Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday in Ahuachapan, El Salvador

Today the Lone Oak High School team visited the village of Ahuachapan, El Salvador.

They delivered bags of rice, beans and sugar to the local families and invited the children to enjoy a carnival they had organized for them!

They painted faces, made balloon animals, put on puppet shows, passed out treat bags...
and perhaps taught them a little bit about encouraging the University of Kentucky Wildcats to hit some
3 point shots in today's game! HaHa!

The group then headed back to CIPI in the afternoon where they were able to visit with some of the friends they made on Thursday!

Tonight they were back at it, making making meals and sending out a team to feed the homeless.
Tomorrow the team will be going to San Martin to visit with some more Starfish friends! The facility at San Martin houses special needs orphans from about 12 years old through adults. It is sure to be a long and fun filled day! The residents love to share their school work, sewing and baking classes and you can almost always guarantee that they'll be counting on an afternoon of games and dancing before our group leaves!

Day Two... More notes

Today the Team took the boys from CISNA to the beach... a nice break for the boys from their daily routine at the orphanage; a day all about them. Tonight more of the students were able to go out feeding homeless across San Salvador, while other members of the team were preparing for tomorrow's trip to a rural village. Saturday the LOHS group is expecting to work with as many as 400 or more village children!

Unfortunately we are having more technical problems tonight, so after several hours of attempt an no success, we do not have new pictures for you. We are very sorry as we know you are anxiously awaiting new photos of the students! Please check back Saturday! We promise to post them as soon as we can!
Thank you for your patience!

Below you will find two comments from students, reflecting on today's experiences...

"Today we toured a boys orphanage, Cisna, then took around 20 boys to the beach. It was a beautiful, fun day! We handed out love bundles and clothes. Please pray for the group tonight going to feed the homeless. Tomorrow we are going to a village with a lot of kids. Last night Genesis 12 gave me much encouragement, that we are in a place where God is also present." ~ Nicole Walker

"We went to the beach with guys our age and simply threw footballs and frisbees. We just goofed off and hung out. Great day." ~ Conner English

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New friends in a new place!

The Lone Oak High School team landed safely in El Salvador around lunch time today and hit the ground running! They first visited CIPI, a government orphanage housing children of all ages, as well as teen girls.

Below you will find a very sweet and very honest account from one of the students who is visiting El Salvador for the first time...

"The kids ranged from newborn babies to teen mothers, to special needs. We walked around the orphanage to meet everyone, which was a little awkward and scary at first, but once you met the kids, they stole your heart. After that, we were allowed to go play with any if the kids we wanted. Alex, Mr. Sims, Anibel, and myself all went to the young boys room. There were four boys in the room. The room had bars on the windows and bars on the door. The boys were so excited to see us. Their names were Jefferson, Jesus, Christopher, and Jose. They were all under the age of 6 and as happy as could be. The boys loved to take pictures and play soccer. Although we couldn't communicate with them all that well, our translator, Anibel, helped out so much. Jefferson hugged me as soon as I walked into his room and seemed to like me a lot, so I played with him most of the time. We ran around, played soccer, climbed the fences, I carried him around, and helped him eat. It was incredible! It broke my heart when we had to leave. Jefferson started crying and wouldn't let me go, I wanted to cry. On the bright side, we do get to go see the kids of Cipi again on Sunday, and I can't wait." ~ Ashley Latham

This evening, after getting settled in at the mission house, the team prepared meals for the homeless. They packed bags with sandwiches, chips, fruit and BBQ on the River T-Shirts! Most importantly, throughout the week, team members will be visiting homeless across San Salvador, sharing more than food and clothing but also letting them know that they are not forgotten!

Tomorrow the group will be visiting CISNA, an orphanage for boys ages 7-17. The team will be getting the taking the boys out of the orphanage for the day and instead, taking them to the beach! Hopefully by tomorrow we will have some of our technichal difficulties worked out and will have more pictures and notes availible for you! The group sounded so excited tonight ... ready to see what tomorrow brings!
At Starfish we are often asked questions such as "Isn't it hard to go and visit the children, and then have to leave?" or "What is it really like to visit an orphanage?" We hope that through these posts and first hand accounts from students who are so willing to share their experiences, you too can have a glimpse into the very different lives of children living without families to care for them. Thank you for following along on their journey and please feel free to encourage them by posting on the blog or Facebook!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lone Oak High School... Serving in El Salvador

After several months of excitement, planning and fundraising, more than 20 of the Lone Oak High School BETA Club students left this afternoon for El Salvador! For some of the team members it has been an entire year of anticipation to make their second trip to serve with Starfish Orphan Ministry, and to visit some very special friends they made one year ago! For many, it will be their first time out of the US, and for everyone involved, it will be a week of serving others that they are sure to never forget!
Please follow along as the team serves in several orphanages and rural villages, and as they feed homeless throughout this small country, filled with so many needs... Please post words of encouragement for the team and let them know that we are following along on their journey to El Salvador!