Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday's BIG Adventure!

 (For privacy reasons & safety of the children, the team was not permitted to take photos of the children they worked with today.)

Thursday, honestly the day I looked forward to the most, simply because I’ve never been to a volcano. Originally, we were go
ing to be taking the kids from a local boys orphanage, but because of a few things going on at the orphanage, they had to cancel. Upsetting as that is we were able to take 8 of the kids and 2 leaders from one of the special needs centers. You could tell they were nervous but very excited to get to go with us. I guess you could say we were packed in like sardines on the bus, with a long ride to where we needed to go to hike. We were told it was going to be a 4 kilo-meters hike to the top of the volcano.
After an hour and a half hike and exhausted like we’ve never been before, we finally made it to the top. It was pretty chilly when we got there. We were warned and told to bring a hoodie of some sort but most of us didn’t.
 We took our pictures we wanted and admired the view for about 20 minutes, then it was time to start our descent down. The young guns made it down, in no joke, about 25-30 minutes, and waited at the bottom of the volcano for about 30 minutes while the remainder of the group was finally getting down. 
As we got back to the bus, Noah and I decided to throw football outside. Next thing we know there is about 4 kids wanting us to teach them how the throw an American football, there were even a couple translators learning as well. As we took the children back to Guirola, they had finally opened up and the bus was as loud as it was going to get. Man aren’t we truly blessed? Blessed to put smiles on boys and girls faces who literally don’t have much at all. Blessed to go out and show Gods love. Blessed to have such an amazing group to work beside and lean on when we’re tired. Finally, just thank you for another amazing opportunity to show Gods love to men, women, and children that none of us know, or even have the first clue of what to say to them. All praise to our God.

Griffin 

When we were on the way to the volcano I was sitting in the bus next to one of the teen girls. She had my phone and was playing with it. When I looked down she was going through my pictures. She originally found a picture of my wife and used one of the translators to ask if I was married. She admired the picture of my wife and then found a picture of my family. She looked over to the girl that was sitting next to her and smiled. She then changed the background to that picture. I set in awe for a moment thinking about what she saw in my family, wondering if she saw something that she knew she did not have. It made my heart break and at the same time made me appreciate my family even more. 

-Keith

 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, What a WONDERFUL Day!

 

Today was my birthday and for the first time ever I got to experience giving others something vs. others giving me something. Today we revisited the community where we built yesterday. We cleaned, furnished, and dedicated that house to the family.

It was such an amazing experience to watch this mother and her two daughters rejoice in the fact that they 
actually own something now. That house is always going to be theirs and it looked like they just won the lottery. It was so rewarding when the team looked at that house after completion because each and every one of us could look at a certain part and say “hey I helped with that.”
Around lun
ch time something I saw hit me hard. All the neighbors of the newly built house had come over and started celebrating with the family. They also toured the house. It was such a cool experience because every single child, adult, and all ages in between had taken their shoes off for the 30 seconds they were inside and then put them back on when they got outside. It was eye opening because back home were just so accustom to having an actual home that we couldn’t care less if we walk inside with shoes.
After dedicating the home and praying with everyone we got out b
ags of food we packed last night and broke up into groups of about 5 or 6 people. 3 from our team, 2 translators, and a local to guide us to homes in need. In each bag there were beans, rice, flour, sugar and a bible for the family. It was amazing talking to the families and praying with them about certain things they were struggling with as a family. It was everything from illness, praying for the children, praying for the community, or even praying for marriages. Experiencing that in person so close to the locals like that, words can’t explain the flood of feelings that took over each and every one of us today. It was an amazing day and he best birthday I could ever imagine. God bless you all. 

