David and Nancy Slinde Speaking at their "Sending Service"

Monday, February 6, 2012


It’s the first weekend in February. We are writing from our kitchen table, drinking coffee, reading the paper and watching the birds at the feeders. This is the place where it started in March 2007 after we returned from 30 days in El Salvador. We were experiencing stress over our previous trip when I heard Gods voice. Move there – He said.

Early in our marriage we applied for mission work and were told we had no experience and had nothing to offer. Upon retirement, we applied for mission and were told we were too old and had nothing to offer. So when God said “move there”, it was a step out in faith.
Many doors needed to be opened for this to happen. And they amazingly did.

Last weekend we started giving away all our household items. The appliances and bedroom furniture left on Sunday. Juan Carlos (newly married) got all the dishes, pans and kitchen supplies. The store got printer, tools, fans, water oasis. Our neighbor, Gabriel, got the rest.

Gabriel drove us to San Salvador taking us out to eat in La Libertad at a sea side restaurant. He and his wife and three daughters are moving to LA in March. Gabriel will drive truck for his brother and they will live with his mother until they get settled.

Gabriel and his family are starting a new life and we are home, closing a 4 year chapter of our lives in El Salvador which also includes the 2 years of preparation. There has been joy and heartbreak - just like life anywhere. The experience in another culture, living a life style of 80 years in the past had been an eye opener. We have learned much about culture and how much change we have seen in our 66 years of life.

Two wonderful missionaries who receive these journals write to us relating their experiences to ours. They miss the mission field and comment if they were younger they would be in mission. We could not do another 2 years away from home in a harsh environment. We will not miss the living conditions, constant dirt, humidity, insects that make living unpleasant.

We will miss the relationships with the young men of the store having morning coffee and conversation with us, their using our computer and internet, the joy of our neighbor, and the people of Oikos. We will miss visits to the rural communities viewing past and future projects and looking for the face of God among the young and old.

What’s next for us?

More short-term visits, more community development and education projects, more research and fact-finding, more grant writing, more partnerships to be nurtured, more reflections and journals, . . . . The passion for this ministry does not end once the contract does.

We remain open to God’s voice and plan for us.

David y Nancy