Today our team got to spend some time with the kids from the all-boys orphanage CISNA, one of my favorite things to do while in El Salvador. We were blessed enough to be provided a professional baseball field this morning for them. The boys on our team taught the kids the basics of the game, complete with warm-ups. At about 11 o'clock we gave them a snack and then got an organized game going. We split the boys and team members onto two different teams and started playing, giving each boy a chance to bat. I, and most of the other girls, chose to be the cheerleaders/photographers, leaving the ball playing to the boys. You could tell they were having the time of their lives, because this was something they had never experienced before. Baseball isn't really a popular sport in El Salvador, so they got to learn something very new to them. Afterward, we had ice cream with them, and then they had to go back to CISNA. They had the biggest smiles on their faces the whole time, and were sad when they had to leave.
The team then ate lunch at Wendy's, one of the more delectable fast food restaurants El Salvador has to offer, and went to CISNA to tour the facilities and spend some more time with the kids. We saw their brand-new kitchen and cafeteria area that the Lone Oak High School Beta Club had a big part in helping make possible. It was awesome to see how our money had been put to use since the trip this past February. We also saw their game room, which consisted of two foosball tables and a little workout area. Next were their dorms, which have definitely improved the most since my first trip here in February of 2011. They have actual mattresses and pillows, the walls are clean and painted, and it just feels like a more cheery place. We also went into their art room, where they create beautiful works of art out of wood, aluminum foil, and paint. They make everything from bookmarks to crosses to little boxes. Some of them also create gorgeous paintings of landscapes. The skill that these boys have is amazing.
The boys got to show off their artistic skills when we tie dyed tshirts with them. They were all being very creative, mixing colors to create purple and green, making patterns, and twisting their tshirts all different ways. They all turned out so well. While we let their tshirts dry, we all headed out to the soccer field to play some futbol with them. Again, I did not participate, taking over the cheerleader role as I am horrible at soccer. Soccer is the sport the boys get to play the most, so they were very competitive. There were many exciting moments in the game and it was very entertaining to watch them all enjoying themselves so much. Unfortunately, we had to leave after they were done playing soccer, but we did give each boy a soccer ball to remember us by and so they'd always have something to play with and bring them joy.
We finished our day at the transition home. The transition home is for the boys that age out of the CISNA orphanage. Normally they would get put out on the street when they turn 18, but with the transition home, they will have a place to live and an opportunity to learn a trade, find a job, and be able to supoort themselves. The transition home gives these boys a chance to be successful despite the conditions they grew up in. We added some furniture to the home and touched up some paint, as no boys are living in the home yet.
There were a couple families across the street from the home that my mom, Kathy, Danielle, Melissa, one of our translators, Jenny, and I went to talk to. We gave the kids suckers, and Melissa played worship songs on her guitar. We sang in both English and Spanish. Jenny explained to them what the songs meant, and they told us that they are Catholic Christians. We asked if they had anything that they wanted us to pray with them for, and we gathered with them and prayed. We also gave them Spanish bibles, and they were so grateful.
With that, we returned to the mission house where we got cleaned up and had a delicious dinner: poppyseed chicken. Today was one of the best days thus far, but they just keep getting better and better. This week has flown by, but I can't wait to see what blessings tomorrow brings.