Stepping Out of the Boat

by James and Mary Wahl (St. Vital EMC)

Canada/El Salvador —“Obey My voice and I will be your God and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.”

These are the words of God the prophet Jeremiah brought to the people of Israel (Jer. 7). Yet we know they did not obey or incline their ears to Him. Instead they walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil hearts. In fact, they were moving backwards and not forwards, doing more evil than their parents.

God spoke to Jeremiah, saying that he would speak these words to them, but they would not listen and he would call and they would not answer. We are continually amazed at the obedience Jeremiah demonstrated in his life. Regardless of the outcome he continued to faithfully bring the message.

Ever since God’s voice directed our family to pursuing ministry in El Salvador, we have pursued the opportunity to serve Him there. Why El Salvador, you ask? For the past 16 years we have been sponsoring a child through Compassion Canada. The year 2016 was the highlight for our family as we packed our bags and left for the Central American country to visit our sponsor child.

What an eye-opening experience to visit and experience the culture there. This opened our hearts to the people of El Salvador and allowed God to develop a desire inside ourselves to act.

Our journey began by researching the various ministries active in the country of El Salvador. It didn’t take very long until we came across Operation Mobilization. We believed in their mission statement of “seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.” OM believes that every follower of Christ can and should be involved in missions, have a vital role and make a difference.

Throughout the world they focus on Evangelism (bringing people to the understanding of the Gospel message), Relief and Development (compassion to the suffering and bring dignity to disadvantaged), Church Planting (establish healthy faith communities), Justice (confronting human trafficking and oppressive labour conditions), and Mentoring/Discipleship (hands-on training and walking alongside).

We knew God had a plan for our family so the next move was to step out of the boat (Matt. 14:28-29). In March 2018, after being accepted with OM, we attended the OM Canada conference which involved orientation and a lot of excellent training. This began our preparation for the challenges of support raising and anticipating the move to El Salvador.

Since then we have had the opportunity to Skype with the OM team in El Salvador to encourage them and meet another family serving there. A number of tasks we will be involved in include bookkeeping (James), event planning for the OM office (Mary), and serving with their outreach programs.

We have also had many opportunities to connect with friends and family to share our story and journey as we look forward to serving God. Please pray for our family as we continue to raise our support to go to the field. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in hearing more of what God is doing in the country of El Salvador.

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