The Bates Family

S.O.S. Ministry in El Salvador

by Kelly on April 13, 2011


JimBob and Michelle graciously invited us to participate in a shoDSC09593rt 3 day ministry opportunity with S.O.S. Ministries under the direction of Mike Schadt in El Salvador. Since Gil & I have never been on a mission trip outside of the U.S., it was a wonderful, heart gripping experience for us.

The purpose of the trip was for S.O.S. Ministries and the Duggars to meet with some of the leaders at the Presidential house in San Salvador in an effort to assist this beautiful country in ministering to the orphans, in restoring families, and in presenting the Gospel. Mike Schadt has been working in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for 11 years. He has helped plant churches and has helped train 75 native pastors. It was such a joy to see the thriving church in El Salvador and to meet these precious people who love the Lord. Gil was invited to preach at one of their services, which provided a new experience of DSC09195learning to speak with an interpreter.

Our visits to houses broke our hearts as we saw the needs of theseDSC09584 villagers. We were struck with conviction over our need to do with less in order to help more.

Upon visiting the orphanage, we were reminded of God’s words in

James 1: 27 

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey April 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I can only imagine what an amazing and heart wrenching experience this was. How wonderful of you to spend your time traveling to help those in need. You are an inspiration! Incredible captures of your work in El Salvador.

Having so much fun with your precious children here. Every one of them light up a room when they walk in (you must have the brightest home in the world :)). P.S. Watch out, Alyssa might get drafted by the NBA :).


Anola April 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

You and your family are an inspiration to us. We admire your conviction to the Father, and to your family. We are the parents of two daughters, who have married and are raising our grandchildren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as well. It is true that we who have so much often take so much for granted. A visit to another country is often the best way to remind us that God has been so good to us. Thank you for allowing us to see a little into your lives. We are encouraged by your love of God. May he bless your travels home.


Hannah April 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly,

Thank you so much for sharing this post. Reading about your mission work really inspires me to think of ways that I can give more. Recently, I had found myself coveting the latest technology: I really wanted an iphone!! But reading about how little others in the world have and hearing your message about being content with what we have and even finding ways to be content with less is so encouraging. I look forward to reading your blog every time, thanks for taking the time and energy to reach out to the world, it is appreciated,

Hannah in England.


Beth Miles April 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm

That is so wonderful! Such a great experience. God Bless Ya’ll!


Jason Manion April 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I’m glad to hear that the trip went well. We’d been praying for the trip to go well for y’all.


Laura April 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Your family and the duggar family are like literally a walking example of what God wants everyone to be like. God bless you


Kelsey April 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

How wonderful! Im sure the Lord worked tremendously in your time over there, Glory be to him alone!


Michelle April 14, 2011 at 4:51 am

Dear Gil and Kelly,

Your posts are so inspirational to our family. We so enjoy hearing about your family via the Duggar’s show. What an amazing opportunity to share with them to travel to San Salvador. I can only imagine the heart wrenching feeling that you both felt of wanting to help God’s children. It truly reminds me to simplifying my life so that I can help others.
God Bless you,


amber landers April 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Thank you so much for the post about your trip, it has help us think of more ways that we can help out. If not over sea, or even in a different state just right here in our own town! Thank you for being a good example of walking with God, in a world that has a hard time remembering God and all that’s he has done for us. God Bless you all.


Ambritt April 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for sharing this post with us! What an incredible blessing that you were able to go down there and serve. I adore your family and am so thankful that you have started blogging. You are truly an inspiration to me and an incredible example of the kind of woman that God has created us to be!


Lisa April 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

As I always say, we may not agree on everything, but ALL Americans need to see what REAL poverty is at least once in their lives. I’m glad you were blessed by this trip. Your visit brought HOPE and recognition to so many.


Kristi April 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I’m so glad you had a good trip. :)



Miss Linda April 17, 2011 at 1:19 am

Thank you for sharing about your time in El Salvador. What a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing, and to be blessed in return!


D. Staddon April 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Wonderful summary of a significant trip. As you discovered, the people group you visit when you first go internationally will always be a special people with a special country and with special memories to you. May your heart never be “un-broken” for them (Matthew 9:35-38)!


Carrie April 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Oh what a blessing in deed! I would greatly love the opportunity do this one day!


Cathie Stone April 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

If you all or any of your friends would be interested in another orphanage to go too. Hogar de Esperanza in Peru would be a great place. My dad started and built it for the orphans and afflicted children and the verse he used was the verse you all used in your blog about pure religion…It’s P.S. Your household name in our family we thank you for your testimony. IN CHRIST,


robin April 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

just want to say u and the duggars are so inspirational setting an amazing example of christian living . im glad to see michelle is able to leave little josie and minster to others . both u kelly and michelle and even anna ( i tend to relate more w anna as we r both in our 20s) anyway all 3 of u have help me be a better wife mom and godly woman through the example yall set so thank yall deeply


Roger and Robin Theis July 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

We just had to find you and let you know how much we enjoyed your family at Camden, Mi under the tent. You were a blessing to us. Your songs were beautiful and your ministry with the chalk drawing was amazing.
God bless,
Roger and Robin Theis


Elvetta Adams November 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

Please let me know what I can do to help. I am disabled but I still want to help I was in law enforcement until I was hurt and can’t work any more instead the field but I will do whatever you ask of me. Please get intouch with me. God Bless you all.


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