The following story came from Melissa Grosskreutz... "The most impactful thing that happened to me today was when a small group of people showed up from an orphanage. There were 6 children that were fairly new that came to get a check up by the doctor. These kids were so precious. They didn’t know what a slide was. We climbed up to the landing with them. It took awhile but one of the boys slid down the slide. He looked frightened on the way down, but once he reached the bottom the best laugh came out of this little person. You know the kind that comes from your belly, yeah that one. That helped all of the boys get excited over this slide. They came running. One little girl, Kimberly, looked frightened standing on the landing. I carried her down and held her. I asked one of the workers what her story was. Apparently, Kimberly and her two brothers were dropped off at this orphanage because they were living on the street and their mom couldn’t take care of them. This broke my heart. Soon after that, Kimberly laid her head on my shoulder and started to cry. It didn’t take me long to join her. Here in my arms I am holding this little one who has a mother who couldn’t take care of her and her brothers. But, the Lord kept telling me “She is mine. I have not forgotten.” James 1:27 says this, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” This is why we are here. The children of Haiti are not forgotten. These are precious in His sight. These are His.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Here is Codie McKellips take on arriving in a new world...
"We got onto our truck which was basically a cage with tin over it to keep the dust out. We all sat in the back and drove an hour and a half to the compound. We went through the worst part of Port-au-Prince and saw all the rubble and tent cities. cows and horses just walking around... Then we passed a tent city on the side of the mountain. The mountains were GORGEOUS and right next to the ocean... It's really amazing what God has created. We went through another poverty stricken area and then a farmer's market. Some people waved and others got mad at us for waving or smiling...
When we were in the midst of the worst of port-au-prince there was a brick wall that ran along one of the tent cities that had graffitti on it that had a picture of praying hands and said:
WE NEED HELP.
Once we turned onto Lifeline road where the compound is, we saw all these children that started to yell and run towards the truck and wave at us. They were so excited and precious! The kids would yell "wan wan" which means white; they knew we were here to help them."
Please pray for the team as they jump in with both feet on Wednesday. They ask that you specifically pray for the children they will meet; open arms and open hearts. Pray for safety and courage as well as strength and endurance. God is doing amazing things!
Thank you for being a part of this trip!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
On their final day in El Salvador the team visited some familiar faces. They began the day at CISNA's orphanage for boys. The young men range in ages from 7-17 years old and live in a former prison. I use the word "former" loosely because things haven't changed much at all. The boys are sleeping in cells on thin mats with discusting conditions. The turn over rate for workers is high and there is only about one employee per 40 or or so boys. Many of them escape to join gangs in the city, and are later caught by police and brought back. It is an amazing thing to see the hardened hearts of these young men, broken by God's love for them. The government allows Starfish to come into the orphanage and share with the boys that God has a better plan for their lives.
The group spent the day talking with and encouraging the boys, plaing games, teaching them of God and His love, painting faces and building relationships.
Below you will find Stanley, another friend we met several years ago. He is a self educated young man who has traveled the world and speaks several languages. Somehow, he has ended up in this orphanage in El Salvador. Over the past few months we have spoken to Stanley and he expressed his desire to learn to play the violin.
Brian Carter wrote, "Today I watched Olivia giving a violin lesson to a young man who would soon have to leave the orphanage called CISNA. I had positioned myself there to take a picture of the two, so I could share it with her parents. The young man had played the insturment before and he had some ability, but he was struggling to put his fingers on the right strings. with a warm smile and a tender touch, our Olivia took his hand and placed it in the correct place. The result was wonderful to watch... The music filled the air of the courtyard and the young man's face broke into a smile. When he finished, they shared a moment together as she praised him and they laughed together. I realized that this week God has taken our hands and placed them on the lives of these people, and our shared moments together have brought a smile to all. Our great God has blessed our week with moments like this daily!"
Before ending the day, the team stopped by La Casa de mi Padre where they were able to visit many great friends that we love and miss dearly! These are some the first relationships God built with us and the children of El Salvador, and they will always remain close to our hearts!
As the week came to an end, we hope we completed God's mission to El Salvador to the fullest. He loves these children and so do we! Our prayer is to continue His work with these precious children we have come to love so much and bring awarness of their circumstances to the world!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Today's activities took place in Soyapongo. This is a community currently receiving aid from the Fuller Center for El Salvador. Homes are being built to aid victims of recent flooding a mud slides resulting from earthquakes and hurricane rains. Starfish has been building a relationship with the Fuller Center for a while now, and was honored to help out for the day.
These children are from families that are some of the poorest in El Salvador. Thanks to the Fuller Center the kids are now able to attend school, have a safe place to play and most importantly hear about Jesus Christ!
Please continue to be in prayer for the team on Friday. The week has been full of happiness and saddness. tears and smiles and as it comes to an end, emotions are running high. The group will be visiting a couple more orphanages tomorrow and don't want the week to end! They appreciate and thank you for your continued support and prayers!