Stepping out into the early morning light I adjusted my senses to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of San Salvador. With my running shoes laced up and my headphones ready to rock, I glanced to the left and the right, determining which direction was the best.
As I contemplated my surroundings, I heard a sudden uproar of noise coming from beyond the treeline. Whatever it was, it was heading my way. I’d never heard anything quite like it before. The cacophony grew louder and louder as waves of hundreds of squawking green parakeets flew into view.
Did you know that a flock of parakeets is also called a “chatter?” That seems pretty obvious. You’re never gonna have a “chatter” of parakeets sneak up on you. They make their presence known!
That reminds me of a particular ministry in San Salvador called “Espiritulandia – Iglesia Infantil.”
It’s literally a church for children. You’ve probably never heard of them since they don’t have a big budget or a major marketing program. All they have are four walls, a tin roof, some brightly colored plastic chairs, and a bus. Oh, and a small army of volunteers who love Jesus and want to help children fall deeply in love with Him, too.
KidZ at Heart is blessed to be in community with some incredible people in El Salvador. The lead
pastor of Espirtulandia went through our eight Teacher’s Certificate modules as well as our newly developed Great Trainer Summit. He asked if we would like to see his ministry first-hand, and I’m so glad we said “Yes!”
The band was rehearsing as we stepped into the meeting space. The chairs were empty. The volunteers were scrambling to get snacks prepared. A sudden uproar of noise came from outside the worship center. Whatever it was, it was heading our way. The cacophony grew louder and louder as waves of blissful children burst into view. Kids have a way of making their presence known, too!
The music started and the room was immediately filled with exuberant singing, dancing, shouting, and laughing. Then the rain started. Have you ever heard what it sounds like inside a brick building with no insulation when sheets of rain are unleashed on a flimsy tin roof? It’s noisier than a “chatter” of parakeets!
Not to be deterred by the chaos and the noise, God graciously allowed the fierce rainstorm to subside just in time for Gordon West to invite the children to be quiet and still. “Just listen to God,” he said. Every child in the room participated. Like Elijah, they were invited to hear God’s gentle whisper.
The noise grew again as Gordon brought his time to a close and the children gleefully enjoyed their snacks. But I wonder, even in that one fleeting moment, if a child was able to recognize the voice of God calling him or her by name. Perhaps they heard these words: “Te quiero pase lo que pase. Nunca lo olvides.”
There are 2.3 billion children in the world and every single one of them is known and deeply loved by God. Approximately 2 milion of the world’s children live in El Salvador, which happens to be the most densely populated country in Central America. KidZ at Heart – El Salvador works to create local training networks where teachers from churches and ministries, large and small, can come and learn how to help children fall deeply in love with Jesus.
Our global Christian community is really taking off in El Salvador. We’re becoming a “chatter” – gracefully responding to the prompting of God and going wherever the Spirit leads. We’re so thankful for men and women like the leaders of Espirtulandia who are answering the call and incorporating what they learn with the children they love.
God has a way of making His presence known. Have you noticed? Or are you, like me, too distracted and occupied? Too busy lacing up your running shoes, putting on your headphones, and going your merry way. If we pay attention and listen, perhaps we’ll hear these words:
“I love you no matter what. Don’t you forget it.”