A Gang of Eleven

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Me and my sponsor child Ericka. We are reading a book that she made for me.

On a recent visit to El SalvadorI learned that gangs are a huge problem in the city of San Salvador. I also learned that children living in poverty are prime targets to be recruited into gangs and sometimes parents will send their children off to school and they never return home because they have been recruited by a gang.

Something else I learned while in El Salvador is that a gang will not recruit someone if they are a Christian. There are parents who will put their child in Compassion’s program to try to help keep them out of gangs. Gang members will even put their own children in the program to keep them safe.

Children go to the Compassion project, learn about Jesus, and bring home what they learn to their family members.  Some parents who were gang members have become Christians and left gangs.

Because of the gang problem in El SalvadorI have started a campaign to try to help children in the country who are waiting for sponsors. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see as many of them as possible to be free from the violence that could await them in a gang? Also with a sponsor to share the love of Christ with them they also will know just how truly special they are!

My new campaign can be found at this link -> A Gang of Eleven.

Please take just a few minutes of your time to check out my page and say a prayer for the children on the page.

Also, if you have a facebook, twitter or any sort of place that you can share the link, please please please share it.

Thanks so much for reading and also thank you for your prayers!

In case you missed the link here it is again – A Gang of Eleven

Have a great weekend!

Terri Siebert

 

Something To Do In Your Free Time

If you have a little free time today and are looking for something to fill it with I have just the thing!

How about watching the movie that I put together of the trip I went on this past September with Compassion?

I know you just can’t wait to watch it 😀  Right?

No????

Well I am just totally shocked! How could you possibly not want to watch my movie? 😉

I once heard a rumor that not many people get overly excited about watching home movies unless they themselves happen to be in the movie, but just in case that’s not true or if it is true and you just happen to change your mind, I went ahead and put it in this blog post 😀

I also heard that the creator of this movie says it is guaranteed to make you smile and maybe even shed a few tears (happy tears of course). So why not go ahead and give it a try? 🙂

I hope you enjoy the movie 🙂

Whether you watched the movie or not I am so glad you stopped by because today I wanted to share something else with you…

While I was in El Salvador we also had the opportunity to visit several of Compassion’s Child Development Projects. On the last day of our trip we visited a child project in the city of San Salvador.

In the area where this project is located gangs are a really big problem and most gangs recruit new members at a very young age.  We met a mother who said she feared sending her son to school for fear that the gangs would recruit him. Something else we we learned is that gangs don’t recruit Christians and also the only way a gang will let a person who is a member of the gang get out is if they become a Christian.

These two children are a part of the Compassion center we visited on our last day.

Liis Nahomy

Both of these children are in need of sponsors.

In the video (another reason to watch 😀  ) you will see some of the children baking, playing music, doing hair and also in a computer lab. At this child center children are learning life and job skills such as cooking, music, computers programs, cosmetology, and most important of all they are learning about Jesus.

After our visit to the Compassion project we visited the homes of some of the children. One child’s parent was a former gang member who had left the gang because they were led to Christ due to their child sharing with them what they had learned at the child center about Jesus. Can you believe that?! What an amazing story of how Jesus can change a life!

When you sponsor a child you not only have the opportunity to help change the life of the child you sponsor, but your sponsorship will also affect his or her whole family!

Pretty amazing, huh?

Here is a little information about Luis and Nahomy:

Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez – Luis’ birthday is February 7, 2008. He is 7 years old. Luis lives with his mother. His duties at home include helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning. There are 2 children in the family.  His mother is employed as a farmer. Luis participates in church activities and Bible class. He is also in kindergarten where his performance is average. Soccer, playing with cars and running are his favorite activities.

Nahomy Michelle Garcia Duenas – Her birthday is December 16, 2008. Nahomy makes her home with her father and her mother. Washing clothes, helping in the kitchen and cleaning are her household duties. Her father is employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. There are 2 children in the family. Nahomy participates in church activities and Bible class. She is also in kindergarten where her performance is average. Playing with dolls and running are her favorite activities.

Please consider what your sponsorship could mean for Luis or Nahomy and also for their families. It could mean a world of difference and also have an eternal impact.

If you would like more information about sponsoring either of these children you can leave me a message in the comment section below or email me at tluvs2trvl@gmail.com

Have a wonderful day,

Terri Siebert

Music Monday – Holy Spirit ~ Don’t Hold Back, Be Strong and Courageous, and Bold!

Music Monday -Holy Spirit - You are Beside MeI awakened to the sound of my Lord calling to me, the words, “don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!” were flowing through my head.  A rooster crowed as I pulled the blankets tighter around me, the window had been left open from the night before, allowing not only the sounds of the outdoors to come in, but also the coolness of the morning air.

