Right now, I'm sitting at the Dallas-Ft. Worth air port, getting ready to fly to Miami (then to El Salvador!!!). We all just finished our quiet times...Imust say, I'd never done them in an airport before. :)

I ate a super burrito from Taco Bell for breakfast. Rah!

We've been at the airport since 6:00...our flight leaves at 10 something. And to get to the airport from Garden Valley (Where we had training sessions and where we learned our drama...I'll get to that later) it takes a 2 hr. bus ride. So I was up at 3 this morning, boarded bus at 3:30, and we departed at 4 a.m. This was after staying up and doing drama until about 11:30 and not getting to bed 'till midnight. Ah, there's nothing like surviving on 3 hours of sleep. :)

The drama that my team is performing is called "Allegiance" and it's 20 minutes of intense choreography, which includes a dance and a sword fight. I'm Pirate #3 in the drama. Every time I see crucifixion/ressurection part of the drama, it makes all of the HARD work and sore muscles worth it. It's very powerful!

I have sunburnt legs.

Weird, the guy next to me is just like my friend's brother. He's amusingly odd. He's talking about hicks and preps and wiggers.

We're over the Florida Keyes right now. It's great...watching the sunset over the ocean, from ABOCE the clouds.

We had quite a time at the airports today. Both times we had to walk from one end to the other at LEAST 2 times. But it's all good. Oh, and our flight from Miami to El Salvador was delayed.

AUGH! Something yellow is leaking from the cargo hold. Ah. I see. A waterbottle. Ick.

Dinnertime, now. They ran out of pizza before they got to me. Wait, I must. We have crackers that look a lot like...WAFERS!! Ah, a gentle reminder of home. (LOL@Sami, eh?:)

The people at the church we are staying at are so thrilled to have us here, it made me cry!

After we walked into the church, we sat down for 2 minutes, and them a guy from outside came into the church and said that he wated what we had...Jesus! It was SO AWESOME!

JULY 25, 1999
Today was the 2nd day of drama. This morning, we had church with the Nationals. It was incredible! The praise and worship was beyond great...even though it was in Spanish!:)

Yesterday was one of the most incredible days of my life! (so far...) After the drama at the 2nd site, we (My MIG )were talking to a guy, and I was able to lead him to Jesus!

Today, at the first site after the drama, a little girl walked up to me and just looked at me. Then I told her, "Jesus te ama!" (Jesus loves you) and then her face just glowed with happiness. It was really beautiful. And then, my MIG went and played soccer with some little boys. They boys here are GOOD at soccer!

Then at the 2nd drama site today, after the drama, my MIG was talking to a lady, and after a while, she said that she wanted a relationship with Jesus. her and her 3 girls got saved!! PRAISE GOD!

While we were talking to her, another lady walked up to me and smiled, and the look on her face conveyed that she wanted to tell me something. After a few minutes, she said "I love you." and smiled and walked away. That was one of the most memorable moments of my life. She had such a pure love, it made me cry.

JULY 27, 1999
Yesterday, we went to 3 different ministry sites. First, we went to a park. After the drama, my MIG went out and talked to 3 people, all of who accepted Jesus!!! It was AWESOME!

The wecond place that we went was a Jr. High School. ALL of the kids there (plus a few stragglers) got saved!

Our final stop was at a plaza-like place. That was a terrifying place. A lot of El Salvadorean guys were surrounding my MIG, and a lot of them were drunk, and most of them were leering at us. I scooted over behind Patrick (my MIG leader), and they followed me with their eyes. I was so scared, I was unable to say "I need a drink of water." (that was our "Help! I don't feel safe!" *code*). I was standing there, whimpering and crying, but Patrick didn't hear me, because be was sharing Jesus with the people. Thad then scurried us all onto the bus because there was a potentially serious situation.

That night, at the service back at the church, we sang "So close, I believe you're holding me now/In your hard I belong/You'll never let me go." As I sang that, I had to surrender my fear to Jesus. Bethany (who was in the same situation as I was...pure terror) and I just worshipped together and realized that we have nothing to fear for: "God has not give me a spirit of fear, but of poer, and love, and a sound mind."

JULY 28, 1999
Yesterday was SO incredible! God totally blew me away. After the drama at the first 2 sites, we slipt up into our MIG's and went out and ministered to the nationals. Previously to yesterday, my MIG (me, Patrcik, Jeanine, and Mike) was having troubles because none of us spoke very good Spanish, so it was hard to talk with the Nationals. The problem was, we were trying to use our own knowledge, our own strength to speak, and not believing that God would give us the words to say at the correct tie. Yesterday, though, I just said "OK, God. It's in your hands. Speak for me." And ... HE DID! I was communicating with the nationals! I was also able to understand what they were saying!

At the first site, there was a large satantist population in that area...and in the second, a large witch population.

At our final site yesterday, Thad wouldn't even let us go out after the drama to minister, because there were a lot of drunk people.

Some of the girls from my team prayed for a man in a wheelchair..now he's WALKING! PRAISE GOD!

There have been SO MANY salvations! It's incredible!

