Hello! My name is Haley Williams and I am a nursing student at WKCTC. I will be telling you about my experience of today in El Salvador!
The day started out nice and early with a trip to Walmart. If you have been following the blog, you know that we are in the process of building and furnishing a house for a homeless family. On our journey in Walmart, we purchased many items for both the family and the house itself. Clothes for all of the children and mother, food, furniture, shoes, cleaning supplies, toys, and some other necessary items were the things we purchased for the family this morning. The Walmart here in El Salvador resembles the ones we have in the United States, but there are definitely some differences. For example, the mother that will be living in the house that we built makes $6/day and works 5 days per week. That's a total of $30/week and items in Walmart here cost the same as in the United States. Therefore, for example, 1/3 of her pay would be going to a shirt that costs $10. It's definitely upsetting seeing how much they make here and then seeing what they can afford.
After Walmart, we headed out to the site of the house which is about 2 hours away from where we are staying in the Mission House. Whenever we got there, we began unloading the furniture and goods that we brought. We formed teams to assemble furniture and even had a competition to see who could do it the fastest! That definitely produced a lot of laughs from the group. Next we started loading furniture, decorations, food, and toys into the house. Personally, I found so much enjoyment and gratitude in playing with the children the past two days that we have been there. Little Sophia stole my heart for sure. Both days we played soccer and frisbee and even though the language barrier is thick and our verbal communication is limited, I connected with her and found so much enjoyment in the interaction that we shared these past couple of days. Seeing her smile when we were dancing and hearing that sweet little laugh while throwing the frisbee was a reminder to me that being richly blessed does not come in materialistic things.
The dedication of the house was next on our game-plan. The whole team, translators, and family that was receiving the house gathered around the house and it was then that we dedicated the house, spoke to the family, and thanked them for this opportunity. We then loaded up onto the bus and went to our next mission; feeding and interacting with the families of San Martin.
When we arrived, we split into small groups and went house to house delivering meals of rice and beans and also items for the kids of the house. There was one family in particular that was incredibly memorable and amazing. The household consisted of a father, mother, 19 year old boy, a 21 year old girl, a 15 year old girl, a 13 year old girl, and a 6 year old boy. My translator described to me how it is unusual to see a house this full of children because they are usually out on the street/homeless by this time in their lives. They graciously welcomed us into their home and we talked with them for a while. After we left this town, we went back to the Mission House where we ate dinner, played some card games, and also fed the homeless for the last time this week.
Feeding the homeless has been an experience that I'm not sure how to describe in words. We assembled about 140 meals consisting of a sandwich, chips, cookies, and a drink. You would be amazed at how grateful these people are to receive that amount of food. I personally could never imagine having to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
Whenever I am at home, I never realize how blessed that I truly am. To have a house, food, a bed, electricity, water (and hot water at that), transportation, shoes, clothes, and much much more. This trip has truly opened my eyes to the world and how marvelous our God is with everything he has blessed me with non-materialistically.
¡Dios te bendiga! (God Bless)