During my sleep I had forgotten where I was, but it was only an instant before the sleep was lifted to the sound of the rooster crowing once again and once again the words going though my head, don’t hold back, be strong and courageous and bold!  and also the realization that I was not in Missouri today.

Today I had awakened in El Salvador.

‘Don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!’

I had done it and now I was really here right in the middle of where God had called me to be and as I lay there listening to the sounds of nature, the memories of the past two days flooded my mind. Plane rides, a spectacular sunrise, bus rides, new friends, a spirit filled church and new Compassion center ‘Casa de Pan‘ and their leaders Carlos and Candy, a powerful prayer, an afternoon in the home of Elba and Nelson and so much more.

Feelings of joy so filled my heart and a little while later as I went for a walk it struck me that though I was far away from my home in Missouri for some reason I still felt as if I were somehow at home in this place too. Maybe it was because as I walked this morning I knew that I wasn’t ever walking alone because I had Jesus walking along beside me. He had brought me here and now He was showing me the sights, sounds and people of this beautiful place. He was also showing me that no matter where He leads, He will go with me giving me the amazing peace of being at home as I rest in Him.

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After my walk as I returned to my room I saw some of the ladies outside on the porch, each of them sitting in their own private presence with the Lord. Suddenly the thought occurred to me that though each lady sat alone, they were not alone at all.  It struck me that He was with each individual lady and yet He was still also here with me. Somehow I felt united with them and somehow also a part to their own special time with the Lord, even though it was still private to each one of us in our own individual way.

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It also stuck me that we had all came to this place strangers but yet now we were like a family, how is it that I felt comfortable with a bunch of strangers as if I had known them forever? It could only be because we were all sisters in Christ.

When I reached my room, I sat down on the porch and I opened my Bible, it just so happened to open to the page that held this scripture – Romans 1:11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

When I saw those words suddenly I was reassured of what I had know all along…I knew God had this whole trip planned out and I knew that we were all here because we were each brought here by Him.  I also knew that I was prepared because He had prepared me and I knew without a doubt that I was ready to totally dive into whatever God had planned for this day.

‘Don’t hold back, be strong and courageous, and bold!’

This is the day that the Lord has made…I am so glad as I rejoice in it!.

Journal entry 9/14/15

My journal entry made me think of the song by Francesca Battistelli called ‘Holy Spirit’ So today I am sharing it for Music Monday.

There’s nothing worth more that would ever come close,
No thing can compare, You’re our living Hope,
Your presence, Lord.

I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves,
When my heart becomes free and my shame is undone,
Your presence, Lord.

Holy Spirit You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory God is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord.
Your presence Lord

What song moved you this week?  Write a blog post about it and then come back here and put your link in below.  Have wonderful week!

Terri Siebert

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Unexpected Loan Payback ~ Day 1, Casa de Pan

As our van pulled up I noticed there seemed to be a celebration going on. Outside the windows  I could see a line of people and suddenly I realized that the celebration was actually the people of the church waiting to greet us! The greeters were all dressed in their Sunday best and they were holding balloons, and had excited smiles of welcome on their faces!20150913_102644

As I got off the bus it felt really strange to me to know this welcome was also for me. I felt so unworthy of all of this hoopla. For some reason to me it just didn’t seem right to have a welcoming so grand that seemed more fit for a celebrity instead of just a bunch of normal ladies from the United States who lived normal everyday lives..

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Today we visited ‘Casa de Pan’ which is brand new Compassion project in ‘Eternal Rock of the Century’ church in Caserio Singuil, El Salvador.  The people greeting us were Pastor Carlos and his wife Candy, the staff of the project, the congregation, the parents and the children who attend the project.  Our group has been busy since May searching for sponsors for the children of this project and now today the moment had finally arrived when we would get to meet the children in person who we have only seen in pictures!

As we stepped out of the van and began making our way to the church, the line of people seemed to be never ending. Mothers and fathers, and their children all saying good morning to each of us as we passed by. 20150913_104000Many shook my hand and many hugged or even kissed me.  I was a complete stranger yet they were so welcoming and seemed to be genuinely happy to see me. 20150913_104003The thought struck me…. “This is what it is to be part of God’s family and these are my brothers and sisters who I am meeting for the first time.”  I wish I had the words to explain the feeling I felt, it was such a good feeling and at one point I remember wondering if this is what it will be like when I enter heaven one day? Will my brothers and sisters I haven’t met yet be waiting for me to welcome me into God’s Kingdom in this same way?
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Eventually we made our way to the church, but just before I reached the door a little girl met me and gave me a handmade gift and then she walked me to my seat. 11999684_10206630175887140_5893302335322566785_o

She then sat down beside me as the service began and she kept smiling sweetly at me.

Isn’t she beautiful?

