It is hard to believe that a three hour plane flight can take you to a place so inspiring, challenging and motivating. Day 2 proved to be all of those things. We began the day with an hour ride into a remote village located in a part of El Salvador that presented a very different group of people than we met yesterday. Our mission today was to build a home for a beautiful family of three who had lost their father and was now very poor and in danger of being separated due to their poor living conditions. The first task was to remove the current home which consisted of tin and sticks. The floor was dirt and they were cooking over fire inside the home. Soot covered the walls and the primitive furniture. The entire family slept in a mattress infested with cockroaches on the dirt floor. The eldest sister greeted us at the door and she was frail and obviously frightened of the gringos that had come to take away her home. Maria invited us in and shared a picture of her family with Marilyn and I. She talked of her father’s death and the loss of her grandmother. It was clear that it took a lot of faith for her to trust us to give her a new shelter and some safety.
The men worked tirelessly for hours in the hot and humid conditions. There was a lot of physical labor involved yet they were in good spirits and worked so well together. Chemistry is a funny thing and it determines so much when a group comes together. The chemistry among our group is just great. We all encourage one another and it helps jobs get done faster and better.
While the men were busy building, the girls went to the school to meet and entertain the 50 or so students in their very rustic schoolhouse. We spent the morning tiedying t-shirts with the kids. They were thrilled and so were we. They were covered in dye and so were we. It is so much fun to experience things through the eyes of someone who is experiencing them for the first time.
Maddie, Laura, Danielle, Jude and a few wonderful translators helped to treat the children for lice. This was an unfortunate major problem for this school. These girls worked meticulously for a long time to help these children. The children were so precious that it was just a blessing to be able to help them. Again sometimes challenging conditions yield humble spirits when we are allowed to realize exactly how blessed we are.
Several things stood out to me today. First physical exhaustion can be a good thing. This group became bonded today through these challenges. Second God equips us to do things we didn’t know we could when we leave our comfort zone. Finally when we set out to bless someone else we receive more than we gave. I love this place. J))