Monday, February 15, 2016

Another Grand Day!

Today the team started off the day bright and early, leaving promptly one hour late, per usual. We set off for San Martin, an orphanage for adults with special needs. We took a tour of the facility and anxiously awaited the arrival of our new friends for our dance party.
 Once they made their grand entrance we danced our butts off to some tunes from DJ Lilly. We had a blast watching Juan Carlos get down, and Emilio singing his heart out and even breaking it down ourselves. "If homecoming was half as cool as this dance, I would actually go." Amidst the dance party, our friends got their faces painted and arms tatted and gave our team some body art of their own. Unfortunately, the time came when we had to say our goodbyes, although we left with memories that we will never forget. 
After San Martin, we paid a visit to the highly anticipated Pollo Comparo, and we were not disappointed. 

With stomachs full, we paid a visit to Guerrola, another orphanage for individuals with special needs, but this one was for children. We took a tour and met the kids. This was especially out of most people's comfort zones, because most of the children are physically handicapped and have severe cognitive delays. We soon learned that all it took to put a smile on their face was to show them some love by holding their hands and smiling to show them that we care.
These children and adults don't get visitors very often, and it was a treat for them to get to spend the day with us, but it was an even bigger blessing to have been given the opportunity to meet these amazing people. These people aren't special because they have disabilities, they are special because they see the world with a pure heart and soul. Their perception of the world is something that we should all strive for, a heart free of judgement, happiness even through dark times, and love for anyone and everyone. 
With happy hearts and now empty stomachs, we made the journey to our even more highly anticipated meal... The pupusa party!
Dinner was awesome, and matched with an even more awesome view from the lookout spot down the road from the pupusaria. We saw the entire city of San Salvador from the lookout. It puts into perspective how minuscule we are in this grand scheme of things, but today, no matter how minuscule we are in relation to the the rest of the world, we were a grand part of someone's day at San Martin and Guerrola. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016


This was the 6th annual Starfish/Sus Hijos/McCracken County High School Children's Festival!!!!

Blessed. That's what I realized  after the experience I had today. Being born and living in America all my life and then coming here has really opened up my eyes to how fortunate we are. 

We began the day by taking our two buses to a village about an hour and half away for a festival for the community of the area to be apart of.

 When we arrived and unloaded there some of the church leaders lead some worship and we prayed over the families and children.
Then we had the opportunity to play and interact with the kids for awhile. We ended the day at the festival by giving every single child a pair of shoes, a t-shirt, and a bag of candy.
The expression on these kids' faces was heart melting, as they were giving these three simple items. Here I am, when I'm at home, get upset or annoyed when my wifi is slow on my phone. And these kids that have barley anything yet are so loving and have a smile on their faces.
As I sit here and type this out, not even three days into our trip, I have come to realize how blessed I am. When I wake up every morning I have running water, I have clothes in my drawer, I have a family that loves me, I have a refrigerator full of food, I have a roof over my head, I have my own car, I'm healthy. I could go on and on. 
My point here is to ask you to examine your own life. Just to be able to get in your own warm bed every night is a blessing from God and we should take time everyday to thank him for that. So do me a favor. Take time right now to pray and thank him for the first ten things that come to your mind that God has blessed you with that you take for granted in a regular basis.

 I want to thank Starfish Orphan Ministry for the amazing opportunity to be able to travel down here to make a difference in families and kids lives. Also I want to thank all the people that helped organize and take care of all the logistics and planning that went into this trip. Also I want to thank Johnny for asking me to play a small part in this amazing blog. Josh Grogan signing out. 

P.S. Keep our mission team in your prayers as we head into our last full day here tomorrow. I believe we are going to some orphanages and playing with kids there. Pray that we make a difference in these kids lives along with our own. Pray for safe travels as we had back to the US Monday morning because of the rumor of more snow this week!

Friday, February 12, 2016

You really can make a difference! We did for this family!

I'm February 12, 2016

One of the students account of the day:

Today was another wonderful day to serve The Lord! We left bright and early this morning at around 8:00 because we had to drive to Sus Hijos' warehouse where we picked up our supplies for the house we were going to build! 

After loading up today's supplies, we left for Auachapan! We went to a rural house right outside the village where we immediately got to work. 

We built the house today for a family of 6, all living in a 20x20 room. The mother had 3 sons, and 2 daughters, with their ages ranging from 2-23.
  It was slow going initially, so we split our large group into 2 smaller groups. One group went to the village and visited with the people there while the others stayed and worked on the house. The process of building the house finally began to speed up after the foundation was laid out. 

We put the floor, walls, and roof in place followed by a fresh coat of green paint.
The project had to be cut short however because the sun was beginning to set.
The family was extremely thankful for the work we did today. We plan to move the furniture in tomorrow to complete the project. 

When we were finished saying our goodbyes, we headed back to the mission house where they had prepared tacos and tortilla soup for us! The food was great and after we finished, John brought out a HUGE cake for Josh's birthday! 

We sang happy birthday to him and then proceeded to dunk his face into the cake. Lastly, we went downstairs and started preparing meals to give to the homeless tonight.
The missionaries out there did life-changing work had an absolute blast! I look forward to the opportunity to go out and do similar mission work again over the course of the next two days! 

Joshua 1:9

Love never looks back!

The students on this trip wanted to go and love on those less fortunate. They could have easily backed out, or done something more self centered...but they didn't! There have been people on TV and Internet for weeks talking about the Zika Virus,  and these youth were serious about their commitment to this trip, or they would not have gotten on the plane.

I can not wait to see them, loving (even if it's through pictutes ) on people (especially children). Friday this team travels to build a home for a family with nothing!

Please keep this team in your prayers!

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.