Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Most Amazing Day!

We can't say what group we were with, where we were or why, but it was the most amazing day, and we connected with this group of kids in the most amazing way!  It was a day that none of us will soon forget!

We were told to turn to the camera and have them face away, but none of us felt comfortable that way, so we turned in solidarity with them!

I don't have any other words to say, because it was and is impossible to describe!

It has been a wonderfully blessed trip!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!

Day 6 of an exceptional journey:


We started the day with a quick trip to the souvenir market.  Everyone got back on the bus with bags of goodies to take home.  Those  goodies ranged from blankets to purses and even a few machetes.  We then made our way through traffic to San Martin to tour a children's AIDS home and a facility for special needs adults.  Conditions were clean but very basic.  The residents welcomed us with smiles, hugs and handshakes.  Thought we wished conditions were better, they seemed happy.  Good care for persons with special needs and orphans is a struggle no matter how "modern" a society might be - something we need to consider not only overseas but also in our own communities. 

We loaded up the buses - one of our group and one of the special needs adults - and headed for a great lunch at Pizza Hut.  Between the two groups we must have had over 50 people.  This was a special treat for the residents.  Then it was off to the zoo.  As the leaders gave the instructions to 'pair up' with someone from each group, our group from the states were slow in responding.  However, the special needs adults knew the drill.  They were the first to go up and take the hand of a new friend.  Once everyone was paired up, we had a wonderful time seeing the zoo through the excited eyes of those with special needs.

The late afternoon and evening found some relaxing time at the mission house and enjoying dinner and a rain-cooled evening.  Food was prepared and after another birthday celebration, we all headed downstairs to make meals to feed to homeless.  Although it is heartbreaking to see some of the conditions that some people live in, they are still thankful for what they have and what they receive.  Blessings were given by those giving and receiving as evidenced by a voice in the darkness that proclaimed "Dios te bendiga" (God Bless You) after receiving a meal.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

An Exceptional Birthday!

Today is my 14th birthday and I am very happy to be on a mission trip with my family in El Salvador. I have wanted to go on a mission trip for a long time, I really like to help other people and tell them about Jesus. My mom and dad have always told me that it's just as important to help people near home, but my sister has been to other countries on mission trips and told me about her adventure and how she helped their people and it sounded really exciting to me. This year my family decided to give up our family vacation so we could come to El Salvador instead. I'm so glad that we did. 
      Today we dedicated the house that our team built for a family here. After that we went door to door and handed out bags of food and bibles to the surrounding neighbors along with praying for them. To see how the people in that village live makes me really thankful for my life and everything God has given me but it also makes me want to help them even more. 

      After that we went and played soccer with some boys that are in an orphanage. Seeing that they have no family made me sad but also very thankful for my mom, dad, and sister. 
      The last thing we did today was to
eat dinner and then the people here made me a birthday cake and they celebrated my birthday just like I was their family. I really like our translators that I have become friends with... even though they smashed my face into my birthday cake!!!   Ha ha!!!  I will get you back Lilly and Osmaro!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

2nd full day! 
Today we went to two different orphanages, and had activities at both places.  They were both eye opening experiences that had a great impact on me. The kids were so happy to see us. God opened up my heart today because even though the kids may have not been well cared for and others had special needs, all I could see was a beautiful children of God!  
They loved to dance, sing, and hug, most of all, they loved being loved on! Saying goodbye was a very emotional time for me, because I loved being with them all so much. After the orphanages we came back to the mission house, hungry and ready for a huge, warm, tasty meal like we have quickly come to expect here, but  Instead of having a warm meal, we ate what we're feeding the homeless which consists of a sandwich, fruit, chips, and drink.  It was not what we expected, but itade me appreciate what we have so much more and I thank God even more for our meals! We will be feeding over 200 meals to the homeless tonight. Today was long, but I feel so blessed to be here!
Jolaina celebrated a very special birthday today!

Built On The Rock

After spending two days working within the city of San Salvador, God brought the Starfish team to the state of Ahuachapan, El Salvador. While in Ahuachapan, the team was blessed with the opportunity to build a home for a family of five. Our day began early as we met at the Sus Hijos office and warehouse to load the pieces of the home onto the back of a truck before making the hour and a half journey to where the family was living. 

After we arrived, the Sus Hijos team introduced us to the family of five for which we would be building. Living in one small room were a mother, her two children, one of which had special needs, and the grandparents. A small room does not accurately describe where this family was living and the home God was building for this family through our team would allow them to live comfortably as a family and better care for their children.

Although a rain storm rolled through around lunch, God blessed the team with the perseverance to compete the building of the home before heading back to the Mission House for dinner. Working within the community, both with the family and with the families and children of the community, the team was able to share the love of Christ. Whether through a pick up game of soccer with only rocks marking the goal posts, feeding and talking with the family or physically building the house, Jesus was with us and the community. 

Amber Lubker

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. 
Psalm 127:1

What an amazing verse to think on today as we labored to put a house up and tomorrow as we pray that the home is built on the word of God and is filled with His love. I believe the Lord is truly guarding this city because He has planted so many warriors on these streets; to feed the homeless, cloth them, build homes, show love to the orphans, and show CHRIST to everyone they meet. 

Also it was amazing to see that the Lord has built this house today! Through Him we found the family, though Him we received the funds for the materials, and through Him we are all here to joyfully serve this family who blessed my heart so much. 

At the end of the day it was time to paint and the grandfather was standing and watching his families house get built. I turned and asked him if he would like to paint (with what little Spanish I know) and eagerly he came took up the brush and with a smile on his face began to paint. My heart began to overflow as I watch him and see Christ overflowing in him as well. I was blessed to be able to serve this family today, amazed at how God used me, and forever humbled to serve His children. 

Amber Bass

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Full Day!

Today we went to a Spanish church. I love that even though I didn't understand the language, we all worship the same God and in the same way. As I looked around I took pictures of the people worshiping. I got so caught up in my own worship for all that God has done in my life, that tears just started to flow. I am blessed beyond words.
Amber played and sang at church this morning and her Dad, Terry preached the morning service. Both of them did an amazing job!
After church we got a bite to eat and then went to the mission house to change, and straight to the new boys transition home, up flights of stairs in behind the garden area of the mission home. Today we cleaned and moved boys into their new home! I installed toilet seats, shower heads and a faucet. It's going to be a very nice home for these boys!