20150913_104229The service started with the children singing, “Open the eyes to my heart Lord. Open the eyes to my heart! I want to see you, I want to see you!”  And they were singing in English for us!

As  I started singing along the words of the song took me back to my journal entry that I had written on the plane yesterday,  “Father, Please open my eyes and heart to what you want me to see…’  I found it no coincidence that today the children were singing those very same words.  Suddenly I realized I already could see Him in a big big way. 20150913_104516

We were told that Pastor Carlos and his wife used to be police officers but they had left their police jobs when God told Carlos to become a pastor. They gave up their old lives and came to this place to start a church.  We were also told that at the first service in their new church that they only had 5 people who attended and that those 5 people included their own family! Today the church was packed full with people! I could see God again!

Pastor Carlos had a wonderful message today which came from Proverbs 19:17

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

In his message Pastor Carlos talked about how those who are kind to the poor are actually lending to God.  I never really thought of that verse in the way He brought it to my attention today. I never really thought of being kind or helping others as if it were ‘Lending’ to God.  I guess I always looked at it as if everything that I have already belongs to God and I think I thought more of it as if I were giving those things away more than from a lending type of perspective.

Lending to the Lord was a concept I had never ever thought about.

The service continued and somewhere along the way I got lost in the worship. Though now the songs were being sung in Spanish for some odd reason I felt as if I knew the words, I know this may sound strange but I felt as if the words were on my tongue, and that I knew them.  I was moved in a way I have never been moved in church before.  Oh how I wish every church service felt that way!  I didn’t realize until later in the day what had really happened and how much I  had seen God today and in a way I have never seen him before.

As I sat there in that church feeling his blessings filling me to the top the Lending to the Lord concept hit me like a ton of bricks! It was like WOW I think I may have been lending to the Lord all along and now here is my payback, and it is WAY more than I ever gave in the first place.  Suddenly it dawned on me how we have to power to help God’s gifts multiply.  Not everything we have to give are physical things. Things like. Love, kindness, friendship and our time are all things that can be shared (lent). Today the children had given us the gift of their songs. Their parents had shared their children with us. Pastor Carlos gave his gift of what the lord shared with him in his words. Candy gave in her prayers and the work she had done with the children. We all had different gifts to ‘lend’ and today what we all had lent to the Lord was already being returned back to us as way more than we had lent in the first place.

As I write this It takes me back to 5 years ago…2010….That was the year I ‘loaned’ $38 a month to the Lord.  The truth is I never really thought of it as a loan.  I just felt the nudge to sponsor a little girl and I never really expected that I would get anything back from that sponsorship… but I did and it was immediate.  And as I sat today in a little church in El Salvador I realized that I hadn’t really given anything away at all, it was all a loan and God has been paying me back big time over and over again. The words ‘whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done’  make perfect sense to me now..

My heart is so full and I feel blessed and rewarded way beyond anything I ever could have imagined!

Terri Siebert

 

 

To be continued….

P. S. If you would like to lend to the Lord, I brought back a couple of children with me who are in need of sponsors. Meet Heissell Nicolle Cristales Perez and Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez.  They are both praying for a sponsor, if you feel God nudging you to help make a difference in one or both of their lives leave me a comment and I will email you more information.

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Heissell Nicolle Cristales Perez

ES7920524 Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez.

Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez.

 

 

 

 

Music Monday ~ I Will Follow….to El Salvador!

In less than a week I will be in El Salvador with a group of ladies and Compassion International.  20150814_131551While there we will be visiting a brand new child development center and I will also get to meet Ericka who is one of my sponsor children.

11850908_10205554545716210_904552180_nI’m soooooooooooooo excited about this new Journey I will be adventuring out on but at the same time I can’t allow myself to think about it too hard because this is something that for me would normally be waaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone!  

I can barely believe that in just a few short days I will be flying alone … with God … across the country to an airport I’ve never stepped foot in, meeting up with people I’ve never met before and then hopping on another plane and heading off to El Salvador!  I have never been your social type of person, I’m awkward around strangers and actually a bit of a loner.

I also know that while I’m there I may see some things that might be hard to see and though I know I won’t want to see those things I also know from past experience that its in the hard places that I tend to see God the most.

It seems like I keep finding myself in these so unlike me sort of settings more and more often here lately and like I said in the beginning I can’t let myself think about it to hard, which is what I just did!  I now I have a  few butterflies fluttering around in my stomach but I still feel really really excited about going on this journey and I can’t wait to see what God has planned!

All of this excitement is why this week my Music Monday song is ‘I Will Follow’ by Chris Tomlin

It’s really amazing the places you will find yourself when let God lead.

Now its time to get to the packing… I have to figure out how to get all of this stuff into one suitcase!

20150828_135600Have a great week!

 

Terri Siebert

a gift of pictures

A Gift of Pictures

Last week I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that a friend of mine had posted a picture of some children who were singing at a Compassion project in El Salvador.

