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Praying Pelican Missions Logo

Our Savior Lutheran Church Mission Team

Serving In Puerto Rico
February 4, 2023
Community: Aguadilla
Partner: La Vina de Agua Viva
Staff: Christian Rivera Gonzalez, Nathanael Gill

Arrived

by Nathanael Gill | February 4, 2023 6:37 PM

We have arrived at the airport. After two hours of driving, we finally made it to Aguadilla. We are talking with the pastor and he is sharing his heart and his testimony. It looks like it's going to be an awesome trip. We are staying at a missionary house-- from a contact of the local pastor. 

Arrived

Getting Ready!

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 5, 2023 10:47 AM

Today we are having an afternoon service. We are currently helping the pastor set up for it, taking the electric drums and piano and setting it up. In the meantime, some of us are just sharing with the pastor and the congregation and getting to know them more! This church is full of love, and is very refreshing to share with them!

Getting Ready!

Worship with Family

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 5, 2023 11:14 AM

We join in worship with our partner church, La Vina de Agua Viva. We are worshiping in English and Spanish, practicing for the Heavenly Choir. We are also sharing communion with our Puerto Rican family.
Worship with Family

Worship time

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 5, 2023 11:24 AM


Brittany Cushnie

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 5, 2023 11:37 AM

Brittany is surprising all of us by sharing part of her testimony today! Such a powerful message!
Brittany Cushnie

Prayer Walk

by Nathanael Gill | February 5, 2023 3:06 PM

We went on a prayer walk in Augustine Stahl in Aguadilla with our host pastor Lou. It's a community that has a lot of need and it was good to see how God moved through us to reach the hearts of the community. 

Prayer Walk

Boardwalk

by Nathanael Gill | February 5, 2023 4:39 PM

After the prayer walk, we are going with pastor Lou to the boardwalk. We are enjoying the view , as well as buying some local snacks. The ocean looks so peaceful.

Boardwalk

Hi, Friend!

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 5, 2023 10:02 PM

Just  before we started our evening debrief, Brian got here to visit! He was part of the PPM staff the last time we were on the island! Te amamos, Brian!

Hi, Friend!

Working at the Church

by Nathanael Gill | February 6, 2023 8:47 AM

We are working at the church on some remodeling projects doing manual labor. Some of us are painting, some are making doors, and some are making necklaces for VBS. 

Working at the Church

VBS Day One

by Hannah Pinkston | February 6, 2023 6:03 PM

There is nothing quite like an empty box titled, 'Entry Title' to really rattle my psyche; I often *feel* I should write  about my experiences in a way that overtly honors them. But ultimately, I want to write in a way that is human and true. So, once I made it past this entries title, I sat at the next blank box. Though today's VBS was a few, short hours with simple activities, it felt incredibly full and nourishing and too short. I love that God can show us what humility is, and how beautiful it actually is. The language barrier between myself and the kiddos today just kind of melted away; we all know how to laugh, how to talk with our facial expressions, how to hug. The children were more than eager to teach me the Spanish they knew, and I felt truly humbled to receive it as a student. Often their parent's got to witness these interactions and I *pray* that they felt blessed to see their kid's loving, being loved, and simply being the little humans God has made them to be already. Today felt like a reminder to seek and see the brilliance in the smallest, simplest, and most organic parts of life because there is so much to take from it. 
VBS Day One

Day Two: Working at the Church

by Nathanael Gill | February 7, 2023 9:04 AM

We are still working at the church, building more barn doors, and setting them up on the rails, as well as painting the ceiling some more. It's a blessing to see this team working together in unity as Jesus commanded us and accomplishing a common purpose in remodeling this church. 

Day Two: Working at the Church

Day 2 - An Exhausting Day Collecting Smiles

by Mike Arnold | February 7, 2023 5:16 PM

With the blessing of shade and a cool breeze, we came back to the children and they were ready for us!  After hugs, they jumped into the crafts and listened to the Bible stories Nathaniel wrote.  And then it was mostly running and playing.

We all tried to keep up with so many happy faces as they laughed and took us through the ringer.  Josh sat in goal and blocked so many shots on goal, letting only a few go by to peals of laughter.  Josh also spent most of the day getting teased by Miguel.  After Josh said he didn't speak Spanish, Miguel would say "Hola!" and then say "Gotcha" when Josh responded in kind, proving he had at least one Spanish word.

I'll never forget Lisa, the five year-old who is a prima to so many.  Lisa had never thrown a frisbee and I have never seen anyone get as much joy from either catching or throwing a plastic disc.  She spent hours and by the end she was so very good at both.

Tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to go back, but I fear that time will be a touch bittersweet,  Tonight we are tired and we are blessed.

Day 2 - An Exhausting Day Collecting Smiles

Food Distribution

by Nathanael Gill | February 8, 2023 8:48 PM

We are distributing food in Augustine Stahl, where we have been for the past few days, after doing some remodeling work at the missionary house we are staying in as well as the church.  We are spending time with the children at VBS, teaching them about the love of God, and playing sports with them. I really am seeing God move. When I played songs about God's love for the children, many of them were moved and began crying tears of joy because they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit touching their lives. In the end, the kids were sad to see us leave; but I pray that they were left with God's love and presence. Overall, we are very fulfilled with the work we did in the community here.

Food Distribution

Campfire

by Nathanael Gill | February 8, 2023 8:54 PM

We are having a campfire at the beach after all the work we did today. We are having our debrief/devotional here. We are singing some worship songs together as a group, and Josh is leading the devotional today. After he was done with the message (which was about love), he went around and told everyone how much he appreciated each of them and loved them and why and it was a very moving thing. 
Campfire

Final Day of Work

by Nathanael Gill | February 9, 2023 11:52 AM

We are finishing up the painting at the missionary house, while the rest of the group is working on projects at the church. We are going to go to the beach after to rest after a long week of productive work, serving the Lord. 
Final Day of Work

Beach

by Nathanael Gill | February 9, 2023 5:22 PM

It’s our final day working here as the flight leaves tomorrow. So we are now relaxing at the beach after a long day of work. God’s creation is so beautiful.

Beach

Happy birthday, Josh!

by Christian Rivera Gonzalez | February 9, 2023 6:32 PM


Farewell

by Nathanael Gill | February 10, 2023 3:58 PM

Today is the day we are flying back to Mary land. This is a bittersweet moment for us. We are going to miss our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico but we are glad to be going back to help our local community back home. We are very grateful for Pastor Lou. 

Farewell

Continue Your Impact!

by Nathan Norman | February 25, 2023 7:12 PM

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Comments

Dean

February 10, 2023 9:50 AM

Happy Birthday Joshie! Thank you for these pictures and posts, look forward to hearing your stories.

Robin

February 8, 2023 8:24 AM

Prayers abound. Thanking God for you all.

Kelly

February 7, 2023 5:42 PM

Glad to see this and are glad you guys are having fun with them and continue with your great work.

Tina

February 6, 2023 8:34 PM

Love hearing these stories. You are all blessed to be a blessing! May God continue to work through you!

Robin

February 5, 2023 5:44 PM

Blessings ALL around!

Nicole

February 5, 2023 12:33 PM

Praying for you all throughout the week!

Donna

February 5, 2023 7:10 AM

So glad you made it safely. God be all the glory.

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