Monday, May 31, 2010

A New Day in the City...

Good morning friends and family. We are so thankful that you are following the blog while we are out of the country, and we will update you as often as possible on what is going on here.

First, we want to praise our Father for His goodness and mercies. His mercies are new every morning...isn't that amazing! He has given us all a good night's sleep, and we are refreshed and ready for His work! Second, He is always faithful to His promises. He promised that He would show Himself powerful and strong (more so that any tropical storm, volcano or flood), and He has done that!!! Praise the Father!!!

Please pray for our interpreters, Patty, Wendy and Angie. They were scheduled to leave Quetzaltenango at 5:00 this morning and make their way into the city. It is normally a 3 hour drive but could take much longer due to the bridges and roads being out. Please pray for their safety and for their strength.

For all parents of interns, your children are safe and sound here. They are all doing well. Tyler, along with Lonnie and Brittney, are leading music for VBS this afternoon. They spent quite a bit of time learning Spanish songs last night and serenading the seminary campus. Megan A. and Deanna are going to work with recreation as well...Deanna has been holding out her Spanish skills on us! Michael, Duckett (Meghan H.) and Kathleen will be working in the Tabitha House while the others are at VBS. We are so proud of all of them. It warms my heart to see them outside in the morning spending time with the Father before the day begins.

Speaking of my heart, it overflows right now with gratefulness for all the people on this trip. They are amazing, gracious and patient people. Once again, God ordained the right people for the right time for the right task. He is good! When we surrender our thoughts, ways, plan and will to His...surrender our own for His thoughts, ways, plans and will, He will be glorified! We give Him all the glory!

PS Maggie Coe is an amazing young lady, and I send out props to Bob and Ann. She is full of life and seeks to serve the Lord. I pray that my kiddos end up like her!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We have arrived...

Our group was able to depart Atlanta this morning on time, and we landed in San Salvador around noon. With no lost luggage and no problems in passport control or customs, we made it to our buses with everyone in tow. It took us 6 hours to reach Guatemala City due to the mudslides and road conditions, but we are safely here.

We have eaten dinner and made plans for tomorrow. God is giving us the opportunity to work at the Tabitha House in the morning as well as make visits to the people of the dump. In the afternoon we will be able to lead VBS in a local mission as well as continue work with children of the dump.

Everyone is doing well. After some showers and a good night's sleep, we will be raring to go in the morning. Please feel free to send any questions or emails to me at sheryl@1wayministries. We will have access to email daily.

Thank you all for your prayers! God is moving in mighty ways!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our God Reigns!

Some of you have asked about more details from yesterday and today, so I'll try and type it all. First and foremost, all of the praise, honor and glory go to God our Father. He is Yahweh...He is Faithful...He is Provider..He is All-Sufficient..He is Great...We give Him all the glory for everything that happened yesterday, and for all that will happen today!

Our team (or at least 19) of us were scheduled to meet at The Church at Brook Hills yesterday at 2:30 to leave by 3:00. But, God had other plans. During the mid-morning yesterday, we were made aware of the volcano, Pacaya, erupting in Guatemala. There were some deaths and ash was raining on the city. God burdened our hearts for the people who live in the dump with no roof over their heads. Please pray for them!

We met at the church and began calling Delta. After 3 previous phone calls (made during the morning hours), our flight on Saturday morning was officially cancelled. So, we hit the phonelines....hotel has to be cancelled in Atlanta, flights have to be changed for 26 people (21 of whom are in a group, 5 are individual tickets and then there's actually another person flying out of Memphis who has to change her ticket too). Then, there's the other 5 people who are flying American Airlines and having to deal with their flights being cancelled. Many of you who truly know me know that talking on the phone is among my least favorite things to do. And, God called me to I obeyed.

First, I talked to Delta and was told we could get a flight into Guatemala City on Wednesday at the earliest....people have taken off work, plans have been, that wouldn't work. Then, we call again, and we're given the option of flying into nearby countries...Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. What to do? What to do? Using the brains on our team, we determine the nearest airport (San Salvador) and try again.

