worth it. I loved being able to work with some of the guys from the community to build this house for the girls that I loved by the end of the week.

RELATIONSHIPS

The other major part of my trip was the relationships I formed with all the people. I met some of the most wonderful souls down there. I went into the trip thinking I would spend majority of my time with the little ones but once again Jesus had his own plan.

I definitely did spend time with the younger kids but I found myself drawn to the ones my age. Isela, Kathy, and Ana were three girls from the community that came by almost every day. They were very intelligent and understood a lot of English (thank God) because my Spanish was very shaky to say the least.

Isela was beautiful and yet so humble because every time I told her she was beautiful, she would disagree with me. She was smart, independent, and was living life to the fullest. I knew she would make a lasting impression on me from the minute I met her.

Kathy was funny. She knew how to make me laugh and was always lighting up the room.

Ana was quiet and sweet. She was so smart and had the most kind soul.

All of these girls had different things that made my heart swell with love for them as sisters in Christ. I’ll never forget the sound of Isela’s voice saying “Janie! Hola!” every time she saw me. These girls will never know how much they mean to me.

While I was on this trip the Lord so sweetly brought to light some parts of me that weren’t so pretty.

I learned so much about loving people fiercely because while I was there I quickly realized how much I had been slacking on that. I had so much pride because I thought that I was loving people here in America well. But oh was I wrong.

While I was in El Salvador I saw what it looked like to put others first 100%. I saw how people were excited to listen to others, not speak about themselves. I saw how people threw time out the window when it came to investing into relationships. It didn’t even matter if they had a meeting that started fifteen minutes ago, they would still sit and talk with you because they cared. And I began to do the same.

Jesus pointed out to me that lesson because it was something I desperately needed to take home with me. He made it very evident that I could love people so much better than how I was. I had so many names written on my heart to make a big change towards once I got home and I’m excited to see that play out this week.

The last thing I learned was how powerful Jesus is.

A song I kept hearing before and during my trip was “Healer” by: Kari Jobe sung in Spanish. This song has a phrase that says “Nada es imposible para ti, mi mundo en tus manos esta”. This means “nothing is impossible for you, you hold my world in your hands”.

I fell in love with this line because it so boldly states this truth. NOTHING is impossible for Jesus.
No language barrier.
No physical land barrier.
Nothing, can stand in the way of His power.

I was reminded that my struggles are so similar to the girls there. And that the way Jesus loves me is the exact same way he loves them.

My world is their world and He holds us all the same.
In grace.
In love.
And in worth.

We are fierce children of the Lord on fire for his love, no matter if we come from a middle class white family in America or an orphanage in El Salvador. He is so powerful and that was extremely present in the testimonies of the people in El Salvador. He is changing lives everywhere across the globe and to be a part of that was overwhelming.

All in all, El Salvador now holds a sweet place in my heart. God is good all the time and everywhere.

(MOVE THESE UP AFTER YOU ADD SHIPINTERNATIONAL.ORG

FIND PLACE WHERE SHE SPEAKS ABOUT ANA & ISELAIMG_1746IMG_1754

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23 May Meeting My Sponsor Child

From SHIP Tripper, Taylor
Taylor posted updates on Facebook throughout the trip. We are sharing these in a series.

Day 1:
Day 1 is off to an amazing start!! Everyone meet Ceci, this is the bright and beautiful girl my family is sponsoring! I’m so excited to invest in a relationship with her and watch her grow in her faith and excel academically! She is the sweetest! Thank you God for this opportunity!

Day 3:
Kicked off day 3 with chocolate chip pancakes, VBS prepping, and hung out with my girl!

Today Ceci practiced counting via a card game and we read Bible verses together to practice her English. We conversed about our families and looked thru an album of old pics of her family. I was able to have somewhat of fluent conversations with her in Spanish for a few hours. (Thank you, Lord.

taylor-ceci

I know I’m exactly where God needs me to be. This little girl already has me wrapped around her finger.

Day 4:
This morning I got stung by something and I had an allergic reaction to it. I spent my day knocked out by Benadryl. I wasn’t fully awake again until dinner time.

Around 9 I walked over to the orphanage and was immediately greeted with a hug from Elena. We sat down and she curled up in my lap to watch “Frozen.” A little later Sergio plopped down right beside me. These kids made my problem seem so small. Tonight reminded me why I come here…For them.

teen

 

teen1Teen girls Bible study was great!! Tonight we talked about finding hope thru our salvation in seemingly hopeless situations!

Day 5:
Truly one of the most special and kind-hearted girls I know. I wish I could take her back to the states with me. Our friendship began last year and all I can say is I am blessed to know her.

taylor-katherine1

“Ella siempre tendrá un lugar especial en mi corazón.”

Returning Home:
I already miss my friends in El Salvador. “See ya later” doesn’t get any easier, but I know I’ll be back sooner rather than later.

God’s really got a special thing going on with SHIP, that entire community, and the orphanage. Souls are being saved and lives are being changed. I love SHIP’s mission and everything about the organization.

