Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Day to Remember

The team often doesn't write about their last day, because they are usually getting everything racked to head home the next day. However, I thought you all make get like to see a few pictures!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Carlitos


2-18-17
Shelby Sokolik 

Today was a very successful day! We left the mission house at 7am and drove to Ahuachap├ín, a village about an hour and a half from the mission house, also the village where we built the house on Friday. We arrived in an open field in the middle of the community. The team set up different stations for the children. They were filled with tattoos and stickers for the kids, we handed out popcorn and snow cones, we even had bouncy houses for all the kids to enjoy, and believe me, they did!! Throughout the day I walked around the field watching all the kids, I didn't have a specific job. My only job was to watch Carlitos, he lived next to the family we built the house for. He was the youngest of four boys. All of the brothers were at the festival, but their parents were not. The older brothers wanted to play soccer with the other kids but they had to watch Carlo. They asked me to watch him and of course I said yes. I had spent quite some time with Carlitos the previous day, so they trusted me with him. We sat by a tree watching his brothers and eating snow cones. He eventually fell asleep in my arms. At 1pm our team left to go and dedicate the home to the family receiving it. They were extremely gracious for our work and were so so excited to make it their new home. Just after the ceremony
Carlitos came to me and gave me a hug, at this time we had to pack our things and head back. I gave Carlitos one last hug and he whispered to me "Te amo" this means "I love you" in Spanish. Those were the first and only words Carlitos had spoken to anyone in the two days we were in his village. I've never felt anything like that before, it was the most heart warming experience in my life, thus far. I already miss my little angel and his brothers but I know I will see them again soon. This trip has been such a blessing to me and my team. We are so so grateful for this opportunity!! 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Lives Changed!




Today we had the blessing and privilege of building a home for and El Salvadorian family. The family lives in the small village of Ahuachapan. The team started the day with a wonderful breakfast prepared by Mrs. Judy at the mission house and then loaded up the busses for the hour and a half journey. The drive was beautiful seeing the El Salvador country side. When we reached the village we were introduced to the family. They were so appreciative of what we were doing for them.  The mother cried and thanked us the entire day. We first laid the foundation of the house and next the floors. After that, we put up all four walls and threw a roof on top. After some lovely painting and furniture organizing by the lady's, we had completed the house. The entire village came to watch this process and we got to play and interact with all of them. They were incredibly kind and thankful for what we had done. 

Today was something I will never forget. Building a house for a family is life changing for both parties. To the family, we provided them with four walls and a roof. However, it is much more then that. It is a home. A place to eat, sleep, and live. A new home to contain a lifetime of memories to come. A place to gather with family and friends. A place to worship the Lord. To us we were showed how blessed we truly are. We take so much for granted. Waking up every morning with a roof over your head is a true blessing. We learned that when hard work and love mix, the results can be amazing. Today we changed someone life and today our lives where changed. 

-Ethan Schaaf

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The joy you can't imagine...

                                             

Today was an experience unlike any other. I had the opportunity to see people through God's eyes and realize how great of a life I truly get to live. As soon as I woke up this morning, I knew what the day had in store for the team and I was going to be a total surprise, and we'd just have to take it on with open arms. Most of us, me included, have never shared an experience like this one in our lives, and I am beyond blessed to say that I have. 


     Our first stop for the day was a special needs facility for adults called San Martin. This experience was jammed packed full of dancing, face painting, balloon animals, laughter, and much more. Putting a single sticker on their faces or making turtle balloon bracelets would give them a smile that would last a lifetime. I was personally moved by the ones that couldn't do much but when you smiled at them they gave their biggest smile back. It meant so much to be able to make someone genuinely happy without words. 


     We also made a stop to a children's special needs orphanage called Guirola. I think I made a best friend or two here today. I met the most amazing little girl who could give you the sweetest laugh just by doing the smallest things. We would toss a ball back and forth and then she would hit me with it to make me laugh. She kept that same ball throughout the day and it would be our little thing to hit one another with it to see who could get the biggest laugh.

                                              

     That sound of true joy and laughter is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Today made me truly understand how precious this life God gave us is and how great of an experience it is to share my gifts with those who aren't able.

Today was an emotional one for me and one that will always hold a dear place in my heart.  

                               -Chanyng Floyd
                                                                                                 

Our first full day of service was 10 times better than expected. It was full of dancing, laughter, and games. I had a personal experience with a man named Luis. He had to be in his later 40's, I couldn't figure out due to the fact that he didn't say a word the entire time... He only smiled and held my hand. I will never forget how it felt to be standing in the courtyard of San Martin (adult special needs orphanage) listening to one of the younger patients pray and thank God for sending the "americanos" and that their doors are always open. Even though they thanked us and praised God, I truly believe that going to San Martin was a blessing to me.

 I was then humbled once again visiting Guirola (children special needs orphanage) when a little girl who couldn't speak, grabbed my hand and pulled me to the dance floor. She wrapped her arms around me and rocked back and forth. It was one of those moments I wish I could relive everyday. The adults and kids have been one of the biggest blessings, and I will never forget what it felt like to be wrapped up in those moments. 
- Kendall Mclean 



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Off to a Great Start!

The team was up and at the airport by 4am! They flew to Atlanta, and then on to San Salvador!! They arrived safely with 45 checked bags, 32 carry-Ons. 32 back packs, and 32 tired travelers!  When they got out of the airport, they loaded a bus and headed for the world famous States Diner! 

The diner was started to give training and a job to kids that had aged out of orphanages and could not get a job. This is part of the transition program for young people. The food is incredible, and the service even better!

When they had eaten all they could, they headed to the mission house. Their "home away from home" for the week.  They quickly unpacked and began preparing food to feed the homeless. One third can go and feed per night, so the first third went tonight, while the others got ready for some much needed rest!

Tomorrow they will hit the ground running, by visiting and having fun with both adults and children with special needs! Please keep our team in your thoughts and prayers!

Laura Roberts

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