Is­lan­ders reach out

A short-term mis­sions team to El Salvador works with chil­dren and their fam­i­lies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION - BY PAS­TOR PHIL TAY­LOR Rev. Phil Tay­lor is the lead pas­tor with Calvary Church in Char­lot­te­town. A guest ser­mon runs in The Guardian ev­ery Satur­day and is pro­vided cour­tesy of Chris­tian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Ta­mara hugged the lit­tle girl with great af­fec­tion. She has never met her be­fore but some­how felt such love and com­pas­sion for her.

The lit­tle girl was one of over one thou­sand stu­dents that Ta­mara and the other mem­bers of a short-term mis­sions team to El Salvador from Char­lot­te­town met. The team left P.E.I. on June 27 and re­turned home on July 7.

El Salvador lo­cated in Cen­tral Amer­ica is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an epi­demic of vi­o­lence that is de­stroy­ing the coun­try. Over six homi­cides were com­mit­ted in the month of June mak­ing it the blood­i­est month in the coun­try's history even out­strip­ping the num­ber deaths in a sim­i­lar pe­riod of time dur­ing the civil war.

The mis­sion team made up of teenagers and adults worked with an or­ga­ni­za­tion in El Salvador called King's Castle, which was founded on a an ideal to of­fer the chil­dren of this bro­ken coun­try hope through the Gospel mes­sage of Je­sus. Thank­fully it is hav­ing a dra­matic af­fect on thou­sands of chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

Chil­dren who are ini­tially con­tacted through out­door pre­sen­ta­tions at school or im­promptu street gath­er­ings are in­tro­duced to the love of Je­sus through songs, fun ac­tiv­i­ties and the pre­sen­ta­tion of the word of God. The chil­dren that in­di­cate an in­ter­est in learn­ing more or seek spir­i­tual help are fol­lowed up with a visit to their home and an in­vi­ta­tion to regularly planned dis­ci­ple­ship classes.

One of the most unique fea­tures about King's castle is that the pre­sen­ters are all chil­dren. We had the hon­our of watch­ing them so con­fi­dently and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally reach out to their fel­low stu­dents. It is truly rev­o­lu­tion­ary in these young lives as they find hope, mean­ing and place to be­long.

One young man shared with us a quote from a boy.

“I could de­cide to join a gang or I could de­cide to join God it all de­pends who gets to me first.” Thank God for King's Castle Min­istry and oth­ers like it that of­fer­ing God and his hope to these bro­ken lives.

Thank God also for Is­lan­ders that are will­ing to leave their com­fort zone, give of their own time and money to stand with these gospel or­ga­ni­za­tions. Thank God for the hun­dreds of peo­ple who sup­ported the team go­ing through lo­cal fundrais­ers and do­na­tions.

Yes there are some very dark places in the world where ter­ri­ble things, un­speak­able things hap­pen daily. How­ever, we have per­son­ally wit­nessed that the dark­ness can­not re­sist the light and love will over­power ha­tred.

The gospel of Christ is still the hope of the world and young Is­lan­ders like Ta­mara, Al­lie, Jonah, Kayla and Pa­ter are spread­ing that hope to their gen­er­a­tion.

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