As our first official full day in El Salvador, the excitement was rising. The anticipation was killer, especially since our team is largely full of first- timers. Breakfast was bright and early at around 6:30...and today was our day to “sleep in”. We loaded up on the bus around 8:30ish, after our good pal Norman kicked one of our few soccer balls onto the roof of a not so appreciative lady.Our first stop was at San Martin, a place for special needs adults. We toured where they lived and where they attended school. We moved out into the yard and patiently waited for them to get out of school. It was a bit out of our comfort zone for many of us, but it was definitely worth it. There was dancing, face painting, finger nail painting, and smiles to go share. To sum up this visit: crank it like a chainsaw, Norman is definitely the wobble master, and you will never experience as much joy as you do after seeing the smile on their face when you put a band-aid on their hand.
We left San Martin after hours of dancing and proceeded to have lunch at the State’s Diner. This restaurant is a transition organization ran by Kurt and Sus Hijos that helps give employment and homes to kids who have aged out of government ran orphanages. Good old fashioned American food, and the deep fried Snickers were absolutely FANTASTIC.
The final destination for the day was Guirola, an orphanage for special needs children. After spending the morning at San Martin, I think it is safe to say that every member of our team was more than excited to get together with these caring kids. Another tour came and it was time for another party. This one included some fun games with a parachute and plenty of dancing once again. You’ve never seen a smile as big as some of these kids had, and I’m telling you that it is something you want to experience. After many walks with the kids around the grounds and a very one-sided conversation with a parrot, it was time for us to depart from our new made friends.
Tonight the other half of our team was sent out to feed the homeless. Trust me, the bread was still flying, the mustard was still slinging, and the meat was still juicing. And, if you have any doubt about the juiciness of the meat, you can just ask our good friends Rathgeber and Jeremy Latham how it tastes.
All in all, I would say it’s been a very successful day. God blessed each of us with the chance to be here and I know it’s something we will all take with us. Following God’s path for us may not always be the easiest decision, but it leads us through some pretty amazing doors.
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”Psalms 25:5