by Dominique Diller
Beautiful are the smiles on people’s faces. It’s looking around and taking in nature. It’s the miracle of life we are blessed with every day. It’s playing with children in the streets with a soccer ball. It’s singing alongside your best friends. Beautiful is when God lives inside of you.
It’s the third day on our mission trip in El Salvador, and I could not be filled with more joy, being here serving with this mission team. Today we woke up, had our breakfast here at the hotel, and then left to go to church. A super cool thing about this church was that some girls on this trip helped paint the church a year ago. It’s really awesome to see the works from previous missions still present and impacting lives here in El Salvador. It made me smile so much.
Another thing that I was smiling ear to ear about was the worship. We worshiped in Spanish, and the people of the church were so into the singing and dancing you could just feel the power of God even though I don’t know Spanish. One of the leaders on our trip, Kramer, also helped lead worship. It was just beautiful to see two different languages worshiping the same God.
In church we talked about living for Christ no matter what we are going through. We all go through a lot and to keep our eyes on God and Jesus is so important. Romans 12:2 was a verse repeated in church that really stuck out to me. My coach Kelsey, the previous night, read the same exact verse during our devotional. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Now, how beautiful is that?
What I take from that is God has a plan for each and every one of us. He just needs our help with our eyes and mind to be fixed on Him. Beautiful is God loving us so deeply and repeating messages for our ears to hear over and over again showing his unconditional, never-ending love.
After church we headed back to the hotel to grab lunch at this pizza place across the street from our hotel. During our bus ride back and lunch I just paused and tried to observe everyone. What I saw were beaming smiles and conversations with so much laughter. Not one person I saw looked out of place or lost. Everyone seemed to have so much joy and light in their eyes. It was simply beautiful.
Next on the list was to hike to the volcano here in El Salvador. We drove up this incredibly steep and long road, and then we hiked up to reach the top of the crater. When we reached the top there were a few moments where no one spoke a word. The view literally takes your breath away. We all started taking a ridiculous amount of photos that will never justify how beautiful it actually is. In that moment, it was so eye opening to think that God is an artist. He is so talented and has blessed us with the opportunity to see His beautiful creations. It was really great to be reminded of nature’s beauty that we take for granted sometimes and to see how such a simple thing is so glorious and shouldn’t be taken for granted for its beauty.
Now we are headed back to the community called Thomas Rodriguez to play with the children on the streets. I cannot explain well enough how incredible it is to see little kids smiling at you even though they can’t understand one thing you say in English. They love to play soccer and tag that they call “mika”. One moment there that was awesome to experience was seeing the little boys attack my coach OB, and how happy they were and him playing with them.
It’s very special to be able to see God inside my soccer coaches and serving alongside them. You don’t get that anywhere else. As we were leaving, my friend Lindsay shared with everyone why we were here. She told everyone we are here because we all know Jesus. We all live for Jesus, and Jesus loves every single one of us. It was really awesome seeing one of my closest friends speak to everyone about how we are serving because of someone who is bigger than all of us, who still loves every person equally and so much we can’t even begin to understand. I’m so thankful to have been a part of these beautiful moments.
Beautiful is serving with people, for people. It is standing back and appreciating little things in life. It is making a difference in someone’s heart. It is watching precious moments and capturing them forever. Beautiful is when God lives inside of you.