JULY 30, 1999 (morning)
God totally has blown me away. Yesterday, at our first 2 draa sties, we had a little fun, we acted kinda goofy, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, quite a few people got saved! But we didn't have a real passion for the lost. We weren't broken for the people. Then at the last site...we got there, and my first though was "Why did Thad & Julie (Our Team Leaders) bring us here? This like...Hell on eart." It was a horrible place. About 1/2 of the people there were either drunks of druggies. The though of just about the whole team was "Why are we here?" At the end of the drama, we were hoping that Thad would just give the Net, and then we could leave. But instead he had us go out and minister. That was the LAST thing on earth that I wasnted to do. I was tired. I didn't feel like it. I was being selfish. But...we did anyway. My MIG walked up to four ladies, and the Patrick looked at me and said "OK, Joanna. Talk!" So...I started asking them about the drama...if the liked it, understood it, etc. After talking to them for a while, we found out that they were all alcoholics and they wanted Jesus, but they didn't want to give up their alcohol. We ended up just giving them tracts, prayer, and telling them that they should thingk about it, and get themselves pulgged into a church. When we were done talking to them, as we walked away, I started to weep. I didn't stop crying until we got back to the church. Just seeing all of the hoplessness is a nightmare. There was a lady at that last site who was so drunk, she was passed out and laying on the ground. Seeing that just makes my heart ache. Thad said that Jesus didn't die of all of those human inflicted wounds. He said that Jesus died of a broken heart. I could see how that could kill you.

Today is our last day of ministry. It was only last night that I TRULY understood and saw the world through God's eyes. God completely broke my heart for these people.

Seeing the pain of these people hurts. God is showing me SO much stuff! It's all neccessary and important, but it hurts. It's also bring me closer to Him, though. It hurts for now, but I know that this will help me, spiritually.

JULY 30, 1999 (night
Today was an INCREDIBLE day! At our first site, after the drama, my MIG ministered to some people, we were at a high school, and !12! people got saved! 8 of them seemed to be genuinely committed, too. Also, some of the people from John & Tara's team joined us. They were awesome! Totally needed, too!

At our second site, at a market ... well ... that was interesting. There was a drunk man who was being too friend with us ladies. Thankfully, we're all ok and dandy! It was a remotely frightening place, though. God kept us all safe! (PRAISE HIM!)

The third place (back at the high school again) was our FINAL drama site for the whole trip. It was beautiful! The kids were SO receptive! the guy that my MIG talked to accepted Jesus! He was one of those rough 'n' tough dudes... and by the time we left, he was completely in tears.
Rah! We just finished "Father Abraham". On the bus. :)

JULY 31, 1999
yesterday was our last day of drama ministry. It was an awesome last day! I would have to say that we went out with a bang! So many people got saved at the high school!

Last night, Tara talked to everyone about relationship. She said that when God says "OK. Now's the time...and here's the guy." That it would be so awesomely incredible if we'd be like, "Oh, darn it, God! Can't I just be YOURS for another 6 months instead of having a GUY?" She said hat we need to be having a love affair with Jesus.

This has been such an incredible trip! God has shown me SO much! He showed me patience...because we do a lot of waiting. And also He's given me patience when it comes to trying to understand and talk to the nationals. he's given me a worldview. He's given me so much love. All I had to do to get all of this was just give Him my all. He's give me endurance.

AUGUST 1, 1999
Last night after dinner, we had a team meeting. By the time that it was over, the entire team was in tears...because we were all going to miss eachother so much.

Earlier yesterday, we went to the market. That was so groovy! And then we went to see some ancient ruins...and then we went to the mall. It was so incrredibly fun! Amy, Bethany and I all got matching boxes, crosses, necklaces, and shirts at the market, and we all got matching stuffed animals at the mall. (*I left my stuffed animal in Texas. *sigh*) I'm really gonna miss everyone here SO MUCH.

We're waiting in the San Salvador airport right now...we're supposedly going to board in 5 minutes. I hope so! I'm more than ready to be back in the good ole' USA! Right now, all I want is to go to Pizza Hut and order a large sausage pan pizza, and a huge glass of milk...and then go and have Death by Chocoate for dessert. OOOOH, I'd love that!!!

Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up on wings of eagles.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and not faint.
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait.

That's a good song.

Earlier, Chalekan was saying how the worst flight for a person to go on would be Valu-Jet flight #800.

I am completely out of money. Well...I have about 3.8 Colonas. But that's worth about 40 American cents.

OOOOOOOOOH I'm gonna miss all of these people so much!!! They're all such blessings!

AUGUST 2, 1999

"Quiet time's not with a friend,
Not with the phone,
But with Jesus Christ alone."

Rachel Scott was a girl who died at Columbine High SChool. She was supposed to be on a Teen Mania trip this summer.
The gunman who killed her walked up to her, and said, "You believe in God?" She said "Yes" and he said "Then go meet Him now." And he killed her.
She was supposed to be HERE this summer.

AUGUST 3, 1999
It's over. I've finished the trip! Last night, Ron Luce said that We'd graduated the missions trip. We've worked hard, and completed our task...and graduated!

Last night, after the session, "Libertad" (MY WONDERFUL TEAM!!!) met outside the auditorium and said our final good-bye's. We all cried a ton (Er, MOST of us cried...). I'm going to miss them all SO MUCH!

Final note to end on...The song we sang tonight: "You alone are all I need/For You hold my destiny/You alone are all I need/In You alone I am complete". I am complete in my Friend, my Savior, my All. My Jesus. Thank you Jesus, SO MUCH for letting me be used by you. It's such an honor and a priviledge to be used by you. I love you.