Another call to Delta (keep in mind that each of these calls is at least a 1/2 an hour) is made. They don't fly into El Salvador but they do have a flight to San Salvador. What? Do they hire people who don't know geography? Truly, this is a sign that I must hang up and call again. So, I don't have a flight into El Salvador? No, Delta doesn't fly into El Salvador. Okay, I say, but you do have a flight into San Salvador? Yes, we do. Ummm...the capital of El Salvador is San Salvador I say. She replies...but we don't fly into El Salvador.. But, you do have a flight into San Salvador? Yes, she says...okay, I'll take it. I should have recorded this did make me laugh. Perhaps geography was not her forte.

Then, we are told that the flights will cost an additional $170 per person although the $150 change fee will be waived. Now, $170 for one person is not bad, but multiply that times the total number of participants, and we're talking $4800. NO WAY!!!!

Despite my tears and realization that this is an impossible situation (and against my personal desires), JT takes the information to the group. I prefer not to burden others with the administration details of a trip...that's my burden to bear. But, that's my opinion and my opinion only...and does not allow the body of Christ to participate. So, the information was taken to the group. The body of Christ went into prayer mode. They prayed.... then, they were motivated to get others to pray. They sent text networking for the cause of Christ. I was still on the phone with Delta, so I was unaware of all of this until later.

I had moved my "office" to the van so that I could recharge my phone. My friend, Angelia has joined me and we're tag-teaming the details. As a sidenote here, I am so thankful for her administrative skills...God has us on the same page, and we were a great team. Then, I talked to Barbara Sinke at the Atlanta Delta office. After 45 minutes she said that she would call me back in 45 minutes and she would try everything she could to help us. Let me back up by saying that the conversation with her was extensive (over an hour) and there were lots of tears.

In the meantime, we continued to pray. We prayed that God would make a way where there was no way. We were desperate for Him to act in a way that could only bring glory to Him!!!

Then, the mission trip participants (most of whom are high school and college students with limited funds) started streaming out of the church. They began coming one by one to the passenger door and telling Angelia how much money they could give. It was like a scene out of a movie...have you ever seen Rudy where the team members come in and give the coach their jerseys? It's for Rudy coach... They all come to the coach and give up their jersey so that he can play. In a very similar way, they gave up their high school graduation gifts, college funds, savings, and more. Our hearts were overwhelmed with their generosity. Then, our friends began to send messages and could they give? God poured out His blessings in and through the obedience of the body of Christ. He broke us. He overwhelmed us. He blessed us.

I was not hopeful that Barbara would call back...but she did! She said that she had good news. She could get us on the flight to San Salvador the next day, and there would be no charges!!! What??? God had shown us that He would receive the glory..He just wanted us to obey Him and depend fully on Him. We were overwhelmed.

Okay, four more hurdles....3 individual tickets (one of whom I couldn't help because she lived in Memphis)and 1 group of 3 together. First, the individual tickets...for Kathleen and Tyler. I talk to Alma, and she helps me get those tickets..and then, we get cut off. I don't even know if these two tickets go through or not. I call back (please Lord...I've been on the phone for 3 hours at this point). I get Ed in Tampa...he assures me that those 2 tickets were good. Okay! Good news! And, then the person in Memphis gets her ticket changed too...NO charges there either!

While I'm on the phone with Ed, Alma calls me back and leaves a message. There are NO more seats on that flight. My final three people (Christy, Deanna and Michael) are going to have to fly to Salt Lake City and then Los Angeles and then fly into San Salvador...a day later. No, that won't work. But, Ed finds a way to get them on the same flight. I am overwhelmed by God's grace and mercy. He made a way!!!! He is good!

We all gather in the church lobby and circle up. The good news is shared, and Tyler leads us in song and worship. We sing "Great is Your Faithfulness" and God showed Himself powerful and strong. We praise His name!