A gift of pictures

Ericka is on the top row, second from the right

I knew my friend was going to be visiting my sponsor child Ericka’s project during his visit, so I had hopes that maybe I would catch a glimpse of her if he happened to post pictures.  Imagine my excitement when I saw this picture and thought I saw my Ericka in it!   I was pretty sure it was her but the picture wasn’t very close up.   I got out the picture that I have of Ericka and my husband and I started comparing the pictures side by side.  We pretty much decided that it was her.  Finally I asked if that picture was taken at her project and soon it was confirmed… it was her project and yes! it was Ericka in the picture!

Sooooo exciting!

We get to write letters back and forth with our sponsor children all the time but there is just something extra special about seeing your child in  pictures of people that you know personally.

The morning after seeing Ericka’s picture on Facebook my husband and I left for our vacation in the Dominican Republic.  The resort we were staying at did not have free Wi-Fi and the cost for it was pretty expensive so we decided to go without the Wi-Fi for a while.  We finally paid for the Wi-Fi a few days later because we needed a way to contact our family at home. Imagine my surprise when I turned on my phone and had a Facebook message from my friend and in it were more pictures of Ericka!

The message said that they were able to hang out with Ericka that day. And that she was so sweet and that she wanted to be sure I got the pictures that my friend had taken of her that day.

This made my day! She is so beautiful and it looks as if she was having a whole lot of fun playing Dress up.

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My husband and I were also able to send her a small gift.  This is a picture of her receiving the gift.

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I  love that she has a lollipop in her mouth and also love the look on her face ❤

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This is Ericka and her friend Isala.

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September 12 of this year I will be going to El Salvador on a Women of Vision Trip and Retreat with Compassion.  While there I will get to meet Ericka in person. I was already excited to meet her but now these pictures make me even more excited to meet her!

Also when I visit, I will get to meet the children I am advocating to help find sponsors for who are part of a new project called Casa del Pan.

A few weeks ago I posted a little girl named Darlyn on ‘A Story by Me’ who was in need of a sponsor.  Anne over at Freedomborn sponsored her.  I am excited to say that when I meet Darlyn I will be able to give her a hug from Anne.  Thank you Anne for sponsoring Darlyn!

I still have 2 more children who I am advocating for who are in need of sponsors.  Alisson and Osmin.

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Alisson

osmin

Osmin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alisson will be 5 years old August 25.  She helps around her house by carrying water, running errands and cleaning.  Her favorite activities ar playing house, playing with dolls and hide-and-see, and she attends Bible class regularly.

Osmin is 6 years old he helps around his house by carrying firewood, running errands and cleaning.  Playing with cars, hide-and-seek and running are his favorite activities.  He also attends church activities and Bible class regularly.

If you would like more information on either of these two children or would like to sponsor them send me and email at tluvs2trvl@gmail.com and I would love to help you get your sponsorship started.  When I meet these two children I would love to be able to give them both big hugs from their new sponsors!

Have a blessed day,

Terri Siebert

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’  Matthew 25:45 NIV

 

Will You Step Into the Boat?

I would like to introduce you to Darlyn.

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Darlyn is 8 years old and she is part of a brand new Compassion project in El Salvador named “Casa de Pan” which means “House of Bread.”  I have been advocating for Darlyn for several months in the hopes of helping her connect with a sponsor but so far nobody has sponsored her 😦

On September 12, I will have the privilege of traveling with Compassion International and a group of women on a vision trip and retreat to El Salvador. Our group has been praying for this new project, the workers, and children since April. While on this trip we will get to visit the new project, meet the children and help to bring encouragement to the pastors and workers of the project.

And I will also get to meet Darlyn!

I am praying that by time I visit her in September she will have received her new sponsor.


As most of you know I sponsor 3 children through Compassion International, My kids pictures are over on the sidebar if you would like to meet them.  I have also been on a trip with Compassion and have seen first hand what they do and I can promise you they are truly helping to change lives, with Jesus being the foundation of those life changes.

Today I would like to share a story that I posted in 2013. I wrote this story when I was on a Compassion Sponsor tour in Haiti and a sweet little girl named Rose came up to me and grabbed me by the hand and ‘chose’ me to be her sponsor. When you finish reading it if you would like more information about how you can help make a difference in Darlyn’s life, you can leave me a comment or email me at tluvs2trvl@gmail.com

I hope you enjoy….

STEPPING INTO THE BOAT

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A stormy day, riding through the streets of a busy crowded city, racing to our boat, we are late.

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As we pull up to the dock,  dark clouds are looming hanging low over the ocean, large waves crashing at the shore.

click here to read the rest of this story -> Stepping Into the Boat


Thanks for reading and have a great evening,

T