No Fear

Today was a strange day in San Salvador. For one thing, there weren’t many buses running. I noticed that this morning on my way downtown. I also noticed that I needed to stop by a school and office supply store (called a Liberia) to get a few things for the kids for school. It took me awhile because most of them were closed. Something else was strange when I stopped at the grocery store. There were military all over the parking lot.

So, what’s going on?

The government in El Salvador recently passed a law making it a crime to belong to a gang. The gangs don’t like this so they issued widespread threats today causing an uproar. Buses stopped running because gang members threatened to carjack them, or burn them. This isn’t an empty threat. In June, 16 people died on a burning bus.

They also threatened shop owners, whom they often try to extort so many shops just shut down. In fact, over half of the city’s business establishments had closed signs on them today.

The military and police stepped up their presence too in response to the threats. A lot of people are not resting easy in San Salvador tonight.

But tonight, I feel a sense of peace. Don’t get me wrong, I could give in to the temptation to worry incessantly that something will happen to Jon, or my kids, or myself, or any of our friends. Some of you may even be reading this and thinking, “now are you regretting moving your family to El Salvador? Everyone knows they’ve got a gang problem!”

But I’m not regretting it because I’ve got a promise from God Himself. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

These aren’t empty words because God is just as much God here as anywhere else and He is still in control. He is still the God who has made the universe, conquered armies, and had the last word over death. And He, that God, is with us.

The problems don’t go away…they are still around us. Today many people lost a valuable day’s work and when you live day to day that’s no small problem. Today many are experiencing stress and fear. Today many are involved in a gang, perhaps even delivering and acting on threats, and wondering how they got there. Today there are youth all over El Salvador who have no where to go…what is their future? And this is why we are here, to reconcile the lost to their God, and to give them a future.

So I ask you to join me in praying for El Salvador. For the government, the gangs, the people, and my family too. We don’t know what tomorrow brings for El Salvador but we know that there is no reason to fear.

6 Responses to No Fear

  1. Jon & Danielle:
    I saw this post and was really praying for the situation in ES. This is the verse that came to mind as I was praying:

    Isaiah 59:19 (Amplified Bible)
    So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].

    The part about the Spirit of the Lord raising up a standard against the enemy really stood out. The relevant definitions of “standard” are these:

    a flag indicating the presence of a sovereign official;
    a flag, emblematic figure, or other object raised on a pole to indicate the rallying point of an army

    I believe this is a time of much greater delineation between light and darkness all over the place. ES is no exception. The enemy wants to come in like a flood with gang violence and fear. The Spirit of the Lord is going to raise up a standard against him. The unified body of Christ praying is the only answer to this situation. The Church in ES is the one that God has set in place to deal with this situation. This begins first and foremost with prayer. This is the ONLY thing that can change the spiritual climate there which can in turn change the physical situation. I’m praying that the church there will gather together in groups, united as one, to pray against this spirit of murder that has such a stronghold there, for salvation of the gang leaders, for Jesus to appear to them in dreams and visions, bringing salvation as He is doing in many Muslim countries. What an awesome opportunity for unity building in the Body in ES. I really believe this could be a defining moment for the Body of Christ there.

    Know that we are praying for y’all and all of our friends in ES.

  2. Blessings as you stand on the Promises of our God and not on Explanations.. Fear Not ( You and others have been called ) the battle belongs to the Lord.. and are we willing at any cost…. i for sure am praying…thank you for sharing..the Bible says 365 times ( Do Not Fear ) one for each day of the year…. jerem 29.11 a plan one can stop His Plan… Diane

  3. Wow Danielle!! I really like your sense of faith through this all and not just thinking about and caring about the innocent but also the gang members. Praying for El Salvador with you!!

  4. Muchisimas gracias…
    Thank you Danielle for those words. Wow.
    It is so strange how much stronger God’s presence becomes when you begin to feel the darkness closing in on the world around you…
    I hope that many more people there will begin to see this same kind of peace.

    We are all here for you guys & are prayin for you. Only God can change the hearts of those who have nothing in this world to hope for but a future of violence & hate in a gang.
    Lets pray for those guys especially.

  5. Pingback: The Week’s Links :American Mamacita

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