No, I’m not in jail but I am living “behind bars.” That’s the reality of life in Central America. Our house has bars on the windows, bars on the doors, steel doors, and walls around our house topped with barbed wire and razor wire. We also have a security guard on our street. I have been told that before the civil war in the 80s people didn’t live in quite such enclosed “compounds” but today everyone does. There is also a high rate of crime in El Salvador so it’s just the way houses are built, and the way this culture lives.
A few months ago we were talking on Skype with Jon’s sister Erica and her daughters. We were sitting on our back terrace in front of our sliding door. One of our kids slid the iron barred door shut. Erica’s oldest asked us, “Are you in jail?” No, we aren’t but some days I just can’t help but feel “trapped” in my little barred -in life. I really don’t know my neighbors all that well because I can barely see over their wall. I also don’t spend much time out on the street so I rarely talk to them. It’s so different from life in the States and it’s difficult to be inside of these walls day after day. I have lately been struggling just to come to grips with my role here. Jon is out in the community everyday. He interacts with people on the “outside.” Sometimes I am very envious of his opportunity to be so involved with ministry, and entering so much into people’s lives.
I think that God is teaching me some new things about being obedient to Him. For those of you who know me, having to take a backseat, supportive role is not something that I am good at! I like to be right where the action is, I like to be a leader, I like to be doing something darn it! But lately that is not the path that God has put in front of me. The path that He has put in front of me is to study Spanish a lot, to nurture my children a lot, and to pray for the city of San Salvador a lot! It’s a struggle for me, but it’s also been an opportunity for me to draw close to God’s heart as He shows me how I can be a servant to my family.
I’m also learning that I am not any better of a person than who I am when I’m stuck “behind bars” with my kids everyday! This time has been a good time of personal growth, but I can’t say it’s been easy! It’s actually been incredibly difficult for me so I am so grateful for those of you who pray for our family, and for me…thank you! I also know that God is in control of even this situation. I know that He is teaching me things that are needed for me to grow up in Him. I am looking hopefully for the future and the plans that He has for me in El Salvador.