That community and those kids have half of my heart. The other half belongs to my family, and if I can’t be in El Salvador I want to be with my family and vice versa. I’m home after a very short but incredible week.

taylor-marcela

I got to meet my sponsor child and her family. Also, last night my family decided to sponsor Marcela Liseth Figueroa. My dad thinks we will end up sponsoring 15 more!

I’m blessed to have gotten to go back and I’m blessed to be home with my family tonight. Thanks for all the prayers this week!

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29 Apr Windows and Doors Update

Windows and DoorsToday’s blog post is from Robert Horton. He was in El Salvador a few weeks ago, immediately after the container arrived with doors & windows for our new building. See what’s happening . . .

In El Salvador at SHIP doing my Bible study this morning. Grateful for all I see around me.

This week we finally received the 40′ container we shipped from Texas in February. The bodega is full now with boxes of merchandise for the women’s work center.

We moved into this building 5 years ago. And we have been in the middle of MORE construction ever since. Windows and doors arrived on the container, so we can complete the newest building.

God has done so much here. Lives have changed, including mine. So many times we wondered how something was going to happen. He always provided.

So do we want the changes or construction to stop?

NO.

We are just getting started!

-Robert Horton

Windows and Doors Windows and Doors Windows and Doors

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27 Apr We Made It!

Today’s post is from Ann Horton, who traveled to El Salvador a few weeks ago after our container arrived. Here’s what happened that weekend . . .

It was a very early morning, preceded by a very short night, but we made it to El Salvador all in one piece. We are tired but happy.

That was one big container and it had LOTS of stuff in it. The bodega (storage room) is filled to the brim.

ship-container-bodega

Raquel put a great team together to get it all unloaded; it was an amazing feat to get that container (actually two 20′ containers) emptied in two hours. All the windows have been taken to their appropriate holes in the walls for installation. Naturally some won’t fit and we will have to modify the openings, but they all made here and not a one was broken.

isela-michel

I bought some groceries this afternoon and I picked up a little ground meat and a jar of pasta sauce and some spaghetti, thinking that sounded like an easy meal. I knew we’d have Isela, her mother, and sister for dinner because they are staying here until we get their house finished. By the time everyone sat down, we had 10, and God multiplied that pound of beef and the pasta.

No one went home hungry.

In fact, I didn’t think they were going home at all. We had a great time, just talking and laughing, until Robert and I just about fell asleep.

Anyone who has every been a part of a SHIP trip is remembered. We got to tell them some of the previous trippers who are returning this sumer, and they are pumped! (Did I say, it’s so good to be here?)

Tomorrow we will spend some time putting the doors where they belong and hoping we have enough to go around–of the right size. Robert and the guys will begin installing the windows and doors. And I’ll find something to feed the crew. The kids don’t have school, so we will have lots of help.

And I’ll bet the SHIP Shop does an amazing business tomorrow, too. Word has spread that the container arrived with lots of new merchandise.

We are blessed to have an amazing group and be part of what is happening. God is so good to us.

Noches, y’all!
-Ann Horton

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20 Apr More about El Salvador from SHIP Tripper Hannah

Here’s part 2 of Hannah’s SHIP trip thoughts. Please pray for the people that Hannah worked with in El Salvador.

Day 4 consisted of another day of waking up in paradise and was filled with lots of laughter, and tears. We hosted the daily VBS where they did activities and learned about God’s love for them.

vbs
Then we met with the local teenage girls for coffee and got to hear, as well as share, many powerful and brave testimonies! We also got to hear the stories of the orphanage girls and how they ended up at the orphanage, which were all so inspiring.
teens

In our free time we went hunting for some mangos (holding a bucket while the boys shake the limbs) that required protective gear and even taught the little girls more cheerleading stunts! The local neighborhood came to eat with us and ended the night with a beautiful community outreach that overlooked the amazing scenery.

Love how much everyone here loves God and how thankful they are for the simplest things. How we are ever going to leave these wonderful people and kids is the question?

I’m trying to put so far back in my mind:'(  …and yes I’ve already begged my mom to let me bring one back with me.

Day 5 left me exhausted, but it was one of the best days here. Started out with Breakfast n Devotion.. Hannah Phipps, Hannah Smith, Sidney Baisden, Logan Woodyard and Maddie Campbell did such a great job…

We were privileged to attend one of the local, public schools… where we judged their “annual spelling bee,” something that touched us all was the teacher, Patty, who teaches 500 kids a day ALONE.

After we ate lunch we headed over to finish the old mans house, I think my building and handy work will make my dad proud 😉 The look on the man’s face was priceless once he saw it was done, he now had a great pride in his home and such gratitude for SHIP.

Marcena May, Sharon Comer, Patricia Arthur-Gibson, Maria Bailey Kerissa Jenkins and Erica Martinez Phipps… You all amaze me at how dedicated you have each been to this trip!! Your hard work has been above and beyond!!

This has been an unbelievable experience and I wouldn’t change one thing about it, very thankful for the people here and all those supporting us back home!

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