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The 2012 team of over 40 people from Mt. Zion’s 412 Young Adult Ministry traveled to El Salvador for an exciting and powerful six-day trip. The team arrived in San Salvador on Thursday, March 8, where they met scorching temperatures and a culture of people that would soon be impacted by their visit. Arriving mid-afternoon, the first day of the trip was spent acclimating to the area, checking into the hotel, and getting settled. On Friday (Day 2), Ashley and the 412 band were guests on the most popular morning television show in El Salvador, Viva la Mañana. Soon after, the missions team traveled to a local elementary school where they delivered gifts to the children, had a short time of praise and worship, and spent time interacting with the staff. Our team fell in love with the school children and didn’t want to leave! That afternoon, 412 Missions traveled to three area shopping malls where they embarked on a massive evangelistic effort, passing out over 1,000 flyers for the “We Are The Hope” one-day conference, and catching the attention of the shoppers with a creative flash-mob (song/dance).
Saturday (Day 3) was conference day. 325 people were in attendance, 200 of which were first-time visitors! Ashley preached about being a victor in life, not a victim of life. The altar was packed with young adults seeking a touch from the Lord. After their own powerful altar experience, our own 412 Missions Team laid hands on the youth, prophesying hope and destiny into their lives. Also that day, the team ministered in water and Holy Spirit baptism. On Sunday (Day 4), our team attended the weekly Mt. Zion Global Reach service, led by Rick Muñoz, where three of our team received the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the first time. As gift, a Bible was given to each of the children in church, and they were treated to lunch at McDonald’s. For some, this was their first time ever eating at the restaurant.
That night was the foot-washing service, where our group washed the feet of the key team in our El Salvador church. Immediately after, the young adults from El Salvador washed the feet of the 412 Missions Team. Regarding the foot-washing experience, Nikki Robson stated, “it didn’t bother me to serve other people and wash their feet… but, it never occurred to me that someone would want to wash my feet… I was completely overwhelmed. I gained an understanding of God’s love on another level. It felt like a burden lifted- it was an aspect of love that I’ve never received before. I’ve heard it said that ‘loved people LOVE people.’ I now have a freedom to love… I have more expectation than ever before.”
On Monday (Day 5), the 412 Missions team worked with incredible cohesiveness, serving one another, as they refurbished and updated Mt. Zion’s Academy of Music. New sinks and soap dispensers were installed in lavatories, fresh paint livened up the walls, and professional acoustic room treatment was installed in the studio. Many area churches send their ministry teams to our Academy for free training, so it was a tremendous blessing to update the space. Tuesday (Day 6) was a day of relaxation and enjoyment for our hard-working team, as they enjoyed the beach with one another.
Of the trip, Ashley Covarrubias said, “His ways are not ours, and our thoughts are not His. His purpose will always be better than our own expectation. Those that went to minister were ministered to- those that traveled to serve were served.” With a smile, Ashley remarked, “I’m so glad that the Lord doesn’t think like me… I can only see a small portion of the needs… He sees the needs of every person.”
In March 2011, a team of over 20 young adults from Mt. Zion’s 412 Young Adult Ministry traveled to El Salvador to minister to the needs of the people for five days. Equipped with Bibles for poor school children, toys, and amazing servants’ hearts, the team hosted a two-day equipping and impartation conference for youth, ministered in water and Holy Spirit baptism, and hosted a foot-washing service for the key team of Mt. Zion Global Reach (El Salvador). Of the trip, Bill Foster said, “I was so pumped to see how everyone made the most of every opportunity we had down there. It really set a great example for the people we ministered to, and said a lot about everyone’s heart. I watched how open everyone was to what God was doing and that was probably the coolest part to me.” Rachel Brock added, “every time I try to tell my family about it I feel like words aren’t enough for my experience. My life was changed and I know theirs were too.” Ashley Wrathell also said, “Hearing about their (the youth in El Salvador’s) experience and hearing that they have hope now from our testimonies, knowing that they aren’t the only ones going through the storms is so amazing because we did what we came there to do…and planted a seed. And they are just taking every single piece of it in and just want to be closer to God.”
The heart of 412 Missions is to make an impact upon culture with a demonstration of God’s extravagant Kingdom in both practical and spiritual ways.