Saturday, June 15, 2013
The end of a wonderful week...
Friday, June 14, 2013
A dedication to Karissa!
When we dedicated the house, the mother prayed for US. She thanked us and God for the house. Even though the house is modest by American standards, she was extremely grateful. She told us how God sent us to build the house for her. I really do believe that God sent us, which is crazy because I often forget that I can make a difference in lives of others. I'm only 16 but God uses everyone for His plans.
We set out in groups to bring beans, rice and soup to the community. The bags were pretty heavy and we carried three or four bags each. It occurred to me that the bags we caried are like the burdens of the people (malnutrition, sickness, abuse...). When we give the bags to the people the burden of their weight is lightened on our backs and their burdens are lightened because God blesses them by the blessing of the food.
Towards the end we had one bag left. We prayed that God would show us who to take it to. We ended up giving the bag to a widowed lady. Her husband was a Decon in the church and passed away exactly a year ago. Although she has 9 grown children she has no one to take care of her. The church refused to help her because she has so many children, but they can't care for her because they have kids of their own. God sent us to her because she needed help. Her husband died and life has worn her down but God didn't forget about her. It is such a blessing to be part of His plan!
Later we went to an orphanage called Marillac for older girls. We danced to Ganum style and made prayer notebooks. It always surprises me that the Salvadorian orphans know Ganum style!! I met a really outgoing sweet girl who is 16 like me. As soon as I got there she introduced herself and told me I look just like Taylor Swift! I could tell we could be great friends. Kurt told me that she had been abused before and as a result she has anxiety attacks. This is crazy to me. She is just a young girl like me but has endured so much pain. I know that God will take care of my new friend. She is His beautiful creation that He loves. I pray that He will bless her and she will come to know Him.
Being in El Salvador I come to realize how big God is. He is powerful and loving. He can bring 9 crazy Americans together at just the right time to build a house that changes the lives of its ocupants. I feel extremely blessed that He has given me so much and has allowed me to visit El Salvador. I am helping with a small part of His grand amazing puzzle which touches my heart.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
This is my first trip to El Salvador. I have been so extremely humbled by everything that I have seen, and it’s hard to believe that there are only two more days left of this trip. I have found my heart broken many times this week. Today, we started by visiting Guirola, a special needs orphanage. We were welcomed by the director of the facility upon arrival and were shortly introduced to other staff members. They led us in a tour of the facility. Out of all of the orphanages we have been to so far, I must say this was the nicest. All of their buildings were well kept and the inside of the children’s rooms were very clean and neat. All of the children were wearing clean clothes and had their hair fixed neatly. After the tour, some of the team members separated to unpack therapy equipment and toys for the physical therapy room. The rest of team, including myself, stayed to play with the children. All of them were very eager to be loved on and played with. There was one child, who was in a wheelchair, that sat himself in front of the speaker to listen to the music. Any time we would try to move him, he would lock his breaks. He was having such a fun time dancing. I felt such love for all of these children and it hurt me to leave them, however, it was a relief to know that the facility was taking very good care of them.
After leaving Guirola, we went to meet with some boys from CISNA. We ate lunch with them and bowled for two hours. They were all so excited and many of them were extremely good at the game. I found joy in watching the smiles come to their faces when they would knock down most or all of the pins. After leaving the bowling alley, we followed them to CISNA, where we are able to hand out crafts and yo-yos. The team got to see their craft room and even buy some of their art work. The boys there are so talented and creative! I couldn’t believe the amazing images that they had made!
We then ended the night by feeding the homeless. This started out a little differently than when we went on Sunday. For starters, it was storming, so we were all bundled up in the back of the truck wearing ponchos and rain coats. After stopping and seeing some of these people without shirts on, we quickly started taking the ponchos off and handing them out. What was an hour of being wet and cold compared to all night, or even days? My comfort all of a sudden was not important to me at all. Another thing that we did a little different was going through the down town area. For someone who has not experienced this, it is quite scary. People just swarmed the truck. We were lucky to have very great translators there who managed to make people get into a line. It seemed like every time we turned around people were coming out of alleys and streets and the line kept growing and growing. There was a very elderly woman there and many small children. It’s not fair for people to have to live like this. Feeding the homeless is such a bitter sweet experience. At the end of it all, you feel happiness for the people that you did get to feed. You feel joy for the person that was extremely grateful. But at the same time, you feel sadness for the ones that you could not provide food for. And you feel grief for those small kids left to fend for themselves.
Today has been an emotional, but great day. I am so grateful for this experience and to see just how truly blessed I am in my life. I am so excited to have seen God working all around us this week.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
San Martin Day!
Monday, June 10, 2013
Today I was struck, first hand, by the contrast between the contentment of poverty and the agitation of financial success. We saw this family who were just thrilled with a tiny, three-room house with an outhouse. Some others do nothing but complain about the problems caused by their blessings. They buy a fifty thousand dollar car and then whine about how much their insurance costs. Then I wonder, if these poorest of the poor were someday not poor, would they get caught up in the same petty concerns? Maybe they only way to be really content with what you have is just to not have anything in the first place. Brian
We went to the village today, near Ahuachapan to work on the house that the team last week had worked SO hard on. We worked until the early afternoon, and then we left and went to a new orphanage, that we had never taken a group to before. The team loved spending time with the boys and we hope to build a relationship with this orphanage. It housed 400 boys at one time, but now only has about 30. There were some tears shed when we left.