It’s easy for me to say that January has been one of the greatest months of my life. There’s a lot to cover so, happy reading!
I have been dating José for a little over a year, though many of you know him as “Chepe” (che-pay). Chepe is a nickname for José and what most people in our church call him, so it stuck with me early on! We met back in December 2014 when I was visiting El Salvador on an exploratory trip to confirm God’s calling for me to move here. We attended the same Christmas dinner party and exchanged a “nice to meet you” hug and a kiss on the cheek (customary for Salvadoran culture). I estimate we only spoke about two actual words to each other that night. We moved from acquaintances to friends when I was serving here as a volunteer over summer 2015, and I had more opportunities to bond with the youth of our church.
A few months after my move to San Salvador, we realized that our friendship was growing into something more and sought advice from our family and pastors. This was a crazy time for me, as I was adjusting to a new job, culture, and home life all at the same time. We decided to only be friends for the year of 2017 and intentionally seek the Lord in that time. We (finally) began dating in December 2017, and soon after realized that we were going to be in it for the long haul.
After thirteen months of dating (which included visits from my family to San Salvador), Chepe began planning the perfect way to make it official. I was whisked away to a surprise location and taken up to a private terrace with a beautiful view of the city surrounded by volcanoes. Chepe gave a sweet speech (which I can’t actually remember any of), got on a one knee, and asked me to marry him! I can’t remember saying “yes” in all the excitement but he assured me that I was nodding emphatically. We celebrated with a private dinner on the terrace, watching the sunset and calling family and friends to share the news!
A Little About Chepe
My absolute favorite thing about Chepe is how he loves Jesus and uses his life to serve our God. He was born here in El Salvador has been a member of Great Commission Church since 2002, serving in the worship ministry and as a youth leader. He went on staff with our church in late 2017 – so we’re coworkers too! His main roles are managing our social media presence and overseeing production of Sunday services. He also helps me out a lot during the weeks that mission teams are here. I love when our roles in ministry overlap and I get to see his heart for the kids I love so much grow at the same time.
This month has also been full of ministry activity! After returning from my furlough on December 28th, I got to enjoy New Year’s with my Salvadoran family while planning out my goals for 2019. Last week, we hosted a visit from our partners, Total Health, that support our medical clinics in the Volcano and Soyapango. Our Children’s Centers also opened up for the year this week! For me, this means a lot of admin work as I need to verify that all of our kids officially register for the program and update any profiles needed. We always get a lot of brand-new kids at the beginning of the year too! Below is a sneak peek of a few absolutely adorable newbies that will be joining us this year. Will you join us in praying for all of our kids as they begin the school year and work back into a routine?
No matter how near or far you are from me, you guys are essential to my ministry work here in El Salvador. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!
- For Chepe and I. That we would savor this season of engagement and press into God’s guidance to make wise decisions about wedding plans, finding a home, etc.
- For 2019 mission teams. As I work more and more on the details, please pray that God would be present in that entire process. Also, pray for the hearts of the missionaries that are preparing to serve alongside us this year.
- For our children at the Development Centers. Please pray for motivation to start the school year out strongly and, as always, for their safety while living in these high-risk areas.