Sincerely, 

Tanner Clough


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A New Day, Tuesday

Life as a missionary can take oneself out of a comfortable place and push the limits of everyday tasks and expectations.  To see this be idea be put into action – take a banker, pharmacist, lifeguard, as well as many others, and expect to see a house be not only put together, but painted as well, with the future residents fed, all in approximately 5 hours.  Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 we, Starfish Ministry representatives, accomplished this task with smiles on our faces.
Now, to describe the location of where we built this 
house is another story - imagine riding in a five-speed bus, with fellow gringos and others, an hour outside of the large city where you reside, and take the city life you grow accustomed to and trade that for single lane dirt roads, cows, and dirty water.  We dug a foundation of cinder blocks to set the floor on, and later would line up the walls, to eventually take a lunch break and finish up with painting, door and window installation, and the roof with a gutter system on the back.  I quickly explain this to let whomever may be interested in reading know, the house was a substantial upgrade to what was previously used, but the blessing didn’t entirely lie within the house – the blessing was in the family that introduced us into their gate from the start, let us gringos poorly communicate with their children, and the family within the community that was so interested in watching us they waited outside the entire time and was hesitant to take the water I offered, but the smiles on their faces let me know how grateful they truly were.
 It is apparent to many the bigger blessings in life, the ones that a blind man may be able to see, but I have found in my walk with Christ, to slow down and notice the small opportunities and blessings that God provides, and through the smaller blessings, one may find a peace in knowing God is present.  Tuesday, July 17, 2018 God was present.

 

Just another Gringo,

Chandler Bohannon

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fun Day Monday

Today we went and spent our time at San Martin and Guirola. These two places are both orphanages for special needs children and adults. The love and affection that these people had for us was amazing. At San Martin we interacted with them in all sorts of ways through dancing, making necklaces, balloon animals, and running around with them doing whatever to put a smile on their face. At Guirola the children were in a rougher physical state so we interacted with them by loving on them and by doing whatever we could to bring them joy and happiness.
E
ven just by pushing them in their wheelchairs you could see their faces glow up. Before we left Guirola we got the chance to feed the children because they were not able to do so on their own. My personal experience during this time was something I will never forget. I got to bring nourishment and provide support for an adorable less fortunate child. My heart ached for the condition he was in but was also filled with love and joy because of what I was providing. 
These less fortunate people bring such a positive attitude even with all of the struggles they go through everyday. Their laughter and smiles are contagious and it is something we will all remember forever.When we got back to the mission house we packaged food to give to the homeless for the second time. My first experience doing this was incredible, seeing how grateful they are for what we do for them is something special.
By never taking anything for granted and by loving and caring for others 
we can make this world a better place a step at a time. This trip so far has been full of laughter, love, and memories. God has allowed us to impact so many individuals lives in such positive ways. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for us! Lucas F.

Sunday

The day started off so exciting. We woke up had a delicious breakfast, got ready and headed on down to church.
 As soon as we walked in, I just felt the love and excitement for worship throughout the church. It’s kind of like Central, but in a different way. Everyone was clapping and singing their hearts out. Mostof us couldn’t understand what they were singing, but we still tried to sing along. After a couple more songs, the preacher had asked the church if there were any testimonies to be preached. An older lady had gotten up and had said “This testimony is rather short, just because it is short doesn’t mean it isn’t any good.” She talked about how she had this verse that just meant so much to her and how she lived her life. After that there was one more testimony by another lady. She had talked about her husband, who was recently diagnosed with Bronchitis, who’s been staying in the hospital. She then told us how if she would have waited maybe a day or two to go to the hospital that he wouldn’t have made it. She said she prayed to God everyday hoping he would get better soon. That testimony appealed to me in so many different ways, it should how God is just so amazing and he always pops up right in time. After the testimonies were over the preacher introduced us to his church and then we headed over to where the children have Sunday School. 
We taught them about the story of Joseph and how God gives each and every one of us a special gift. Then we all colored together and gotten to know the kids a little bit better. We came back to the mission house to change into some more comfortable clothes and headed over to a boys orphanage. 
We fed them pizza and watched them eat till it was time for us to go. Leaving that orphanage, for me, was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But they were happy so we were happy. We got back here and ate together like a big happy family! We visited the boys transition home, the boys staying there are super nice and the place itself is really nice. The transition program is when kids come in from the orphanages and many of them they get a job at the States Diner, to earn money. They can only stay in the program for two years. Love this team and this trip! –Samone Cavitt