Afterwards, Kathleen's parents, Denver and Susan Nolin, invite the entire group over for dinner at their house. We are shown unbelievable hospitality and enjoy time together as a group. Today, we depart for Atlanta...then, on to San Salvador. Praise the Father! He is good!

Friday, May 28, 2010

His Mercies are New....

Today was the day. We were leaving for Guatemala City to leave our friends, Greg and Kathy Brown, as missionaries. We were taking 32 people on a mission trip. But, it didn't happen. I'm sitting at my kitchen table in Alabaster, Alabama typing this. Why? Because a volcano has erupted several times this week, and the ash is still covering the city. So, we wait.

After much time on the phone and even more time in prayer, God made a way where there was no way. NO, Mrs. Turner, we can't get you all on a flight until Wednesday (we're supposed to leave on Saturday). NO, Mrs. Turner, we can't get you all on the same flight. We can break you up into groups of 2. NO, Mrs. Turner, we can't fly you into Honduras...or Belize..or El Salvador. NO! NO! NO! But, God had other plans.

Okay, YES..Mrs. Turner we can fly you into San Salvador the next day but it will cost $4800. NO! NO! NO! We can't afford that!!! We are a ministry...we don't have that much money! But, God had other plans!

JT went to the group and told them the dilemma. One by one they came to us and told us how much they wanted to give. One college student handed me $200 cash....another recent high school graduate emptied his checking account and gave $1000...another one wanted to give $600...and on and on they came. God placed us all in a place of total surrender and submission. Give your all....I want it all. All of you and all that you have.

Then, Delta called back..."Mrs. Turner, I have good news for you. We got you all on the flight to San Salvador. And, we're waiving all the fees!" God made a way where there was no way. God showed Himself strong. He did what ONLY HE could do. He gets ALL the praise. He gets all the glory. We just got to watch Him do it. What a privilege to be His servant. He is worthy of ALL praise!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Guatemala On Our Hearts....

Just two weeks from today, we will be leading a group of 31 people to the heart of Guatemala City. What a privilege and blessing to know that we will be ministering among some of the poorest people in Central America. People call the dump "home" each day and live their lives in filth and danger. Yet, our hearts are drawn to them because of our God. He calls us...we follow Him.

During that trip we will be helping the Brown family move to Guatemala. The Browns will be living their lives among the people of Guatemala City to make His name known among the nations and to take His glory to the people there. We are awed by the way God has called them and moved in their lives. We are proud to call them friends. We will miss them terribly.

Please pray with us that God will use them in ways that show the Father as faithful, glorious and mighty. May He receive all the glory for whatever they do and say. May the nations come to know Him through their obedience.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Summer is gearing up...

Well, it's been a while since we've updated the ministry blog, so now is the best opportunity! We have been working with Tekeme Studios out of Pennsylvania to redesign both our ministry and personal blogs, and I'm excited to show them to you all soon! I can tell you this....they captured EXACTLY what we envisioned from day one. I highly recommend them!

The summer is upon us, and we are working frantically to get all of the trip details completed...menus, schedules, transportation, finances, paperwork, etc!!! One of the most exciting parts is the intern program! We have been blessed beyond measure this semester with Christy Barton, our semester intern from Samford University. While I'm typing this, I tear up thinking of what a blessing she has been to the ministry and our family. She has literally become a part of our family, and we will forever cherish the time we have had with her. She will be on the May Guatemala trip, and we are so encouraged by her leadership. This summer she will be moving to Australia to work with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). They are blessed to have her!!! We will miss her greatly and are already planning a trip to see her soon!

We do have 8 interns who will be traveling with us to Arizona, Guatemala and Uganda this summer! They are amazing young men and women, and we know that God has a great plan for all of them. Please welcome Brittney Cleveland, Megan Anderson, Meghan Harris, Deanna Garcia, Kathleen Nolin, Lauren (Lonnie) Tarr, Michael DiGiacoma, and Tyler Werk to the One Way Ministries' staff this summer!